Contact Centre Magazine


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.

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

As the newest generation entering the contact centre industry, Gen Z brings a unique set of preferences, outlooks, and conditions to the table. Born between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s, these digital natives grew up with technology and social media at their fingertips.

But in light of a global pandemic, Gen Z has become a resilient generation preparing to survive. Gen Z has witnessed a number of failures of the government as well as those of an educational and economic nature. In order for you to attract a new generation of workers, you must prepare your contact centres to cater to younger and more creative people who value innovation and change.

To help prepare your contact centre for Gen Z, we’ve made six key recommendations below.

1. Share and Care

Gen Z employees are looking for more than just a job; they’re seeking personal and professional growth opportunities. To attract and retain Gen Z workers, contact centres should prioritise providing continuous learning and development opportunities, as well as challenging assignments that align with their career aspirations. Business leaders should aim to create a supportive environment that understands the needs and goals of young workers, and actively provide the necessary tools and resources for success. By demonstrating a commitment to their employees’ personal growth and career advancement, contact centres can build a strong connection with Gen Z workers and help them reach their full potential.

2. Embrace Competition

As a result of COVID-19 Gen Z workers are competing with one another now more than ever before. Anna D’Souza, Strategy Consultant from Robotic Marketer discusses the challenge many Gen Z workers will face post-pandemic, “It was hard enough pre-COVID to find a job, but now with a lot of unemployed people, there’s a lot more competition with those who are highly qualified for the job that you’re applying for.” With such strong competition Gen Z workers are now applying for jobs with the mentality that they must beat the next guy or girl to get there. In a way, the embrace of competitiveness has allowed Gen Z workers to develop a strong ‘do it myself’ mentality. Having spent most of the year at home searching job listings, Gen Z workers have developed an independent mindset. To cater to this attitude businesses need to provide Gen Z workers with independent projects that encourage them to think beyond the confines of their job descriptions. By understanding the competitive nature of the current job market and providing opportunities for independent growth, contact centres can attract and retain top talent among Gen Z workers.

3. Prioritise Technology

It’s crucial for businesses to recognise the importance of technological sophistication in attracting Gen Z workers. As a generation that has grown up with advanced technology, Gen Z expects to work in an environment that heavily incorporates it. To stay connected with this tech-savvy group, contact centres must continuously upgrade their workplace technology, including AI-powered tools and solutions. By embracing advanced technology, businesses can attract and retain top talent among Gen Z workers, who are motivated by opportunities to work with cutting-edge tools and solutions. Additionally, incorporating AI into contact centre operations can increase efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction, which can lead to improved business outcomes. Ultimately, businesses that invest in advanced technology demonstrate a commitment to innovation and the future, which can help to create a positive brand image and attract the next generation of workers.

4. Initiate Face-to-Face Communication

Although Gen Z has grown up immersed in technology more than any prior generation, they demonstrate a preference toward face-to-face communication over digital. During the pandemic, virtual meetings and check-in calls may have worked better for older employees, but as we enter a post-pandemic COVID-safe work environment, younger employees will need face-to-face contact. Gen Z workers want to work collaboratively with their colleagues, establishing a real professional connection with them. Businesses can facilitate this by creating spaces that encourage teamwork and communication. From open-plan offices to breakout areas, it’s important to create an environment that fosters human connection and enables Gen Z workers to work together effectively.

5. Promote Diversity and Inclusion

Gen Z is the most diverse generation in history, and they value diversity and inclusion in the workplace. They want to work for businesses that embrace different cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives. A diverse workplace is not only beneficial for Gen Z’s personal development but also increases creativity and innovation within a business. To attract Gen Z workers businesses should create and promote diversity and inclusion initiatives. This could include hiring a diverse range of candidates, implementing unconscious bias training, and providing opportunities for employees to share their diverse perspectives.

6. Encourage Flexibility

Gen Z highly values a work-life balance that allows for flexibility. This means having control over their schedule and the ability to work from any location, at any time. The pandemic has shown that remote work can be effective for many businesses, and Gen Z workers have come to expect this level of flexibility. To attract and retain Gen Z workers in contact centres, it’s essential for businesses to offer flexible work arrangements such as remote work options or flexible hours. By doing so, businesses can show that they value their employees‘ work-life balance, and demonstrate that they are willing to accommodate their needs. This can help to create a positive work environment that fosters loyalty and commitment among Gen Z workers.

As the newest generation entering the contact centre industry, Gen Z brings with them a unique set of preferences and conditions. To attract and retain top talent among this generation businesses must prioritise continuous learning and development, embrace competition and independence, prioritise technology, initiate face-to-face communication, promote diversity and inclusion, and encourage flexibility in the workplace. By doing so, businesses can create a supportive and inclusive work environment that meets the needs and goals of Gen Z workers, while also demonstrating a commitment to innovation and the future.

As the industry continues to evolve, it is essential for businesses to adapt and cater to the expectations of this emerging generation.

Working in a contact centre can be a challenging and fast-paced job, with a high demand for excellent customer service skills. However, it can also be a rewarding career with opportunities for advancement and growth. In today’s competitive job market it’s essential to stand out from the crowd and establish yourself as a top performer.

By branding yourself as a top contact centre employee you can differentiate yourself from others in the industry and improve your career prospects. This involves developing a personal brand statement that showcases your strengths and skills, maintaining a professional online presence, seeking feedback to improve your performance, attending industry events, nominating for industry awards, and being a problem solver. By following these six tips, you can establish yourself as a highly valued contact centre employee and achieve success in the industry.

  1. Develop a Personal Brand

To establish your personal brand you need to identify your strengths, skills, and unique qualities that make you stand out. This will help you create a personal brand statement that communicates who you are and what value you bring to the table. With a clear brand statement you can differentiate yourself from others and establish your reputation as a top performer.

  1. Professional Online Presence

In today’s digital age having a professional online presence is essential. You can showcase your personal brand by creating a professional LinkedIn profile, a personal website or blog, and joining relevant online communities. This will allow you to network with others in the industry, share your expertise, and engage with like-minded professionals.

Read More: Contact Centres in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

  1. Be Proactive in Seeking Feedback

Feedback is crucial to personal growth and development. As a contact centre employee, seeking feedback from your supervisor, colleagues, and customers can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. This will enable you to improve your performance and take your career to the next level.

  1. Attend Industry Events

Industry events such as conferences and seminars provide an excellent opportunity to showcase your expertise, learn about the latest industry trends, and network with other professionals. By getting involved in speaking engagements or panel discussions, you can demonstrate your knowledge and experience, and establish your reputation as a top performer.

  1. Nominate to Auscontact Annual Awards

The Auscontact Annual Awards recognise excellence in the contact centre industry and provide an opportunity for you to showcase your achievements to the wider industry. By submitting your accomplishments, you can highlight your skills and expertise and distinguish yourself from others in the industry.

Read more: Auscontact Annual Awards 

  1. Be a Problem Solver

Finally, being a problem solver is a critical skill required in a contact centre. As a top performer, you should have a reputation for being a problem solver. You can achieve this by actively seeking out and resolving customer issues, collaborating with colleagues to identify and solve operational problems, and sharing your expertise with others in the industry.

Working in a contact centre is not only a challenging job but also a rewarding career. The contact centre industry demands top-notch customer service skills, and as a result, employees must stand out from the crowd to excel. By branding yourself as a top performer, you can differentiate yourself from others and improve your career prospects. Developing a personal brand statement, maintaining a professional online presence, seeking feedback, attending industry events, nominating for industry awards, and being a problem solver are the six tips to establish yourself as a highly valued contact centre employee. These tips require commitment and dedication, but they can help you achieve your professional goals and take your career to the next level. With a clear personal brand and a reputation as a top performer, you can succeed in the contact centre industry and be proud of your accomplishments.


In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, effective leadership and sound decision-making are critical to the success of any organisation. Within the contact centre industry, the role of the board members of Auscontact cannot be overstated.

As the primary governing body of the organisation, these individuals are tasked with driving strategic direction, ensuring compliance, and fostering a culture of innovation and growth.

The current Board of Directors are:

Sean Mather

The Chairperson of Auscontact Association, has over 25 years of experience in the ICT and Contact Centre industries. He is the Executive Chairman and Founder of Omada One Inc. Sean has significant experience in managing and implementing contact centre programs, including projects focused on internal process improvement, operational effectiveness, service improvement programs, and technology selection.

Matthew Penman

The Deputy Chairperson, is the General Manager, Customer Service Department, for Auto and General Insurance Services. He has been actively involved in the contact centre industry for the last 18 years, and his passion for the industry has driven his involvement in the ATA and now Auscontact Association since 2006. He possesses a wide range of knowledge and experience across government and private enterprises and has experience in both outsourcing and offshoring, having spent a year in South Africa building a 150-seat contact centre.

Tanya Eglinton

A Non-Executive Director of Auscontact Association, is the General Manager Customer Contact at Bank of Queensland. Tanya is a human centred and passionate leader who has demonstrated the ability to deliver innovative change through a wide range of contact centre roles. Some of Tanya’s achievements include the implementation of a work from home model, on and offshore centre deployment, telephony replacement, and digital transformation. Tanya has worked predominantly in financial services having previously worked as Head of Everyday Banking at ANZ.

Tim Powell

A Non-Executive Director of Auscontact Association, is the National Contact Centre and Operations Manager for Teachers Mutual Bank. Tim has over 25 years’ experience working strategically and operationally across Customer Experience teams within the Banking & Financial services sector both here in Australia and in the UK. Tim is a dedicated advocate of the Auscontact Association’s vision in being part of the united voice for the customer contact industry in Australia. He brings with him the ability to apply critical thinking through a governance lens across topics that relate to the internal demands of Contact Centres as a collective industry.

Steve Mitchinson

A Non-Executive Director of Auscontact Association, is a Director at BBB Advisory. Steve has over 25 years active involvement in the contact centre industry, including previous terms as Director and Chairperson when the organisation was known as the Australian Teleservices Association and played a pivotal role in establishing Auscontact. Steve has extensive board experience beyond his previous time with the ATA, including 3 years as National Chair of the Australian Institute of Credit Management. Steve is currently Chairman of the Canningvale Community Bank (Bendigo Bank) and has served on numerous government and industry boards with distinction.

Tracey Madgwick

A Non-Executive Director of Auscontact Association, is the Executive Director, Operations and Improvement for Smart Service Qld in Queensland government. She is a senior professional with extensive leadership and business management experience in the contact centre industry. Tracey is passionate about business transformation that enhances the customer experience and delivers quality outcomes. Throughout her career, Tracey has built a strong network and has been committed to helping shape and grow the industry through representation on various committees.

Michel Stutz

A Non-Executive Director and Director of Stutz Consulting, has 22 years of experience in the local and international contact centre industry. He has worked with customers, managed data, and voice networks, and provided front floor and general management. Michel has been working independently for the last 4 years, supporting, and implementing CX-related projects in contact centres and SMEs, as well as corporate services work. He is also a supporter of Invest Victoria and aims to stimulate foreign investment. Michel is passionate about the industry and has been on the Auscontact Board Innovation Sub-Committee, helping find ways to operate during the pandemic and beyond. He aims to promote a culture that supports innovative ideas and initiatives that add value for members in the long term.

Paul Wright

Is the Head of Customer Care at Futurity Investment Group, with over 25 years of experience in the Customer Service industry. He has managed large 24×7 call centres and back-office administration including billing, connections, data management, sales, new business support, and credit/collections. As a strong change manager, Paul is focused on strategic planning, service improvement, and excellence. He aims to bring a diverse view on customer service challenges to the Auscontact Association and integrate back-office operations into a customer-centric approach. Paul’s leadership style and change management skills make him an asset to the Board, as a thought leader, mentor, and experienced professional willing to share his experiences.

Gerard Smith

Has over 25 years of experience in the banking and financial services industry. He has expertise in IT, sales and marketing, ecommerce, project management, contact centres, human resources, technology implementation, and knowledge management. Gerard is currently the Chief Information Officer of Teachers Mutual Bank Limited and leads the Sales, Marketing, and Digital teams for four banks. He aims to increase sales, drive business development, and improve the user experience. Gerard is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and loves understanding people.

Rachel Aziz

Chief People and Culture Officer at Recoveriescorp, has over 14 years of experience in the contact centre industry, working across Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Fiji. Her passion is to connect people with purpose and effect positive change for customers and the community. Rachel has led the cultural transformation at Recoveriescorp through strategic values alignment initiatives, creating a high-performance workforce. She is an expert in remuneration, capability, talent management, OH&S and governance, and is a valued executive for her empathetic leadership style. Rachel is also passionate about gender diversity and mentors emerging female leaders.

Simon Kriss

Director of Innovation at Serco, has over 30 years of experience in the global contact centre industry. He has worked in various levels of the industry, from a call taker to running global operations across several countries. Simon was the inaugural Chair of the CCMA and is currently focusing on industry thought leadership and advanced management techniques for modern Government contact centres. He is also an experienced Board member, having completed his GAICD and is a certified wine judge, with a passion for all things wine.

Effective leadership and sound decision-making are crucial in the rapidly evolving business landscape. The board members of Auscontact Association play a pivotal role in driving strategic direction, ensuring compliance, and fostering a culture of innovation and growth in the contact centre industry. The current board members bring extensive knowledge, experience, and passion to the table, with each member contributing unique perspectives and skills to the organisation. Together, they form a strong team dedicated to advancing the interests of the industry and ensuring its continued success.

Employees are more likely to stay with organisations who invest in their training and development, with 84% of workers saying they are more committed to an employer who invests in their professional growth.

A recent report by Dell Technologies predicts that 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet. A prediction that is both exciting and ominous for organisations across the globe. Innovative technology is fueling rapid change and the contact centre is no exception, with advancements changing the way customers interact. The incorporation of technologies such as AI-powered chatbots, ChatGPT, GPT-4, advanced speech recognition, conversational AI, AI supported scripting, and increased digital design, are transforming the way contact centres operate and service customers.

As these technology advancements continue to transform contact centres, the one certainty is that the importance and demand on human skills will increase. Empathy, problem-solving, EQ and effective communication, will be essential to build lasting customer relationships and drive service excellence. The work a contact centres human workforce needs to handle will change, however many customers still want to interact with a human agent for complex issues, for emotionally charged situations, or to build connection.

So, what does this mean when it comes to building those human skills, strengthening capabilities, and investing in people? Learning and development strategies have never been as important as they are now. They are essential to help organisations prepare for an uncertain future, and to ensure that companies are in a position to give customers the level of human touch they expect, but also as a way to engage workforce.

Employees are more likely to stay with organisations who invest in their training and development, with 84% of workers saying they are more committed to an employer who invests in their professional growth, and 70% confirming they would look elsewhere for work if training opportunities were lacking and/or not available.



  1. Create a growth mindset culture in your workplace, where continuous learning, growth and development are fostered. A growth mindset culture encourages employees to embrace challenges, learn from mistakes, and constantly improve their skills and abilities.
  2. Have a dual model learning and development strategy that considers both soft and hard skills. Hard skills, or the technical skills required to do the job are a necessary component of your organisations training program. These hard skills ensure your staff have the practical understanding and ability to perform their job. You invest heavily in hard skills when you have new employees or when your workloads change for existing employees. Ensuring you have a clear strategy for soft skills will make the biggest different to your workforce. Soft skills are crucial for how your employees interact and work with others, and enable them to build rapport, trust, and empathy with your customers.
  3. Continuous Learning. A great learning and development strategy includes a focus on continuous learning which involves providing employees with opportunities to develop new skills and knowledge on an ongoing basis, rather than just in response to immediate needs. Build development plans in performance agreements and ensure conversations with your people focus on understanding goals, career aspirations and assessing current capabilities. A strong learning and development strategy will include a framework that supports continuous learning.
  4. Leadership development. Key to building the culture and engagement that allows your learning and development program to be a key component of your employee offer, is the leadership supporting it. This means your leadership development program is crucial to the success of all other learning and development. Most organisations have some form of corporate leadership programs, these will often be generic in nature, however, will provide some foundation leadership requirements. A strong learning and development strategy will include ways to access tailored, targeted and specific leadership courses that align to your environment and the gaps of the individual. Building this leadership capability is ongoing and requires continued investment.
  5. Realistic time investment. It takes on average 40 days for people to integrate learnings from training into their day to day roles, so organisations need to rethink how quickly they move staff through training. Getting this right will be a game changer when it comes to the confidence and readiness of your employees, and contributes to retention, engagement and customer outcomes. Once the hard skills have been built, create a follow up program that reinforces learning, invest in smaller, more regular training, followed by the time to practice newfound skills.
  6. Visibility of formal and informal learning and development. Not all the learning and development your people access will be through formal training sessions, and it is crucial that you build visibility of on-the-job training, peer learning, and buddying type activities as essential elements of your learning and development strategy. Your staff are learning all the time, so ensure your organisation has a culture of supporting learning, development and engagement to nurture this.
  7. Partnered Delivery. Organisations cannot afford to cater to every learning need of their employees, and building internal learning and development functions that do cover every aspect of your business needs is cost prohibitive to get right. Identify partners in the industry that you can work with to access industry specific or functional training options. Industry partners will have updated courses, regularly delivered that is often more cost effective and relevant that an inhouse model. Keep abreast of what industry bodies are offering and build this into your learning and development strategies.
  8. New technology can be leveraged by organisations for learning and development, removing cost and access barriers for geographically dispersed employees. Face to face is no longer the only option and short sharp sessions can mean employees are only stepping out of the workplace for defined periods of time. Balancing learning and development options has never been as easy as it is today with online training programs and support communities.


In a competitive labour market, employees have more choice when it comes to job options, and most consider more than financial remuneration when choosing an organisation to work for. Learning and development is fast becoming a strong contributor to a strategic employee value proposition. Contact centres already struggle with high attrition rates, attraction challenges and somewhat rigid environments, investing in the capability of your people will not only deliver strong business results, but can contribute to creating a long term, visible career pathway for employees.