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Having helped Laithwaite's to test DRTV and identified that such a spikey response could get lost within their internal contact centre, the response handling was outsourced for the client by ReynoldsBusbyLee (RBL). Laithwaite's then asked RBL to work with their Head of Customer Service to review the internal contact centre activity which was being provided across two locations - Theale and Plymouth. Laithwaite's had indentified an opportunity to transition all customer service including inbound sales and enquiry calls to a new location in Gloucester.

RBL was appointed to work with the Head of Customer Service to develop and implement a clear plan including closing the Plymouth site, relocating customer service staff where possible. The transition was to be completed without any disruption to the business and was to take place in the lead-up to Laithwaite's peak trading period, Christmas.


RBL worked closely with the Head of Customer Service to determine and examine all options including outsourcing some volume during the transition and at peak periods. The project team devised a clear plan with the Head of Customer Service focussed on the internal team and RBL leading the search and appointment of an outsource contact centre.


The transition was a huge success with the transition from Theale and Plymouth teams to the new Gloucester site happening without any impact to the business. Laithwaite's even won an award as the top 100 Customer Services team during this period.

Alongside the internal transition, an outsource provider was identified, brief and trained and fully operational in time to support the internal transition and to support peak call volumes throughout the Christmas period. All work was then transitioned back to the Gloucester site in the new year.


“Customer Service sits at the very heart of Direct Wines. We feel extremely precious about any customer interaction, and as a result everything we do in connection with our customers has been resourced in-house.

Over the last year or so, we have had to take a long hard look at the way we work, and make some fairly radical changes. We introduced DRTV into our marketing mix, and realised that this required a specialised skill set in terms of call handling. Direct Wines asked RBL to handle this for us. I am pleased to say that Customer Service on the DRTV calls has been superb. All response is outsourced, and I have never had to worry about Customer Experience, managing hard to predict call volumes, or even dealing with our outsourcer – except for the occasional visit to see how they do what they do, so well!

On the back of the success of DRTV call outsourcing we are now also looking at outsourcing some of our traditionally in-house, Customer Service activity, to see if we can learn lessons, and provide an even better service to our customers. Again we asked RBL to take control of the tender process, the contract negotiations and project managing the outsource set up. This was a significant and difficult decision for us, but I am pleased to say that everything has gone according to plan, and the involvement of RBL has enabled me to focus 100% on delivering Customer Service during our busy Christmas period.

I would whole-heartedly recommend the involvement of RBL on projects such as these which require expertise or additional support.”

Victoria Sherston, Head of Customer Service, Direct Wines (Laithwaites Wine, Virgin Wines and Averys of Bristol)