Two North East businesses hail out-of-hours call partnership a success

Commercial Maintenance Services UK Ltd (CMS), which installs, maintains, and repairs business critical systems, is working with business outsource partner Lemon Business Solutions to expand its call handling capacity as it continues to pick up new contracts across the UK.

CMS is a family-run firm that was created in Gateshead by brothers Neil and Nic Smith in 2000. It has grown at a rate of 20% year-on-year, handling planned maintenance and urgent repair requests for large multi-site operators such as Travelodge, Nissan, and Marks & Spencer.

Many of these firms raise urgent jobs, requiring immediate attention around the clock, so to ensure every call gets the right response, CMS asked Lemon Business Solutions, based at Stockton-on-Tees, to handle out-of-hours and weekend calls.

Originally scheduled to start earlier this year, the spring lockdown pushed the implementation date back, and after four weeks to link the management systems, the project went live in the late autumn.

Bennet Hoskyns-Abrahall, commercial director at CMS, said: “Out-of-hours calls are often highly urgent and need to be handled with care, so we can get the right people out to solve the problem as quickly as possible.

“Setting up our own call handling facility would have been expensive and distracting, so we looked for a local partner that could handle these calls with clarity and skill.

"Lemon share a similar, positive customer ethos to ourselves and the feedback from our clients has been very positive.”

Martin Anderson, managing director at Lemon Business Solutions, said “This was a great chance for us to support another ambitious and growing North East company.

“Before we took on the calls for CMS, we spent time understanding their business and the work they do. This always helps ensure accuracy of response and makes it a better experience for everyone.

“The technology may have moved on considerably, but lots of the bigger call centre operators still struggle to bring a human touch to the conversation. We bring a different approach and we’re pleased that it’s working well for CMS.”

In March, Lemon took on responsibility for handling calls from Teesside businesses about coronavirus funding and support available from the Government. The lines remain open to continue to help businesses. Lemon are in discussion to expand the service across the North East to support business leaders during the Brexit transition as they too continue to grow at an impressive rate.

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