Webhelp UK raises £2,330 for Strathcarron Hospice

Webhelp UK, one of the country’s leading business process outsourcers (BPO), has donated £2,330 to Strathcarron Hospice in Stirlingshire, thanks to a sterling fundraising effort by colleagues based in Larbert, Falkirk.

The total was reached by hosting a number of fundraising events including charity dress down days, Christmas fayres and raffles.

The figure also included a £1,000 donation made by Webhelp following a recent competition where the business asked local primary schools in the Larbert area to design its annual Christmas card.

The winners of the competition, St Bernadette’s Primary, picked Strathcarron as its chosen charity to receive the donation.

All funds raised will go towards supporting Strathcarron as it continues to provide specialist care, comfort and support for anyone in the Stirlingshire area affected by terminal illness.

The team at Webhelp’s Larbert site nominated the local hospice as its charity of choice for 2015 because it is a charity close to many people.

A number of colleagues have relatives who have either been cared for or are currently being cared for by Strathcarron.

Larbert team leader Nicole Innes has a personal connection with Strathcarron. Commenting on the fundraising, Nicole said: “It’s an honour to help raise money for such a fantastic charity which means so much to me and my family.

“Strathcarron has played a vital role in helping my mum and I’m happy to have a role in being able to give something back.”

Webhelp UK for Strathcarron Hospice

Jackie Johnston, fundraiser and events coordinator, at Strathcarron Hospice, added: “We would like to thank Webhelp UK for all the hard work and effort they have put into raising money for Strathcarron and we look forward to working with them again in the future.

“The money raised will now go towards helping fund the vital services across Strathcarron Hospice.”

Alongside Nicole, Anton Manley, managing director, UK client operations, visited Strathcarron Hospice to present the donation.

Anton said: “We’re all very proud to be able to support Strathcarron Hospice.

“The centre provides a vital service for families in need of specialist care. We feel it is essential that businesses and individuals continue to fund their good work.

“IÂ’d also like to thank our Larbert team for working extremely hard to raise such a fantastic amount of money. Strathcarron Hospice is a charity close to the hearts of many of our Larbert team and we very much look forward to raising even more money in the future.”


Which Tech will change the Customer Experience in 2016?

In a recent press release from Macy’s, the US-based retailer, they outlined exactly how the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) on their stock control had accounted for a better service to customers and a $1bn reduction in inventory carried in retail stores. That’s a billion dollars that can be reinvested into the business or can just sit on the balance sheet earning interest.

It’s examples like this that really show how there are two sides to the omni-channel debate. The supply chain needs to be more effectively managed – as in the Macy’s example – so stock is always in the right place at the right time without the need to spend on the purchase and storage of excessive stock. In any case, an excess of stock often leads to a requirement to sell it discounted, just to free up storage space.

Omni-channel also sits on the customer communication side – the impression any customer has of the brand through their interactions. This Econsultancy article highlights the probable omni-channel trends for 2016 largely focuses on this side of the coin.

The key three trends featured by Econsultancy are:

  • Move beyond your comfort zone; try something new. For example, if you are an online-only retailer then see how some pop-up stores work out.
  • Adopt new technologies; explore how the world is changing with new ideas such as virtual reality changing the way that customers see products.
  • Personalisation; start treating customers as individuals, not just one faceless person in a sea of millions.

Now, in general I agree with this advice. Good personalisation can mean benefits like intuitive recommendations. I have often bought something on Amazon because the system said, “if you bought this then you might like this…” I also agree the new technologies are really going to change the way that brands interact with customers this year, however I do have a major reservation about this advice.

New technologies will not improve your customer experience unless the customers want them to be available. Tools like virtual reality are going to create some amazing new ways for brands to interact with customers, but it will not be common to have VR systems at home for a few years yet. So every retailer that wants to explore this technology needs to consider how it might work in his or her in-store environment.

Car dealers may offer the opportunity for customers to see themselves driving in familiar places with their new car, before it is purchased. Clothes retailers may allow customers the opportunity to see themselves in a club wearing the clothes they are thinking of purchasing. There are an enormous number of ideas and opportunities, but for the past few years customers have always been ahead of retailers – so as multichannel and then the omni-channel was designed it was largely based on what customers really wanted.

Now we are in new waters with so many options for technology that can help the customer experience, but very few customers have tried this technology so at the moment it is unclear which will be a success. It’s worth remembering this change when reading all these predictions for 2016.

Omni-channel is not dead. It has only just been born.

We live in fast moving times. Never in the history of industry has business changed so much and so fast. The very nature of how customers communicate with each other has entirely changed in the past 5 years and brands need to keep up.

This breathless rush to remain at the zeitgeist often leads some commentators to make suggestions such as ‘the phone is dead’ – customers only want to use mobile and social communication channels.

It’s true that the change cannot be ignored, but sometimes it is worth observing what the customers really are doing rather than assuming that everyone will use the available.

So when I see analyses in publications that make various claims around how omni-channel is dead, customers only want mobile and social communication, I tend to treat the predictions with a pinch of salt.

If we drop the business jargon for a moment and consider what customers really do want when communication with brands then I’d summarise it as:

Flexibility: available anytime and with options that are convenient for the customer, like click and collect for a retailer or being able to return items delivered by post to a store.

Openness: being able to communicate in any way the customer asks, especially from mobile devices using social networks, but also including easier ways to access voice agents, like click and call from the website.

There are many definitions of omni-channel and there is some confusion because it can be used as a term for describing the supply chain or the communication channels used by a business, but in either case here it looks like omni-channel remains critical.

Some commentators don’t like the jargon that surrounds the world of customer experience. Thus, terms like omni-channel are assumed to be less important than the actions implied. Strip away the jargon and look at what customers really want from businesses today and I think you will see it is obvious that the omni-channel is going to remain really important for 2016.

Webhelp UK donates £1,000 to charity as a Thank You to Dearne Valley colleague

Webhelp UK, one of the countryÂ’s leading business process outsourcers (BPO), has donated a total of £1,000 to the National Autistic Society and Little Princess Trust, as thank you to one of its colleagues for an outstanding year of fundraising.

Chris Stead, customer experience advisor at WebhelpÂ’s Dearne Valley site, was recognised by the business for his commitment and contribution to both charities throughout the year.

He raised a total of £700 for his two chosen causes by undertaking a number of fundraising events including a sponsored haircut which saw him lose his long locks.

To boost the amount Chris raised, Webhelp has donated £500 to go towards supporting the work of the National Autistic Society, a leading UK charity for autistic people and their families, and a further £500 to help The Little Princess Trust provide real hair wigs to children across the UK who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment.

On hearing Webhelp would make a further donation to both charities, Chris said:

“I’m over the moon that we can make yet another donation to the National Autistic Society and Little Princess Trust. Both charities provide such a valuable service to people in my local community and across the country. I’m just glad to be able to do my bit.

“It’s a real honour to be recognised for my charity work by my own employer. Everyone at Webhelp has been so supportive and helped me reach my targets at every stage.”

Webhelp UK is keen to encourage everyone across its UK sites to get involved with national and local charity initiatives and support causes close to their hearts.

Each year, the business rolls out the red carpet to celebrate the considerable achievements of its customer experience professionals, recognising those who’ve dedicated time to charities through the ‘Making a Difference Award’.

Chris was announced as a runner-up at the most recent ceremony with cheques being presented to both the National Autistic Society and Little Princess Trust.

David Turner, CEO at Webhelp UK, further acknowledged Chris’s hard work and dedication. He said:

“Chris’ commitment to both charities has been really inspiring. WeÂ’re so proud to have so many people within the business that selflessly spend their time planning and carrying out a number of fundraising activities. We really value the work of our people and whole-heartedly support them.”

Webhelp UK is part of the Webhelp Group; a global business process outsourcing provider that employs 30,000 people in 81 locations worldwide.

With 12 locations across the UK, its operational headquarters in Falkirk, Webhelp UK has grown its revenues by 112% in the last four years.

Webhelp UK donates £500 to charity as a Thank You to Rothesay colleague

Webhelp UK, one of the country’s leading business process outsourcers (BPO), has donated £500 to Cancer Research UK, as thank you to one of its colleagues for an outstanding year of fundraising.

Grace Gillies, customer experience advisor at Webhelp’s Rothesay site, was recognised by the business for her commitment and contribution to the charity throughout the year.

Grace undertook a number of fundraising activities including tirelessly filling the ‘20p saves lives’ tubes, as part of Webhelp’s 2015 charity partnership with Cancer Research. She has since handed over a total of 14 tubes.

To boost the amount Grace raised, Webhelp has donated £500 to go towards supporting the work of Cancer Research UK which will allow the charity’s doctors, nurses and scientists to advance research which is helping to save the lives of men, women and children across the UK.

On hearing Webhelp would make a further donation to both charities, Grace said:

“I’m so grateful for all the help and support that everyone at Webhelp has given me. The charity is very close to me and my family so when I heard that there was a chance to raise money for the cause, I wanted nothing more than to get involved. I hope to keep going and improve on the amount raised so far.”

Webhelp UK is keen to encourage everyone across its UK sites to get involved with national and local charity initiatives and support causes close to their hearts.

Each year, the business rolls out the red carpet to celebrate the considerable achievements of its customer experience professionals, recognising those who’ve dedicated time to charities through the ‘Making a Difference Award’.

Grace was announced as a runner-up at the most recent ceremony where a cheque was presented to Cancer Research UK. She was also the recipient of ‘Role Model of the Month’ for her drive to keep raising funds.

Peter Cummiskey, Webhelp’s charity ambassador, Rothesay, added:

“Grace really is an inspiration to everyone here at Rothesay. She’s filled so many tubes over a short space of time that it encourages those around her to get involved. Wherever she goes, she’ll take the tubes, whether it be here at work or her line dancing class, and ask everyone for a small donation of 20p which really does go a long way.”

Webhelp UK is part of the Webhelp Group; a global business process outsourcing provider that employs 30,000 people in 81 locations worldwide.


With 12 locations across the UK, its operational headquarters in Falkirk, Webhelp UK has grown its revenues by 112% in the last four years.

Infographic: 6 reasons to outsource your social listening

Social Media is a big part of most brands' strategy but it's not always easy to start handling it from scratch. It can be very time-consuming, quite confusing and if you don’t know where to start, it can get frustrating. The first step to take is social listening and monitoring and here are 6 reasons why you should rely on an expert for support during this first step.


6 Reasons to outsource

Outsourcing social media customer contact

90% of data in the world today was created in the past four years. Companies have now a great opportunity to listen to the conversations happening on social media to improve their understanding of the voice of the customer and make a difference on their market.

Listening is the first step for companies to take on social media and even though Social Media is already a big part of most brands’ strategy, marketers often struggle to find the time to lead from scratch an efficient and wholesome social listening approach. It can be perceived as time-consuming, especially at the beginning and because of the massive amount of data, can be quite confusing as well, and end up being a frustrating process.

Here are 6 reasons why you should rely on an expert for support during this first step of social listening.

  1. Time - Hiring an expert agency will allow companies to have results on their table, and valuable time can be dedicated to planning an objective-focused strategy.
  2. Expertise - Outsourced social media agencies generally have years of experience working with market-leading brands. This experience allows these agencies to build highly skilled and competent teams of agents, analysts and supervisors to manage the social media strategy you create. Another value add is the insight an expert team of analysts can bring to the table - the knowledge you need to really know your social media customers.
  3. Cost - Needless to say, it's cheaper to bring in a team of experienced social experts to manage your social media contact strategy, rather than building and developing the same team in-house. Several outsourced social media agencies offer a variety of packages in multiple languages that can be tailored to specific needs.
  4. Objectivity - An unbiased approach to social media listening is key in determining success of your social strategy. How is your social contact strategy doing, where do you stand in relation to your competitors and what are customer really saying about you - these harsh but important questions are best answered by an objective third party.
  5. Tools - There isn't a lack of social media listening and monitoring tools out there, but a social agency will be essential in helping you chose which one is best suited to your needs. Channel and CRM integration, noise filtering, firehose / decahose - if this doesn't ring a bell it's time to speak to our social media agency.
  6. Use - Finally, if you're invested in your social media contact strategy, you're more likely to take it seriously. This is most likely to be the case for companies embarking on a serious social media customer contact program. Bring in the experts and you will make the most of it.

We've also created a handy infographic on this subject. Click here to view it.

What are your thoughts on outsourcing social media listening? Get in touch with Marianne to discuss.

Connect with Marianne on LinkedIn

The danger of trying to improve service without planning

Customer Experience expert Deanna Laufer from the industry analyst firm Forrester recently blogged some great observations on what she sees as the road ahead for Customer Experience in 2016.

Two points Deanna makes in the first paragraph of this blog are really important to highlight:

  1. In 2015, the customer experience rose to become the number one strategic priority for both business and technology decision-makers
  2. Forrester has data that can prove that a better customer experience correlates with stronger revenue growth

Deanna makes several other key points and there is a very detailed Forrester report on CX in 2016 but I want to focus on a third point she raises in the blog.

Creating a superb experience in just one part of your business can place the rest of it in stark relief. Deanna describes this by saying that if you create new high points then it just accentuates the pot-holes in how your customer experiences the brand.

It’s easy to think of examples where this happens:

  • Adopting more channels for customer communication without having a clear omnichannel strategy to unify them, ensuring there is a consistent brand experience regardless of channel
  • Creating new purchase options such as click-and-collect or buy-online-return-instore without completely planning the supply chain consequences
  • Re-launching a great new interactive website without ensuring that all your channels are familiar with it – particularly in retail where the in-store team should be part of the website re-launch

The message from Forrester is clear; if you don’t plan carefully and go half-baked into plans to improve CX then it can actually make things worse.

Have you seen examples of this yourself? Please leave a comment with your own experience.

Business as usual Is not possible In a world of Customer Experience change

A recent Deloitte study of 1,200 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) found that there are really just three different types of information leader within organisations today:

  • The trusted operator, who focuses on supplying cost-effective reliable infrastructure
  • The change instigator, who takes the lead on new business transformation and change initiatives
  • The business co-creators, who spend their time driving business strategy and using technology to dramatically change and lead the business

I think this is fascinating and I’m sure you can think of technology and information leaders who fall into all three of these groups, however it was interesting to see that Deloitte advises all CIOs that they should flow between the three areas during their career. You can’t be a success just by sticking to what you know for an entire career.

I think that if we focused our attention solely on the kind of technologies that are supporting the customer experience then only the second two could survive right now. Providing the experience that customers expect has changed faster than possibly any other area of business in the past 6 or 7 years – there really is no idea of business as usual because each New Year brings new trends and technologies that need to be adopted.

Omnichannel has been one of the key technologies at the forefront of change, firstly because customers demanded that they could communicate across multiple channels. So multichannel support was offered and then by knitting together the way these channels function an omnichannel was created.

But now there is a situation where designing your customer interface to be consistent across online, in-store, and on any channel can create greater revenues. The improved customer experience does not just keep customers happy, it creates more cash for your business.

In 2016 I believe areas like Robotic Process Outsourcing will be extremely important, meaning that the leader responsible for the customer experience does need to be fully conversant with emerging technologies. At the recent Engage Customer conference in London the first keynote speaker appeared on stage with a robot – not just any robot, but one that could have a normal conversation and with the ability to read your facial expressions. The robot knows if you are happy or sad!

Businesses are being transformed by technology. Where they are refocusing around the customer experience it is going to require the change experts and co-creators – there is no business as usual in 2016.

Delivering on the Omnichannel promise

You know my views on omnichannel – it’s still critical for companies who want to succeed in 2016. But there are many different aspects to omnichannel. There is of course multichannel communication, the data analysis required to monitor online discussion, and the way that the supply chain is improved to cope with this new environment blending offline with online.  It’s a single word and a simple concept, but the reality of delivering on the omnichannel promise is much harder than most executives realise.

I was thinking of this when I saw the results of a new survey of 1,000 consumers and their experiences of online retail in Apparel magazine.  45% said that orders arrived later than expected, 25% said that orders were regularly damaged, 23% said that they received the wrong items. Across all the consumers surveyed, 25% said that they had a serious problem with online orders and what is extremely worrying for the retailers is that 35% of consumers said that that these problems would lead them to reject the retailer for future purchases.

Here is the problem, retailers know that they should be delivering a seamless omnichannel experience where the customer experience is always the same no matter how the purchase is made, but most of them are failing to achieve this at present.

If a third of customers are prepared to boycott or ignore brands that can’t get their order right then there is a serious imperative here for leaders to get it right.

The Apparel article offers some valuable insight into avoiding some of the perils that ruin the shopping experience and make it impossible to deliver any omnichannel experience.  I won’t repeat their advice, you can read the article here, but what I would add as possibly the most critical point of all is that omnichannel is nothing new. Many of us in the industry can point to great case studies, we have the knowledge to make it work.

I believe this is why customers are prepared to boycott brands so easily. They know that this is not rocket science and they expect retailers to deliver the correct items. Patience and forgiveness are hard to come by when the public knows that you should be capable of delivering what was asked for.