This week, South Africa and the UK met, through their political leaders, to discuss how they could strengthen ties between the two countries. Far be it from me to suggest any copycat actions but at 360.cx the nations had already joined forces with a goal of helping organisations in both countries to transform the experience delivered to their customers.
A number of UK Companies across different sectors have already engaged in significant scale with South Africa mostly in the form of customer service operations: O2; Shop Direct; Easyjet; Npower; and TUI to name but a few examples. Some have been and gone. Some have visited and stayed. Not all experiences have been perfect but the successes undoubtedly number greater.
But it’s not just about understanding best practice. On a daily basis thousands of customer interactions are undertaken from one shore to the other; each one presents a unique opportunity to support customers on some element of their journey. And South Africa offers so much more opportunity and no shortage in the talent pool of individuals waiting to join the customer service family.
At our core 360.cx‘s goal is transformation of the customer experience. It is essential that we bring to this agenda a broader toolkit which includes new technologies (AI, Robotics, etc) along with more sophisticated data analytics and insight. We will do this by working with trusted partners; industry experts who are equally passionate about improving the customer experience and journey. And these more technical capabilities already exist in quantity and quality in South Africa; and they continue to grow.
In the wider customer experience arena a common agenda emerges; there are a growing mix of workshops, conferences and other training events on both sides of the water focused on understanding and delivering a better customer experience. There are no shortage of examples of organisations and their customers who are pitched in an almost “cat and mouse” like pursuit to understand what the ideal customer journey looks and feels like and then to make it happen.
To date the talent has typically been drawn from the main city areas. At 360.cx we see incredible potential in targeting the suburbs (peri-urban) and rural areas where we aim to establish local, community based contact centre hubs which will not only add to the capacity for dealing with growing domestic and international demand, they will also contribute to making a difference in the lives of many families and the community as a whole.
The meeting of the UK and South Africa is clearly important this week; time will tell as to which areas the two countries pursue closer working. What we can be confident about is that more interactions between these two nations have the potential to impact and almost certainly improve experiences and lives on both sides of the ocean.