Departments need to be more adept at estimating the likely volume and incidence of calls

18% of surveyed call centres could not provide any information on their costs.

For the 73 call centres which measured both their costs and the average length of calls

  • 44 had a cost per call minute of less than £1
  • 26 a cost of between £1-£5
  • three had a cost per call minute of more than £5 including Equality Direct at £27.50, and the Electronic Integrated Arable Compensation Scheme Help Desk with a cost per call minute of £23.00
  • The comparable figure for the call centre industry as a whole ranges from 40 pence to 60 pence per call minute.

Read the detailed report for more on setting realistic performance targets and what constitutes good (or even excellent) service! (

Thank you to Dave Charles of Devon County Council for finding the reference.