Excellence in multi-channel Government contact centre delivery

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) manage and shape Australia’s tax and superannuation systems. As well as collecting revenue, the ATO administers the Goods and Services Tax and works with other Government agencies to support transfers and benefits back to the community.


The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) manage and shape Australia's tax and superannuation systems.

As well as collecting revenue, the ATO administers the Goods and Services Tax and works with other Government agencies to support transfers and benefits back to the community.

ATO also have custodianship of the Australian Business Register and administer major aspects of Australia's superannuation system.

Since July 2013, Datacom has provided a large scale, multi-channel outsource contact centre for the ATO.

The contact centre has more than 500 employees, and provides customer service across multiple ATO business lines and skillsets. We also apply our extensive contact centre expertise to the bigger picture, playing a critical role in the ATO's Outsource Community Improvement Program (OCIP).

Many of the applications and tools we have designed are being used by other OCIP vendors to benefit the ATO's operations.

The Challenge

Core disciplines critical to driving high performance in the ATO's outsource environment include:

  • A multi-skilled and highly flexible workforce providing agility, particularly over tax time between July and October;

  • Delivering insights and customer intelligence - real time identification of customer trends to enable rapid response;

  • Promoting self-help and digital uptake;

  • Real-time workforce planning and capacity management;

  • Performance management: workforce planning tools to measure and manage workloads, and provide accurate forecasts

ATO also requires regular vendor engagement and collaboration across many stakeholders including outsource management, internal service delivery and external provider stakeholders.

The Datacom Difference

Datacom has worked collaboratively with the ATO and other OCIP vendors to deliver various service improvements, particularly in delivering a single source of truth across capacity management, realtime management and performance reporting. We have reduced workload for ATO stakeholders and improved the outsourced real time management performance of the entire operation.

By bringing together multiple systems capturing performance data into a single community of practice 'portal', there is now an easy to access dashboard for all stakeholders to review and interact on outsource performance.

Datacom has achieved the following:

  • Multi-skilled highly flexible workforce - an immediately scalable and flexible workforce with a highly adaptable casual pool with real-time management and scheduling, rigorous screening procedures, training and talent management;

  • Delivering insights and customer intelligence - multiple initiatives included building a customer insights collection tool and business intelligence dashboard, which are being used across all providers to capture data in real time and consolidate it for immediate analysis and communication;

  • Promoting self-help and digital uptake - we contributed to an increase in the conversion rate of customers choosing to find out more about the Australian Government's myGov platform. By undertaking a comprehensive workforce programme our results improved from 50% to 70% of the applicable calls handled. During the initiation of ATO's voice authentication biometrics, we raised the enrolment conversion rate to 90%+, enrolling over 12,000 callers in the first six weeks of implementation;

  • Workforce planning and capacity management - we have developed a range of real-time intra-day performance and forecasting tools to ensure the meeting of workload and call delivery targets and improved forecast accuracy by using historical trend, time to competency and high-performance benchmark analysis. We have achieved a 15 minute interval performance view across multiple ATO sites, with visibility of future performance informing scheduling and planning;

  • Performance management - we implemented a Speed to Competency (STC) framework which measures all key performance indicators across all of the work types and channels delivered to the ATO. Results have included reduced costs for training new recruits, improved customer experience, and reduced operational costs and rates of error/escalation. Our 'competency funnel' has been developed further by the ATO outsource business for increased visibility of the capability of the entire workforce.

All of our methodologies and tools are rigorously controlled and data-driven. This ensures all initiatives have measurable impact, and more importantly, are grounded on sound root cause analysis and continuous improvement. Other initiatives developed and/or delivered by Datacom include a Webchat 'technology and people' solution.

The Results

Include more than one million customer interactions in FY15. There was also a 30% increase in capacity and capability for Tax Time 2015 compared with 2014 with a multi-skilled, flexible workforce.