How to choose the right Contact Centre Outsourcing Partner in South Africa


The world has become a smaller place and with so many options for outsourcing your contact centre, so here are some tips on ‘how to’ choose effectively within South Africa.  As a destination that has grown exponentially in the BPO (Business Processing Outsourcing) sector during the last ten years, South Africa hosts some of the largest global brands as the choice for delivery of their customer management.

In my 35 years of working in this industry around the world, I’ve witnessed the varied approaches organisations use to choose their preferred partner, there are some essential key aspects that should guide your decision making later in this edition.

Over twenty years ago, I emigrated to Cape Town to set up a consulting and training company that evolved into a successful outsourcer of quality and customer delivery measurement across both domestic and international markets.  This business now fulfils shared service support for the UK in finance management, technical set up and management as well as HR administration.  At the time of launching the business, it was clear that South Africa had something special to offer the outsource contact centre industry and during the two decades of operating, it’s evolved into a global leader across many offerings that provides confidence and reassurance as a destination of choice.

This journey taught me many things about the SA territories and realities that exist there.  Paying it forward and using this experience may serve you well in your decision-making process.  Having worked all over the world, South Africans are exceptionally easy to do business with.

Naturally, the South African currency exchange rate alone allows Business Processing Outsource providers to allow you an immediate ROI on currencies for geographies such as UK, USA, Australia and across Europe.  An important reality for all companies; but choosing the right partner to protect your brand consists of more than cost to serve alone.

Today, there are 1000’s of South African’s supporting customer delivery through many of the largest outsourcing contact centre companies globally.  Cape Town as an example has over 70, 000 resources working in the industry.  With an unemployment rate of over 35% nationally, resource availability is plentiful and South Africa enjoys an exceptional customer centric culture that fits perfectly with the contact centre demands.


What does South Africa know about outsourcing?

South Africa and namely, Cape Town and Durban as the two predominant provinces serving contact/call centres for international companies, operate numerous sites serving international brands in customer service, technical support, sales, debt collection and many other activities typically served via a call centre operation.  Today, all sectors have their contact centres situated in these provinces.  With a suitable time zone to Central Europe, it’s easy to engage with your partner in South Africa.

The centres in operation today serve 24×7 across all geographies.  The industry in South Africa is exceptionally well supported with particular emphasis on the Cape Town government and credible industry bodies e.g. BpeSA and Cape BPO  governing and guiding international investors.

Whilst South Africa has eleven different languages, English is the predominant and with high levels of graduates available for work, the quality of resources available is exceptional, the delivery to your English speaking customers proven and the overall infrastructure options sound.  Cape Town has some of the best technology graduates in Stellenbosch which supports the innovation capability aligned to your strategy.

There is considerable knowledge on the South African proposition locally and guidance on ‘how to’ readily available for those wishing to investigate this location for their outsourcing needs.  The commercial benefits are complimented with the hard-working culture of her people.


Key Considerations in decision-making

For this reason, aside from the commercial benefit of the South African Rand to other currencies, (Typically 20:1 against the Pound) some key and differentiating aspects in evaluation of choosing your South African partner should include due diligence on the following:

  • Gaining insight into the relevant employment law differentials that exist within South Africa vs. your current location for ease of understanding variables in negotiation
  • Recruitment methodology and effectiveness – speed to competence ability and tenure of operational resources
  • Positioning your outsourced solution to a preferred location in South Africa, ensuring ease of access and transport links for employees
  • Training process, both induction and on-going of assigned resources
  • Cultural experience internally of servicing relevant geographic customer in appropriate sector
  • Self-sustainability in provision of your services without reliance on key internal stakeholders post project set up
  • Operational coaching and measurement processes to protect brand delivery and customer effort – environment, structure and feedback from front line resources
  • Technology skills internally and ability to leverage for immediate and future needs of your customer management strategy
  • Other client testimonials on overall delivery, responsiveness and pro-activity – reputation of chosen partner and their credentials
  • Business continuity to ensure constant delivery aligned to your contractual agreements
  • Entering this market-place with a partnership mentality to ensure a successful hybrid or transition of your contact centre delivery

As is the case with all geographies for outsourcing, ensuring a cultural fit and clarity in the relationship is paramount from the get go.

Given the growth both historic and continued of contact centres in South Africa, it’s proven to be a phenomenal destination to house your contact centre partner.  The flexible and hard-working ethos of South Africans lends comfort to any international investor in placing their customer delivery management from this location.



With proven credentials in delivery of international outsource contact centre set up and management, I’d relish the opportunity to answer any questions you may have in considering why South Africa and invite you to contact me on