Answering your customer support calls in our own backyard

Eighteen months ago, our call centre teams packed up and moved home. It took just three weeks for us to completely redefine our contact centre model. This is a fundamental shift, which gives our customer service teams flexible working opportunities. We’ve also committed to answering all voice calls in Australia by the end of June 2022, and with our contact centre teams at home, they could be answering calls from down your street or over the back fence.
Kate Cotter · 08 September 2021 · 2 minute read

Unlike office workers, moving contact centre teams home meant we had to create a bespoke operating system to allow our teams to access Telstra systems remotely. We also needed to ensure each agent had the right tech, a secure connection and a few other security checks to get them online at home.

While Telstra employees have long been able to work flexibly, our customer support centres were one area of our business that was an outlier. This move has allowed Telstra call centre team members to redefine how they work and embrace a better work life balance – both here and overseas.

We are a leader in the future workplace as we can recruit based on talent rather than location – and that means more opportunities for regional Australia.

We’ve now fully expanded the working from home tools for our staff in India and the Philippines which keeps our teams safer, reducing their risk of community transmission by eliminating their commute to the office. Working from home also gives them the flexibility to care for friends and family members as both countries manage a high number of COVID-19 cases.

In Australia, we’ve seen many staff take the opportunity to relocate to be closer to family, to change their lifestyle and in one case to be able to train for the Tokyo Olympics while working from home.

We’ve also seen firsthand how being able to work from home has helped our agents have a better rapport with our customers, as the conversation sometimes evolves from a particular issue to our common experiences and sharing tips on working from home in the pandemic.

This new way of working for contact centres is something we’ll continue to evolve as we work towards having all consumer and small business calls answered in Australia by the end of June 2022.


By Kate Cotter

Customer Service and Contact Centres Executive

Kate joined Telstra in March 2021 as the Customer Service and Telstra Contact Centres Executive in Consumer and Small Business, serving our millions of customers from multiple locations in Australia, the Philippines and India. Prior to joining Telstra, Kate was most recently Head of Group Operations at Jetstar Airways. Kate led operations transformation and operations support functions across Jetstar airlines in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and Vietnam. She has also held leadership roles in strategy at Jetstar & Qantas Group, commercial and strategy roles in the Energy sector, and in strategy and transformation as a Principal with The Boston Consulting Group. Kate lives in Melbourne with her husband Michael and their two teenage children.

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