Perth-based technology company, Captivate On Hold, is volunteering its caller engagement expertise to
help Centrelink weather a crisis in unanswered calls – 42 million in 10 months, according to evidence
presented at a Federal Government Senate Estimates Committee.
The already-fragile Centrelink’s reputation has been collapsing under media reports of dismal customer
service performance. More than 42 million calls have gone unanswered over the past ten months.
Various factors have been blamed, including apps that auto-dial, lack of staff and need for more funds.
“Centrelink, we are here to help,” said Captivate On Hold’s managing director, Mark Horwood. “In fact,
just as Elon Musk (Tesla) offered his service to the South Australian government in the recent energy
crisis, Captivate is more than happy to step in to help Centrelink, and its clients. We can offer a fantastic
On Hold service to them, within 60 days and – if their callers are not happier and abandoned calls not
reduced after 6 months of implementation – we will refund 100% of our fees.”
“I have no doubt Captivate can help reduce the frustration that callers are often facing, and automated
messages may also be able to assist with some of the basic queries, thereby reducing some call
lengths,” Mr Horwood said. “Many services including Frequently Asked Questions can be automated,
thereby freeing up Centrelink staff to focus on more extensive or difficult enquiries.”
Automated call on hold services are usually static recordings that play repetitively when a caller is put on
hold but, Captivate’s unique software solution ‘connects’ with the service providers’ platform and
presents audio that connects and engages with waiting, each time they are transferred or placed on
hold. Additionally, there is no practical limit to the duration of audio. Callers have interactive options –
they can choose whether to play a quiz and have some fun or they can select their own music genre to
listen to while they wait on hold.
In the case of Centrelink, Captivate can develop content that answers basic questions that callers usually
- Level 1: When a caller dials a Centrelink number, he/she can be asked to enter their age and
what information they are looking for.
- Level 2: Based on the demographic, relevant content will be played.
Case Studies: How Captivate Connect Can Help
Sam is a 22-year-old graduate who calls Centrelink. At level 1, he is asked to choose what service he is
requires. Sam selects ‘job seeker’. Now, he moves to level 2, where he hears an audio about the
requirements, benefits he will receive and how to apply for the welfare program. Charlie, on the other
hand, is an immigrant looking for Medicare for his family and family benefits. He will select immigrant, as
he is a family man applying for Medicare at level 1. At level 2, he will be told of the documents needed
to apply for Medicare, benefits available, and from when it will be applicable. Since Charlie has another
query on family benefits, he will be redirected to level 1 where he selects family benefits and details
about the program will be provided on level 2.
This way, most of the basic queries and questions about various welfare schemes can be handled easily
without having to put much pressure on the already over-worked staff. Captivatecan offer various
customisations based on Centerlink’s requirements. These products will not only help Centerlink handle
the volume of enquiries better but also will help them collect valuable information and insights on who is
applying for what welfare program and understand patterns and connections. As another benefit,
waiting callers will be less frustrated, better informed and educated and will have their FAQs answered
more quickly – reducing the need for hundreds of additional call centre staff.