Call Centre Wait times investigation by A Current Affair

Australian call centre wait times investigation

Australian Call Centre Wait times investigation 

The bastion of good journalism in Australia is at it again, this time with an Australian call centre wait times investigation that tested the call centre wait times across the private and public sector.

Of course, they used a complex testing regime conducting statistically valid sample sizes over multiple days and at different times to ensure they had a robust sample to report on.

That or they made a few phone calls one day in the office.

Mmm, just can’t work out which one.

Anyway, to save you 4 minutes and 37 seconds of your life I’ve plucked out the key stats and messages for your benefit:

The Australian call centre wait times investigation results:

  • Banking: ANZ, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank were “all pretty good”. Best in Class was NAB at 84 seconds.
  • Telco’s – Telstra 4 minutes, Optus 24 seconds
  • RACV & RACQ both under 3 minutes. Best in class was NRMA at 82 seconds
  • Government: Centrelink: 50 minutes, Births Deaths and Marriages 93 minutes
Fiona Keough, CEO Auscontact
Fiona Keough, CEO Auscontact starring on A Current Affair

Fiona Keough, CEO of Auscontact Association explains that all the easy transactions are no longer being handled by Contact Centre staff with most of those transactions moving online.

As a result, the contact centre staff are dealing with more complex calls and on average, its taking an additional 15% more time on the phone to resolve each issue with the customer.

Of course, A Current Affair could have probed a little deeper to talk about a range of other issues that can contribute to longer wait times such as the high cost of labour, offshoring, poor workforce planning, agents not adhering to schedules etc or the new ways customers can interact with businesses including social media, voice biometrics etc but lets face it, that’s probably not interesting to the average punter so best stick to the basics and go with an attention-grabbing headline!

Some tips to save yourself on hold times:

  • Have all your information ready to identify yourself
  • Avoid peak times as everyone tends to call at the same time. Best tip is to call early in the day or late in the day.
  • Ditch the phone altogether and sort it out on the internet or go and see the business in-person.

Editor: Sadly Channel 9 has since removed the video

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