Multi award-winning Lebara Customer Service have a lot to be proud of – employee engagement, industry high NPS and customers tweeting their love for the contact centre. Here they tell us some secrets to their success.

The London based call centre serves all of its European operations 7 days a week, 365 days a year with staff fluent in at least 25 languages.

But there is one thing that drives how it operates, that is by placing customers at the heart of their business through its ethos – making lives better. Lebara has been to be recognised, and often praised, for delivering exceptional service through its unorthodox approach to employee recruitment process, induction and training, regular employee opinion surveys and reviews, daily centre activities and customer interactions.

Employee engagement leads to great NPS.

It all starts from the unique selection process where all candidates are assessed not just on skill, but also on their character, passion and emotional intelligence. This is crucial to fitting into Lebara’s culture, by demonstrating its values and contributing to the exceptional experience and performance outcomes expected.

Lebara’s cultural induction and training is fully aligned to the customer experience it promotes. Real scenarios role plays and visualisations are just some methods used create learning experiences that are fun, engaging and inspiring.

Employees are empowered to make their own decisions on a daily basis, there are no scripts (no two customers are the same!) with no time restrictions or pressures on handling calls so every customer gets the best service. The team handle all customer queries via social media, calls, emails and the website self-help pages and that means that they are efficient in inter-department communications in knowing of and dealing with any problem that arises right away, further empowering the agents and allowing for higher rates of ‘first-call resolution’, another key metric.

Manager objectives are focused on the customer experience by measuring team NPS and more importantly on their team through staff engagement scores. It is no coincidence that the managers with the highest engagement scores exhibit the highest NPS scores for their team.

The team enjoy a unique working environment based on a SMILE work-place culture where everyone gets involved; it stands for: Supportive, Moment of connection, Individual, Laugh, Empathy. This includes activities such as SMILE Fridays (weekly themed fun), 11am centre-wide stretches, a yearly Culture Book published with employee feedback and the use of an internal social media communication tool to facilitate and encourage information sharing (and banter).

High NPS means happy customers stay for longer.

The connection between Lebara employee engagement and customer retention as resounding – with engagement levels of 70%, NPS in the 60’s and by comparing their tenure and retention with customers with similar profiles who have not called Customer Services, there is a significant 10% difference in retention of these customers, which gives Lebara a return on investment of 200% when compared to the operating cost of the centre.

The centre has even been visited by external companies who want to learn more on how to drive such a successful culture where the contact centre can fully justify their cost.

To aim is not just to meet expectations – it is to exceed it, to give an amazing experience, one to remember – for both the agent and the customer.

Lebara Awards

A bit more about the company

Lebara was founded in 2001 by Leon R. Ranjith, Baskaran Kandiah and Ratheesan Yoganathan who shared a vision to transform the international calling market, by providing ethnic and migrant communities with high quality, low cost solutions to stay in touch with family and friends.

They made it their mission to build a company that would serve the different and evolving needs of these communities and would last for generations. More than ten years on, Lebara is one of the world’s fastest growing mobile companies, with over 4 million active customers, 1,000 employees and operations in eight countries.

The company’s vision is to be the brand of choice of 1 billion people around the world by 2020.


Anija OBmann Anija Obmann is the Head of Training and Quality for Lebara, and has nine years experience in Training and Development across global corporations. During her four years at Lebara she has been instrumental in designing and aligning the training and quality function to Lebara’s customer experience, cultivating a cult-like culture that is focused purely on the experience. Through recruitment, cultural induction, training & development, social media and quality she has created initiatives that boost employee motivation. This has delivered innovative experiences to retain customers and staff resulting in three Customer Service Training Awards as well as 10 further Awards including “Best Large Contact Centre” at the European Call Centre awards in 2012.
Matt Kemp Matt Kemp is the Director of Customer Services for Lebara, responsible for delivering exceptional experiences to over 3.5m customers in eight countries. By focusing on improving the loyalty and advocacy of both employees and customers he has led Lebara to win 13 prestigious customer service awards culminating in “Best Large Contact Centre” at the European Call Centre awards in 2012. He has over fifteen years experience in contact centre management across multiple industries, ranging in scale from 50 to 1000+ seats. During his four years at Lebara he has implemented a full transformation programme of both the culture and operation within Customer Services, successfully managing the integration of state-of-the-art Contact Centre technology and reporting suites.
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