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This is an archived article - we have removed images and other assets but have left the text unchanged for your reference has brought its contact centre back to the UK, creating 55 full-time jobs.

The online entertainment retailer, owned by Japanese marketplaces group Rakuten, says the move to ‘on-shore’ customer service from the Philippines is part of a wider drive towards best practice Japanese-style service, known as Omotenashi. This, it says, is “designed to deliver exceptional and personal online retail experiences”. reports that customer satisfaction has risen by 10% since it took the move, three months ago. Partner The Contact Company runs the Wirral-based centre, responding seven days a week to customer enquiries made over the phone, email and social media. The centre currently handles around 12,000 enquiries a week but expects that to rise as it starts to provide 24-hour support via social media. Another 150 to 200 jobs are expected to be added in the run-up to Christmas.

“Research shows that consumers feel a greater affinity and are more trusting of retailers that provide a local and knowledgeable service to those based overseas,” said Adam Stewart (pictured), director of marketing at Rakuten’s “With careful consideration we decided one of the first steps to deliver an improved personal service was to bring the contact centre back to the UK.

“It’s already proving effective, as just three months since on-shoring, Rakuten’s’s metrics show an improvement of 10% in customer satisfaction, helpfulness and outcome of query. Initial feedback from our customers is that they’re receiving a much happier and more personalised experience.”

Catherine Miles, head of project management at The Contact Company, said: “Customer service should be an integral part of any retailers offering and is a critical factor in customer relations and retention. We have been working with Rakuten’s to ensure that all our agents are well educated on the site’s products, so not only can they provide a considerate and an efficient personal response to all enquiries, they can also offer product insight. We pride ourselves on tailoring our solutions to the client and are pleased to see that our aim matches up perfectly with Rakuten’s’s strategy.”

Ecommerce marketplace was founded in 1998 and employs more than 400 people in London, Cambridge, Jersey and Bristol. It was acquired by Rakuten in 2011.

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