Telstra Call Centres Have Moved Back to Australia

telstra call centres have moved back to Australia

Aussies take over Telstra call centres

If you’re a Telstra customer, you’ll speak to an Australian the next time you call customer support. That’s because Telstra has hired over 2,000 Aussies to answer calls from consumers and small businesses.

However, Telstra won’t scrap their overseas call centres altogether. While consumers and small businesses will only get customer support from Aussies, off-shore call centres will cater to larger and international companies.

Telstra’s latest announcement comes after several complaints from customers who weren’t satisfied with the overseas staff. The giant telco has now responded, using a hybrid work model to grant customers’ wishes.

In this article, we’ll discuss Telstra’s move to localise call centre staff and what it means for you. Read on to find out.

Localising call centres is part of Telstra’s T22 and T25 strategies

Four years ago, Telstra announced its Telstra2022 (T22) strategy. The plan had four pillars, and the core idea was to simplify the giant telco and its products to improve customer experience. Now that the T22 strategy has run its course, Telstra launched a new T25 plan to build on its success.

Telstra’s T25 strategy also has four pillars. One of those pillars challenges the telco to focus on creating exceptional customer experiences. This pillar picks up where T22 left off, and Telstra’s latest announcement to localise call centres is a significant step towards better customer service – a critical T22 focus.

Australians complained to Telstra about overseas support staff, and the telco listened. While this doesn’t mean overseas call centres are incompetent, it shows that customers are less satisfied when they feel the person on the other line can’t relate to the issue.

Telstra CEO Andy Penn says the telco heard customers “loud and clear”; this latest move is Telstra’s response. Mr Penn went on to state, “Our overseas call centres would do a great job, but there’s nothing to replace speaking to somebody who can empathise with you in your local community when you’re ringing with a problem.”  

Telstra’s Aussie call centres and the hybrid work model

Telstra is a giant telecommunications company with several departments and many employees. Running such a large organisation can run up costs quickly, so cost-saving measures are the norm for such firms.

Moving call centres overseas can be a great way to save costs, and Telstra made that move years ago. So, after hiring over 2,000 new staff, how does the telco plan to afford the expenses associated with moving call centres back to Australia?

According to Mr Penn, Telstra has opted for a “hybrid working” model where employees can opt to work from home. Perhaps this could free up resources and bring costs down, making a move back to Australia less expensive.

What Telstra’s Aussie support means for you

For Australians, a localised call centre would mean being able to communicate with an actual Aussie when you ring Telstra customer support. And because Telstra’s hybrid work model allows employees to work from home, you might be speaking to a support staff living on your street.

Imagine speaking to a Telstra staff who is experiencing the same issues you are – a support staff in your neighbourhood who is familiar with the problem before you even mention it. Such a scenario gives customers extra comfort in believing Telstra will handle their concerns empathetically and quickly.

For example, Mr Penn described a situation during this year’s floods in Queensland. He claimed that Brisbane customers who called for support spoke to local staff “who understood firsthand the challenges they were facing”. Aussies want to talk to someone who understands them and what they’re going through, and that’s why Telstra’s move is a big deal.

Further, the coronavirus pandemic kept many Australians at home without jobs, while many others lost their businesses. Aussies planned to spend less after COVID-19, and some phone retail stores had to shut down. Telstra’s decision to hire 2,000 new employees isn’t just good for customer service – it’s also good for the economy.

Final words

Telstra has listened to its customers by moving their call centres back to Australia. If you’re a consumer or small business, you’ll speak to a fellow Aussie whenever you call Telstra for support. Larger and international businesses will continue dealing with overseas call centres.

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.