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The efficiency and quality dilemma: What drives South African call centre management performance indicators?

Author(s): Diane Banks | Gert Roodt

Journal: South African Journal of Human Resource Management
ISSN 1683-7584

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: key performance indicators | call centre manager | qualitative measures | quantitative measures | South African call centres

Orientation: Call centres have become principal channels of communication with customers. Therefore, companies attempt to reduce costs and improve the quality of their interactions with customers simultaneously. These objectives are often conflicting and call centre managers struggle to balance the efficiency and quality priorities of the business.Research purpose: This study explored the key performance indicators that drive management practices in the South African call centre industry in the context of the dilemma between efficiency and quality.Motivation for the study: The South African government has identified call centres as a method of creating jobs and foreign investment. Management practices affect centres’ performance. Understanding these practices will help to achieve these aims.Research design: The researchers used a web-based questionnaire in a survey with South African call centre managers in more than 44 different organisations that represented nine industry sectors.Main findings: This study indicated that the dilemma between efficiency and quality is prevalent in South African call centres and that efficiency key performance indicators drive management practices.Practical/managerial implications: The inconsistencies the study reported mean that South African organisations should assess the alignment between their organisational visions, the strategic intentions of their call centres and the performance measures they use to assess their call centre managers.Contribution/value-add: This study adds to the relatively small amount of empirical research available on the call centre industry in South Africa. It contributes to the industry’s attempt to position itself favourably for local and international outsourcing opportunities.How to cite this article: Banks, D., & Roodt, G. (2011). The efficiency and quality dilemma: What drives South African call centre management performance indicators? SA Journal of Human Resource Management/SA Tydskrif vir Menslikehulpbronbestuur, 9(1), Art. #331, 17 pages. doi:10.4102/sajhrm.v9i1.331

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