Software company ZaiLab is taking a mass job creation model developed in South Africa and replicating it for the US contact centre market.
The model keeps contact centre jobs in the country they are servicing while cutting costs.

ZaiLab CEO and founder Nour Addine Ayyoub says the starting point in developing the model was to change the traditional way contact centres are viewed.

“Technology has given us the opportunity to change the way we do business and start investing in creating employment opportunities that boost our own economies. The question we need to be asking ourselves is: are we creating jobs or are we shipping them away?”

Ayyoub has been spearheading the establishment of a proof-of-concept contact center in Delft, with the aim of showing that it makes financial sense to employ local agents; and to prove that the contact centre industry has progressed into an age that is not defined by a central brick-and-mortar building with thousands of agents — but by teams working from their own homes.

Learner agents are trained in a facility in Delft using ZaiLab’s AI-boosted software. Once they are ready for the workplace, agents move out of the incubator to become an independent home agent who is self-sufficient and self-sustaining. Clients then subcontract work to the agents they want to work with.

In a turnaround from usual business practices, clients are charged per transaction, not per seat, and agents get paid according to the number of transactions they handle.

A team of quality assurance staff, also working within ZaiLab’s integrated software ecosystem and also paid per transaction, make sure work is done to the relevant standards.

ZaiLab’s software incorporates machine learning for customer–agent matching, irrespective of geographic location. Team-leader tools offer a window into agent activity, so organisations can effectively track their workforce.

“Imagine if we could replicate this model in any rural area that is overpopulated and ridden with high unemployment,” says Ayyoub.