COVID-19 pandemic impacts South Africa’s uptake of CCaaS
Most major industries across the globe have been profoundly affected by the pandemic, including the financial services and insurance sectors.
Notably, these organisations typically operate large contact centres to offer support services to their customers.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that is pushing businesses to rapidly reinvent the way they operate is an additional driving force for the uptake of Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) in South Africa, putting the future of the traditional contact centre model under considerable pressure.
As most countries around the world have put in place lockdowns and restrictions that curb movement, work and human-to-human contact, organisations are being forced to adopt work from home policies that see employees engaging and communicating with customers remotely.
In South Africa, as well as in many other parts of the world, government-ordered lockdowns have confined people to their homes, with companies hastily deploying strategies to continue operating with remote workforces. This means that contact centre operators are having to scale down and put systems and technology in place that allows them to still communicate with customers via homebound agents.
CCaaS is critical to this new way of doing business, being a cloud-based customer experience solution that allows companies to utilise a contact centre provider’s software and access to hosted, virtual contact centre apps and features.
However, while the COVID-19 pandemic will likely accelerate the adoption of CCaaS, it must be noted that many large South African enterprises have shown a robust interest in adopting the solution in the first three months of this year – before the outbreak of the coronavirus on our shores.
Local contact centres have already been moving to the cloud, with technologies such as chatbots, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation changing the face of the contact centre, in line with changing customer demands.
Specifically, modern customers have been wanting to move away from traditional talk functionality and demanding the ability to chat with contact centre agents via platforms such as live chat, SMS, email and WhatsApp – channels they are already using.
By giving customers multiple opportunities to engage with an agent, it releases a lot of the call volume coming into the call centre and improves customer experience by easing the frustration of contact centre queues.
Another clear advantage of CCaaS is the analytics and reporting capabilities that it offers to contact centres operators, which allows for the monitoring of agent performance, and the generation of reports based on conversations that can be leveraged to form FAQs and help better define the services required by customers.
Also, CCaaS gives organisations the ability to introduce chatbots and automation to their environment, which is essential as contact centres are now staffed by fewer agents, working remotely. By automating repetitive tasks and handing off basic queries and FAQs to chatbots, agents have more capacity to handle more complex issues.
Agents will only have to handle the queries that bots cannot, so they will essentially be dealing with lower call volumes. This lowers the operating costs of a contact centre, as smaller teams of agents will be needed.
From a business perspective, CCaaS is becoming the preferred solution for contact centre operators in South Africa, as it offers scalability as and when the operational needs of an enterprise change and provides several advantages over traditional on-premise contact centres.
The solution allows organisations to utilise a contact centre provider’s software, with the flexibility to only pay for the technology that is needed. This means that upfront investment is low, and costs are significantly reduced.
South Africa's contact centre sector is mature and complex and is increasingly shifting away from an outsourcing focus to a customer experience focus. Hence, the uptake of CCaaS is expected to remain strong for the foreseeable future.
This article was contributed by Shaun van Rooyen, Strategic Accounts and Partnerships Manager, Infobip Africa
The Ultimate FinTech & InsurTech LIVE Event
From October 12th-14th, 2021, BizClik’s FinTech & InsurTech event will bring together influential executives from around the world. Streamed live from Tobacco Dock, London, this three-day event will be an excellent way to finish the year strong, gaining the confidence your company needs to move forward into the future.
With keynote addresses from global leaders, dynamic roundtable discussions, and extensive networking opportunities, FinTech & InsurTech 2021 will expand your network, deliver insight, and enhance your organisation’s reach.
Already confirmed speakers include Colin Payne, VP & NextGen FS Global Lead at Capgemini; Dipu KV, President and Head of Operations & CX at Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company; Bryan Caroll, CEO at TNEX; and Lucy Demery, Managing Director at Barclays.
The event will include:
- Keynote addresses from respected industry leaders
- Dynamic live roundtables (inc. Q&A)
- Fireside discussions
- Inspirational Speakers & Presentations
- Extensive networking opportunities
Meet the Speakers
Each week, from now until the event, we’ll be announcing the latest speakers who are set to grace our physical or virtual stage, prepared to share their knowledge and insight with attendees.
Our second batch consists of:
Currently the Senior Vice President of Business Development & Fintech for Mastercard UK & Ireland, a position he’s held since 2014, Abraham describes himself as “a proven and successful senior sales leader with experience across a wide range of industries, sectors, and channels.”
Graduating from the University of Northampton in 1994 with a BA in Economics and Law, he worked for nine years at Sainsburys - eventually responsible for banking the company’s revenue and running its ATMs - and then Barclaycard for three years as Head of Client Management. In 2007, Abraham became VP of Client Management at American Express, and then VP and GM Global Supplier Relations EMEA in 2012.
In his current role at Mastercard, Abraham is accountable for the acceptance of all payments and products through all channels, devices, and technologies across UK and Ireland. In addition, he oversees the deployment of innovative new payment tech within the region.
Fraser-Hawkins’ role as CEO, UK Corporate, at Marsh McLennan is the continuation of a long and successful insurance career, which has included being London Sales Director for JLT Group and Branch Director for Willis Towers Watson.
Marsh prides itself on being a company that hires top-tier talent, does work that impacts peoples’ lives, and offers its employees the opportunity to make a difference. This is clearly an attitude that aligns with Fraser-Hawkins’ own values; regarding the insurer’s UK Young Professionals initiative, a support network to help young professionals in their development, he said:
"I am passionate about developing talent and our Young Professional CRG provides a brilliant community for our Young Professional colleagues to discuss key issues relevant early in their careers, as well as an environment to promote the skills, learning and network for success."
Massaro is currently the CEO of Boston fintech Flywire, a role he took on in 2013. He first joined the team in 2012 as VP of Business Development, but it wasn’t long before his entrepreneurial skills were redirected to leading the entire company’s high-growth strategy worldwide.
An expert in domestic and international payments and billing, enterprise technology sales, strategic alliances, enterprise software, SaaS, product management and marketing, and much more, Massaro is a consummate finance professional whose credentials befit the leadership of a prominent global payments fintech.
His previous positions include Consultant at PwC and Product Line Manager at Oracle, and he maintains a Mentor role at startup accelerator MassChallenge. He graduated magna cum laude from Babson College with a BS in Information Systems and Finance.
This event is set to be one of the year's most unmissable. If you want to get leading perspectives on the future of fintech and insurtech, go to Eventbrite and purchase your tickets now.