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Checking in on the South African BPO Industry

Checking in on the South African BPO IndustrySouth Africa has long been a popular outsourcing destination for European companies due to its proximity, cost-effectiveness, and skilled workforce. However, US companies over the last few years are seeing the strong potential of outsourcing to South Africa.

US companies continue to show interest in South Africa as an outsourcing destination, due to a number of factors. First, the South African BPO market is booming, with a growing number of providers offering a wide range of services. Second, South Africa has a high rate of in-office agents, which is important for many US companies that value customer service and security. Third, the country has a young, highly educated eager workforce, which is essential for businesses that are looking to grow and scale.

A Booming Market

South Africa’s BPO industry is booming, thanks to government support and low costs.

In 2021, the South African government signed a global business services (GBS) master plan to bring 500,000 new jobs to the country by 2030. This has helped to boost the industry, which is set to triple in overall size by the end of the government’s planned initiatives.

As other global markets become more saturated and prices increase, South Africa’s low costs and exceptional English language service are becoming a huge draw for companies looking for a BPO partner. Even countries that historically haven’t outsourced to the region, such as the USA, are starting to take notice.

Despite the growing interest, South Africa’s BPO industry is not yet saturated, which means that companies can easily find the support they need.

A Good Choice For In-Office Agents

Western regions, such as the United Kingdom and the United States, are leading the way in adopting work-from-home models, while other countries are less likely to do so. Specifically, South African full-time employees average only 0.7 days of remote work per week, compared to 1.4 days in Western countries.

The biggest reason for South Africa’s low WFH adoption rate seems to be the country’s persistent load-shedding. Load shedding is a planned power outage that is implemented to prevent the national electricity grid from giving way. During load shedding, some households and unprepared businesses can experience power outages for several hours at a time.

Although load shedding is a nuisance, it is a clear sign that South Africa’s infrastructure is growing at an exceptional rate. The demand for electricity is increasing because more people and businesses are connecting to the grid. This is a good thing, as it indicates that the economy is growing and that more people are able to afford to access basic services.

It may take time for the country to build infrastructure to accommodate the rising need for power, but call centers in the region are uniquely prepared for power outages. BPO providers typically have multiple backup generators and other power sources, so their offices are not affected by load shedding.

Though many work-from-home (WFH) call center agents are prepared for power outages, especially those who have home offices, load shedding makes working in the office a more stable option, with the added benefit of building community.

A Positive Impact on Unemployed Youth

The BPO industry is a growing sector that offers opportunities for young people to enter the workforce and begin their careers after completing secondary education. More than 270,000 people currently work in the BPO industry in South Africa, and recent reports estimate that this will grow to around 775,000 jobs by 2030.

BPOs are opening up a huge number of jobs for young people, creating opportunities for them to build careers for themselves and their families. Many BPO providers also offer in-house training programs, so employees can learn new skills and move up into management positions.

Overall, the BPO industry is an excellent option for highly educated young South Africans looking to enter the workforce while enjoying competitive salaries and benefits.

Find Your Perfect South African BPO Partner

If you’ve experienced difficulty finding in-house agents, want to save money on CX support, or make a difference for the new generation of call center agents, South Africa may be the perfect region for you.

Overall, as the nearshore market is trending on increased market saturation and increased costs, South Africa is a prime choice for businesses that are looking to outsource their customer support. With its large pool of skilled workers, strong English skills, cultural affinity, and government support, South Africa is well-positioned to grow exponentially over the next several years.

If you are looking for a South African BPO partner with unparalleled customer service skills, contact our expert BPO advisors for a no-charge consultation.