10 • Ten lessons for contact centres from the Grenfell Inquiry

If you run a customer facing contact centre, you’ll know about the challenges of operational delivery and how hard things can become when calls surge and the pressure is on. It's important to be prepared and take on lessons learned by others.

In this case study podcast, you'll hear ten lessons learned that every contact centre can apply, based on the Grenfell Inquiry's report investigating operational call handling on the night of the tragic 2017 fire.

PODCAST • 13 minute listen

In this podcast episode

The terrible events of the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London cost 71 lives, with a public inquiry into the disaster led by Sir Martin Moore-Bick. It isn’t the first public inquiry into a tragedy and unfortunately it won’t be the last either.

A primary purpose of any review is to identify what happened and set out what others can learn to prevent incidents recurring in future. Yet so often, in projects and programmes, operational services - and sadly, inquiries into major disasters - we hear that lessons of the past haven't been fully acted upon.

This podcast case study is as an opportunity for you to stop, think and reflect on your own situation and the lessons you can learn from others.

I’ve identified ten lessons that apply to the operation of most contact centres. They’re taken from chapters 28-30 and 33 of the inquiry’s phase 1 report, which investigated problems with call handling and communications in detail.

You don’t have to be running an emergency service for this to be relevant to you.

If you’re a customer service leader, there’ll be a time when your service is put under pressure and you’ll have to cope with events beyond the scale of normal operations.

That’s where you can prepare, by learning the lessons of call handling identified in the Grenfell Inquiry.


A lesson isn't learnt until the changes required to prevent it recurring have been put into practice.

Dr. Jason Price

Lessons to learn

Some key points your contact centre can take away from the Grenfell Inquiry's phase 1 findings include:

  • Previous lessons hadn't been learned or followed up with required changes
  • Communications between parties and effective quality supervision are vital in service delivery
  • Contingency plans must be realistic, fit for purpose and up-to-date
  • Information accuracy is a pre-requisite for consistent service delivery
  • Regular training is vital for operational readiness at all levels

You don't have to be in emergency response to learn from the problems identified in call handling by the Grenfell Inquiry phase 1 report. The questions posed in this podcast help you test your contact centre against ten lessons that every contact centre can learn.

Follow this link for our
online learning resource module that'll help you apply this episode as a learning tool with your teams.


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