Webinar: How to improve your chat

Let's chat...

Specifically, let's chat about web chat. No longer a niche, optional extra - relegated to the corner of the screen, providing an outlet for complaints and those who haven't found the FAQ page yet - web chat has become the channel of choice for a generation of switched on, digitally-savvy customers.

Don't believe us? Here are the facts - by the end of 2015, 70% of contact centres will offer web chat services - twice as many as the end of 2014. And with 62% of online customers more likely to buy when offered it; can you afford to ignore the benefits of integrated chat? 

But effective chat means more than just installing the software and hoping for the best. Strategy, technology and analytics are all key factors, as maximising the potential of the channel means giving it the same consideration and analysis as you would traditional channels - one day it might become your primary channel of communication.

Got your attention? Then check out our newest webinar where David Pattman, Director Solutions Consulting at Webhelp UK, considers the evolution of chat and how to capture its value in next generation deployments. To view, follow the link below


Alternatively, check out our latest white paper on the subject here:


Webhelp UK boosts numbers in Glasgow with relocation to new modern site

150 new jobs created in Glasgow by global BPO provider

Webhelp UK, one of the country’s leading BPO providers, has taken on 100 new team members at its new customer experience centre in Glasgow over the last three months with an additional 50 new hires in the pipeline.

The announcement comes after the business invested in a state-of-the-art facility at CityPark on Alexandra Parade to replace its previous base at Atlantic Quay. The site was officially opened on Monday 17 August by Webhelp UK CEO, David Turner.

After converting the 40,000 sq. ft. space, the advanced contact centre now boasts three operational areas, consisting of almost  700  workspaces, five meeting rooms, four 16 seat training rooms, an 18 seat discovery lab, two communication rooms, one 100 seat cafeteria, a recruitment assessment centre and a support office for the People Advisory team.

The new location will allow Webhelp to progress its ambitious growth plans whilst further supporting the local community by providing employment for the city of Glasgow and the surrounding areas.

On the official opening of the site, David Turner said: “Our new CityPark hub is a world class facility designed to keep our clients’ customers at the very centre of everything that we do. To do this, we needed to create the best quality environment for our people.

 “The new space will allow us to continue growing the business whilst further supporting the local economy by providing employment opportunities for people in Glasgow and beyond.

“Our people are at the centre of everything we do so as new members join the team, they will find that our customer experience centres are more than just workplaces. We offer a vibrant, fresh and collaborative work place geared towards learning and career development.”

The business has a 7,500-strong team based across 12 UK sites, providing multi and omni-channel customer relationship services to some of the UK’s most progressive brands and businesses.


Twitter users can now chat privately without feeling so tongue-tied

Twitter users can now chat privately without feeling so tongue-tied

Twitter has recently announced that its users will be able to chat away with larger  DMs.

The popular microblogging platform has now lifted the cap on its Direct Messages by doing away with the 140-character limit, allowing instead for unrestricted conversation.

Sachin Agarwal, Twitter's product manager for direct messages, said: "Our users will now have the flexibility to write longer and express themselves in a more natural and comfortable way."

Twitter is no doubt keen to keep up with other chat and messaging apps, but what exactly does this change mean for brands utilising the social networking service as part of its customer service  offering?

Well, first off – it’s good news. It should enhance the customer experience.

Both parties will now be able to say what they want to say quicker as it will be easier to send more information through the channel, allowing for a more effective conversation.

This essentially means that customers will find themselves spending less time trying to resolve a query as the number of interactions will decrease with agents crafting more detailed, comprehensive responses.

An improved customer experience is now on the cards as agents will be able to get to the heart of the matter in the first few messages, resolving the matter more efficiently to the customers benefit.

However, we do need to exercise caution to ensure the spirit of Twitter is not lost.

What we mean by this is that brands should avoid treating Direct Messages like they do email. By over communicating in this way, it may lead to a tendency to try and solve the wrong kind of issue on Twitter, therefore impacting work efforts by spending longer than necessary on a query best suited to another channel.

More detailed issues should continue to be identified early in the conversation and passed on to the relevant channel, allowing the customer a seamless and efficient experience.

Needless to say this news brings both opportunities and challenges.

It is now the responsibility of customer management experts to make the most of the unrestricted conversation space to yield positive results and demonstrate that they can adapt to industry changes and continue delivering the very best customer experience.

The Jewel of Webhelp…

International business solutions director at Webhelp, Jasper Klootwijk, explains how a recent trip to the company's Moroccan experience centres blew away his preconceptions about the country and left him convinced it is the ideal base for delivering an outstanding to Europe.

One of the great things about travelling is the opportunity to overcome any prejudices you may have about countries by experiencing them first hand.

Just recently I visited the "jewel of North Africa," Morocco, where Webhelp has more than 8,000 coleagues delivering offshore services to France – where we are the market leader - and European countries including Belgium, Spain and the UK.

Stepping out of the heat and into the cool, bright space of our Rabat site, I was welcomed with an individual pot of refreshing Maghrebi mint tea and bite-sized portions of rose petal covered local pastries. 

I remind myself I am not on holiday and start my tour of the facility. 

A quick wave to the children playing in our daycare space; a stop off in the medical room, and an envious glance at the sports facilities; I'm suddenly conscious that this would be the envy of many people working in Europe.

Much more impressive than the facilities are the people.

Finding and retaining the right people plays a critical part in the success of Webhelp internationally and so it was a great experience to spend the afternoon in our specially designed recruitment centre. The team has created a rapid assesment which sees candidates progress through a tailor-made assement process over a number of hours. The interactive sessions deliver an answer for the applicants that very day.

Webhelp is a renowed employer in Morocco. World class candidates approach us on the basis of our reputation as cutting edge customer experience engineers and as a people oriented business.

The result of being able to attract the best people, creates the best results for our clients and the ultimate experience for their customer. Even the scale of this vast operation doesn't distract from the bespoke solutions emerging from the team here; each precisely addressing the needs of each customer project.

We felt the heat leave the sun as we grouped together in a chilled courtyard, drapped with foliage and spring flowers. I sat amidst a group of colleagues chatting animatedly above the gentle music from the restaurant's lute player, as they shared their plans for the coming week. As I listened, I took the opportunity to enjoy a piece of Morocco I was already very familar with: a large bowl of  Kefta tagine. A wonderful end to my first day on Moroccan soil.

With my business hat on; I found Morocco to be stable, liberal and economically sound. As man with regular wanderlust; I am totally satisfied.. for now. 

These views are my own and do not reflect that of The Webhelp Group. 


Why I need web chat. Written by a Gen Y’er.

Why I need web chat. Written by a Gen Y’er.

I’m impatient.

Sometimes I will be watching Great British Bake Off on TV, will be replying to work emails on my laptop and simultaneously searching my mobile provider’s website on my iPad to check whether or not my phone is due an upgrade; because, of course, it has died AGAIN! And rather than charge it, I’m irritated and want a new phone.

I actually don’t want to speak to anyone else.
I have spent the whole day talking to people at work. I’m not sure I can string any further words together in a cohesive manner.

Talking to my personal suppliers is not something I really WANT to do.
Sometimes it is necessary for me to engage with the brands I choose to be a consumer of but I need that to be seamless and happening without any interference with what I really want to be doing and right now, that’s to focus on the choux pastry stages with Mary Berry.

So, I open a chat at 20:12 on a Wednesday night and ask the question, “Hi there. I have had my phone for 2 years. I’m pretty sure I had an 18 month contract. What do I do to upgrade? PS the battery life on this phone is awful!”

Sophie responds: “Hi there. Sorry to hear that your phone is letting you down. Can I ask you a few questions first so that I may access your account?”
Me: “Sure Sophie, sorry! Ask away.”

A mere 20 seconds worth of security checks ensue as Sophie and I rapidly fire text back and forth. My eyes barely leave the TV screen….

Sophie: So, you are right! You are due an upgrade but you are also on the wrong package for your usage. Did you know that?

Me: “I thought as much, but haven’t got round to doing anything about it. What do you recommend?”

Sophie: “You are paying on average £62.00 per month but your package is £38.00 per month. You need more data, you are running out before the end of the month and buying more data as you go.

What phone do you fancy? Would you like me to send a link to our newest handsets?”

Me: “I do do that. I want the newest iPhone..or am I better to wait until the next one comes out? Will that be September?”

Sophie: “We don’t know yet when it will be released. The iPhone 6 is the current iPhone. We can increase your data and include the phone for £49.00 per month. That will save you £13 per month on average and will more than cover your data requirement.”

Me: “Perfect. Let’s do that.”

The contractual conversations quickly followed and the Chat ended at 20.29.

I had approved a further 24 month contract and an increased contract value within the space of 17 minutes. This would have felt like 17 minutes had I been on a call. It was part of a stream of activity and therefore those 17 minutes were spent easily multi-tasking.

Moral of the story? Just bring the mountain to Mohammed. We Gen-Y’ers can have a bit of a God complex...


Much thanks to our Gen Y blogger! Note the customer voice in this interaction. Web chat is a rich data source when harnessed correctly. Check out our voice of the customer white paper and also our web chat white paper for further reading.


* We must add that our GenY blogger's opinion does not represent the opinions of Webhelp.


Time to chat?

Time to chat? An at-a-glance guide to web chat and how to maximise its potential.

Web chat is no longer optional. 

Nowadays the customer desires - indeed, expects - a quick and easy medium to get questions answered and problems sorted. According to the Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report, customers younger than 40 would rather use social media and web chat than traditional phone and email services. This younger, tech-savvy generation desire the benefits of a channel that is still neglected in many communication startegies today. How can you maximise its potential? Is it integrated into the rest of your customer service? Our handy infographic explains how and why to get the most out of your web chat.

Tme to chat

Webinar: understanding the Voice of the Customer

When your customer talks, are you listening?

Forget prompted customer feedback - Listening, really listening to the customer means reviewing and interpreting customer interaction, monitoring the wider social world and - most importantly - acting upon the feedback. Operational metrics are fine, but customer insight is the missing link in developing a strong personal connection with the customer and optimising your service infrastructure.

In our latest webinar, Mike Purvis, Chief Engagement Officer at Webhelp UK guides you through the process from challenges in the voice of the customer space, to linking insight and change teams, to measuring the impact of change.

Follow the link below and check it out:



Shop Direct, the UK’s largest multi-brand digital retailer, has announced a new partnership with customer experience solutions provider, Webhelp, as part of the company’s drive to become a truly world class digital retailer.


The partnership, valued at £209million will see Webhelp deliver multi-channel customer experience on behalf Shop Direct. This will include customer service support through traditional voice contact alongside inbound support through webchat, email and social media channels.

With 75 customer relationship centres and 28,500 employees globally, Webhelp now forecasts 2015 revenues of €650 million. The company has grown its presence in the UK significantly over the past six years, tripling its UK headcount to more than 7,200 people.

The move is a positive step forward in Shop Direct’s pursuit to transform its digital customer service offering and Webhelp has been appointed on the strength of its transformational capabilities.

Shop Direct is the UK’s second largest pure play retailer, with annual sales of more than £1.7 billion. The company’s digital department store brands include Very.co.uk, which currently receives over a million visits each day.

As part of the agreement around 1,500 people, based in Cardiff, Bolton, Aintree and South Africa, have transferred to Webhelp by TUPE agreement.

David Turner, CEO of Webhelp UK, comments: “Shop Direct’s customers want to shop when, where and how it suits them – online, via mobile and tablet and seamless omnichannel customer contact must underpin their experience.

“At Webhelp we aim to work with our clients to deliver exceptional customer journeys. That means not just offering highly responsive service but also highly personalised service across all channels

“We’re excited to be working with one of the largest digital retailers in the UK, in what is a significant partnership for our business. We will now undertake a review of the business, as we continue to challenge digital customer service standards.”


Issued by Citypress on behalf of The Webhelp Group

For more information please contact Heather Astbury, head of PR at Webhelp, on +44(0)7825 593242 heather.astbury@uk.webhelp.com


About Webhelp

Webhelp UK is part of the Webhelp Group; customer experience innovators across a range of digital, social and traditional voice channels to a diverse international client base.

From 12 locations across the UK, Webhelp provides multi and omni-channel services to some of the UK’s most progressive brands and businesses. Webhelp UK, which has its operational headquarters in Falkirk, Scotland, has grown its revenues by 112% in the last four years by focusing on value-based outsourcing, omni-channel engagement and experience analytics to create optimal customer journeys.

The Webhelp Group employs 28,500 people from 75 locations worldwide and has its UK headquarters in London, England and global headquarters in Paris, France.

About Shop Direct

Shop Direct is the UK’s second largest pure play retailer, with annual sales of more than £1.7 billion. Our digital department store brands include Very.co.uk, which is now a £800 million brand, and receive over a million visits each day.


We exist to make good things easily accessible to more people. With our department store range, market-leading ecommerce and technology capabilities and unique financial services offer, we’re well placed to deliver on that promise.


We sell over 1,000 famous brands, including big name labels and our own exclusive brands, and deliver 48 million products to our four million customers every year. Our click and collect service,Collect+, delivers to more than 5,500 stores across the country, increasing ease and convenience for customers.


For more information on Shop Direct, visit www.shopdirect.com or follow us on Twitter at@ShopDirect.

Webhelp Derby contributes to “the fastest growing economy in the UK”

Webhelp Derby has been mentioned in a report released by accountancy firm ‘UHY Hacker Young’ detailing the country's fastest growing economies - with the city of Derby topping the list.

The report, published in The Derby Telegraph, outlines the dire situation the city found itself in during the global recession- including the closure of the Barclaycard Contact Centre, one of the areas largest employers.

But following a period of post-recession economic growth, Derby topped a list of 138 towns, cities and counties to be named the ‘fastest growing economy in the UK’, with Webhelp’s move to the former Barclaycard premises cited as having played a large part in the success story. Webhelp Derby employs nearly 2000 people from the local area delivering omni-channel customer experiences on behalf of some of the UK’s leading brands.

The original article can be found at the following link:


Get rich quick? – Making it in the web chat gold rush

By the end of 2015 more than 70% of contact centres will be operating web chat, more than double the number at the start of the year1.  Chat buttons are popping everywhere, on social media, smartphones, anywhere you look.  Dave Pattman, customer solutions director at Webhelp says, we’re living through a web chat gold rush and, if you want to make it big, you’re going to have to dig.


By 2016 70% of contact centres will operate web chat.


Web chat is the most effective way imaginable to bridge the gap between ‘digital interaction’ and ‘human engagement’.  Customers can get human help when they need it, while organisations get to keep customers on digital channels (and off the phone) where they can be served more cheaply.  Win win, right?  

Maybe.  But not an easy win. Vendors might say, just introduce web chat and watch the money roll in – sales will soar, customers will be happy and calls to your contact centre will plummet like a stone.  Sorry.  Not quite.


Hope for the best?  Please don’t.

But lots of organisations do.  39% make no effort to measure the quality of web chat’s performance or its impact on the customer experience2.  They don’t know what it costs them – or what it delivers.  Wake up!  If you don’t want the gold rush to leave you with your pockets turned out, you need to apply the same rigour to web chat that you’ve lavished on the voice channel for so long.  


Call deflection. Really?

Call deflection may be your goal (and it’s a poor one in isolation) but it’s a terrible way to measure performance.  Focus first on the customer experience and use analytics to understand how to offer web chat invitations that get accepted. Get those things right and call deflection will take care of itself.  And, by the way, you’re likely to see revenues rise as well as costs fall. 


Less is more?  Dead right.

Early adopters scattered chat buttons everywhere.  Sometimes they got lucky.  Mostly they didn’t.   At best they got a lot of web chats that delivered little benefit.  Customer issues didn’t get resolved, sales weren’t made…and the phone kept ringing.

You’ve got to monitor the impact of each web chat on the customer’s subsequent behaviour to know if you’ve achieved anything.  Use analytics to do this at scale and you’ll find out how to invite chats that have the best chance to be productive. Not ‘would you like to chat?’ but ‘can I help you find the bag to match those shoes.’ 


Get personal? Every time.

Use analytics to predict customer behaviour and anticipate what they’ll want from you next.  Now you can offer proactive chats, including prompts to buy. It works best when you can get personal and be specific.  In a mobile telco for example; ‘we notice your contract is up for renewal next month Simon – want to chat about renewing?’ There’s a technology integration challenge there I know but, believe me, it’s worth it.


Digital first? Absolutely.

Self-service is your ultimate goal right?  So apply analytics to identify web chats that signal a self-service failure; when a customer has tried to do something online but couldn’t.    That chat’s not ‘value’; it’s pure cost.  Apply analytics to identify the root causes of those chats, then eradicate them.


Onward and upward?  Yes.

Make sure your next web chat deployment delivers.  Make it part of a coordinated ‘digital first’ strategy that means self-service becomes a pleasure for your customers and gold dust for you.


Download ‘Time to Chat’ – Webhelp’s white paper provides a 6 step guide to generating value from web chat.

David Pattman is customer solutions director at the customer experience outsourcing business, Webhelp.  Contact him at david.pattman@uk.webhelp.com.