Capturing Information on Outbound Calls to Customers

02 Jul 2020

Universal Credit introduced a tracker on 2 June 2020 to gather information on capturing outbound calls to customers.

Senior DWP management advised PCS that they wanted to build on the capture that some staff developed on the Customer Support Calls and then capture more detail on activity to support the 18-24 age group customers as follows:

  1. Labour Market Activation activity
  2. Case loading, Digi-Lite engagement and support (provisions) offered to the 18-24-year-old intensive customer group.

PCS have been contacted by members working in Universal Credit concerned that the department have introduced a tool to capture information on outbound calls to customers which they feel could be used to monitor and micro-manage them. PCS have taken forward those concerns with senior DWP management and sought clarification. The responses from the employer are listed below:

  • The aim of the tool is to gather data on the number of contacts made by calls throughout the day.
  • The tracker captures the following information:

Time spent on call activity; whether the customer answered the call; whether the customer was enrolled on Digi-Lite; how many customers presented themselves in person at the Jobcentre; and similar 18-24 years-old information to include provision referrals and starts.

  • At the moment there isn’t a more effective way of gathering this information. However, management are trying to change the build to automate for Universal Credit.
  • Work Coaches will be allocated time to complete daily. This is being built in to the return.
  • Any time spent on call activity in column 1 should be recorded there, including preparing for the call, making the call and any after call work related to the call. Management have confirmed that they understand shrinkage and that they will take this into account when analysing the data.
  • Management have not put expectation levels around diary capacity out yet and want to gather data first. They have not set out any expectations about organising diaries yet. Management have confirmed that they need to start gathering raw data and will refine as they go along. 
  • Management do not expect staff to be contacting customers 100% of the time and hope to explain this through the “Day in the Life” product which they hope to launch soon.
  • Management did not confirm if this tracker is being rolled out to be a productivity tool for the future given the return requests data about 18-24 age group. They did confirm that they need to gather data as they did on the YO tracker.
  • Management confirmed that there are no plans at the moment for this tracker to be used to measure performance.
  • Management confirmed that AO’s will be used only for AO appropriate work.
  • Management advised that they are not setting any numerical targets at present.

Management confirm no numerical targets

PCS were notified by a number of members around the country advising that they had been given a numerical target. In fact, some reported that they had been advised by local management that they had a numerical target of 40 calls per day. As you will note from the responses from senior DWP management, there are no numerical targets for colleagues making activation calls at present.

Guidance for members

Hopefully the responses received from management will provide some clarity and assurance that they are not being monitored or micro-managed. If any member making these calls has been told by local management that there is a numerical target they should challenge this and in the first instance notify your office PCS rep or Branch officer for them to take up at that level. If there is no resolution at local level, then this should be escalated to leeds@pcs.org.uk

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