Business day TV – Virtual agents can be a win for SA’s BPO sector

As expected, digital disruption is picking up speed, transforming the way we buy products, access public services and get customer service from organisations. We are becoming more comfortable self-serving for things, ranging from paying our tax via e-filing to ordering our groceries, and as digital penetration continues to increase, this trend is likely to continue. But where does this leave our traditional service channel – the contact centre?

South Africa’s business process outsourcing (BPO) sector has built its reputation on the quality of its people. Our contact centre agents are some of the best in the world, offering warm, efficient customer service experiences via voice channels. This has resulted in impressive employment growth within this important industry. With the increased adoption of digital self-service channels such as WhatsApp, however, there is a real risk that virtual agents powered by AI may undermine this growth.

To talk about this Michael Avery is joined now by Ryan Falkenberg, Co-Founder of CLEVVA, a firm specialising in digital services; Clayton Williams, Chief Executive Officer at CapeBPO, & Johan Steyn, a research fellow with Stellenbosch University and the founder of

Watch the interview here.