Our services and support to the community were offered through a range of channels, including online, phone, face-to-face and in writing. Our service channels were used 22.6 million times in 2012–13 compared to around 23.1 million in 2011–12, a decrease of 2.3%. Included in these numbers is a decrease of 6.6% in phone calls received, which we attribute to growing community awareness
and usage of our online services.
Customer services delivered in 2012–13
We continued to invest in self-help online services and encourage people to transition from paper to electronic channels. As people move to self-help online services, we expect a further reduction in the volume of routine phone enquiries which will allow us to deal with more complex enquiries. This year, there was a 50.1% increase in use of our online services compared to 2011–12.
While we encouraged people to deal with us online, we continued to provide face-to-face service through our shopfronts. In 2012–13 there were 439,000 visits, compared to over 486,000 in 2011–12.
We received over 10.5 million calls this year (including escalated calls), compared to 11.3 million last year. This 6.6% reduction is largely attributed to an increase in the use of our self-help services. We ensure our call centres are at full capacity through the use of outsourcing arrangements.
We simplified our proof-of-identity procedures by using the Document Verification Service. For example, people can now use their driver's licence as part of proof of identity. To further simplify the process we are also investing in establishing voice authentication capability.
We have developed a small business interactive toolExternal Link, to provide simple online access to information and short videos specifically for small business operators. Launched in July 2013, it will also feature a virtual 'ATO small business visit' service which will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In the coming year, it will be further refined and based on feedback, additional information will be available through this tool.
When discussing the launch of our new small business website, COSBOA stated:
It is written in a way that embraces small business as people with small business type questions – a lesson to all regulators on how to engage with small business about complex things. Well done and we look forward to the official launch.