The South African call centre industry has matured markedly over the last ten years, gaining in experience and knowledge. Call centres in specific sectors of the industry, such as financial services, healthcare, travel and utilities are well oiled and integrated - and perform above industry benchmarks in most pivotal areas of performance.
This is according to Andrew van Niekerk, a director of Teleforge Communications, a tier-3 voice solutions provider focused on providing carrier grade voice services to medium and large enterprises – as well as call centres.
He said with the rapid growth of the call centre industry, South Africans have evolved admirably, finding the required skills to design, build and operate call centres rapidly - and at affordable scales.
Demonstrating South Africa’s growing pedigree in the call centre arena, international businesses have added more than 2500 seats in the country in the past three years.
“It might not be a huge job creator at the moment. But figures are certainly showing that it is a significant job creator – and this scenario could grow more exponentially.”
South Africa presently has 535 call centres, over 47,000 seats, and 79,000 employees in the call centre industry -and more than 18 local call centres providing services to the international markets.
“By providing 70,000 jobs means that the call centre industry is certainly a vital industry.”
A major benefit is that South Africa’s labour costs are also significantly lower than in the US and UK. This adds to the local industry’s overall competiveness.
“Lately there has also been a shift in precisely what is being outsourced. Until recently, outsourcing had been generally focused on intangible things such as business processes -which have been outsourced. This, however, has morphed, moving into full operations, thereby signifying confidence in the overall outsourcing philosophy.
“South Africa is also, as a destination, receiving dividends with regards to this market shift, something that is translating into bigger earnings for the local market,” said van Niekerk.