South Africa is the top offshore contact centre location, according to latest research findings from marketing services specialist Ion Group. The research asked senior marketers amongst top 1000 UK companies to rate the best locations for offshore contact centres in terms of the quality of the call handling they provide.
Ion Group Managing Director Graham Ede said, “Our results show that South African call centres are being recognised for the quality of the service that they provide, knocking India, which has traditionally stood at the forefront of offshore outsourcing, off the top spot. Locations which have been popular for offshore outsourcing in the past primarily due to their low operating costs are now facing increased demands from clients and their customers for high quality call handling standards, a robust technological infrastructure and multi-lingual capabilities. Increased competition has seen emerging locations such as South Africa not only able to meet these demands, but offer the advantage of having a similar time-zone and culture to the UK”.
South Africa took first place, with a score of 51.1%, followed by previous leader India (44.9%) and Mexico (40%). The Philippines, Eastern European countries and former USSR nations were found to offer a lower quality of call handling, with scores of 30.5%, 29.1% and 26.4% respectively.
Ede added, “While the Eastern European and former USSR nations are not yet seen to have reached a sufficiently high standard of call handling necessary to rival their more progressive and cost-effective competitors, the offshore contact centre industry in the Philippines has suffered from reports that it is adopting a sweatshop ethic”.
About Ion Group
Founded in 1995, Ion Group offers integrated marketing communications programmes. Services encompass: database build and management; inbound customer sales; outbound sales campaigns; CRM solutions; database maintenance/cleanse; fulfilment and response handling. Ion Group has worked with over 30 international companies, both directly and with their marketing, advertising and communications agencies. Clients include Audi, Fiat, Dior,
Royal Caribbean Cruises, Harley-Davidson and Gala Leisure. Over the last two years the company’s turnover has more than doubled, with only a 15% increase in staff.