Benefits of Touch Typing Training in Call Centres
Benefits of touch typing training

63% of Relay Assistants are currently unable to achieve higher than 60 w.p.m.

Benefits of Touch Typing Training in Call Centres

Review of Touch Typing pilot 5 th July 2012 at Text Relay Lancaster House Liverpool.


Recent consultation with Ofcom (2010/2012) has recognised that Text Relay service users want improved speeds of text transcription to improve the flow of conversation and to allow for possible future technological enhancements. To address this, the Ofcom Review of Relay Services consultation document dated 30/5/12, proposes a revised set of KPIs with the inclusion of the measure: In conversation voice to text transcription speed for standard/emergency relay calls, with a target of an average of at least 60 w.p.m. across all calls. The consultation document also confirms that there is an expectation that for future relay provision, Relay Providers would include the proposed KPIs in their applications for approval by Ofcom with the understanding that failure to achieve the KPIs would result in Ofcom’s withdrawal of approval for that service provider.

Current position

At present the Text Relay service employs 178 Relay Assistants (158 BT & 20 Manpower) who work specifically for relay. Of the Relay Assistants specifically employed for the service it is estimated that <40% can touch-type (without needing to look at the keys) with the remaining staff needing to look at the keys they are using when typing the text/voice transcription verbatim. In addition, support is provided from other centres but it is estimated that 90% of these advisors can only achieve an average typing speed of Consequently, course provider Taylor Mason, was engaged to run a pilot of a one-day Touch-Typing course at the Liverpool centre for a group of 10 Relay Assistants.

Summary and Results of pilot

10 Relay Assistants were selected to participate in the pilot all of whom had a variety of methods of typing and typing speeds. Candidates confirmed that they had not received any formal ‘touch-typing’ training prior to their participation in the pilot and the majority had been in typing for between 10 and 30 years. Of the group, typing speeds achieved using a basic typing test ranged between 48 w.p.m. and 70 w.p.m whilst still achieving an accuracy of 98%. The candidates acknowledged a desire to improve their typing skills, with the view that touch-typing was the best format. The course provided individuals with an overview of how their fingers should be placed to select each key using the standard Qwerty keyboard.

People differ in their dexterity, physical control, sharpness of mental reactions, mental processing (of spelling for instance) etc  – not to mention the degree to which they apply themselves to the disciplines of practice, and their confidence in their own abilities. However, feedback from previous attendees on this programme suggests the following broad expectations:

  •   200% to 400% speed improvements,

  • Maintaining very high accuracy (90%+) within as little as 2 to 3 weeks

Candidates were asked to use stickers to cover the letters on the keys as the course progressed and a book was provided for each candidate so that they could copy-type script from the book, without being able to see the letters on the keys. However, Audio-typing was not included in this course. The group confirmed that they found the course both interesting and of some benefit in helping them understand what was involved in touch-typing. However, the majority were of the opinion that they would struggle to achieve what was required to learn to touch-type whilst they continued to do their job day to day, relaying calls with typing speeds necessary to relay conversations efficiently and verbatim. For this reason, it was difficult to understand what would be a suitable period of time that would allow individuals to acquire the touch-typing skills. The fact that the candidates would have to continue to relay calls at a satisfactory typing speed during this period – using their own style of typing, suggests that the process could actually be quite counter-productive. Realistically, it is estimated that the individuals would have to be taken off-line for a minimum of 4 weeks to practice their touch-typing skills, achieve both a suitable typing speed and accuracy and disregard their own style of typing learned over the years.


Benefits of touch typing training

Candidates achieved less the 10 w.p.m in the touch typing test

The pilot proved to be beneficial in helping to determine what the barriers were with regard to individuals achieving a touch-typing skill with both the required typing speed and accuracy. Candidate feedback clarified that the real problem was how an individual could practice his/her touch-typing skills without having to revert back to their own style of typing when relaying calls. When the candidates were re-assessed via a basic typing test, they were unable to demonstrate any improvement in their typing speeds/accuracy – with most struggling to achieve more than 10 w.p.m if they touch-typed. The course involved copy-typing throughout the day and practice material given to the candidates was also based on this format. Audio-typing was not included so it is difficult to assess if different results would have been achieved had this format been used. At this stage, significant investment time would be needed to afford the candidates the off-line time required, if they were to pursue achievement of the touch-typing skill. Equally, for this method to be applied to all Relay Assistants the cost would probably be prohibitive. Consideration should be given to further exploration of other courses for touch-typing that may address the issues highlighted. A meeting with the provider – Taylor Mason is now required to discuss further opportunities and explore possible options.

Touch Typing Training

Dates & VenueDurationCostContact us about this course
Mon 09 Jan 17 Lon1 day£295enquire
Wed 18 Jan 17 Bham1 day£295enquire
Fri 27 Jan 17 March1 day£295enquire
Wed 01 Feb 17 Lon1 day£295enquire
Fri 17 Feb 17 Glas/Edin1 day£295enquire
Mon 27 Feb 17 Bham1 day£295enquire
Fri 03 Mar 17 Lon1 day£295enquire
Tue 14 Mar 17 Manch1 day£295enquire
Thu 30 Mar 17 Bham1 day£295enquire
Tue 04 Apr 17 Lon1 day£295enquire
Wed 19 Apr 17 Glas/Edin1 day£295enquire
Wed 03 May 17 Manch1 day£295enquire
Tue 09 May 17 Bham1 day£295enquire
Wed 17 May 17 Lon1 day£295enquire
Tue 06 Jun 17 Lon1 day£295enquire
Mon 12 Jun 17 Manch1 day£295enquire
Wed 21 Jun 17 Bham1 day£295enquire
Mon 03 Jul 17 Glas/Edin1 day£295enquire

Contact us now and talk to one of our advisers to ask any question you may have about our training.

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