INFOTECH: New Concept Attracts Contact Centre Investors
Recent Western Cape Business News
A unique “try before you buy” service is helping the Western Cape contact centre industry to attract new international business, by offering low-risk pilots that allow clients to experience service delivery from South Africa before making any long-term commitments.
Franco Cotumaccio, CEO of Full Circle, says the company’s Model Office service is the ideal test bed for companies new to South Africa. “We know South Africa offers superior customer service with a sustainable, competitive cost base, but that claim is easy to make: we offer a way for potential investors to test the model thoroughly without any need for capital expenditure.”
The Model Office provides fully serviced offices with all the equipment and technology needed to run a contact centre, as well as recruitment and training services. “Clients send in their own management teams to set up and run the operations, typically for nine to 12 months,” says Cotumaccio. “After that it’s much easier to decide whether to keep running a captive contact centre or to outsource it, where to locate it and what capital investments to make.”
Existing clients include CapQuest Debt Recovery UK, and New Energy Finance UK, both of whom are at an advanced stage of proof of concept trials.
Cotumaccio, who has worked in contact centres in the UK and South Africa since 1992, says local teams typically perform better than their UK counterparts. “We have a well-educated labour force with good people skills that is hungry for work,” he says.
Sipho Zungu, Chief Executive Officer of promotion agency Calling the Cape, says Full Circle’s unique offering is a huge asset to the province. “The attraction of the Model Office is that it enables clients to concentrate all their energy on setting up their operations for success,” he says. “The fact that Cape Town is such an attractive destination makes it easier to send management teams over to get projects started. Our recent Deloitte survey has identified lack of management skills as a concern, so this kind of skills transfer is something we welcome.”
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