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Garlands named Contact Centre Agency of the Year

Garlands Call Centres announces today that it's been named Contact Centre Agency of the Year by Marketing Magazine in its Agency of the Year Awards for 2004.

The judges awarded the top prize to Garlands in recognition of "huge growth" which was achieved "thanks to its dedication to customer satisfaction, training and retaining staff" - as well as because of the quality of its work. The judges also stated that the company's success "comes as much from staff who are consistently helpful, friendly and informed as from state-of-the-art systems". The judging panel was made up of editors from Marketing Magazine plus independent telemarketing journalists.

In an increasingly global customer service industry, Garlands' success has all been achieved locally - in the Tees Valley region. And although the company only started its contact centre operations in 1997, it is now the region's second largest private employer with around 2800 full and part time employees.

Garlands' achievements in 2004 were reflected in 75% turnover growth in the year to October 2004 - with the company planning to expand even further in 2005. A new headquarters building recently opened on Hartlepool Marina and a new Contact Centre Village is scheduled to open in Stockton in January 2005. The company will ultimately create up to a thousand new jobs in Stockton.

"We're in many ways a traditional business" explains Chey Garland, Chief Executive of Garlands Call Centres "with people at the heart of what we do. We believe that to deliver great service you must both look after your staff and support them with the best technology and resources, and listen to your customers. We're amazed and delighted that the editors of Marketing have chosen to recognise our work in this way".

About Garlands

Garlands Call Centres is a leading UK provider of outsourced customer contact services via phone, email and the Web.

Garlands' services range from customer service to outbound customer acquisition, debt collection, customer retention, technical assistance, cross-selling, upselling, staff accounts, activations, credit management, customer registrations, customer lifecycle management and many other back office functions.

It has a blue chip client list that includes leading businesses in the telecoms (mobile and fixed), utilities, Internet services, multi media entertainment, travel and financial services industries.

Garlands believes that people are the key to delivering superb customer service. It provides comprehensive and innovative programmes with a holistic focus to develop the skills of its staff - programmes that extend beyond the call centre and into the local community. Garlands Call Centres received a Special Commendation for HR Excellence at the 2003 HR Excellence Awards. Garlands was also named 'Tees Valley Company of the Year' at the 2004 Tees Valley Business Awards.

Garlands today owns four prestigious contact centres, three on Hartlepool Marina and one in Middlesbrough town centre - with a new Contact Centre Village due to open in Stockton in January 2005.

For further media information, please contact:

Michael Gray
Garlands Call Centres
Tel: 020 8744 9168