| Share

Another Australian call centre closes

Sydney call centre outsourcer to close its doors

In what has been a tough week for the Australian Contact Centre industry, sad news today that Sydney based call centre outsourcer, Customers 1 to 1 is closing its doors after 17 years of operations according to an article appearing on Contact Centre Central, Australia's key source of local call centre news and information. 

The news comes on the back of Australian Insurance Group (IAG), with brands such as NRMA, RACV and CGU, this week also acknowledging its intention to send Australian call centre jobs offshore commencing January 2017 [read our article: More Australian Call Centre jobs heading offshore].

CEO of Customers 1 to 1, Barry Cottrill, commented that "market conditions have changed significantly making it difficult to sustain the business model any longer".

"It has been a privilege to have worked with so many excellent staff , Clients & partners over the years" but Cottrill acknowledges there comes a time when the numbers just don't add up.

A long term veteran of the call centre industry, Cottrill reflects back on the many positive changes that have occurred and the manner by which the industry has matured to deliver the service & solution outcomes it does today. He thanked all those who have been a part of the Customers 1to1 journey over the years & wishes continued success to all.

Cottrill has chosen to announce the closure of the business with dignity, doing the right thing by their existing staff, clients, customers and the broader contact centre industry by avoiding the mess of bankruptcy or liquidation and providing sufficient notice to enable staff and customers to as best as possible, find alternatives.

The centres final day of trading will be the 23rd December, 2016. The existing premises is now on the market so if you are after a fully functioning contact centre with leading edge technology in a prime location please contact Barry Cottrill directly.

With the news this week it would be easy to portray the impending demise of the local call centre industry. But despite a rough week, there continues to be a number of positives:

  • Customer experience (CX) continues to gain traction as the new black! With an ever crowded (and global) marketplace an organisations Customer Experience is becoming the key differentiator that is forcing companies to invest in getting it right, or face a very quick demise.
  • The contact centre is no longer just for phone calls with most contact centres now becoming the home of all customer interactions across Social Media, online, Instant Chat etc opening up new career opportunities for call centre staff [read our article: Myths about working in a call centre]
  • We've had a couple of global outsourcers recently open operations in Australia, perhaps based on an increasing trend for companies to outsource functions that aren't core business (e.g. call centres)
  • A number of contracts with offshore contact centres have come/are coming to an end with many companies deciding to bring their call centres back to Australia after the expected cost savings didn't materialise and/or customer feedback was poor.

One thing is for sure though - consumers have got more power now than ever so if you don't provide a good customer experience, you do so at your own peril. And that might just be the silver bullet that our industry needs.

About the author:

Justin Tippett is the Managing Director of Contact Centre Central, a business that supports and promotes the Australian Contact Centre industry. With over 25 years experience working in the local call centre industry,  Justin is passionate about promoting the contact centre industry and helping businesses develop and execute their broader Customer Experience strategy.

Contact Centre Central was recently awarded the Industry Champion award for Australia by Contact Center World, presented to contact centre professionals that are key in helping to shape and develop the industry through either innovative products, services or exceptional leadership/education in the sector.