Alinta Energy Call Centre moves back to Australia
The number of overseas call centres returning back to Australia appears to be continuing with Alinta Energy announcing they are bringing back their contact centre from the Philippines to the Latrobe Valley in Victoria, Australia.
The move is expected to create more than 230 jobs with Alinta energy establishing its customer operations hub within a new $18 million state-of-the-art building that was fully funded by the Victorian Government.
The Government has also supported Alinta Energy through its investment attraction and Jobs Victoria program, enabling the company to commit to bringing its customer contact operations from the Philippines to the Latrobe Valley Centre.
The commitment from Alinta Energy to set up a principal operations hub for its retail business within the Centre builds on the company’s close community ties to Gippsland through its Loy Yang B Power Station.
Alinta Energy MD & CEO Jeff Dimery expects service and support to improve with the move “We’re establishing a new customer contact centre in Victoria so we can provide even better service and support to our customers. We thank the Victorian Government for their support to make this possible.”
The onshore trend
With COVID causing havoc across the globe many businesses have been forced to reconsider their offshore call centre operations and either setup or expand local onshore centres.
The use of offshore call centres by Australian companies has been a popular choice for businesses taking advantage of significant savings often in excess of 60% of onshore costs.
But it hasn’t always been a popular choice with consumers with many frustrated by the offshore call centre experience.
Difficulties with communicating, poor scripts, access issues etc are often cited as key reasons for the frustrations and little has changed despite over a decade of offshore operations.
Poor customer experiences aside, many businesses were ‘caught out’ during COVID as a result of having 100% of their operations offshore.
With COVID forcing those centres to close, it was nothing short of a disaster.
Businesses that run multiple centres across different locations (for business continuity or to provide different service levels based on the value of the customer) fared a little better depending on the size and location of the facilities.
Do regional call centres work?
There is an understandable attraction to locate call centres in regional areas – they provide lots of jobs.
And therein lies the problem.
In a smaller population, the simple reality is there is not often a large enough population to support sustainable operations.
So the call centres start off with lots of fanfare and end up shutting down years later.
What will the future bring?
COVID has really accelerated the transition to call centre remote working with a recent industry survey revealing close to 60% of contact centre agents now work from home.
So will having hundreds of call centre agents all working from the one physical location be a relic of the past?
And with businesses continuing to compete on customer experience, does the risk of offshore call centres become too risky?
One thing is for sure, business redundancy plans have finally been given the importance it deserves and working in the Australian contact centre industry is in for an exciting ride!
What do you think?
P.S If you’d like to contact Alinta Energy their number is 13 37 02 and their hours are Monday to Friday 8 am to 9 pm and Saturday 9 am to 6 pm.
- Read: Reshoring call centres back to Australia
- Read: Does using overseas call centres really matter?
- Search: A list of call centre outsourcers in Australia
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