Welsh call centre staff fly to NZ for work

How's this for customer service commitment: a Wrexham telephone answering service company is flying staff to New Zealand in order to provide a rolling 24-hour service.

Staff from telephone answering service Moneypenny now take over at 8pm GMT every night from their Welsh-based colleagues, but sitting in Takapuna, New Zealand.

"Fantastic opportunity"

The work trial of four staff shifting to New Zealand commenced last November. To help matters, the Moneypenny staff work four days on, four days off, enabling them to do some sight-seeing.

"It is an absolutely fantastic opportunity," Jess Edwards, 24, told the BBC. "I am getting to see places I probably never would have the chance to see otherwise. "It's very different to the working week I am used to in the UK but this was deliberately planned so we can make the most of being here."

However the genesis of the service came by way of bad service. Moneypenny founder Rachel Clacher and her brother Ed Reeves were inspired to found the company after a bad experience with a corporate answering service. Reeves ran a graphics business. When a client sent through an important fax, the diverted call centre service was of limited use.

Late night cover

"The fax machine," he told Director Magazine, "had run out of paper so the client phoned to ask if it could be replenished. But the call was diverted and the person taking it replied, 'I'm just an answering service'."

Thus, Moneypenny was born. The Wrexham company now employ 250 staff servicing many businesses across the UK. The company initially resisted night shift work because of concerns about whether service levels could be kept up. But a sabbatical in Australia gave Clacher the idea about shifting some of the service overseas.

"I was looking after calls and working from there, and it was all so seamless so we thought, let's look at New Zealand," she told Director. The idea worked, so much so that more than 40 staff have expressed interested in doing the 'down under' shift.

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