South Africa shines at global customer service awards

Two South African companies have won recognition at the Interactive Intelligence ‘Interactions 2013’ global conference at Indianapolis in the US.

July 23, 2013

Two South African companies have won recognition at the Interactive Intelligence ‘Interactions 2013’ global conference at Indianapolis in the US.

Proving that South Africa is at the forefront of innovation in the international contact centre arena, African Bank won the Global Ambassador of the Year award, and Consulta was a finalist for the Innovations award at the event.

Martina Knappe, Head of EMEA Marketing for Interactive Intelligence, says the recognition in these two key, standout award categories underscores the fact that South African enterprises can lead the field in terms of customer service innovation and performance.

“With over 1800 customers, partners and media attending Interactions 2013, the South African enterprises showed the world that the country can deliver world-class contact centre implementations,” she said.

African Bank’s business model relies heavily on its call centre operation to manage both customer care and the collections process across an active client base in excess of 3 million, a national distribution network of over 1,000 outlets and a staff component in excess of 5,000 employees.

African Bank has seen significant benefits from implementing Interactive Intelligence’s Customer Interaction Center™ (CIC) solution. The CIC solution offers a comprehensive Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)-based contact management solution, featuring multichannel options and extensive quality monitoring and reporting. The system now effectively governs all customer service and sales functions across the African Bank contact centre, and is in use by over 550 agents. The solution has substantially reduced costs and improved productivity as a result of appropriate call distribution.

South African research firm Consulta Direct was among the top three candidates for the Innovation Award, due to quantifiable results.

Consulta’s CIC solution was customised to incorporate the company’s existing survey platform, and deployed with sufficient capacity to handle in excess of 50 monthly campaigns across 11 different languages.

Consulta CEO Adre Schreuder notes that as a customer experience insight specialist, Consulta needed to be the leading supplier and outsource company in terms of the customer experience it delivered. He says the call centre dialer needed to match 11 languages, profile that with different agents, across 34 projects per day. With the customized solution in place, Consulta has achieved the advanced functionality it required, reduced agent down time by 30%, reduced the number of seats by 18%, seen a productivity increase of 28%, and enabled 22% in telco cost reductions as a result of more effective telephony management. “The results were absolutely phenomenal,” says Schreuder.

“The recognition proves that, in South Africa, local companies embrace innovation with a capital I,” says Knappe.