By Sean Goforth, Director of Research at Ryan Strategic Advisory
With the addition of more than 200 seats already this year, it has been busy times at Redial BPO. The outsourcer’s growing list of North American clients increasingly demand CX for financial services, logistics, and healthcare, relatively high-margin verticals that Redial BPO supports.
Since 2017, Redial has carved out a name for itself as a hyper-nearshore operator, drawing on the large bilingual and bicultural population along Mexico’s northern border to deliver voice and digital customer care to consumers in the United States. As its reputation among US clients grew, one contact center in Tijuana became two; expansion into Mexicali brought additional capacity.
Today, Redial BPO boasts a headcount of around 600 agents, nearly all of whom are based in its contact centers in Mexico’s Baja California state. Now that’s about to change.
“We are expanding our footprint to become a global player and open our BPO services to more North American and Western European clients,” says Redial BPO co-founder and managing partner Jason Heil. In the coming months, Redial BPO will launch service delivery from Constantia Kloof in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The move offers a series of competitive advantages. Already one US client has signed on to have its customer service routed through South Africa. Active talks are underway with others. All are enticed by the prospects of a dayshift from South Africa that would provide night-time coverage for stateside customers. The 6-9-hour time difference between South Africa and the US market facilitates 24/7 service delivery.
As Redial BPO targets additional markets in Western Europe, its operations in South Africa spell a host of benefits: time-zone alignment, a reputation in outsourcing excellence—as highlighted by the Ryan Strategic Advisory Front-Office CX Omnibus Survey—and cost savings for clients.
Then, there is the ‘King’s English.’ Dialects vary among the large native-English-speaking population in South Africa. But education and upbringing ensure that many speak the language with an accent reminiscent of someone from England proper.
On occasion, this has led to some odd outcomes. In the 1970s, the BBC favored presenters from South Africa for their “impeccably upper-middle class” speech. More recently, the country has grown into a market leader in English voiceover work for foreign-language films and series.
The prominence of the accent allows those who possess it in South Africa to come off as more trustworthy, according to researchers. This directly relates to agents’ ability to sell financial services, among other CX activities. Heil cited the South African accent as being understandable and good for international business.
Beyond that, Redial BPO executives feel that the location will help improve lives. Perhaps ‘impact sourcing’ has become something of an empty catchphrase in recent years, but in the case of Redial BPO community empowerment lies at the core of its operations.
From its earliest days, Redial BPO made a name for itself in the Tijuana area for actively hiring Mexicans and Central Americans who are recently deported from the United States. “We do this because we noticed a way to help these communities,” Heil explains.
Such formal employment, which includes higher wages than workers can earn at a ‘maquila’ factory, provides a source of stable income for those whose lives have been jostled.
The company practice has won plaudits for both commercial and social reasons.
“Deportees are valuable because they know a lot about American culture,” an article in the Los Angeles Times noted, “In sales, they can use that knowledge in small talk, find shared interest and quickly establish rapport to close a sale.”
“Impacting communities is key for us,” Heil says about the move to South Africa. In Johannesburg, Redial BPO’s recruitment drive will help address the high youth unemployment problem that afflicts South Africa. The investment also aligns with guidance from the Impact Sourcing Institute of South Africa and the Mandela Legacy Foundation. And the community impact may also appeal to clients with ESG goals.
The first cohort of agents will begin training in early May. Currently, Redial BPO expects to launch its South Africa operation with about 150 seats. The Constantia Kloof facility has a 900-seat capacity, hinting at the outsourcer’s expansion potential.