The future of Australian Contact Centres is constantly evolving. For those who are driven by customer excellence there are a number of rewarding career paths on offer.
Companies are becoming more customer-centric and businesses are realising that they need to use the customer experience as a differentiating factor if they want to succeed in building their brand, retaining their customers and attracting new talent. The challenge for contact centres moving forward is to balance their cost efficiency with their customer experience. 73% of contact centres are currently striving to improve customer experience* according to Fifth Quadrant.
Nick Walker and Emma Holden, respected industry experts and Directors of Tenacity CX, launched their specialist CX recruitment agency 3 years ago with the view that contact centres would decrease in volume due to the automation of basic customer transactions through apps, bots and artificial intelligence seeing operations scaling back their contact centres. They felt that as companies became more customer-centric, their contact centers would evolve creating more jobs in Customer Experience and Customer Transformation. Nick comments that “who better to manage projects and change management in customer experience teams than those who have been on the front line and have the customer lens.”
Fast forward three years and the reality is quite different to what they predicted. After meeting with 50 of the top executives in contact centres, across banking, insurance, superannuation, FMCG, energy and health funds, there has been no reduction in the overall headcount in contact centres, in some cases there has been a 3-5% increase annually. Even with basic customer transactions being digitalised and taken off-shore. So far digitalisation has had little impact on contact centre staffing numbers in Australia.
Through further investigation, Nick found that “after spending time with our clients, observing contact centre agents in their roles, it was easy to determine how contact centres were still adding considerable value to the wider organisation. Conversations were much longer, consultative and problem solving in nature, in most instances the contact centre agent was trouble shooting and guiding the customer to the end result”.
The increase in automation and machine learning has freed up the contact centre agents from administrative tasks allowing them more time to spend adding value to their customer interactions. This is great news for talented contact centre staff and managers who have the necessary skills to naturally transition into these CX roles.
New CX and Customer Transformation roles are continually evolving as organisations adopt a more analytical-based approach to improving service levels. Companies are looking to understand individuals needs and utilise data from a number of sources to strive to deliver a more tailored service to their customers. Nick notes that “we are now seeing organisations realising the full value of the contact centre and moving more complex functions over such as payroll, HR, mobile lending, sales, complaints, insurance, financial planning and mortgage broking to within the contact centre space”. A fantastic shift for wider business and job seekers, widening their career path options. The challenge for contact centres moving forward will be to balance overall efficiency and ROI with customer experience.
*Fifth Quadrant 2018 Australian Contact Centre Industry Report.
If you'd like further information contact Nick Walker today!