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  • Writer's pictureSara Elmstrom

Contact centres grapple with unprecedented challenges

It’s been said that digitisation and automation would lead to the decline or demise of contact centres in Australia.

In reality, they’ve become even more important and valuable to businesses and offer great opportunities to enhance customer experiences.

Done right, they serve as a bridge between companies and customers, providing a human connection, building customer loyalty and improving top and bottom line.

The traditional contact centre environment is vibrant, dynamic and all about people, but COVID-19 significantly impacted operations across the world.

Many have had to adapt by shifting to remote work and adopting new technologies to communicate with customers – and each other.

Remote (or hybrid) work is one of the key challenges organisations face across most businesses and the issue is arguably exacerbated in contact centres.

Leaders have had to adopt new ways of working to protect outcomes across what we call the Triple Play: Culture, Customer and Commercials.


Record low unemployment rates create challenges for hiring managers across the board, however, contact centres are further impacted by the re-shoring of thousands of roles when COVID shutdown offshore centres overnight.

While we’re starting to see reduced rates of attrition, leavers take with them critical IP and experience, and average tenure has decreased significantly.

Attracting, training and retaining talent has never been more important to ensuring your business thrives in a testing environment and many contact centre leaders say recruitment challenges are having a major impact on their business.

The role of leaders has changed forever – modern leaders need to manage teams that have never met in person and ensure the wellbeing of their agents, who may be dealing with personal and professional challenges.


Frontline is often referred to as the ‘voice of the company’.

Many times, they’re the first point of contact customers have with your brand, so it’s crucial to enable teams and individuals to do the right thing by customers by ensuring they have the right tools, training and attitude.

An often-overlooked part of setting teams up for success is empowering them by ensuring they have adequate authority to support customers.

Referrals, transfers and handoffs lead to additional cost, a poorer experience, increased average handling time, and unnecessary complexity.

Understanding the customer touch points that are the most critical – Moments that Matter – can be a great way to better understand how best to engage with customers – calls, chat, email, SMS, WhatsApp or chatbots.


The cost-of-living crisis, fight for talent and remote work opportunities has driven salary increases, putting further pressure on the P&L.

Further, while many report no or little impact from a productivity perspective, some organisations lack the right performance metrics and insights to ensure performance is optimised and can find themselves losing out to competitors.

As if that wasn’t tricky enough, increased regulatory pressures require expert agents who are knowledgeable about relevant regulations and policies, and understand how to apply them.

In terms of investment, technology can be a fantastic enabler of enhanced experienced for both employees and customers, but with so many technology options to choose from, it can be hard to know which is the right one for you and your business – and it can also be tempting to implement solutions before really understanding what the problem is that you’re trying to solve.

We launched Contact Centre Solutions International (CCSI) because we see the unprecedented pressures contact centre leaders face today – and we understand them because we have walked in their shoes.

That’s why we’ve made it our mission to become the boutique advisory service of choice for contact centres.

Our CCSI founding CEO, Sara Elmstrom, has more than 20 years of international experience across APAC, Europe, Africa, and the US working with large corporations, not for profits, mutuals, start-up and government across multiple industries.

Our principles are simple but effective. We believe in walking in our client’s shoes, being by your side, delivering fast-track results, and being fit for purpose.

This means that we don’t just offer generic solutions – we tailor our services to meet the unique needs of your business.

Key services include health checks, Hybrid by Design, leadership and capability, high-performance units, technology and digital, strategy, and partnering.

Whether you need a complete overhaul of your contact centre operations, or just need to fine tune your approach, we’re here to help.

With over 100 years of combined experience, we get contact centres.

We believe in building strong relationships with our clients, and we work closely with you to understand your objectives, challenges, and opportunities.

At CCSI, we’re committed to delivering results that exceed your expectations.

We understand the importance of speed, agility, and innovation, and we’re always looking for new ways to help you achieve your goals.

If you’re looking for a partner who can help you navigate the challenges of the contact centre industry, look no further than CCSI.

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