The difference between Australian customer service and other types
Many Australian telcos base their customer service call centers offshore. They do this to save costs and make more funds available for product research and development. According to Indeed, the average salary of customer service representatives in Australia is $57,649 per year. But customer service agents in popular offshore locations like the Philippines, Malaysia, India, and South Africa earn around $5,500.
This difference in cost is tantamount to an annual savings of over $1M for a 30-seat call center. Such huge savings can make significant impacts when invested in product development and service delivery. Many top telcos have taken advantage of the savings to maintain a competitive edge with the best inclusion deals.
Australian customer call centers cost much more than those in overseas locations like the Philippines and India. img src
However, overseas call centers have garnered a wave of negative press, with many customers dissatisfied with the quality of their services. And as it turns out, Australian customer care service now gives telcos a competitive advantage. There’s a general sense that Australians feel more at ease and confident when they’re on to the phone with a fellow Australian, when compared to a customer service agent with an unfamiliar foreign accent.
Which phone companies have Australian customer service?
A lot of top telcos have invested in Australian customer care service, and are proud to use their Australian-only support agents as a selling point. These telcos include:
- Aussie Broadband:
They have a handful of customer care centers sprawled across various locations in the country, mainly in Victoria and Adelaide. They’ve completely avoided cutting corners in customer care service delivery.
- Mate and Barefoot telecom:
As 100% indigenous companies, these telcos boast a highly responsive Australia-only customer service center in Western Sydney. The telcos have also successfully cut down wait times to the barest minimum.
- Southern Phone:
The recipient of the Morgan Customer Satisfaction Award for 5 straight years, this telco is renowned for its excellent customer support and community-driven culture. They have a contact center based in Moruya, NSW, which runs 7 days a week from 8 a.m – 8 p.m.
In addition to these, there are also telcos running contact centers both in Australia and overseas. In these cases, the overseas centers serve as the first point of contact, from where complicated or overflowing cases are redirected to an Australian customer care service center. Some of the top telcos using this combination include:
Optus has call centers located in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, India, and the Philippines, which all operate with high standards of customer support. They advocate multiculturalism, arguing that even Australian customer care agents can sometimes sound like overseas agents.
Vodafone has call centers in Hobart, as well as some overseas locations. But the quality of customer support is top-notch across all the centers, with cross-functional agents trained in a wide range of areas from account management to billing and customer plans.
How do you know who has Australian customer service?
The list above is far from exhaustive. A bunch of other telcos offer Australian-only customer support, and others mix in offshore support. It’s easy to identify a company with Australian-only customer care support, and here are a couple of clues:
- For starters, they’re usually companies that ‘sound Aussie’ like ‘Mate Communicate’ or ‘Southern Phone’.
- Also, and perhaps the most distinguishing factor (not necessarily in all cases), a customer care agent’s command of English is a great clue. They may speak well, but they may not be as skillful with Aussie idioms and figures of speech, and this might be a setback for customers who need to discuss their issues in depth.
What are the benefits of Australian customer service?
Overseas customer care services have a greater likelihood of leaving customers dissatisfied and frustrated compared Australian services. img src
Customer support is currently one of the most sensitive issues for telco customers. The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) has reported customer service-related complaints to be one of the most prevalent amongst telco customers. However, Australian-based customer care centers are usually less frustrating and more efficient in resolving customer complaints.
This 2012 TIO report shows complaints about customer service have been significant for years. src
Australian call centers are like the gold-standard of customer support where Australian customers are concerned. But that doesn’t necessarily imply that overseas call centers offer inferior services. Australian call centers simply have a much greater tendency to boost customer confidence, considering the familiar accents and idioms used when interacting with customers.