I understand that HMRC are keen to become leaders within the "Contact Centre Industry" (call centres to you and I).
As such they are keen to ensure that as many HMRC orifices as possible retain their CCA (Customer Contact Association) accreditation.
The other week HMRC sent out an internal mail outlining the main points of the strategy. Three key points being:
-HMRC has to demonstrate that it has the highest standards of staff care,
-HMRC staff training has to be of the highest standard and
-HMRC should work towards a situation where there is a good level of staff retention.
A very reasonable and intelligent set of objectives, compliance with these would indicate that HMRC is a well run organisation.
However, reality may be a tad different.
HMRC management have been demanding ever decreasing call handling times for Contact Centre (CC) staff, I understand that these demands force staff to cut corners in order to avoid disciplinary action.
Is HMRC some form of boot camp?
Instructions have been issued to CC staff telling them to update records when a caller asks about a repayment, in order to save processing offices work when the claim comes in. This on occasions means that the CC staff must ask for information going back 5 years, which of course takes time on the phone.
I am told that CC staff are required to reconcile self assessment under/over-payments, rather that email the service office to do it. This again takes time.
The result being that some CC staff are refusing to help customers fill in their tax returns, others are asking customers to write in unnecessarily to address basic coding queries etc.
The aspirational target time for handling a phone enquiry is 7 minutes 30 seconds. The reality is far longer.
Things are not going well in HMRCland!
Tax does have to be taxing.
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