Mark Chana is CCI Global CEO and Managing Director for CCI South Africa. Here’s a deeper insight into his career path, what he thinks about the contact centre sector and why CCI South Africa is different from most of its competitors.

Q: Can you give us a quick background of your time with CCI so far?

MC: I joined CCI back in 2007 as Customer Service Director, bringing with me a real passion for delivering high-quality customer service interactions for all of our clients. Within a couple of years, I was really proud to be promoted to Managing Director of CCI’s South Africa business. During the ten years since then, I can honestly say that we’ve built a truly world-class operation.

Q: Where did the concept for CCI South Africa’s business model come from?

MC: When we launched the Durban contact centre there had, of course, already been call centres in South Africa for a number of years, but most were focused on servicing the South African market, rather than the international market. However, what we have built with CCI South Africa is different than our competition.  At CCI our business is fundamentally a real people-focused business.

Our entire business is structured around our people, which can be seen in three of our four CCI pillars in particular. I’m proud that we have built a real CCI family at our Durban contact centre, and that we all work together to deliver great results for our partners.

Q: Tell us about the types of staff you recruit and who makes the cut as an agent?

MC: Our people are our foundation, proud to be part of CCI and they really understand the need to deliver a great performance. I look for passion, dedication and hard work. With these basic traits in place, I’m confident that most people are able to be trained to deliver the exceptional results we expect, building on these foundations.

Q: What do you see as the major strengths of the Durban call centre?

MC: For me, one of the outstanding highlights of Durban and surrounding regions is the strength of the local talent pool. While unemployment levels are high across the country, Durban remains a stand-out choice for executives looking to outsource operations to a contact centre.

We have so many talented people who really resonate with global customers. They easily build rapport with our clients and establish relationships that go above and beyond the usual customer service deliverables. Here in Durban, we’re blessed with an abundance of talent. And when you link this to the world-class infrastructure, this marriage of technology and people make Durban the place to be. Of course, we also have access to the stunning beaches lining the Indian Ocean!

Q: How is the COVID-19 recovery going?

MC: As a business and as a country, I’m really happy that we have turned a corner since COVID-19 first hit. The infection rates in South Africa are declining and we are learning how to live and work with the virus all the time. We now have robust measures in place to handle COVID-19 both in and outside of the office. Challenging as this has been – and continues to be – I’m thankful for all the hard work from the team. We are now growing again as a business even in these continually challenging times and that’s fantastic.

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

MC: Being in a position to create opportunities to help people in tangible ways. Whether that’s for our team of 9,000 people who through working at CCI are able to feed their families and move away from poverty, or for those who have grasped the opportunities within CCI to progress their career, I’m proud of everyone. We have people in our business who began as Agents and moved up through our great structured progression programmes to become Senior Directors. To me, that’s wonderful and I couldn’t be prouder.

Q: What are you most looking forward to for CCI South Africa?

MC: As we grow I’m looking forward to building South Africa and Durban’s reputations’ as major hubs for global contact centres. CCI is doing its part to grow the country’s reputation and that of our business, and I’m looking forward to this continuing over the next few years. CCI South Africa agents are doing a brilliant job servicing customer here and in the UK, the US and Australia. It’s been a long journey, we’re making good traction and, crucially, making a difference.

Q: What’s the secret of a successful outsourced contact centre?

MC: One simple thing – people that care!