Gem are one of the largest call centre outsourcing businesses in Northern Ireland. Most of the other outsourcers in the province are foreign-owned (India/American) who are utilising the area as their UK operations base due to low employment costs and Government support.
Gem, the largest indigenous contact centre employer in Northern Ireland with 700 employees and revenues of almost '10million in 2005, this week announced a major new contract win with Channel 4 television, bringing to Northern Ireland inbound customer service support for the broadcaster over the next three years. In selecting gem, Channel 4 joins its portfolio of brand-leading clients including MSN, Cisco, Figleaves, iBuy and a number of companies within the travel industry.
gem has launched a recruitment campaign for a dedicated Channel 4 team to provide phone, email and postal customer service.
Gem has also signed Play.com, a leading online entertainment retailer. Taking advantage of the contact centre boom in Northern Ireland, gem will be supporting the customer care function for the leading entertainment retailer.
The contract with Play.com follows a streak of new business wins for gem, who last week announced a new contract win with Channel 4 and has recently won two new contracts within the travel and online-dating sector.
gem;s announcements highlight the growing trend to bring high level customer contact services nearshore or onshore. The consumer backlash against offshore -centres has resulted in Northern Ireland becoming an increasingly attractive location, with gem retaining an edge in the market as the largest indigenous contact centre service provider.
'This deal with gem will allow Channel 4 to provide viewer support services for both its existing and new media businesses in one centre. We are confident that they will provide a first class service due to their flexibility and proven expertise in customer contact skills and their robust supporting technology said Joanna FitzGerald, Deputy Head of Channel Operations at Channel 4.
CEO, Philip Cassidy, comments: 'Channel 4 is recognised as being an innovator and leader in its field, and we are delighted that they have chosen to establish a partnership with gem. Channel 4's decision highlights the increasing attractiveness of Northern Ireland as a destination for outsourced customer contact services.
The recruitment drive to support the contract has already started. Our mission is to find people who are passionate about the Channel 4 brand and who can clearly reflect this when communicating with Channel 4's customers.