A UK-style contact-centre – without the price tag. The benefits of outsourcing to South Africa

Why Outsource?

The amount of touchpoints customers now have with brands is proliferating. On the flip side, that means brands can’t be tied to single or even multi-channel contact platforms. Customers don’t just expect to be able to get in touch how they want – email, live chat, phone – but they expect to be able to switch seamlessly between these channels.

For UK businesses in the process of adapting their core operations and building resilience amidst continued disruption, it could be easy for contact centres to fall to the back of the transformation queue. But that would be a mistake.

As customer journeys increasingly move online – an ongoing trend accerlerated by Covid-19 – Contact centres are become more strategically important to organisations as customer channels proliferate and the contact centre is involved in a wider array of those customer journeys.

Jonathan Allen, Chief Marketing Officer for Puzzel, confirmed the changing role of contact centres, in a recent report commissioned by the Call Centre Management Association: ‘The contact centre is evolving from its infrastructure heavy and rigidly process driven history but the end goal is clear. An AI driven, automated, fluid environment that responds to customer and employee needs using self-service, all channels, complete customer history, bots and real people. Optimised to proactively meet personal needs, profitably.

With this in mind, UK brands have a not-to-be-missed opportunity to develop partnerships with proven contact centre experts who can help them unlock this new wave of strategic value. And while the best-in-class contact centre offering is often seen as a ‘native’ one, the costs of such can be prohibitive, especially for businesses weathering the economic storm caused by Covid-19.

That’s why outsourcing for contact centres is such an attractive option for UK retailers and businesses. The costs are much lower, and while offshore contact centres have become saddled with a poor reputation in some areas, that reputation is not entirely fair. In fact, it’s possible to ejoy all the benefits of a ‘UK-style’ contact centre with an offshore price tag.

But where should retailers look to find this optimal, best-of-both-worlds offeeing?

We’d suggest South Africa. Read on to find out why.  

Why South Africa?

With one of the fastest growing contact centre industries in the world, and world-class telecommunications networks and IT infrastructures, South Africa also boasts an exchange rate that makes it one of the least expensive countries in the world to do business. For UK brands, a large pool of highly-skilled and educated workers means high levels of English language fluencywith valuable cultural alignment.

This combination of quality and cost containment surpasses the offerings of onshore operations, significantly. Quality local talent is available to obiard almost on tap, offering flexible and scalable contact centre solutions.

Durban, where Synergy Contact Centre is headquartered and has two sites, is the most culturally aligned South African city to the UK. It boasts the largest skilled, accent-neutral workforce in South Africa, which means seamless conversation with customers and lead times on a par with onshore.

Case study – The White Company & Telefonica

The proof is in the pudding when it comes to the benefits of using South Africa for your contact centre base. Synergy has partnered with several UK brands – focused mainly in the retail, telco and energy sectors – to provide tailored services that deliver value to customers and partners alike. Two of those brands include O2 and The White Company.

For Telefonica, O2’s parent company, Synergy provides 70+ full-time contact centre operatives managing customer contacts seamlessly across multiple channels, empowering Telefonica with an analytical, value-adding approach to improving customer experiences.

Over in the retail sector, Synergy has delivered a raft of positive results for The White Company, in a strong, collaborative partnership. Email performance has surged, while requeued request percentage dropped for 37% to less than 10%. Synergy’s agile team brought average contact response times down to 45 seconds, while star ratings for the contact centre grew to an impressive average of 4.5 stars.

What lies behind these numbers is Synergy’s approach to offering complete contact centre services. We like to say that we ‘become’ you, taking the time to truly understand the culture, vision and educating and immersing ourselves on the vision and values that make up that culture.

It’s this approach – coupled with our location – that enables us to offer UK-quality contact centre services at an enviable cost point. In the current economic landscape, retailers need to find any way they can to unlock additional value, and transforming the customer experience with advanced contact options is a surefire way to do that.

With real-time analysts and business intelligence experts, we can provide real-time, bespoke management information reporting for actionable insights –  insight that transforms data from numbers or figures on a screen to real value.

To find out how Synergy can  help you make the most of your customer data, enhance customer experience standards and save your business money, get in touch with us today.