Newcastle University Students deliver retail research project to outsourced customer contact centre Echo-U

Final year Newcastle University Business School students have delivered their research findings in a report on the future of retail and changing customer behaviour to Newcastle based outsourced customer contact centre Echo-U. The report was undertaken as part of a final year module that was supported by Echo-U to give the students experience of a real-world business project.

The research project was undertaken by Newcastle University Business School’s business management degree programme students Despoina-Dimitra Chatzopoulou, Lawrence Chiang, William Hargreaves, William Mellor, Rachel Morgan, George Needham and James Reehal. The report focuses on three core trends; social media, chatbots and omnichannel. The students undertook research in the form of an online survey, interviews with industry expert Anthony Jones and associates, and online industry and competitor research. The findings from the report will prove valuable to the retail industry and will be collated in a whitepaper which will be made available to download from the Echo-U website.

David Blakey, Joint Owner and Managing Director at Echo-U, commented: “I have been very impressed with the professionalism shown by the students undertaking this project and the quality of the report they have provided. This was the first year we have worked with Newcastle University, but I have already agreed to continue the relationship next year.”

Sarah Carnegie, Deputy Degree Programme Director for Business Management at Newcastle University, said: “Newcastle University Business School is very grateful to organisations such as Echo-U for providing these opportunities for our students to undertake projects for an external client. It is an exceptionally valuable learning experience and particularly important in helping develop their employable skills.  This project was very positive in allowing students to explore issues related to the Future of Work, a key strategic focus of our School.”

Rachel Morgan, student project team member, said: “I really enjoyed the consultancy project as it enabled me to put into practice theories which I have learnt throughout my degree. As I am going into the retail industry next year, I found this project particularly interesting and insightful as I have learnt a huge deal about the future of the industry I am going to be working in. A particular highlight of this project for me was being able to work on a live brief and having the opportunity to work with a range of students, industry professionals and academics in order to provide Echo-U with recommendations.”

Echo-U is an established owner-managed UK contact centre with offices in Newcastle and Bournemouth. The company is committed to creating growth for its clients, including many of the UK’s biggest brands such as DPD, Sage Plc, Sky and LV=, by managing their customer relationships through combining quality conversations with the best customer experience.

For more information on Echo-U visit or to request early visibility of the retail report please call 0191 255 8797.