STAGECOACH TO CREATE 80 JOBS AT NEW UK CUSTOMER CONTACT CENTRE IN SCOTLAND
- One-stop phone and digital contact point for customers to open in spring 2022
- Extended opening hours and investment in new technology to improve customer service
- Vote of confidence in Perth welcomed by local authority and business groups
Stagecoach, the UK’s biggest bus operator, has announced plans to create 80 jobs at a new customer contact centre in Perth, Scotland.
The new one-stop phone and digital contact point for customers will be based at the company’s existing headquarters in the city and is planned to open in spring 2022.
The new multi-skilled team will operate an improved seven-day a week service from the launch of the new centre, and will move to fully extended opening hours on weekdays and weekends within the year.
It will provide one easy point of contact that customers can use to speak to a member of the Stagecoach team on any queries they have, including questions about timetables, feedback on services, help with smartcards and lost property. Customers will also be able to buy tickets directly through the new shared service contact centre.
Major investment is being made in a new customer relationship management system to help provide tailored support, better understand customers’ end-to-end journeys, and quickly address any emerging common issues.
The search is now underway for a new lead to manage the centre, with customer advisor job roles expected to be advertised in the autumn.
Stagecoach Chief Executive Martin Griffiths said: “At a time when many parts of our economy have been hit hard by the pandemic, we are delighted to be able to open this new facility and create new employment opportunities.
“We were founded in Perth four decades ago and are proud to have retained our headquarters in the city ever since. Perth gives us access to high-quality, skilled employees and we hope the new customer contact centre will provide a way into the world of work for individuals from a range of backgrounds, including young people.
“There is a huge opportunity to attract people to more sustainable public transport in the years ahead as national governments look to move to net zero. Delivering the best experience to every single customer is central to helping people make the switch away from cars to public transport.
“The central contact point will allow us to provide extended opening hours so we’re there to support our customers when and how they need us.”
The investment in new customer adviser jobs has been welcomed by local authority and business leaders in the region. Despite having higher-than-average employment rates over many years, Perth has been hit by a number of high profile job losses over the past 12 months. Recent figures show the COVID pandemic has doubled the rate of unemployment in the Perth and Kinross region*.
Perth and Kinross Council leader, Councillor Murray Lyle, said: “This is a tremendous vote of confidence in Perth and Kinross and our highly skilled workforce.
“Stagecoach has a long history in Perth and it is heartening to see its commitment to the city remains as strong as ever.
“Not only will these 80 jobs create opportunities for our people and help us recover from the economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, they will also support the move towards sustainable travel across the UK.”
Vicki Unite, Chief Executive of Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This will come as a great boost for the region’s economy after a difficult 16 months during the pandemic. It’s a huge vote of confidence in our skills base in Perthshire and will provide some valuable new opportunities for the region.
“With the full re-opening on 9 August, we are now all looking ahead at re-building our local economy. This investment by Stagecoach will help to lock in spend with our community and will have a positive knock-on effect for many other local businesses.”
* Between March 2020 and January 2021, the overall unemployment claimant count in Perth & Kinross by 119%- up 2220 individuals – with the unemployment rate rising from two per cent to 4.4%. The 18-24 age group saw an even higher increase, going from 345 (3.3%) individuals to 825 (7.9%) – an overall rise of around 139 per cent.