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Article : Major Achievement Earned for South African Contact Centre Company


Workforce Planner Gert Jacobs earned himself a second place finish at the Top Ranking Performers Awards in London. He admits he walked away with more than just a silver medal and garnered a ton of industry knowledge through the massive amounts of information shared during the event.

ContactCenterWorld: What was your reaction to being named as a silver medalist in the Best Support Professional – Workforce Planning category for Europe, Middle-East & Africa?
Gert Jacobs: Well. Obviously getting second place was disappointing at first. But to be honest it was still a major achievement. It was a fantastic feeling to be recognised for years of hard work and dedication.

: What was the reaction from your MultiChoice colleagues upon returning to your Contact Center?
Gert Jacobs: Everyone was excited to see us and constantly congratulating us. Even weeks after returning we were still being congratulated.

: What was the reaction from your boss and can you share with us what they said to you?
Gert Jacobs: Immediately after the awards were announced I received messages for 4 levels of managers above me congratulating me on the award. And one of my managers phoned first thing the next morning and told me how proud he was. We have an amazing support structure.

: Has winning this award changed your approach to your job in any way?
Gert Jacobs: I don’t think winning itself changed the way I approach my job, but the entire experience definitely did. The exposure was amazing and overwhelming and consequently changed the way I think. I approach problems with a more open mind and creative solutions.

: How did you celebrate your success with your colleagues?
Gert Jacobs: After the gala event we all met up the next morning and spent that day exploring London. I also went away for a weekend after returning to celebrate.

: Are you or your company telling others of your achievement and what are they doing to help promote your runner-up in E.M.E.A.?
Gert Jacobs: Initially yes. I posted on Facebook. Work posted on all our groups and internal communications.

: How important was it important for you to be seen doing this in your country?
Gert Jacobs: Extremely. Africa is generally seen as backwards. It was a great opportunity for us to show what we are made of. We are doing some great work despite our limitations.

: Do you think being named a runner-up might have an impact on others with similar roles in South Africa?
Gert Jacobs: I hope so. In my opinion Workforce Planners are one of the most underappreciated roles in contact centres. It’s a crucial role and I hope this inspires companies to appreciate them more.

: Plenty of ideas were shared during the conference, how have you been able to take some of these Best Practices and introduced them into your Contact Center?
Gert Jacobs: We got pages and pages of ideas from the conference. Unfortunately not everything if feasible or affordable, but we used a few of the ideas. The easiest part was rectifying the thing that we realized we were doing wrong or less effectively than other contact centres.

: Outside of your own category of Support Professional – Workforce Planning, what was another category that captured your interest and why?
Gert Jacobs: I think there were 2 categories that captivated me. The first being the level of support and consideration that some companies have for their staff. The personal touch that so many corporates fail at. But I think the one that sparked my interest the most was the technology. Some of the technological solutions companies have come up with this year were beyond amazing. I had so many questions afterwards that I ended up having a 40 minute conversation with one of the presenters trying to wrap my head around everything.

: How would you describe your journey to this point to someone who is considering entering the Top Ranking Performers Awards for next year?
Gert Jacobs: Amazing. The amount of knowledge you are exposed to is overwhelming, but I would not trade it for anything. I got the opportunity to see so many parts of businesses and perspectives that it took me days to figure out how it all fit together. And above that, all the people I met were fantastic. We now have a network of people around the world we can collaborate with.

: Besides the second place finish, what has been the best part of your experience with so far?
Gert Jacobs: The people. I met people from all kinds of backgrounds and it was amazing to see how differently and similarly we all approached problems in our industry.

: What can you tell us about the Contact Center industry from your perspective that others who are not familiar with South Africa might find interesting?
Gert Jacobs: The diversity. I think by now most people know that for the first time in history we have 4 generations in the working class. But with 11 official languages, and a multitude of cultural, racial and religious backgrounds; I think we are able to deal with this more effectively than most since we have been dealing with an extremely diverse workforce for a long time


About Gert Jacobs:
Gert Jacobs is a Workforce Planner for MultiChoice in South Africa. He took home a silver medal at the 2016 Top Ranking Performers Awards for Workforce Planning in London.

About Multichoice SA:
Company LogoMultiChoice South Africa's activities involve the operation of Pay-Television and internet subscriber platforms. The MultiChoice South Africa group includes the digital satellite Pay-Television business, which has been in operation since 1995.
Company RSS Feed   Company Facebook   Company Profile Page

About Multichoice:
Company LogoMultiChoice South Africa's activities involve the operation of Pay-Television and internet subscriber platforms. The MultiChoice South Africa group includes the digital satellite Pay-Television business, which has been in operation since 1995.
Company RSS Feed   Company Facebook   Company LinkedIn   Company Profile Page

Today's Tip of the Day - First Contact

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Friday, September 23, 2016

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