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White paper Banking in Africa – contact centres can drive growth, service delivery

06 May 2014

The banking sector in Africa is becoming increasingly competitive on the continent. Contact centres can provide financial service organisations with an edge.They can assist to improve customer service, drive sales, lower the cost of products, ensure compliance and better manage risk.


The opportunity

Foreign direct investment in Africa continues to grow and the economic growth prospects for many African countries remain positive. Regulatory and political reforms, ongoing liberalisation of key industry sectors and the democratising effect of technology, boosted by the landing of undersea cables up further fuel the fires of economic growth.


Strategic drivers

While the strategies, objectives and processes of financial services organisations vary, typical scenarios include the need to:


  1. standardise processes and customer interactions across geographies
  2. establish and enforce service standards
  3. ensure compliance and implement risk management
  4. access backend systems and databases to improve customer service and increase sales
  5. refresh technologies to facilitate interaction with customers via multimedia communication channels
  6. increase staff productivity; improve margins on products
  7. use customer segmentation to align service focus with business strategy
  8. enable customer self service
  9. manage costs through introduction of a single technology
  10. better leverage enterprise resources for customers service through introduction of a single interface


Contact centre solutions are designed to help address these challenges, but the importance of business analysis – the assessment of existing business processes and their alignment to strategic goals – should not be underestimated.


Assessing needs, meeting objectives

Business analysis will assist to identify pain points so that underlying process, technology and business issues can be addressed. This may, among others, see adaptation of a process, automation of a function or improvement of workflows.


The solutions

  1. A centralised contact centre.
  2. Fast access to key transaction and customer data.
  3. Multiple communication channels.
  4. Interactive Voice Response.
  5. An auto-dialler for outbound calls.
  6. Voice recording solutions.
  7. Social media platforms.
  8. Workforce optimisation.

An end-to-end solution provides a single enterprise interface, facilitating access to data and expertise within the enterprise to resolve customer queries. This makes specialists available to agents when needed and provides high value clients with expert assistance.


The expertise

A contact centre is continually evolving to meet changing business and customer demands, particularly as new products are introduced and the macro-economic environment dynamically shifts. It is thus essential to select a service provider that can assist the organisation to create the right reports, measure and monitor performance, and continually refine the solution.


Toolset integration

When businesses rely strongly on specific tools, these can be integrated into the contact centre. A logistics company, for example, may want to give agents access to the information within a parcel tracking system.


The technology

The technology – the hardware and software -- needed to put in place an effective contact centre solution is well documented. Select a solution that has the breadth and capability of features your organisation will need. Ensure that the solution also has a proven record for reliability and ease of configuration. Contact centre solutions that are built using open systems will be capable of integration with a wide range of other technologies, systems and end user devices.