Sage Pastel contact centre voted best help desk in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

15 July 2013

Sage Pastel, South Africa’s leading developer of accounting and business software, is now officially the EMEA region’s best help desk, with a gold medal awarded to the team at the Contact Centre Best Practices Conference & Awards in Vienna last week. Sage Pastel also won a silver medal for Best Community Spirit.

The annual Top Ranking Performer 'Best Practice' Awards from - The Global Association for Contact Center Best Practices & Networking - saw over 1500 entries from around the world, with the EMEA region receiving over 600 entries from over 28 nations and only the best qualified after vigorous screening by judges based in America, Canada and Asia Pacific. The finalists who presented in Vienna are considered the elite of the industry.

Sage Pastel has been a regular winner at these awards over the years. Steven Cohen, MD of Sage Pastel Accounting, said that taking top honours now was a significant tribute to the company’s service ethic, which put consistent customer care at its heart.

“I’m so proud of our team for leading EMEA in the level of customer service they provide. It takes a special kind of person – and a bonded team – to work in a contact centre, especially a technical contact centre like ours where everyone needs to understand the basic principles of accounting and business management as well as software.”

Cohen said that winning gold also acknowledged the way that contact centre staff were motivated, retained and developed, as well as the company’s reward and recognition programme and the centre’s management. The final result of the competition is based on a combination of written entry and judging by industry peers, with judges considering the contact centre’s level of customer service, technology and strategies for employee motivation, reward and retention. 
Sage Pastel’s 165-seat contact centre takes over 850 000 calls per annum and 60 000 email and other contacts per month.

Morne van Deventer, Sage Pastel Accounting’s Contact Centre Manager, said that when you have such high volumes of calls you need to be committed to a best practice techniques that combine sourcing – and keeping – talented people and investing in cutting-edge technology. “One of the most useful aspects of attending the conference was being able to benchmark our contact centre against world standards and best practices. We always need to stay on top of areas such as telephony technology, customer service initiatives and other contact centre metrics.”

The best community spirit award is given to the contact centre that demonstrates a commitment to the community and is involved in local community activities. “This is particularly important in South Africa today,” said Cohen.

The next stop for the Sage Pastel contact centre team is representing the EMEA region at the Best in the World help desk event to be held in Las Vegas in November this year.