Contact centre world awards – results announced

July 2011

Softline Pastel, South Africa’s leading developer of accounting and business software scooped nine awards at the Contact Centre World Awards in London this past weekend.

In the best sales agent category all top three places were awarded to the Pastel team: Simbai Shutu, Richard Mukuka and Zinzi Tunce - with only one point separating each candidate. The company also achieved second place in the best supervisor and best customer service agent categories and third in the best operations leader category.

Tamsin Bradford, Pastel’s support centre manager, who placed third in the best leader category says, “It was the first time that individuals from Pastel were nominated for this prestigious international award and we are incredibly proud of the team’s results.”

Pastel’s 150-seat call centre based in Woodmead in Gauteng also performed well in the group categories. It was placed second for best help desk and first for best community spirit. “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 year’s nine awards are six more than last year. Ms. Bradford comments, “Pastel has managed to help raise the level of awareness of the South African call centre industry and its globally competitive levels of service.”

The awards ceremony was held on Saturday 9th July and benchmarks entrants against the best in the Europe, Middle East & Africa region. The judges consider both management strategy as well as the actual achievements of the support centre and individuals and the final result is determined based on a combination of written entry and judging by industry peers.

Pastel’s support centre takes over one million calls per annum and 60 000 email and other contacts per month. With such high volumes it is committed to constantly upgrading and improving its services. Its best practice technique is a combination of sourcing the right talent and investing in cutting-edge technologies, which included a mega-makeover in 2010 to the advanced call centre technology software known as Presence.

Ms. Bradford attributes a part of the team’s success this weekend to Presence but acknowledges that technology is only half of the winning formula and that the best people are essential too. “Softline Pastel understands the importance of an excellent support centre and our team’s success in this year’s competition is a reflection of that”

Pastel’s regional winners now qualify to participate in the finals for best in the world of the Contact Centre World Awards in Las Vegas.