The Peak Marathon

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Capita Customer Management 19th April 2017 3 minute read

The Peak Marathon

This weekend thousands of us will be warming up, squeezing into lycra, and possibly donning a teddy bear suit. Yes it’s the London Marathon, a time when months spent training, preparing and gaining stamina pay off… in fact, not unlike running a contact centre as Peak approaches. (Well, perhaps not the lycra). 

When it comes to handling a call, should you be sprinting or pacing yourself?

An awareness of when to sprint and when to pace yourself is one of the most crucial things a marathon runner should have. Likewise, an understanding of which situations call for prompt service and which require a little more time is important when considering a contact centre agent’s Average Handling Time (AHT). Generally, it is assumed that if an agent‘s AHT is low then they are performing well. However, this metric may not be the be-all and end-all. Some commentators argue that the pressure put on agents to resolve customer enquiries within a set amount of time can prevent the issue from being solved fully. The best call centres will have agents that can resolve calls thoroughly as well as quickly – especially crucial during the peak season.

Have you built up your training?

Of course, you can’t expect to be able to run a marathon without first undergoing a rigorous training regime! Similarly, in the call centre it is crucial to ensure that agents are fully trained and understanding of their roles before they are able to answer calls unsupervised – that they do not run before they can walk, so to speak.  It is our experienced staff that make the difference to our newer temporary staff – encouraging them and supporting them through the busy periods and helping maintain that great level of service to customers, even when call volumes may have doubled. You can read about how we approach training our agents for peak here.

Take on the competitive mindset!

Staying motivated and wanting to compete throughout a marathon is key – there will inevitably be points in the 26.2-mile run where you want to stop, but you have to keep going. Our clients want to know we will deliver the same high level of customer service during peak as in a normal time of the year and by using gamification and adding a level of competition to getting the best CSAT scores can drive overall customer satisfaction and brand advocacy up.

Read more about how Capita Customer Management used gamification to drive up CSAT for Debenhams here.

Charitable giving

Though many who run the London Marathon are professional athletes hoping to gain a new personal best, the majority take part for a simple reason – to raise money for charity. The 2015 marathon raised £54.1 million, a world record for an annual single day fundraising event. At Capita Customer Management, we are dedicated to bringing value to the communities in which we work, even during the busy peak season – our employees have donated hundreds of gifts to the Cash for Kids Christmas appeal. In the recent Capita Step Challenge, 2300 of our employees raised £58,422 for the Prince’s Trust by walking 362,954,686 steps in total – the equivalent of nearly 7000 marathons!


You can read more about community work we do here, or alternatively read about what we do for our clients in the charity sector here.


Look out for the peak special of our monthly intelligence report. If you would like to speak to someone about Capita managing your peak, then please

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