Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/27/government_apparthiks_given_happy_buttonn/

UK gov call-centre serfs told: Fondle your button for HAPPINESS

If your caller is happy and you know it, touch your screen. If your caller is happy and you...

By Jasper Hamill

Posted in Government, 27th August 2013 05:02 GMT

Has anyone in the world ever phoned up a call centre to pass on how overjoyed they are about an organisation and its services?

The British government certainly seems to think so, because it's introduced a new on-screen button for its headset-sporting apparatchiks to hit whenever someone rings up to heap praise.

Designed by El Reg favourite the Government Digital Service (GDS), the new button allows call-centre staff working for that throne of authority the, er, Office of the Public Guardian (OPC) to log a cheery caller as positive (revealing that up until now no such category was needed for the records).

The GDS proudly oversaw the creation of an online lasting power of attorney service at the OPC, which allows someone to log on and nominate someone to make decisions on their behalf.

Apparently, people are so delighted with the service that they have been ringing in to praise it. Considering the sorts of reasons why people generally need to grant the power of attorney to a third party, this may not be surprising.

In a transcript of an interview with a GDS spindoctor, Kathy Settle, director of the GDS, said: "All their call centre operatives have a screen that they have to touch, so when they get a call they can allocate it to a particular topic, and they’ve recently just had to add a button where you can just record that someone’s made a call to give some positive feedback.

"So it’s the first time ever there have been lots and lots of calls they have received that has purely been positive feedback, so we’ve now got a positive feedback button on their screen and that’s fantastic news."

The interviewer, a man known only as Matt, then replied: "That’s terrific."

The government installed the happy button because it cares how the public feels, apparently.

A government source said: "The Cabinet Office [which runs GDS] is always interested in hearing what people think, so that's why this new service has been installed. There must be people who phone up with positive feedback, otherwise it wouldn't have been installed." ®