Change is apparent in the South African Call Centre industry, as companies realise that their customers are demanding more effective and efficient services. To meet ever-changing customer demands, companies will need to change their Call Centre game plans – especially in tougher economic times. In order to support these changes and ensure continuous improvement of Call Centre operations, it is apparent that key players in the South African Call Centre industry will have to stand together to ensure that Call Centre solutions are communicated and made known to all Call Centres.
Call Centre HUB has created the first ever Call Centre Industry Collaboration, a platform where Call Centre solutions and best practices can be communicated with ease. This is an invitation to all suppliers, vendors and service providers servicing the Call Centre industry to publish their products, services and solutions on the Call Centre HUB website portal. The reasoning behind the Call Centre HUB website portal is detailed herein.
The Call Centre industry has been identified by the South African Government as one of the country’s key economic growth areas; a means of creating jobs and foreign investment.
Statistics, however, show that one out of four South Africans are unemployed. The official unemployment rate was at 29.8% in the last quarter of 2012, which is nearly six percentage points higher than the 23.9% finding by the 2011 fourth quarter labour force survey (QLFS). The expanded unemployment rate, which includes people who did not actively look for work in this period, comes out at 40%, compared with 35.4% in the labour force survey. Youngsters – defined as 15 to 34-year-olds – accounted for 71% of all jobless people, compounding the fears of ANC leaders that they are sitting on a "ticking time-bomb" of youth unemployment that could ultimately trigger major social unrest. In addition to this, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has said that the economy needs a sustained growth of seven percent a year – nearly three times the two and a half percent forecast for 2012 – in order to make a dent in unemployment.
If the South African Call Centre industry is viewed as the solution to our unemployment and economic growth issues, the question is then how Call Centres have met this expectation. There are plenty of generally agreed and accepted methods about what to measure and what comprises good call centre performance. Unfortunately, based on these performance measurement methods, there is much more evidence on the ‘poor’ performance of call centres – from customers, media and (often rather covertly) Call Centre management.
The question remain what do we do about it? How do we improve the operations of all call centres in South Africa, with the evidence of meeting the government expectations?