Imperial Improves Call Center Efficiencies by 50% for one of South Africa’s largest retailers.

03 April 2023
Read Time: 3 minutes

Imperial, a DP World Company, is an African focused provider of integrated market access and logistics solutions. With a focus on the following key industries - healthcare, consumer, automotive, chemicals, industrial and commodities - we take our clients’ and principals’ products to some of the fastest growing and most challenging markets in the world. As a leading global logistics provider, we seek out and leverage new technology to deliver innovative, end-to-end solutions. Through our significant African footprint and international expertise, and with the support of our 25,000 people, Imperial’s purpose is to connect Africa and the world - and to improve people’s lives with access to quality products and services. Imperial became a wholly owned business of DP World in March 2022.

Company WebsiteRead more

Company Size

25,000+ employees employees


Johannesburg, South Africa

Products Used

Channel: WhatsApp

Products: Chat Flow

Products: Chat Desk

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Great long-term partnerships are built on excellent communication.  

As a long-standing strategic partner for one of South Africa’s major retailers, Imperial manages everything from the retailer’s transport services to nationwide logistics aided by Clickatell’s powerful platform. 

Imperial leverages Clickatell to manage deliveries and movement of retail goods, ensuring quality and efficiency gains for both companies. 

“The Clickatell Chat Commerce Platform enabled more streamlined communications resulting in faster query resolution times and slashing call center volumes by 50%. The benefits of the solution were seen almost immediately.”

Gert Brits, LCT Executive: Lead Logistics Provider at Imperial

Background - Delivering excellence in a competitive environment 

Technology advancements, coupled with the pandemic, have changed shopping behaviors for consumers worldwide. While consumers prioritize convenience and speedy delivery from their favorite retailers, supermarkets, and distribution centers are still reeling from the rapid shift to a digital world. Heightened sanitation requirements and the mounting pressure to manage costs have added to the burden. 

Globally, many large retailers are expanding their online delivery offerings to adapt to the increasing demand for the service. As a result, razor-sharp logistics have become crucial for fresh, fast deliveries in a competitive market. 

However, a recent study showed that 39 percent of African companies found logistical problems to be a “barrier to their integration into the online market.” To stay ahead, companies like Imperial are turning to technology to help retailers deliver on time while remaining profitable. 

Pre-adoption challenges - Lost in translation

Before implementing the Clickatell platform, each of the retailer’s stores would communicate with the Imperial team using various platforms including SMS, email, call centers, and WhatsApp groups.  

Not only was this unwieldy and inefficient, but there was also no centralized record of communications. Data records were incomplete and lacked clear timelines.  

Moreover, Imperial teams frequently responded to department queries on their private phones - often after-hours - through these various, difficult-to-track channels. 

To uphold a successful logistics service and keep up with consumers’ new demands, effective communication between drivers and stores is a must. Constant, excellent communication helps both parties cut down on unnecessary delays, waste and uptick in labor costs.

The solution - Streamlining communication 

Imperial deployed Clickatell’s Chat Commerce Platform, implementing the automated messaging capabilities of Chat Flow and live-agent messaging capabilities of Chat Desk. This allowed Imperial to immediately improve how they engaged with the retailer across nearly 2,000 stores with a single source of truth: a mini-app built into WhatsApp. 

Using native backend integration and automated workflows built in Chat Flow, Clickatell built a WhatsApp bot that allows store managers and logistics teams to stay informed with real-time delivery status updates. This improvement ensures 24/7 support for teams, offers the advantage of collaboration on a familiar channel, boosts productivity and protects employees’ time. 

By sending “Hi” to a central number, store managers can quickly access a self-help menu to find the information they need. If they can’t resolve their question, they can conveniently message an Imperial agent or escalate the query through Chat Desk.  

Unlike their previous communication practices, each agent now has access to chat history with the store, plus the ability to serve multiple queries simultaneously. The result? A significant boost in efficiency, speedier resolutions, and higher customer satisfaction. 

Clickatell’s Chat Commerce Platform allows Imperial to: 

  • Deliver a sophisticated micro-app on a well-used, understood channel that requires no training to deploy nationwide. 

  • Support more inbound inquiries faster and more conveniently with better results. 

  • Manage conversations, track tickets, and save chat histories. 

  • Set autoresponders and switch to automated workflows to keep the conversation going, even when agents aren’t available.  

  • Monitor agents’ productivity and performance on dashboards with a supervisor view. 

  • Attain deeper insights by tracking chat volumes or call frequencies to identify where customers need assistance most or where further automation is appropriate. 

The result - Better communication = better relationships 

Clickatell has been a game changer for Imperial’s work with the retailer’s nationwide chain. By finding a solution for piecemeal, unstructured communication, the Imperial team can now streamline their communications effortlessly. 

“Clickatell has improved the way that we interact with our stores. It's made data available to the end-user when they need to consume it rather than when we are ready to provide it to them. Chat Desk has also significantly improved the working conditions of our call center agents, allowing up to five chats open at a time, whereas previously an agent could only do one voice call at a time. By automating many of the repetitive tasks, our agents are now free to focus on more challenging and profitable work.”

Gert Brits, LCT Exec, Lead Logistics Provider at Imperial

 Brits shares that the communication improvements have resulted in greater efficiency and ensured a closer, more productive working relationship between the two organizations. These process optimizations lay the groundwork for future enhancements and fortify both businesses’ common, long-term goals.  


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SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments - do it all with Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform.