Lufthansa InTouch, the customer service network of the Lufthansa Group, has marked a 20-year milestone in South Africa. Acting as a central touchpoint between airlines, passengers and aviation businesses, the Cape Town office was one of the first international business process outsourcing (BPO) companies in the country.
Tobias Vögtlin, CEO for Lufthansa InTouch and head of customer servicing operations for the Lufthansa Group, praised Cape Town’s pool of qualified professional talent, competitive pricing, cultural similarities and solid telecommunication infrastructure’.
The Western Cape’s BPO sector has cornered 60% of the country’s international BPO market share, with 54 000 employees. Travel, after financial services, retail and telecoms, makes up the fourth-largest component of BPO clients.
Lufthansa InTouch Cape Town operates a 24/7 service centre in English, French, German, Swiss German, Dutch and Hebrew, accommodating requests by passengers flying with the Lufthansa Group airlines.
Site Operations Manager Ian Ohlson attributes the success of Lufthansa InTouch to flexibility, the latest customer service technology, staff development, and an innovative product offering. “Two years after we launched the centre, we had more than 150 staff members. Within three years, our call volumes had doubled, increasing turnover, providing room for more hires, and we won the T-Systems Innovation Awards at the SACCOM National Awards, singled out from 120 entries.”
Lufthansa InTouch’s airline and soft-skills training courses, exchange opportunities within the global network and international airport visits, provide great career opportunities.
Other Lufthansa InTouch employee benefits include safe transport at night, a wellness programme, and investment in a local corporate social responsibility project called iThemba, a school in Capricorn providing education to children from impoverished communities.
“We are committed to our operations in South Africa”, says Vögtlin. “Our aim is to increase our staff complement by 20% in the next five years, and to work with more airlines that would like to outsource their customer service operations.”