Local employment levels will receive a welcome boost of 84 new jobs, thanks to the launch of an offshore contact centre in South Africa.
Silver Top Taxis in Australia, in partnership with Merchants, has launched the new customer service operation in a bid to strengthen its existing support structure, while creating new job opportunities for South Africa’s unemployed.
Providing a full-service solution, Merchants, a Dimension Data company, will operate the customer service centre in Cape Town to provide online and telephone support to numerous customers across Australia.
The partnership forms part of Silver Top Taxis strategy to provide a 24-hour, 7 day-a-week service to its Australian clients at peak times, which usually fall within unsociable post-midnight hours.
Silver Top Taxi CEO Phillip Streten says the decision to invest in South Africa is based on a solid partnership approach and shared business and sustainability goals.
“As Melbourne’s premier taxi network, Silver Top Taxis has been focused on finding an innovative and scalable offshore solution that puts the customer experience at the heart of its operations,” he says. “Our decision to work with Merchants has meant we’ve hit the mark when it comes to sustainability – both in terms of competitive advantage, and growing career opportunities in South Africa.”
In a country where unemployment rates hover around 27%, Silver Top Taxi’s investment will ensure more people are able to provide for their families and add value to their wider communities. The announcement also comes at a critical time, where South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has affirmed government’s commitment to creating new opportunities for young people at the centre of its goals for inclusive economic growth.
Merchants MD George Todd explains that the contact centre industry plays a critical role in creating real career opportunities in the face of high youth unemployment. “As well as developing communication, interpersonal and computer literacy skills, young motivated people can gain valuable experience in a complex industry which can open up other career paths.”
He adds that South Africa is an excellent outsourcing destination that is technologically advanced and uniquely placed to provide English-speaking service.
“Appealing elements such as cultural affinity and neutral accents mean we are able to maintain and improve service standards. For companies, the solid business case is reinforced by government’s renewed focus and strong backing to grow employment, quality of labour, cost competitiveness and a well-developed infrastructure and telecommunication capabilities.”