2024 Australian Contact Centre Industry Best Practice Report summary

2024 Australian Contact Centre Industry Best Practice Report

For the past five years, the team at SMAART Recruitment has produced the most comprehensive report on the Australian contact centre industry, and the 2024 Australian Contact Centre Industry Best Practice Report provides some incredible insights that are beneficial for anyone working in the contact centre industry in Australia.

From a humble 46 pages in 2019, this year’s 2024 Australian Contact Centre Industry Best Practice Report contains 15 different categories over 260 pages packed full of expert insights, statistics, KPI performance, case studies and more.

Over 300 contact centres contributed to the report, ensuring it is the most robust and reliable industry information available in Australia.

Key Findings from the 2024 Contact Centre Industry Best Practice Report

If there was one emerging trend across 2023/2024, it was Artificial intelligence (AI).

Digital Transformation and the emergence of AI have impacted nearly all areas of the contact centre, and many of the sections in this year’s 2024 Australian Contact Centre Industry Best Practice report have included case studies, pilots, etc., of how AI is being used to help improve either the agent or customer experience.

That said, some things are constant in the contact centre industry. Challenges with recruitment, retention, and employee engagement, as well as grappling with getting the balance right between remote working and having to be in the office, remain ever-present.

This year also saw the introduction of our own Mystery Shopping Results, which provide insight into the Voice of the Customer (VoC) of what customers are actually experiencing across multiple business sectors.

The 2024 Australian Contact Centre Industry Best Practice Report contains hundreds of key findings, statistics, and insights into the industry as seen through the eyes of senior leaders, contact centre managers, team leaders, frontline agents, and a range of specialist roles such as knowledge managers, trainers, and more.

We’ve pulled together some of the key findings for you below by key sections, but you can obtain a free digital copy of the full report on the dedicated website provided by Smaart Recruitment (it will open a new window and you will need to provide your contact details to access the full report).

Contributing Authors and Companies

Pulling together such a comprehensive report is no easy task, and James Witcombe from Smaart Recruitment (and ACXPA National Advisory Board Member!) has done another brilliant job,  supported by a range of local industry experts who all contributed to the writing of the 2024 Australian Contact Centre industry Best Practice report along with their commentary on key findings, best-practice tips and future predictions.

You may also have seen some of them present if you attended the sell-out events to announce the results held in Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney, and Melbourne in late June 2024.

The industry experts contributing to the 2024 Australian Contact Centre Industry Best Practice Report are:

 

Their support, and that of their respective companies, enables the 2024 Australian Contact Centre industry Best Practice report to be produced at no cost which is a fantastic outcome for the industry, so please, where possible, make sure you also show some support for their companies in return!

*Member of an ACXPA Advisory Board showcasing the breadth of experience and talent we have at ACXPA in driving our industry forward!

Jump directly to Key Sections:

This summary of the 2024 Australian Contact Centre industry Best Practice report contains a lot of information, so either start scrolling or click the links below to jump straight to a section of interest.

Remote & Flexible Working

After the dark days of COVID, a new ‘normal’ is starting to emerge, with companies starting to settle into a rhythm of balancing remote work and requirements to being in the office.

There also appears to have been a shift in offering agents flexibility with their rosters as contact centres are becoming more prescriptive about when they need resources rather than enabling agents to select their working hours.

Whether this trend continues, though, appears to be shifting, as more contact centres are forecasting that they will be allowing agents more flexible choices in selecting their rosters in the coming 12 months.

Key findings in the 2024 Australian Contact Centre Industry Best Practice Report for Remote and Flexible Working:

  • 55% of employees are working from home on any given day (down from a peak of 76% in 2022 and the third year of decline).
  • 56% of contact centres expect no change to that in the coming year, with 31% expecting options to decrease even further. Only 13% of contact centres expected work-from-home options to increase.
  • The level of full flexibility (defined as the agents choosing where to work at least 90% of the time) reduced from 37% in 2022 to 14% in 2024, suggesting contact centres are starting to become more prescriptive in their requirements.
  • Many of the challenges in running a remote workforce remain, and there has been no change in the top three concerns cited by contact centre managers since the previous 2023 survey with ‘Employee Engagement (48%), Disconnected Workforce’ (47%) and Mental Health (44%) the leading concerns when running a work-from-home workforce.
  • One issue that has seen a noticeable shift is Data Security as a concern, rising from 6% in 2023 to 11% in 2024.
  • 60% of contact centres allow agents to swap shifts, and 28% allow agents to swap shifts and/or bid for shifts.
  • 52% of contact centres claim that absenteeism is no different when agents work from home or remotely, while 32% of contact centres claim agents who are required to work in the office do have higher absenteeism.

Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation is now a core focus for many businesses, and the contact centre channel can be a goldmine to offer improved efficiencies, customer experience, employee experience and more.

In this year’s 2024 Australian Contact Centre Industry Best Practice Report, new questions were included that provided specific insights into the different types of contact centre technology either currently being used or forecasted to be implemented within the next 12 months.

  • 51% of contact centres use Skills-Based Routing to direct calls to the most appropriately skilled agent.
  • Automated quality assurance is being used by 8% of contact centres, and this figure is expected to increase in the coming years.
  • 34% of contact centres provide agents with a single desktop providing a full view of the customer profile to facilitate case management and workflow.
  • 37% of contact centres have agent learning supported by knowledge management, automated quality management and real-time agent coaching to enhance development.
  • 28% of contact centres have one simple and easy process for the customer to identify themselves and authenticate across all channels.
  • 18% of contact centres have integrated channels that offer customer experience based on the customer’s profile, propensity, needs and complexity of issue.

When it comes to the most important future CX and Digital transformation initiatives, the three highest priorities identified (from a prescribed list) were:

  • Agent learning is supported by knowledge management, automated quality management and real-time agent coaching to enhance development (71%)
  • Ability to authenticate and identify the customer once only. Identify issues proactively and then ensure ongoing case management. (70%)
  • Self Service has a high containment rate – customers can resolve their issues with minimal effort whilst also being provided a clear path to alternative options for their needs (70%).

Artificial Intelligence

In the 2023 Australian Contact Centre Industry Best Practice Report released in May 2023, we forecasted an explosion in AI-related tools and awareness, and 2024 did not disappoint!

AI has permeated almost every element of the modern contact centre.

47% of Australian contact centres now use AI in some capacity, and despite the results below, 35% of contact centres expect to implement AI in the contact centre within the next 18 months.

But it hasn’t been all smooth sailing suggesting that many of the vendor claims and hype around the benefits are not actually translating to reality.

  • Only 23% of contact centres claimed that AI has helped improve customer satisfaction scores, a decrease of 9% from the 2023 survey,
  • When it comes to assisting the running of the contact centres, ‘Met Expectations’ also decreased by 25%, dropping from 62% in 2023 to 37% in 2024.
  • 30% of contact centres said’ yes’ to using AI to assist in reallocating resources to where they are better suited, dropping from 53% in 2023 to 30% in 2024.
  • When asked if AI has helped increase conversions, again, it decreased from 24% in 2023 to 14% in 2024.
  • A decline has also been seen in the use of AI to help extend reach and service availability, from 24% saying ‘yes’ in 2023 to 14% in 2024.

With regards to where Artificial Intelligence is being used in a contact centre, every area experienced a decrease in 2024 as compared to 2023 usage.

  • Chatbots and Virtual Assistants (56%) – no change from 2023
  • Speech Analytics (51%) – down 10% from 2023
  • Natural Language IVR (12%) – down 14% from 2023
  • Robotic Process Automation (22%) – down 11% from 2023
  • Predictive Call Routing (18%) – down 8% from 2023

New for 2024, the report captures new areas of AI use in the contact centre, which will be interesting to track in the coming years.

  • Agent Assist (15%)
  • Knowledge Management (31%)
  • Analytics and Predictive Models (24%)

Another notable change has been the people responsible for managing artificial intelligence tools.

Contact centre managers now have very little involvement (down from 48% in 2023 to just 7% in 2024), which perhaps explains why the positive impact of AI in the contact centre has also decreased.

The IT Department (32%), IT & Operations (25%) and the Improvement/Transformation Team (10%) are now the leaders in managing AI.

The majority of contact centre managers (55%) rely on industry associations like us to learn more about AI, followed by tech vendors (54%) and AI-specific vendors (42%). 45% of contact centre managers conduct their own personal research.

Looking at the roadmap ahead for AI,  complexity/reluctance of change (60%), reluctance from senior managers (20%,) and cost (20%) were the key reasons for not using AI.

Self Service

 

Most recent industry research on customer preferences suggests that customers like to self-serve where possible.

With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), contact centres have a significant opportunity to optimise their options further to reduce manual effort and smoothen the customer experience.

Whilst there is no dispute that self-service can be a great option, it’s not necessarily suited for all contact types and situations, and there are barriers such as complexity and cost,  so the adoption of self-service solutions can be disparate across the industry.

Notwithstanding, there were some fascinating insights into this new category including:

  • 42% of contact centres currently offer self-service support, and it’s working, while 25% are using it, but it’s not producing the expected results.
  • Where self-serve is offered, 39% of contact centres can capture the number of customers using it, 41% cannot, and 20% are unsure.
  • It’s a key focus area with 70% of contact centres selecting ‘Very Important’ to optimise/improve their self-service support options in 2024.
  • Chatbots (76%), Customer-facing knowledge base (53%) and Video Tutorials (31%) are the most common self-service options being explored.
  • The leading benefits for those who have implemented self-service are Streamline the customer journey (49%), Operational Efficiency (44%), Reduced human support headcount (63%), Provide greater access to information (29%).
  • For those looking at implementing self-service, their primary drivers are ‘Streamline the customer journey (74%), Provide greater access to information (69%), Operational Efficiency (63%), Reduced human support headcount (49%), Cost Optimisation (43%).

For contact centres that offer a self-service option, the percentage of customers that are using the solution:

 

Answer/Choice Responses
<10% 8%
11-20% 15%
21-30% 22%
31-40% 9%
41-50% 11%
>50% 28%
unsure/not measured 7%

 

Absenteeism & Attrition

Managing absenteeism and attrition in a contact centre has always been challenging, and in 2024, there were some pleasing signs after a particularly brutal 2023.

The cost-of-living crisis is certainly impacting the Australian Call Centre Industry, with agents’ number one reason for leaving their current employer being seeking more competitive salaries.

However, the majority of contact centres feel their frontline agent salaries are now competitive, which suggests that when agents leave the contact centre, they leave for higher-paying employment sectors rather than another contact centre.

Perhaps the increased focus on employee experience (EX) has contributed to a notable decrease in agents citing dissatisfaction with their work as their reason for leaving employment, down from 23% in 2023 to 13% in 2024.

Contact Centre Absenteeism Rates for Australia 2024

  • Average absenteeism decreased from 13.4% in 2023 to 12.9% in 2024.
  • Peak Absenteeism (the highest level) in 2024 was 22.5% (down from 25.4% in 2023).
  • Smaller contact centres (under 100 seats) have comparably lower absenteeism (12.6%) than larger centres (over 1,000 seats) with 16.3%.
  • Whilst 12.9% is an improvement on 2023 results, compared to national workplace averages of 6%, it is still high and adds a considerable cost to the management of contact centres in Australia.
  • 52% of contact centres stated no change in absenteeism whether an agent worked remotely or in the office, with 32% stating absenteeism was higher for workers required to be in the office.
  • 45% of contact centres stated their current levels are ‘about normal’, with 31% claiming it is an area they are really struggling with (down from 40% in 2023).

Contact Centre Attrition rates for 2024 in Australia

Attrition, when employees leave the contact centre, has increased in the past 12 months.

  • 27% is the average attrition rate for contact centres in Australia (a decrease of 5% from 2023) and similar to rates seen before the year of the great resignation in 2023.
  • Contact Centre Attrition is significantly lower in smaller contact centres. In 2024, contact centres with 0 to 50 agents had 20.3% attrition compared to 43.4% for contact centres of 500 – 1,000 seats and 43.1% for contact centres over 1,000 seats.
  • Consistent with the 2023 report, more agents are leaving a company altogether 62% rather than to internal roles 38%; however, there has been a small shift of 3% towards more internal roles.
  • There are a range of reasons why agents leave a contact centre with the leading causes:
    • Financial Reasons/Seek more money (51% – the third year of increases and the most significant gain from 2023 – up 13%)
    • Pursuing a different career (51% – down 56% from last year)
    • Personal Reasons (32%) – down 1% from last year)
    • Dissatisfaction with the work had the biggest decrease (13% – down 10% from last year)
  • Retention rates have increased at every measure point with 6 months (up 7% to 77%) and 12 months (up 5% to 69%) the most noticeable increase.
  • Read our article on the cost to replace a contact centre agent (including a great calculator!) >

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Employee Engagement

Despite the often negative perceptions, contact centres are heavily invested in employee engagement.

In 2024, 89% of survey respondents to the 2024 Australian Contact Centre Industry Best Practice Report measured employee engagement in some capacity (up from 79% in 2023).

  • The most common frequency for measuring employee engagement is annually (34%), with bi-annual (27%) and quarterly (20%) being the next most common. Best practice is considered to be quarterly surveys.
  • Overall, based on a 0 to 100 scale, employee engagement increased slightly to 75% (up from 74% in 2023).
  • When contact centre managers were asked what activities/initiatives they believe mean the most to agents:
    • More rewards for performance (49%)
    • Opportunity for professional development (37%)
    • Increased shift flexibility (28%)
  • When frontline agents voted on the most meaningful activities/initiatives to them:
    • Increased shift flexibility
    • Opportunity for professional development
    • More rewards for performance
    • More face to face activities within the office and socially.
  • When asked on a scale of 1 to 10 how likely are you to recommend your organisation as a place of employment to your family and friends (which savvy readers will note is a Net Promoter Score question), the average score was 8.0 (up from 7.9 in 2023 but still below the high score of 8.3 in 2022)

Innovation & Continous Improvement 

Continuous Improvement is not a new business concept.

However, it is certainly gaining an increasing focus in the contact centre as it looks to drive efficiencies across the business and improve the overall customer experience.

You may also have heard of terms like Agile Contact Centre, which is bringing a new methodology to how contact centres are managed.

This year, the 2024 Australian Contact Centre Industry Best Practice Report spotlighted Failure Demand and continuous improvement opportunities.

Key findings included:

  • The current level of failure demand has decreased for the third consecutive year to 27% (down from 31% in 2023).
  • The biggest sources of data to understand customers’ pain points and goals were Complaints (88%), Customer Satisfaction Surveys (85%), and Customer Interaction Data such as calls, transactions, etc. (72%).
  • How effectively does your organisation involve contact centre employees and teams in the problem-solving and solution-design process?
    • Not effectively (8%)
    • Slightly effective (24%)
    • Moderately effective (44%)
    • Very effective (20%)
    • Extremely effective (4%)
  • Where a Continuous Improvement & Innovation program is in place, the key focuses are:
    • Making existing processes more efficient/fixing issues (87%)
    • Automating Processes (67%)
    • Product Enhancements (making existing products better) (43%)
  • Learn more about Failure Demand >

Contact Centre Performance

Hundreds of metrics are measured in a contact centre, and they can differ depending on its size, function, industry sector, and so on.

Notwithstanding, some general observations can be gleaned from the 2024 Australian Contact Centre industry Best Practice report.

  • The Average Speed of Answer (ASA) across the industry has increased from 101 seconds (2023) to 115 seconds (2024).
  • The Average Abandonment Rate has taken the mantle as the most important metric, as reported by contact centre managers, with the overall industry results decreasing marginally from 9% (2023) to 8% (2024).
  • The most popular Service Level/Grade of Service target was 80/20, which is a higher target than last year’s most popular target of 80/30.
  • Despite the higher Service Level targets, 42% of contact centres reported not achieving their target, and 21% of contact centre managers reported being within 10% of the target.
  • The Average Handling Time was 543 seconds across the industry, up from 507 seconds in 2023.
  • The top six metrics rated by the level of importance by contact centre managers in 2024 were:
  • For the first time, Synchronous Channels i.e. Live Chat benchmarking data has been included, revealing:
    • Average Speed of Answer: 369 Seconds
    • Abandonment Rate: 7%
    • Average Handling Time: 566 seconds
  • For the first time, Asynchronous Channels i.e. messaging, emails etc. data has been included, revealing:
    • The most common average speed of answer was between 5 minutes and 1 hour (23%)
    • Abandonment Rate: 3%
    • Average Handling Time: 26 minutes
  • Read our article on the 10 most popular call centre metrics >

Customer Experience

The importance, awareness, and understanding of customer experience continue to increase, and the contact centre’s role as a contributor to a business’s CX outcomes also continues to rise.

Type of Customer Experience Metrics/KPIs being used

 

Answer/Choice 2023 2024 Difference
Net Promoter Score (NPS) 66% 57% -9%
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) 54% 55% +1%
Internally Developed Metrics 33% 28% -5%
Retention Rate 26% 30% +4%
Customer Effort Score (CES) 13% 9% -4%
Customer Churn 11% 16% +5%
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) 9% 8% -1%
Not using any 9% 7% -2%
 
 
  • The most common metric used to measure Customer Experience is the Net Promoter Score (NPS) (57%); however, it is in its fourth year of decline.
  • When it comes to post-interaction surveys;
    • Post-call survey is the most popular (45%) and no change from last year.
    • Post-email survey (35%), up 2% from last year.
  • An email survey continues to be the most popular method to capture customer satisfaction (63%), up 4% from 2023.
  • The popularity of a post-call survey (IVR-based) decreased from 31% in 2023 to 26% in 2024 and SMS had the biggest decrease down 9% from 19% in 2023 to 10% in 2024.
  • When contact centres were asked what the main area of focus was in 2024 to improve the CX, the answer was clear: 53% cited ‘Process’ as the key focus area, followed by people (27%) and personalisation (8%).
  • The Voice Channel (i.e. phone calls) delivers significantly the highest levels of satisfaction (78%) with Live Chat the next highest at just 8%.
  • There was very little change in the use of Speech Analytics to assist in CX:
    • 29% use it to gain customer insights (down 2%)
    • 29% use it for quality management (up 3%)
    • 49% are not using Speech Analytics at all (down 1%)
  • When contact centre managers were asked about their understanding of the biggest changes to customer expectations over the past 12 months, the top three were:
    • Higher expectations of agents (32%)
    • Better self-service capability (28%)
    • Privacy and security of customer data (16%)

Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management is back again in the 2024 Australian Contact Centre Industry Best Practice Report after first appearing in the 2023 report.

Last year, the 2023 report focused on awareness and usage, while this year, it focused more on the benefits, satisfaction, and importance.

Also new this year, the 2024 Australian Contact Centre industry Best Practice report was split into purpose-built Knowledge Management Platforms (aka Knowledge Management Systems/KMS) specifically designed for contact centres to enable agents to respond quickly and efficiently to customer enquiries and ‘Other Knowledge Solutions’, such as Microsoft Sharepoint, which are typically document storage solutions.

Key findings from this year’s 2024 Australian Contact Centre industry Best Practice report include:

  • 100% of respondents were either Very Satisfied or Satisfied with their current Knowledge Management System. However, contact centre managers rating the satisfaction level as ‘Very Satisfied’ decreased from 71% in 2023 to 50% in 2024 which is a significant decrease (down 21%).
  • It was a similar result with the satisfaction levels of the level of support provided by the KMS Provider. Overall, 90% were either Very Satisfied (58%) or Satisfied (42%). But perhaps of concern, the levels of ‘Very Satisfied’ decreased from 85% in 2023 to 57% in 2024, a significant decline (-28%).
  • Over the past 12 months, senior leaders have recognised the importance of having a Knowledge Management System, with 31% reporting it had Increased Significantly and 38% saying it had Increased Slightly. 0% reported it had decreased.
  • The integration of the KMS with other systems in the contact centre is growing:
    • Telephony System (28%)
    • Chatbot (9%)
    • Website (22%)
    • Internal/other teams outside of the contact centre (31%)
    • ChatGPT/Other language models (3%)

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Mystery Shopping

For the first time, the 2024 Australian Contact Centre Benchmarking Report included the ACXPA Mystery Shopping program results.

Unlike most of the report data, which is self-reported by over 300 contact centres across Australia, the Mystery Shopping results are determined by making actual calls to companies, reflecting the outcomes of those experiences.

The calls are assessed across over 80 metrics to determine an Access Score (how easy it was to connect to a live agent), a Quality Score (the level of service provided by the live agent), and an Overall Ranking Score and provide genuine Voice of the Customer (VoC) insights.

The hard copy of the report included the results from August 2023 to January 2024, however, you can view the latest call centre benchmarking data here >

Overall Call Centre Rankings

Overall Rankings by Sector
Q4 2023 Data
1. Energy Retailers61.0%
2. TAFE/Education59.7%
3. Councils59.1%
4. Internet Retailers57.5%
5. Car Insurance54.2%
6. Banks44.0%
Industry AVE56.0%

View the Latest Data >

Best Call Centre by Sector
Q4 2023 Data
1. Holmesglen TAFE (TAFE/Education)81.8%
2. Onkaparinga Council (Councils)80.9%
3. YOUI (Car Insurance)77.1%
4. Energy AUS (Energy Retailers)73.4%
5. iiNET (Internet Retailers)69.7%
6. NAB (Banks)60.1%
Industry AVE56.0%

View the Latest Data >

Or view Contact Centre Mystery Shopping data by industry sector:

Recruitment

After the year of the great resignation in 2023, contact centre recruitment appears to be shifting back towards an employer’s market.

In this year’s 2024 Australian Contact Centre industry Best Practice report, specialist contact centre recruitment agencies were used more to help contact centres fill frontline roles (+6%), and more internal recruitment teams were using dedicated internal contact centre recruitment roles (+7%), suggesting that finding high-quality contact centre agents is becoming an increasingly specialised function.

  • The top concerns from recruitment/talent teams are consistent with last year: salaries are not competitive enough. However, this number has declined from 62% in 2023 to 56% in 2024.
  • Another notable decline in concerns from last year was the low volume of applicants; last year, it was the second highest concern at 48%, and this year, that has decreased to 28%.
  • AI may be showing its first notable impact on contact centre jobs, with 25% of respondents estimating they will be recruiting more agents in 2024. This is a notable decline from 46% (-21%) in 2023. 19% estimated they will be recruiting fewer agents than last year. 47% estimated about the same level of recruitment.
  • Over the previous 12 months, 30% of agents were hired as remote workers, up from 26% in 2023.
  • The hiring of remote workers appears to be easing, with 22% of contact centres forecasting it will ‘decrease a little’, up from 7% in 2023 whilst increase significantly reduced from 14% in 2023 to 0% in 2024.
  • When it comes to recruiting remote workers for management, leadership, and specialist contact centre roles, there has been a notable shift from 15% to 31%, suggesting companies are more open to having their leaders work remotely than in previous years.
  • 34% of respondents claim the quality of frontline agents hired has improved, the third consecutive increase (up from 15% in 2022 and 28% in 2023).
  • 24% of contact centres are using recruitment agencies to fill vacancies, the third consecutive year this has increased (last year was 18%).

Workforce Planning & Optimisation

Workforce Planning & Optimisation is a highly specialised function that can deliver improved efficiencies for the contact centre workforce.

Key findings from the 2024 Australian Contact Centre Industry Best Practice Report include:

  • The number of dedicated roles in Workforce Management increased from 6.0 in 2023 to 7.8 in 2023.
  • Consistent with contact centre management roles, 75% of workforce planners started their careers on the phones.
  • Retention in WFM roles is high – 36% have worked in WFM roles for 5 – 10 years, and 37% for more than 10 years.
  • Internal training is still the most common (66%), but only 13% use third-party training on WFM processes and best practices, which is a concern and offers a significant opportunity for contact centres to find greater efficiencies.
  • 71% of contact centres are now using a cloud-based WFM system, up 6%, and this increase is expected to continue.
  • The two biggest challenges for Workforce Planners are ‘Business overriding scheduling decisions’ (38%) and providing staff with the scheduling flexibility they want (36%). Notably, the inability to recruit staff, which was last year’s greatest challenge, decreased from 42% to 10% in 2024.

Forecasting

 

  • 60% of contact centres that do forecasting are using a workforce management system, 36% are still using Excel.
  • More contact centres are measuring forecast accuracy (83%, up from 76% in 2023,) with daily measurement being the most common frequency (36%).
  • There has been an increase in forecasting for Email (+3%) and Back Office Tasks (+8%).

Scheduling

 

  • The majority of contact centres are now scheduling monthly, increasing from 31% in 2023 to 48% in 2024.
  • Rotating rosters are still the most common (62%), followed by fixed rosters (30%).
  • Fully flexible rosters (Where agents have a lot of control over the shifts they work) decreased from 24% in 2023 to 18% in 2024.
  • The most common advance period during which agents are notified of their rosters is four weeks (40%), followed by six weeks (25%) and two weeks (16%).
  • 64% of contact centres are using adherence to schedule KPI (down 2% from 2023,) with 88% being the most common target.

The Role of a Team Leader

Often described as the most important role in the contact centre, the Contact Centre Team Leader certainly has one of the most demanding roles, and they can have a huge influence on your contact centre’s culture and performance.

The data from the 2024 Australian Contact Centre Industry Best Practice Report suggests that the once loyal role of the team leader is starting to shift, which may be cause for concern as this can have serious ramifications for the contact centre.

  • Leadership, Coaching and Development and ‘Checking in’ with team members were considered the top three priorities for Team Leaders in 2024.
  • 56% of Team Leaders feel too much time is being spent in meetings (up 8% from 2023), dealing with personnel issues (28%) and dealing with escalations/complaints (21%).
  • When asked what key functions they would like to remove from their role, the need to be the subject matter expert had the greatest increase from 2023 (up 10% to 16%) with dealing with remote working issues (43%) and coordination (rosters etc 33% the key functions team leaders would like removed.
  • When contact centre team leaders were asked to identify their two greatest weaknesses, Reporting and Analysis (32%) and Dealing with Remote Worker Issues (26%) were the lead two.
  • Only 30% of contact centres have a structured and ongoing learning program for their Team Leaders which is concerning given the large influence a team leader has on the culture and performance of the contact centre.
  • Perhaps as a growing frustration with the lack of investment in their development, the number of Team Leaders looking to stay in their current contact centre has decreased from 62% in 2023 to 50% in 2024.
  • There has also been a notable increase in the number of Team Leaders seeking to advance their career with the same organisation but outside of the contact centre, up from 25% in 2023 to 31% in 2024.

Salaries and Bonuses

The cost-of-living crisis in 2024 has been well documented in Australia, with many people struggling under the pressures of inflation and increases in interest rates, energy prices, food prices, etc.

This is placing an increased focus on salaries as employees look to gain some relief through higher salaries, and in good news for employees, it appears that salaries have increased noticeably for many roles.

2024 Australian Contact Centre Salaries – Frontline Customer Service

 

State 2023 2024 Difference $ Difference %
South Australia $55,000 + super $58,000 + super +$3,000 +5.4%
Queensland $55,600 + super $57,500 + super +$1,900 +3.4%
Victoria $57,600 + super $60,000 + super +$2,400 +4.1%
New South Wales $62,800 + super $63,500 + super +$700 +1.1%
Western Australia $64,500 + super $65,000 + super +$500 +0.7%
National Average $59,100 + super $60,800 + super +$1,700 +2.8%

 

  • Customer Service Team Leader roles have experienced a significant increase, rising from $83,200 + super and an average bonus of $8,500 in 2023 to $89.500 + super and an average bonus of $8,900 (7.3% increase from 2023).
  • Outbound Sales Team Leaders are still the highest-paid team leader role, with a national average base salary of $85,000 + super and an average $15,000 bonus.
  • Workforce Planning roles continue to pay well, with a Workforce Planning Manager’s national average salary of $133,000 + Super.
  • Knowledge Managers have also seen a healthy increase, rising from a national average base salary of $116,200 + super to $130,000 + super in 2024 (+11.8%).
  • Whilst there have been some modest increases in frontline and middle management roles, senior contact centre roles have either remained static or decreased, perhaps as a realignment after the significant growth witnessed throughout the COVID period, as senior managers were rewarded for managing the complexity of remote workforces, significant changes, etc.

2024 Australian Contact Centre Management Salaries

 

Role Ave Base Salary (nationally) Average Bonus % Receiving a Bonus Change over last 12 months
Operations Manager $127,000 + super $11,000 + super 40%
Senior Operations Manager $152,900 + super $15,900 + super 100% -15%
Contact Centre Manager $129,000 + super $11,800 + super 28% – 1%
Senior Contact Centre Manager $153,800 + super $20,900 + super 63% -2%
Head of Contact Centre $179,500 + super $25,600 + super 50% -5%
Head of Customer Service/CX $198,800 + super $24,625 + super 67% -3%
Customer Service/CX Manager $136,000 + super $12,500 + super 66%
General Manager $205,900 + super $25,600 + super 75% -15%

Conclusion

There is no question there is a significant amount of diversity in the Australian Contact Centre Industry, and one of our aims at ACXPA is to continue to provide you with valuable information to help you benchmark, learn and share so we can all succeed as an industry.

If you would like a copy of the full 2024 Australian Contact Centre Industry Best Practice Report, please visit contactcentrebestpractice.com.au, which is managed by Smaart Recruitment.

View the latest Australian Call Centre Rankings – revealing wait times, quality performance, navigation times, talk times and over 80 metrics for Australian Contact Centres across a range of different industry sectors – updated monthly!

Upcoming ACXPA CX Roundtable - Next Guest Coming Soon
Upcoming ACXPA Contact Centre Roundtable July 2024 - John Stavrakis

Upcoming ACXPA Member Bites Sessions

Short, sharp interviews and presentations on specific topics to fast-track your knowledge!

The ACXPA Member Bites are only available to ACXPA Members! 

ACXPA Members can watch all the ACXPA Member Bites at any time in their Video Library. Discover which membership is right for you >

Nadine Power, ACXPA National Advisory Board Member

IVR Best Practice

Over 90% of contact centres are using an IVR (Press 1 for this, press 2 for that), and we've encountered many contact centres with over four layers of options for customers to select from. In this session, Nadine will be sharing some best practice tips on IVR design for 2024.

Presented by Nadine Power, Client Success Manager, VERSA Connects (and ACXPA National Advisory Board Member)

More sessions announced soon! 

(If you're interested in speaking at one of our events, click here to learn more >)

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