Harambee wins global award for innovative use of contact centre technology
Harambee was recognised at the 2018 Genesys Customer Innovation Awards for its pioneering application of contact centre technology for social upliftment.
In a country where the youth unemployment rate is one of the highest in the world, at 46.8%, Harambee is changing the trajectory of young lives through the application of innovative customer experience (CX) technology.
The company’s call center sits at the heart of efforts to recruit candidates from areas that corporate networks can’t reach and introduce youth into the formal economy. “The performance of our outbound call campaigns quickly reached its limits due to operational inefficiencies,” states Jacques Jonker, Head of Contact Centre at Harambee.
Jonker explains that advisors manually dialled numbers and hoped that candidates would pick up. “We were receiving many thousands of applications, but were unable to contact every candidate to get them into our formalised jobs network. There also wasn’t a line of sight as to why connections were missed, or any meaningful visibility into workflows, service levels or metrics.”
He adds that these inefficiencies were costing the company a great deal as they sought to expand their reach into communities and source more candidates. “We knew we had to invest in our contact centre system to improve our efficiency and response rates to positively impact on more young lives.”
Harambee turned to Pivotal Data, their trusted contact centre CX technology partner for a comprehensive needs and systems analysis. Pivotal Data proposed migrating Harambee’s contact centre to the Genesys PureConnect platform as part of an integrated cloud-based solution that would improve the company’s operating model. The migration would also ensure that Harambee benefited from a flexible licensing model to reduce capital expenditure on IT.
“We created a resilient and highly scalable multichannel contact centre that we were then able seamlessly integrate with Harambee’s core systems and data environments,” explains Allan Macfarlane, Chief Technology Officer at Pivotal Data.
Integration with these systems was vital to ensure that Harambee could leverage their machine learning algorithms to inform how the company engages with their customers, elaborates Macfarlane.
“After understanding Harambee’s IT estate, our focus shifted to integrating the contact center solution with their big data platform. This helped to build information into workflows and usable formats, enabling advisors to more accurately assess candidate skills and match them to jobs in which they’re most likely to succeed.”
“In addition to the uncomplicated integration with existing systems and the automating of operations, the solution proposed by Pivotal Data was also easy to manage and adapt to,” continues Jonker.
He adds that the solution transformed their communication capabilities by providing instant access to features such as chat, advanced IVR, workforce optimisation and outbound diallers, which significantly improved outcomes.
Harambee previously made roughly 50,000 call attempts a month, but since implementation it now makes up to 1.5 million. “By helping to release our contact centre staff from the burden of manual dialling, Pivotal Data’s solution has helped us achieve a 45% rise in productivity.”
And with better insights into the best time to call a candidate, thanks to the solution’s analytics capabilities, Harambee also significantly improved pickup rates. “If there’s no answer, the system sends an auto-voice message so that when the advisor calls again, the candidate is more likely to recognise the number and answers the call. This functionality effectively extended our reach into the community by a factor of 30. We now support and match more candidates with more jobs than ever before, effectively giving more young South Africans an opportunity to secure gainful employment,” concludes Jonker.
Based on the success of the implementation, and the impact that the technology delivered by Pivotal Data has had on the business and, by consequence, social upliftment in the country, Harambee is awarded the ‘CX Game Changer: Best Story of Making a Difference with CX Technology’ at CX18.
Harambee was 1 of just 8 companies honoured from the Europe, Middle-East and Africa (EMEA) region, from a total of 79 global nominations, including companies from the Asia Pacific, Latin America and North America regions. It is also the first time that a company from South Africa receives this prestigious award.