Contact Centre Magazine


Join us for the 2023 Auscontact Excellence Awards State Awards Celebrations!

Get ready to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the contact centre industry as we recognise and honour the best of the best. Mark your calendars for these exciting dates:

– Western Australia: Friday, 4th August 2023, at Hyatt Regency Perth

– South Australia: Friday, 11th August 2023, at Stamford Plaza Adelaide

– Victoria/Tasmania: Friday, 18th August 2023, at Grand Hyatt Melbourne

– New South Wales: Friday, 25th August 2023, at Doltone House Hyde Park Sydney

– Queensland: Friday, 1st September 2023, in Brisbane

Don’t miss this opportunity to join us for an unforgettable evening of celebration and recognition. Book your tickets now and be a part of this prestigious event.

Celebrate excellence, network with industry leaders, and be inspired by the remarkable achievements of the contact centre industry. We can’t wait to see you there!

Visit to secure your spot at 2023 Auscontact Excellence Awards in your State!

On a bustling Monday morning, Jane, a customer service representative at a contact center in Australia, finds herself at the heart of a captivating narrative. Armed with a headset and a warm smile, she embarks on a journey that unravels the intricate challenges facing contact centers in the Land Down Under.

Australia, renowned for its strong service culture, places great emphasis on the pivotal role of contact centers in bridging the gap between businesses and customers. These centers are bustling hubs of human connection and problem-solving prowess, where dedicated agents like Jane strive to provide exceptional customer experiences.

As Jane settles into her desk, the weight of the day’s responsibilities settles upon her shoulders. Little does she know, she is about to confront a series of hurdles that test the very fabric of contact center operations in Australia.

The first challenge Jane encounters is the soaring expectations of customers. In this age of instant gratification, customers demand seamless and personalized experiences across various channels. They seek prompt responses, tailored solutions, and interactions that require minimal effort. To meet these expectations, contact centers must invest in cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and omnichannel capabilities. However, implementing these technologies while preserving the human touch proves to be a delicate balancing act.

Technological advancements, the second hurdle on Jane’s path, bring both opportunities and challenges. Automation and AI can enhance efficiency, streamline processes, and improve self-service options. Yet, contact centers must tread carefully, ensuring they maintain the crucial human element that provides empathy and critical thinking for complex issues. Navigating this integration of automation and human connection becomes a constant battle for contact centers in Australia.

Beyond the technological landscape, Jane grapples with the intricacies of workforce management. Contact centers employ a diverse and skilled workforce, but the repetitive nature of the work and the challenges presented by difficult customer interactions can impact employee morale and engagement. Maintaining a motivated team, investing in employee well-being, and providing continuous training are crucial to combat high attrition rates and foster a supportive work environment.

Meanwhile, the ever-present concerns of data privacy and security loom large. Contact centers handle sensitive customer information, making data protection a paramount priority. With cybersecurity threats evolving rapidly, contact centers must stay abreast of regulations and invest in robust security measures. Regular audits, encryption protocols, and comprehensive training become indispensable tools in the arsenal against data breaches.

Amid these challenges, contact centers face the complex task of integrating multiple communication channels seamlessly. Customers engage with businesses through phone calls, emails, live chats, social media, and messaging apps. Ensuring a consistent and unified experience across these channels demands meticulous planning, system integration, and agent training. The pursuit of providing consistent service becomes an ongoing endeavor for contact centers in Australia.

At Last, scalability and flexibility stand as formidable obstacles. Contact centers must adapt swiftly to fluctuating customer demand, whether due to seasonal peaks, product launches, or unforeseen events. Cloud-based solutions offer the scalability and flexibility necessary to adjust resources promptly. Embracing these technologies enables contact centers to ensure uninterrupted service and meet customers’ needs at any given moment.

As Jane and her colleagues navigate these challenges, their dedication shines through. Their stories are a testament to the relentless pursuit of excellence and the resilience required to thrive in the dynamic landscape of contact centers. Through innovative technologies, investments in employee well-being, robust security measures, and process optimization, contact centers in Australia continuously evolve to meet the ever-growing demands of customers.

Join us on this journey as we unravel the intricacies of contact center operations in Australia. Together, we’ll explore the strategies employed to triumph over the conundrum of customer service.

When we think of entrepreneurship, bustling cities and high-tech startups often come to mind. However, rural areas also hold immense potential for business innovation and economic growth. Rural entrepreneurship not only benefits local communities but also contributes to the overall development of the region. By highlighting a few inspiring examples of successful rural businesses, we will explore the power of rural entrepreneurship.

Beekeeping in regional Queensland:

Beekeeping has become a thriving industry in regional Queensland, with numerous entrepreneurs harnessing the natural resources of the area. Beekeepers have transformed their passion for bees into successful businesses, producing high-quality honey and other bee-related products. These rural entrepreneurs have not only created employment opportunities but have also contributed to the preservation of natural ecosystems.

Agri-Tourism in rural Victoria:

In the scenic landscapes of rural Victoria, agri-tourism has flourished as a unique entrepreneurial endeavor. Farms and vineyards have opened their doors to tourists, offering immersive experiences such as farm stays, wine tastings, and agricultural workshops. These ventures not only attract visitors to the region but also provide an avenue for local farmers to diversify their income streams and promote sustainable farming practices.

Craft breweries in rural New South Wales:

Craft breweries have emerged as a thriving industry in rural areas of New South Wales, with passionate entrepreneurs crafting unique and flavorful beers. These breweries have become local attractions, drawing both locals and tourists to taste their specialty brews. The success of these ventures has boosted tourism, created employment opportunities, and infused a sense of community pride.

Eco-friendly farming in regional South Australia:

Rural entrepreneurs in South Australia have embraced eco-friendly farming practices, focusing on organic and sustainable agriculture. These businesses have tapped into the growing demand for ethically produced and environmentally friendly products. By adopting innovative farming techniques, such as regenerative agriculture and permaculture, these entrepreneurs are not only building successful enterprises but also contributing to the preservation of natural resources.

These examples demonstrate the vast potential for rural entrepreneurship and its positive impact on local economies. Rural entrepreneurs bring innovation, job opportunities, and economic diversification to their communities. Moreover, they often leverage the unique resources and characteristics of their regions to create niche markets and differentiate their businesses.

At The World Incubator, we believe in the power of rural entrepreneurship and are committed to supporting and empowering rural entrepreneurs. With mentorship, access to resources, and collaborative networks, we strive to unlock the potential of rural businesses and foster sustainable growth in rural areas.

So, if you have a business idea and are based in a rural area, put it into action! Your innovation and determination can be the driving force, benefiting not only your business but also the entire community. Together, let’s celebrate the success of rural entrepreneurship and continue to inspire more ventures in the countryside.

As if we needed another social media platform to add to our customer service programs, Meta has brought us a new challenge for contact centres to tackle. With the emergence of Threads, a new social media platform by Meta, the impact on contact centres is profound. Threads offers a unique opportunity for contact centres to expand customer engagement, build stronger relationships and enhance brand loyalty. In this article, we will explore what Threads means to a contact centre and delve into its potential benefits and challenges for transforming the way customer service is delivered.

Seamless Multichannel Communication:

Threads brings a new dimension to multichannel communication for contact centres. It enables agents to interact with customers through threaded conversations, making it easier to track and manage inquiries. With its integration of Instagram, contact centres can leverage existing messaging capabilities while exploring the additional features and functionalities Threads offers.

The platform’s threaded conversations provide a more organised and structured approach to handling customer interactions. Agents can easily navigate through discussions, ensuring no messages are missed and providing timely and accurate responses. This enhances efficiency and helps contact centers deliver a superior customer experience.

Enhanced Customer Engagement and Support:

Threads offers a range of features that can revolutionise customer engagement for contact centres. The ability to link multiple posts together in LinkedTree pages provides an excellent opportunity to share valuable content, showcase products or services, and offer in-depth support. Contact centres can leverage this feature to guide customers through complex issues, provide step-by-step instructions or share relevant resources.

The visual nature of Threads allows contact centers to incorporate rich media, such as images and videos, into their customer interactions. This can be particularly valuable when demonstrating product usage, troubleshooting procedures or providing visual tutorials. By leveraging these features, contact centres can enhance engagement, deliver information in a more digestible format, and ultimately create a more memorable and impactful customer experience.

Real-Time Monitoring and Brand Reputation Management:

With Threads’ real-time monitoring capabilities, contact centres gain a valuable tool for tracking brand mentions and customer sentiment. By monitoring relevant conversations and hashtags, contact centers can proactively address customer concerns, resolve issues and manage their brand’s online reputation effectively.

This feature enables contact centers to identify emerging trends, identify potential brand ambassadors, and engage with customers in a more personalised manner. By actively participating in discussions and providing timely assistance, contact centers can solidify their position as trusted advisors and build stronger relationships with customers.

Leveraging Analytics for Continuous Improvement:

Threads offers robust analytics and insights that can help contact centres understand customer behavior, preferences, and pain points. By analysing metrics such as engagement rates, reach and sentiment analysis, contact centers can gain valuable insights to optimise their customer service strategies.

These analytics provide a wealth of information to refine content creation, tailor messaging, and identify areas for improvement. Contact centres can leverage these insights to better understand customer needs, adapt their service offerings, and continually enhance the customer experience. This data-driven approach allows contact centres to stay agile and responsive, ensuring they meet the evolving expectations of their audience.

Potential Challenges and Considerations:

While Threads presents exciting opportunities for contact centres, it’s essential to acknowledge potential challenges. As a relatively new platform, there may be a learning curve for both agents and customers in adopting and understanding the functionalities offered by Threads. Contact centres must invest in comprehensive training programs to ensure agents are equipped to maximise the platform’s potential.

Given the dynamic nature of social media platforms, contact centres need to closely monitor changes, updates and user behaviour on Threads. Staying abreast of platform developments will help contact centres adapt their strategies and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

Threads holds immense promise for contact centres, providing a platform to enhance customer engagement, streamline communication and boost brand loyalty. By leveraging the threaded conversations, rich media capabilities, real-time monitoring and analytics, contact centres can take customer service to new heights. While challenges and considerations exist, the potential benefits far outweigh the obstacles. Embracing Threads and incorporating it into contact centre strategies will enable organisations to deliver exceptional customer experiences, foster lasting relationships and stay ahead in the competitive world of customer service.

Article by Shelley Flett

The topic of boundaries has become increasingly important in recent years, particularly around preventing and managing burnout among leaders. Year after year, the expectations placed on people leaders have grown to unsustainable levels, leading to detrimental consequences such as exhaustion, deteriorating mental health, disengagement, and even resignation.

In the latest Microsoft Work Trend Index, it was discovered that 66% of Australian managers suffered from burnout, compared to the global average of 53%. 2023 is shaping up to be the “big reset” where workloads and expectations must be reassessed and adjusted. For the past three years, we have been reacting to our environment without pressing pause, attempting to incorporate strategic changes and forward-focused adjustments on top of an already overwhelming workload. This relentless pace is pushing many leaders to the brink.

As an executive coach and facilitator, I have worked with numerous leaders, helping them shift their approach to work and life, ensuring they can avoid burnout and continue to succeed in their careers. Through my experience, I have found that boundaries make the most significant difference for every leader I have coached on this topic.

Boundaries are personal expectations that individuals set for themselves to create balance and maintain control over their lives. While they may differ from person to person, their purpose remains the same: to establish a healthy, sustainable equilibrium in life.

Leaders must prioritise self-care to be fully available to serve others. Boundaries enable leaders to balance individual support with the expectations of their role, fostering an environment where they can lead with love, kindness, care, and compassion. Prentis Hemphill eloquently describes boundaries as “the distance at which I can love you and me, simultaneously.”

Understanding the expectations of one’s role within the organisation is a crucial aspect of establishing boundaries. Without clarity on what success looks like, it becomes challenging to set boundaries that align with achieving one’s goals. Regular conversations with managers about role expectations are essential. Failure to engage in these conversations risks either taking on more than one can reasonably handle, compromising personal well-being, or becoming too rigid with boundaries, which can lead to irrelevance in an evolving role.

By setting boundaries, leaders can avoid overcommitting themselves and focus on the priorities that will bring professional and personal success in the short and long term. It is through these boundaries that leaders can achieve a sustainable work-life balance and ensure their well-being while effectively leading their teams.

Individual boundaries play a vital role in preventing leadership burnout. Leaders must manage role expectations to ensure they create balance and maintain control over their lives. By understanding role expectations, practicing compassion, and setting boundaries, leaders can navigate the demanding nature of their positions while preserving their well-being and achieving long-term success.

Shelley Flett is a leadership development & team performance expert with over 15 years working as, for and with leaders to build capability, increase effectiveness and create high performance team cultures. She has a rich leadership, operations and customer service background with people being central to everything she’s done in her career. Shelley is the Author of ‘The Dynamic Leader: Become the leader others are inspired to follow’ and ‘Feedback: Seek it, Give it, Connect with it’. For more information about how Shelley can help your leaders visit

Article by Sharon Melamed

2023 has ushered in new trends in the sort of services and software which contact centres are procuring. At Matchboard, we receive almost 500 requests every year from organisations looking for vendor recommendations, so we’re in a unique position to spot some of the emerging trends.

With the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022, and the lightning uptake of the technology globally, it’s no surprise that interest in conversational AI and chatbots has skyrocketed this year.  Both vendors and practitioners have spent the last several months grappling with what the advent of ChatGPT means for their offerings, and the evidence of this is in the overwhelming number of related events and white paper campaigns in market. There has been some hesitation in pushing the buy button while this reboot takes place. It’s not only interest in text-based AI that’s surged – voice AI, for outbound functions such as collections and reminders, and for inbound functions such as providing Covid-related advice or taking appointments or orders, is becoming noticeably more popular.

Growth in cloud contact centre software is slowing this year, as most companies have already made their move from premise to cloud solutions.

The market for contact centre outsourcing in 2023 looks quite different to 2021 and 2022. With Labor coming to power in 2022, there was a shift in policy to have more work delivered inhouse, and some major Federal agency outsourcing contracts were cut back. In addition, Covid-related contact centre demand subsided resulting in thousands of onshore contact centre jobs shifting to different industries. In the private sector, Matchboard is witnessing ongoing demand for offshore outsourcing, despite re-shoring back to Australia in sectors like telco and energy in 2021/22. But the trend is towards location diversification with the island paradise of Fiji now outstripping demand for the Philippines on our platform. Interestingly, the number of clients asking for “PCI-accredited” providers has more than doubled this year compared to last, as regulations governing credit card payment acceptance tighten.

In the world of contact centre consulting, we’ve seen a jump in work for BPO and technology procurement consultants, assisting clients with RFPs, tenders and new vendor transitions. Contact centre “health checks” never seem to go out of fashion, and there is a plethora of quality consultants ready to help!

Sharon Melamed is the Founder of matching platform Matchboard, named by Optus as Australia’s Business of the Year and by Westpac as one of “200 Businesses of Tomorrow”. With 30 years’ experience in the contact centre and BPO world, Sharon has helped hundreds of clients set up and manage customer service, sales and back office functions, across four continents. Sharon was named 1 of the region’s top 100 influencers by Auscontact.

Tax time can be both daunting and confusing, especially when it comes to determining what deductions you can claim as a contact centre professional. Fortunately, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has provided valuable resources and guidelines to simplify the process. This article will outline the key deductions available to contact centre operators and provide insights into record-keeping and the best time to lodge your tax return.

Understanding Your Deductions:

The ATO’s occupation guide for Call Centre Operators serves as an excellent resource for identifying common deductions within the industry. Some of the key deductions you may be eligible to claim include:

  1. Car Expenses: If you use your personal vehicle for work-related purposes, such as visiting clients or traveling to training sessions, you can claim deductions for car expenses. It is essential to keep a logbook or use the cents-per-kilometre method to track your work-related mileage accurately.
  2. Clothing: If your work requires you to wear a specific uniform or protective clothing, you may be eligible to claim a deduction for the cost of purchasing, cleaning, and maintaining these items. However, you cannot claim for ordinary clothing or non-compulsory uniforms.
  3. Union Fees: Contact centre professionals who are members of a union can claim deductions for their union fees. Ensure that you keep records of your membership payments throughout the financial year.

Working from Home Deductions:

With the increase in remote work arrangements, the ATO has introduced simplified methods to calculate deductions for individuals working from home. As a contact centre professional, you may be eligible to use either of the following methods:

  1. Revised Fixed Rate Method: From 1 July 2022, the revised fixed rate method allows you to claim 67 cents per hour for every hour worked from home. This rate covers the additional expenses incurred while working remotely, such as electricity, heating, and internet usage. Unlike the previous method, you no longer need to have a dedicated home office space to utilise this deduction.
  2. Actual Cost Method: Alternatively, you can choose to calculate your working-from-home expenses using the actual cost method. This method allows you to claim the specific expenses related to your work, such as a portion of your electricity or internet bills. To utilise this method, you must maintain accurate records of your expenses.

Keeping Comprehensive Records:

Accurate record-keeping is crucial when claiming tax deductions. To simplify this task, the ATO offers the myDeductions tool within their mobile app. This tool allows you to store receipts, track expenses, and keep records organised in one convenient location. Utilising this app will help you stay on top of your records and ensure you have the necessary documentation when lodging your tax return.

The Ideal Time to Lodge:

The ATO advises that the best time to lodge your tax return is from late July. By this time, most of your financial information, including income from employers, banks, and health funds, will have been automatically included in your tax return. Review the pre-filled information to ensure its accuracy, add any missing income details, and claim your deductions accordingly. By lodging your tax return at this time, you can streamline the process and receive any refunds or address any outstanding payments promptly.

Tax Assessment Considerations:

It’s essential to be aware that the low and middle-income tax offset has ended, which may result in lower refunds or potential tax bills for some individuals. The ATO website offers a list of reasons that may affect your tax refund, providing valuable insights into potential outcomes.

As a contact centre professional, taking advantage of the available tax deductions can help optimise your tax return. Familiarise yourself with the ATO’s resources, explore the tailored occupation guide, and utilise tools like myDeductions to streamline the record-keeping process. Remember to stay informed about any changes in tax legislation and consult a tax professional for personalised advice. By effectively claiming your eligible deductions, you can ensure that you receive the maximum benefits during tax time.

CBA orders staff back to the office and looks to the future of its contact centre business using AI – all in the same week. Commonwealth Bank chief Matt Comyn joins a growing push to call workers back to the office, stating that his staff must be on-site at least 50 percent of the time. At a time when remote work has become the norm, this decision raises questions about the future of workplace dynamics. However, amidst this shift, Comyn remains optimistic about the potential of generative AI, specifically highlighting the arrival of ChatGPT as a transformative force that could drive productivity in CBA’s contact centres.

The Rise of Generative AI:

The race to create super intelligent computers has fueled both excitement and concerns about the future of humanity. However, Matt Comyn, the CEO of Commonwealth Bank, sees generative AI as a game-changer. He describes the recent emergence of generative AI, exemplified by the skyrocketing popularity of ChatGPT, as a transformational development in the tech industry.

ChatGPT’s Phenomenal Growth:

ChatGPT, powered by generative AI, has become the fastest-growing app in internet history. This remarkable growth showcases the potential and widespread appeal of AI-powered conversational agents. Comyn believes that this technology has the power to revolutionise productivity and enhance customer experiences in various sectors, including banking.

Transforming Productivity in the Economy:

While concerns about job displacement persist, Comyn sees generative AI as a driver of productivity rather than a threat to employment. He envisions AI systems like ChatGPT as tools that can augment human capabilities, automating repetitive tasks and freeing up employees to focus on more complex and creative endeavors. By embracing this technology, Commonwealth Bank aims to enhance efficiency, improve customer interactions, and ultimately drive economic growth.

Balancing Human Interaction and Technological Advancements:

The decision to bring staff back to the office may seem contradictory in the face of AI advancements. However, Comyn emphasises the importance of human interaction and collaboration. He believes that a hybrid approach, with employees spending time both in the office and working remotely, strikes the right balance between leveraging technology and nurturing interpersonal connections.

Looking Ahead:

As Commonwealth Bank embraces generative AI and the potential it holds, it joins a growing wave of organizations leveraging AI technologies to enhance productivity. The challenge lies in ensuring that employees are equipped with the necessary skills to adapt to these changes and take advantage of the opportunities AI presents.

Matt Comyn’s endorsement of generative AI and its impact on productivity signals a promising future for AI technologies in the banking sector and beyond. While the decision to bring staff back to the office may initially raise questions, Commonwealth Bank’s ‘all-in’ approach showcases the company’s commitment to harnessing the potential of AI while recognising the value of human interaction. As AI continues to shape the future of work, organisations must strike a delicate balance between technology and the human touch to maximise productivity and foster innovation in the evolving workplace.

With acronyms for almost every category you can think of, CCaaS is one that hasn’t quite stuck in the same way as SaaS as a key marketing term.

What is CCaas?

CCaaS stands for Contact Center as a Service. It is a cloud-based solution that provides businesses with all the functionalities and capabilities of a traditional contact center without the need for on-premises infrastructure or hardware. In CCaaS, the contact center software and infrastructure are hosted and maintained by a third-party service provider in the cloud.

With CCaaS, businesses can effectively manage their customer interactions across various channels, including voice, email, chat, social media, and more. The service provider delivers the necessary software, hardware, and network infrastructure to support contact center operations.

Here are some key features and benefits of CCaaS:

Scalability: CCaaS allows businesses to easily scale up or down their contact center operations based on fluctuating business needs. It provides the flexibility to add or remove agents and resources as required.

Cost-efficiency: By opting for a cloud-based contact center solution, businesses can significantly reduce their upfront capital expenditure. They can avoid the costs associated with purchasing and maintaining hardware and software infrastructure.

Accessibility and Remote Work: CCaaS enables remote work capabilities, allowing agents to handle customer interactions from anywhere with an internet connection. This flexibility is especially valuable in today’s remote work environment.

Rapid Deployment: With CCaaS, businesses can quickly deploy and set up their contact center operations. The cloud-based nature of the solution eliminates the need for complex on-premises installations, resulting in faster implementation times.

Advanced Functionality: CCaaS offers a wide range of advanced features and capabilities, such as interactive voice response (IVR), automatic call distribution (ACD), call recording, real-time analytics, workforce management, and integration with customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

Enhanced Customer Experience: With CCaaS, businesses can deliver seamless and personalised customer experiences across multiple channels. The solution enables efficient routing of customer interactions to the most appropriate agents, leading to improved customer satisfaction.

Continuous Updates and Maintenance: The service provider is responsible for maintaining and updating the contact center infrastructure, ensuring that businesses always have access to the latest features and security enhancements.

What’s your thoughts on CCaaS?

BT and ServiceNow’s new turnkey solution is set to create a new era of contact centres in Australia. Their innovative package integrates digital workflows, global communications, and a cloud-hosted contact centre platform, providing customers with simplified and accelerated digitalisation of their contact centres and workflows.

The move towards digitalisation, including cloud-based contact centre systems, offers enhanced flexibility and responsiveness for both customers and agents. It reduces costs, boosts productivity, and enables new service innovations and compliance tools. To address customer demands for streamlined processes, BT and ServiceNow will deliver and manage this solution, eliminating the need for multiple partners.

The collaboration has already proven successful with UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, and is now available to organisations worldwide, including UK-based businesses and public sector customers. This partnership enables ServiceNow to work with BT Group’s Digital unit to modernise service management across the organisation, creating a self-healing digital infrastructure powered by AI.

By integrating communications into workflows and case management, this solution simplifies compliance processes, enhances efficiency, and improves the overall experience.

In an article on, Andrew Small, Director of Voice and Digital Work at BT, highlights the benefits of this partnership, stating that it offers a compelling pathway for customers to embrace cloud migration and unlock the full potential of digital transformation.

Chris Bedi, Chief Digital Information Officer at ServiceNow, emphasises the importance of providing turnkey options to simplify cloud migration and workflows for customers. The combination of ServiceNow’s cloud-based platform and BT’s global network and communication expertise presents a unique opportunity for organisations to digitise and unify their operations, driving smarter and faster outcomes.

Experience the power of this groundbreaking collaboration between BT and ServiceNow and unlock new possibilities for your contact centre and beyond. Embrace the future of digital transformation today.