The South African call center industry has always tried to position itself as one of the favored BPO destinations. The place was sought after by companies who showed ample interest in basing their outsourcing business in South Africa five years ago. The situation now, however, is different and only a few companies are willing to outsource their businesses to South Africa, which calls for a re-look into their marketing strategies.
Revisiting Marketing Programs
The call center industry now is reviving marketing techniques to entice operators to outsource their business to South Africa. A study was released by the London School of Economics last November, which said that the country is preparing to mature into one that can handle voice and back office BPO services. The report also notes the potential of South Africa as extensive and strong when it comes to higher value work in legal processes and financial BPO services.
India is one country, which dominates the, global call center industry with its strong technical skills. The biggest advantage that South Africa has to gain a competitive edge in the industry is its cultural affinity with the United Kingdom and proficiency in English. There are over 16,500 BPO jobs in South Africa, which is considered as a major element in the Socio-economic growth factor.
Less aggressive BPeSA – the major cause
The market, which was once flooded with companies who were ready to move their outsourcing activities to South Africa, is now left with only a few companies moving their customer service centers locally. The reason for such a slowdown in the outsourcing market is stated to Business Process enabling SA (BPeSA) activities being less aggressive in the country, in the marketing front. A relaunch of its activities to enhance marketing strategies is therefore expected, and according to Frost and Sullivan, a number of outsourcing companies are going to place their businesses in South Africa in next four years.
The global BPO operators may enter the South African market through acquisitions, terminals and equipments, and off-shore activities. The national interim CEO of BPeSA says that the country was late to realize its potential, and now they are getting their act together. He also said that the new policies will be centered on job creation. It is now focusing on creating a skillful domestic market which can deliver top notch services. The government is also chartering plans to attract offshore investments through incentives.
South Africa – A home for international brands
South Africa has a good English speaking workforce which remains their strength. The country is a house for many international brands such as Shell, Lufthansa, Swiss Air, Shop Direct, Talk Talk, IBM, Amazon and British Gas. The report by London School of Economics says that the advantage of South Africa lies in its voice services, viz call center industry. The report also says that South Africa should utilize marketing strategies to promote itself as a BPO destination just like India and Poland.