Contact Centre Magazine


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.

As a contact centre agent in Australia, understanding how to maximise your tax deductions is essential for optimising your financial well-being. By employing strategic approaches before June 30, you can make the most of available deductions and potentially reduce your taxable income. While you must talk to your tax agent to verify, Contact Centre Magazine has explored effective strategies specifically tailored for contact centre agents in Australia to help them maximise tax deductions and improve their financial outcomes.

“Did you know: You can claim professional memberships like Auscontact as a tax deduction?”

Maintain Accurate Records:

To maximise your tax deductions, it is crucial to keep detailed and accurate records of all work-related expenses. This includes receipts, invoices, and documentation that clearly demonstrate the nature and purpose of the expense. By organising your records meticulously, you will have a solid foundation for identifying and claiming eligible deductions.

Understand Eligible Deductions:

As a contact centre agent, familiarise yourself with the range of deductions applicable to your profession. Common eligible deductions include home office expenses, telephone and internet costs, equipment and tools, professional development courses, and union or professional association fees. Stay updated with the latest tax regulations and guidelines provided by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to ensure compliance and take advantage of all relevant deductions.

Home Office Deductions:

If you work from home as a contact centre agent, you may be eligible to claim deductions for a portion of your home office expenses. This includes a proportionate share of rent, mortgage interest, utilities, internet costs, and home office equipment. Keep in mind that you need to meet specific criteria set by the ATO, such as having a dedicated workspace primarily used for work purposes, to claim these deductions.

Telephone and Internet Expenses:

Given the nature of your work, telephone and internet expenses are often significant for contact centre agents. You can claim deductions for the work-related portion of your phone calls, mobile phone bills, and internet costs. To maximise your deductions, keep detailed records of your usage and apportion expenses based on the percentage of work-related use.

Education and Professional Development:

Investing in your professional development as a contact centre agent not only enhances your skills but can also provide tax benefits. Deductions can be claimed for the costs associated with attending seminars, workshops, conferences, or undertaking relevant educational courses. Membership fees for industry associations like Auscontact can also be claimed as deductions, providing additional value.

Uniforms and Protective Clothing:

If your role requires specific uniforms or protective clothing, you can claim deductions for the costs of purchasing, cleaning, and maintaining these items. Ensure you maintain records of these expenses and only claim deductions for items that are necessary for your work.

Maximising your tax deductions as a contact centre agent in Australia requires careful planning, accurate record-keeping, and staying informed about eligible deductions. By maintaining detailed records, understanding the specific deductions applicable to your profession, and leveraging opportunities for education and professional development, you can optimise your tax savings and improve your financial outcomes. Stay proactive in keeping up with tax regulations and seek guidance from tax professionals or the ATO to ensure compliance while maximising your deductions. By adopting these strategies, you can navigate the complexities of tax deductions and make significant strides toward financial success as a contact centre agent in Australia.

The contact center industry has been growing rapidly in recent years, with an increasing number of companies relying on contact centers to provide customer support, sales, and other services. With this growth comes an increasing need for skilled professionals who can work in these environments, and the Auscontact Academy aims to meet that need.

Press Announcement by MyQualityTeam:

MyQualityTeam has launched an innovative new agent performance platform to Australian contact centres this month, helping managers upskill agents and optimise performance. To celebrate the launch, a 30-day free trial is available for any contact centre managers who want to experience the new platform and the difference it can make to their teams.

Cloud Contact Centre Leaders Collaborate to Empower Agents and Elevate the Customer Experience

Sydney, NSW — April 12, 2023 — Calabrio, the workforce performance company, has announced its latest integration with Zoom’s omnichannel contact centre platform, providing ‘Zoom Contact Center’ customers with access to the only true-cloud, enterprise-grade Workforce Management (WFM) solution currently available in the market.


The highly anticipated Auscontact Practitioner Symposium 2023, an exceptional event hosted by Auscontact, Australia’s premier industry association for contact centres and customer experience professionals, is fast approaching.

Scheduled to take place on May 8th and 9th at the esteemed Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in South Brisbane, this symposium presents an unparalleled opportunity for growth and development in the dynamic realm of contact centres.

Registration is now open and industry professionals from all corners of the country are gearing up for an immersive and enlightening gathering. As spots are limited, seize the opportunity to secure your attendance at this unmissable event.

At the core of the Auscontact Practitioner Symposium 2023 are the esteemed keynote speakers, who are experts in the field of customer experience and contact centre management. Prepare to be inspired and informed by their invaluable insights and expertise.

One of the distinguished keynote speakers is Rachel Aziz, the Chief People and Culture Officer of Recoveriescorp. Rachel’s session ‘Strength in Differences: Harnessing the Power of Diversity to Drive a Successful Organisational Culture’ will dive into the importance of creating a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. Aziz firmly believes that a workplace culture that values and celebrates diversity is crucial for building a strong and successful organisation. In her talk, she will share practical insights on how organisations can harness the power of diversity to drive innovation and creativity, improve decision-making, and boost employee engagement.

Attendees will be inspired by Adrian King, Chief Operating Officer at Kleu and keynote speaker at the Auscontact Practitioner Symposium. With a background in science, accounting, and financial risk management, King has refocused his attention on sustainable business management and is leading the charge towards a more sustainable global economy. As a passionate advocate for the role of businesses in addressing big issues like climate change and human rights, King is uniquely positioned to shed light on the ‘Human aspect of emotional labour and psychosocial risks in contact centres.’ Attendees can look forward to gaining valuable insights into how they can create more resilient and sustainable businesses while taking care of their employees’ well-being.

Full List of Keynote Speakers at the Auscontact Practitioner Symposium:

The Auscontact Practitioner Symposium 2023 is a unique opportunity to join the conversation, gain fresh insights, and take your contact centre career to new heights. This prestigious event is filling up fast, so register HERE to secure your spot. For more information and updates, visit the Auscontact website and follow us on social media using the hashtag #Auscontact. Don’t miss out on this chance to enhance your skills and advance your career in the ever-evolving world of contact centres. Register now!

Are you a contact centre leader in Australia or New Zealand? Do you want to stay ahead of the competition and learn about the latest trends, insights and strategies to keep your operations thriving? If customer experience and operational excellence is important to your organisation, mark your calendars for May 8th and 9th, 2023 because the Auscontact Practitioners Symposium in Brisbane is the must-attend event of the year.

With an impressive lineup of speakers and exclusive insights into best practices, this event will provide you with everything you need to take your operations to the next level. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect.


The 2022-23 Australia and New Zealand Contact Centre Decision-Makers’ Guide is ContactBabel’s second annual research study of the performance, technology and HR aspects of Australian and New Zealand contact centre operations. The research is based on surveys with 112 senior contact centre and CX decision-makers, as well as 2,000 ANZ consumers.

Part of the research was to understand what customer channels of preference would be in cases of high emotion, urgency and complexity:

  • High emotion interactions: 28% of Australian customers would choose email; 23% telephone; 14% would visit the store or branch (older people were more likely to use the phone)
  • High urgency interactions: 31% telephone; 30% web self-service; 9% email (older people prefer to use self-service or phone, with younger people more receptive to web chat or social media)
  • High complexity interactions: 34% telephone; 20% visit the store or branch; 14% email (older people are more likely to make a physical visit to a business).

The findings show that the same customer may prefer to use a different channel depending on what they are trying to achieve, and also that while telephony is broadly seen as the ‘gold standard’, many customers may try digital channels – whether live or self-service – as a matter of preference.

Australian consumers were also asked to state which were the top three most important factors to them when contacting an organisation.

Australian customers were far more likely to value speaking with Australia-based agents, with 51% of customers stating that this was a top 3 CX factor for them. However, only 17% of businesses had thought that this would be the case. This is a similar finding to our US and UK contact centre research.

First-contact resolution was the second most important factor, with short queue / wait times and polite, friendly employees also being seen as important. These factors align with what Australian businesses expected their customers to value, and it is positive to see that most businesses seem to understand what their customers want when contacting them.

The full report is available free of charge from “The 2022-23 Australia and New Zealand Contact Centre Decision-Makers’ Guide.

Written by Steve Morrell, Managing Director, ContactBabel Ltd