ACCC dialling in new contact centre system

Scam-related enquiries are sending contact centre volumes sky-high

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is to deploy a new contact centre solution to help the agency cope with an expected large increase in calls prompted in part by the launch of the carbon tax mid next year.

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Discussing the new contact solution in agency documents, the ACCC said its contact volumes at its Infocentre had risen from 89,000 to 155,000 per year during the last three years, a rise of 75 per cent.

Additionally, contact volumes were expected to increase to about 210,000 per year, a rise of between 30 to 40 per cent, within the next 12 months with the introduction of carbon tax and the launch of the Australian Energy Regulator’s Retailer of Last Resort scheme.

The Retailer of Last Resort scheme seeks to ensure that customers maintain continuity of supply in the event their electricity or gas retailer fails by establishing immediate arrangements to transfer the customers to another retailer.

Commenting on the growing contact volumes, the ACCC said the primary driver of the growth was scam reports received by the agency’s online education initiative, SCAMwatch.

“The ACCC’s Infocentre receives information requests, complaints and inquiries from consumers and businesses. This may occur via telephone, email, fax, letter, or through lodgement of online forms on ACCC websites,” the documents read.

“The most time consuming contacts to process are those received by email as these are tracked using MS Outlook and MS Excel spreadsheet prior to entering into the ACCC’s case management system.”

Commenting on the new contact centre system, the ACCC said it would approach the project in two stages. The first would include sourcing a commercial off-the-shelf solution to enable contacts management -- the registration, recording, classification, management and reporting of inquiries – and an operator’s workbench - -to allow staff to quickly find relevant policy and procedures documents.

Stage two, still under consideration, could include building at the contact centre system to be used by other business units, and potentially integrate the contacts management capability with the wider management of cases, complaints, stakeholders, compliance, investigations and intelligence activities.

Follow Tim Lohman on Twitter: @Tlohman Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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