Government Departments: Telephone Services

HM Treasury written question – answered on 30th July 2015.

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Photo of Lord Quirk Lord Quirk Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord O’Neill of Gatley on 9 July (HL898), what training in communication skills is provided for the officials in (1) HM Revenue and Customs, (2) the Home Office, (3) the Ministry of Justice, (4) the Department for Work and Pensions, and (5) the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, who are responsible for helping members of the public who telephone with complaints or requests for information.

Photo of Lord Quirk Lord Quirk Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord O’Neill of Gatley on 9 July (HL898), whether there are target times by which calls from members of the public are expected to receive attention when telephoning (1) HM Revenue and Customs, (2) the Home Office, (3) the Ministry of Justice, (4) the Department for Work and Pensions, and (5) the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Photo of Lord O'Neill of Gatley Lord O'Neill of Gatley The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury

All new HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) telephony advisers receive two days of call handling soft skills training, prior to handling customer calls. Further call handling training is provided depending on the needs of the advisor.

The first escalation for complaints from an adviser is to a Team Leader. 80 per cent of complaints are successfully handled at this point.

HMRC’s Personal Tax Operations has a specific team who deal with customer complaints received via telephone.

HMRC has a target of answering 80 per cent of all calls received.

Information regarding the training and performance on telephony issues for other Government Departments is not held centrally and should be obtained from the Departments concerned.

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