If your company isn’t currently feeling the sting of rising outsourcing costs, consider yourself incredibly lucky. The United States is at the epicenter of the issue, where the price of recruiting and hiring agents has risen to new heights due to labor shortages. Likewise, nearshore BPO providers became more popular – and costly – as demand spiked due to more companies replacing their domestic call centers with less expensive Latin American providers.
Instead of simply hoping the price hikes pass you by or ease with time, you may want to take action. Whenever domestic and nearshore options become too expensive, offshore providers with exceptional customer service are the obvious choice.
One region is catching the eye of companies looking for new offshore options — Africa.
With a history of providing nearshore support to the United Kingdom, African countries have experienced call centers with proven English language skills and exceptional business infrastructure.
As one of the most advanced and diverse economies in sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa is no stranger to outsourcing. In fact, the country’s growth in the third quarter of 2022 was nearly four times higher than the original estimate. This rapid expansion has shocked experts and drawn the eye of many looking for less expensive contact center solutions.
With this economic prosperity at hand, the South African government has developed a plan to end poverty within its borders by 2030. To achieve this goal, officials have worked to put new tax and loan programs in place for foreign investors. One of the most noteworthy programs introduced by the government in is the Global Business Services Incentive. The initiative aims to increase revenue from the BPO industry while creating employment opportunities for young people.
One of the benefits of this initiative is the creation of the perfect environment for impact sourcing. The practice provides jobs such as document scanning and data entry to citizens from poor and vulnerable communities. Additionally, call centers in South Africa offer skilled, English-fluent agents, making the country’s BPO sector well-rounded.
It may surprise you to learn that Kenya has a higher business ease ranking than both the Philippines and India. Even compared to these juggernauts, the country has become a prime destination for outsource contact centers.
In fact, Kenya has invested in important telecommunications infrastructure such as submarine fiber-optic cables. This measure has given the BPO industry an affordable and accessible communication network for call centers in Kenya to utilize.
Infrastructure isn’t the only benefit offered by the country. Chief among their claims to fame is their contact center agent pool. Kenya has the talent thanks to free primary education and an initiative taken by the government to offer more university options.
Jumping from 7 public universities in 2005 to 30 in 2021, the country now offers a wider range of training and education options for potential call center agents. These institutions also give a boost to English language skills and soften heavy accents.
Due to its size and population density, Egypt has been positioning itself as an attractive call center destination for overseas investors. The 2021 Global Services Location Index placed Egypt at the top of the list when ranking countries on their capacity to deliver BPO services. The country boasts a BPO industry revenue of $4.2 billion in 2020, while holding a double-digit stake of the global offshore BPO market.
As the most populous country in Africa and the Middle East, Egypt can compete against the best offshore call center markets in the world thanks to its expanding labor pool. Nearly 200,000 new college graduates – roughly 15 percent of whom are multilingual – come onto the market each year in the greater Cairo area alone.
With an extremely diverse range of languages spoken throughout the Egyptian workforce, a single BPO call center in Egypt can support dozens of languages under one roof – typically at a lower cost than call centers in the countries that speak the languages natively.
Learn More About African Call Centers
By identifying call center markets on the rise, leaders can deliver high-value business services and customer experiences at low costs. The time for discovering these emerging markets is now – by focusing on factors such as geography, local talent pool, infrastructure, and economy.
Curious about call center facilities in South Africa, Kenya, Egypt or other emerging markets? Contact our expert advisors for a no-charge consultation on your location of interest.