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State-of-the-art BPO in Cape Town attracts top UK business

Webhelp SA, South Africa’s leading provider of innovative outsource solutions, has officially opened its 7 500 square meter state-of-the-art Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) facility in Cape Town. EE, the United Kingdom’s largest mobile network operator with around 27 million customers, will base a BPO at the facility.

“In today’s multi-channel world, offshoring must deliver more,” says Craig Gibson, CEO of Webhelp SA. “Organisations are searching the world for offshore destinations that can handle the complex, individual and emotionally charged one-on-one communications that only an articulate, intelligent, culturally aware and resourceful live agent can deliver. The quality and economy promise of South Africa has never been so appealing or so urgently needed.”

In November 2013, the Paris headquartered customer experience company, Webhelp Group, announced its significant inward investment in South Africa which would create 1 000 new jobs. Over the next five years that number is expected to increase to at least 5 000. This translates to a total monetary investment of R200 million.

The EE BPO in Cape Town is the first evidence of that investment. Webhelp SA will open the doors of its 4 500 square meter site in Johannesburg in the coming months. Webhelp SA hopes to employ at 1 000 South Africans over the next 12 months and is actively tendering for business.

The South African venture will give The Webhelp Group the ability to service international contracts, operating a blended onshore and offshore model from the site.

A recent review of nine outsourced locations by the London School of Economics has positioned South Africa in second place after India as an offshore location. In 2012, South Africa won the UK National Outsourcing Association’s Offshoring Destination of the World Award, and in 2013 won the same accolade from the European Outsourcing Association.

While South Africa offers cost savings of nearly 50% over the UK and Australian service providers, what makes South Africa stand out is its ability to deliver high quality and emotionally compelling services to the customers thanks to strong cultural alignments with the overseas markets it serves, namely Australia, the UK and Europe as well.

Over and above the financial benefits South Africa offers, the key advantage is the extent to which South African agents can offer overseas companies is an ability to empathise with overseas callers, as well as language and vernacular skills, and an accent that is easily understandable by overseas callers. This is a very important point as it contributes not only to the call being resolved satisfactorily but contributes to the overall positive experience by the customer.

South Africa’s time zone also allows countries like Australia to maintain 24-hour contactability for their customers without having to recruit local people after hours.


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