Retail Solutions - Dixons outsources its customer services to Capita in £90m deal

Dixons Group has outsourced its customer service centre at Nunnery Square in Sheffield to Capita Group.

Some 800 call centre workers will be affected by the deal, which will see Dixons paying£90 million to Capita over the next five years. The Nunnery Square premises has also been leased to Capita, and the affected call centre workers will not be relocated.

The move is part of an ongoing attempt by the retailer to improve its customer service, which is widely seen to be in need of repair. One analyst accused Dixons shop staff of knowing more about extended warranties than products.

At this year's Retail Week Conference in March, Dixons managing director Nick Wood vowed to take what the group had learned about customer service at sister retailer The Link and apply it at his own chain.

'It's all about the process of improving customer service, not about cutting costs,' said a Dixons Group spokesman. 'Included in the deal is an understanding that Capita will invest in new systems that we couldn't afford to.' One of the IT projects that Capita has agreed to undertake is introducing voice recognition systems into the call centre.

Only routine customer enquiries will be handled by the Capita-run call centre. The Dixons spokesman said that specialist enquiries about products in the stores would still be dealt with by the retailer's own staff.

The Nunnery Square site was set up by Dixons less than five years ago.

At the time, reports indicated that it would create 2,000 jobs.