Interview with Global Telesales Managing Director Roman Zynga

 My conclusion : While we didn't get an actual saving pr call cost figure, its obvious to me that the South African cost advantage is considerable and I thank Roman Zynga for helping me compile this story, which will probably be one of many in the next 12-16 months.

Managing Director of Global Telesales Roman Zynga

This interview was conducted by Email. The Q's are my questions and the A's are MD Roman Zynga's answers :

Q1 - What do you see as the main business drivers for Lufthansa to set up a Call Centre in South Africa ?

 A1 -

        IT infrastructure available to Lufthansa in Cape Town

        The large German community as well as German speakers available to work in the Call Centre

        The high levels of service mindedness of potential employees available in Cape Town.

 Q2 – Is Global TeleSales a wholly owned subsidiary of Lufthansa ? or who owns it?

A2 - Lufthansa German Airlines wholly own GlobalTeleSales (Pty) Ltd

 Q3 – Could you give us an idea of the cost advantage of operating a Call Centre compared to Germany/Europe ?

 A3 - There is a cost saving advantage in setting up in South Africa.   It includes the direct setup costs as well as long term advantages in taking calls originating in South Africa.

 Q4 – I understand all service reps have to be bi-lingual , ie German/English – do you have any feedback from European customers as to language difficulties due to accent ?

A4 - We have never had a complaint about the linguistic skills of our Call Centre agents.  All are fluent in German and English.

Q5 – I have dream that South Africa, situated in the European Time Zone, could become the Outsource Call Centre country for Europe and thereby become a major source for jobs for the black South African population – What do you think ?

 A5 - South Africa, and particularly Cape Town, is indeed highly suited to service Europe as an outsourced Call Centre destination.   Well-educated, highly motivated Call Centre staff are available in the country, and as mentioned before, they pay very particular attention to service excellence.

 Q6 – What is your ratio of black service reps in the Call Centre?

A6 -  Currently, 36% of our staff are black.

Q7Using a satellite to transfer calls between Europe and SA seems to be a cost effective way to beat the monopoly call rates from South Africa. Did you have many technical problems making the satellite up-link operational ? What vendor did you work with ?

 A7 - The satellite link is for data transfer as the flight data and booking data has to be available worldwide immediately.   For telephony, we currently use the services of SITA.  SITA is also used in South Africa, via TELKOM.  It is not possible to quantify cost saving as a global contract exists with SITA via Frankfurt.

 Q8Could you give me an idea of the cost saving by using satellite compared with SA-landlines ?

 A8 -  Refer to above

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