8ta has announced that they have boosted their call centre customer care by offering assistance in four official South African languages, mainly – English, Afrikaans, isiZulu and Sesotho.
“Even though South Africa has 11 official languages, this initial step demonstrates 8ta’s interest and effort to accommodate the most popular languages with the greatest geographical reach,” says Amith Maharaj, 8ta’s Senior Managing Executive.
isiZulu is the most widely spoken home language, with 24% of South Africans speaking it at home, and over 50% of South Africans able to understand it. Afrikaans is South Africa’s third most common home language, with about six million speakers. Sesotho is spoken by eight percent of South Africans, or four million people, as a home language, and is also closely related to Setswana and Sepedi. Just 8.2% of South Africans speak English as a mother tongue but it is the primary language of business, commerce and government.
When customers phone 8ta’s call centre, they will be given an option to choose their preferred language, once a language option has been selected, customers will be informed of the approximate waiting time. They can choose to be assisted in English if they feel the queue for their preferred language is too long.
“In our fulfilment of excellent customer service, 8ta will continue to serve customers on their terms,” concludes Maharaj.
8ta will be considering adding Xitsonga and Tshivenda as service languages in the next 24 months, after the initial four languages have been adequately integrated.