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Research reveals customer experience as a top priority for call centres in South Africa


Frank Sherlock

September 09, 2022

Contact center QA
Contact center QA

Call centres are facing significant challenges. With higher call volumes and increases in customer demands, organisations need to look at ways to improve the agent experience to successfully deliver the best customer experience possible.

A recent survey conducted by CallMiner and TechCentral aimed to learn more about challenges and priorities within South African call centres, as well as how they manage performance, and improve efficiencies using technology.

Key challenges and priorities for contact centres in South Africa

Customer expectations in South Africa have continually risen, with customers demanding more streamlined and personalised approaches to products and services across different channels.

The aftermath of the pandemic has also impacted how contact centres operate, with increases in demand for hybrid and remote working. However, this has posed challenges recently due to connectivity and power outages within the region in South Africa, greatly impacting the efficiency of home workers.

With increasing pressure on contact centres to deliver high quality services, alongside challenges such as remote working and high employee turnover, how do they prioritise and overcome these daily hurdles?

Our research shows that contact centres in South Africa are experiencing key challenges in operational efficiencies (49%), such as mundane manual and admin tasks, that take agents away from delivering the best service possible. They also cited that performance management (48%) including coaching and feedback, alongside average handle time and agent attrition (41%), were amongst the top challenges being faced.

The report also found that 68% of contact centre decision makers said customer experience was their number one priority. Other top priorities included improving internal efficiency (60%) and enhancing employee experience (51%). Respondents also highlighted real-time feedback and coaching as a priority, linking to the need to improve employee satisfaction and retention.

Increased focus on improving customer experience

With organisations prioritising the improvement of customer service, it’s also important to understand how they are going to deliver this and what the role of technology will be in the process.

The survey indicates that 47% of organisations are using either fully automated processes or a hybrid approach to manage quality assurance to improve operational efficiencies and enhance agent and customer experience. However, although many call centres show a level of understanding to the value of automation and using technology to assist, 51% are still using manual processes such as call listening to manage quality assurance.

Furthermore, only 46% of South African contact centres surveyed are currently using technology such as post call and real-time conversations analytics to overcome their agent pain points and deliver on their contact centre and customer experience priorities. Of the 68% of those using it have experienced, or hope to experience, improved customer experience, with 59% efficiency improvements and 42% experiencing agent performance improvements.

For the 25% of organisations that are not using technology to address their priorities, they agreed they would be looking to invest in the future. Challenges internally regarding budget and senior level buy-in for technology implementation were some of the barriers being faced by these contact centres.

Elevating contact centre outcomes now and in the future

To drive exceptional customer experience, contact centres need to look at ways to remove their agent pain points. By eliminating mundane, repetitive tasks while providing personalised coaching opportunities and real-time feedback, agents are more likely to experience greater satisfaction in their positions, which drives greater employee retention and improved customer experiences.

Using technology to gain insights into your customers, such as conversation analytics, helps contact centres manage their agent workforce with greater intelligence and ensures a high level of operational performance, while elevating well-being, discretionary effort, and job satisfaction.

To learn more on elevating employee experience to drive positive customer outcomes, watch our recent webinar that explores key trends in contact centres and workforce efficiency using technology.

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