Five Popular Beliefs on Social Media that You Need to Rethink

5 popular beliefs on social media that you need to forget...

#1: Going on social media might encourage people to say bad things about me

#2: Social Media is not relevant to my sector

#3: I’m going to block/delete negative comments on my social pages

#4: Customer Service doesn’t belong on social media

#5: To build a community on social media, I just need to be spontaneous and post nice pictures

Does this sound familiar?

Here are a few insights which might help:

#1 Yes! Social Media is scary...

...because it’s viral and anyone can say anything.

But here’s the reality: This is what’s happening whether you have a social media presence or not. Hiding from the discussion is not going to change what people say so the best way to handle social media is to become a part of it.

But hold on, it’s still important to get it right!

#2 Your sector does not determine if you are legitimate on social media – your audience does.

Of course, your sector is going to dictate potential constraints to your communication on social media but it’s the way in which you want to address your customers that will be decisive.

Be it Retail, Pharmaceuticals, Insurance, Banking, Travel, FMCG … this applies to every industry:

Do your customers constantly seek out more information on your products or services?

Can the customer journey be simplified thanks to social?

How do your customers share their experiences?

What counts for your customers in customer service?

These questions will help you decide which platforms you want to invest in and which strategy to apply to each of them.

But here it comes… when you open your pages, your customers will express themselves and you need to be ready.

#3 Negative comments are part of the social customer experience.

So blocking them or refusing to see them would be like trying to ignore arguments in a romantic relationship: it’s a recipe for disaster! In fact, it can even enhance your customers’ dissatisfaction and push them to express themselves outside of your pages, in places where you can neither control what they are saying nor interact with them.

So embrace negative comments by responding to them in the right way and you can hopefully turn bad experiences into neutral or even good ones– and in so doing build a community… Is it all starting to make sense?

#4 Social Media could be considered in CRM terms as the love-child between email and chat, allowing instantaneity, privacy and personalization - but with added community - and should be handled as such.

As we know, people are already expressing themselves on social media and are expecting answers from your brand on this channel.

So if you play it right, your social page can become the storefront of your customer service excellence and even help you generate more sales. In the best of cases, it can even contribute to build so called power-user communities who will help you leverage presence on social media.

However, if you don’t treat social media as a customer service channel and instead reply to all questions and complaints with a default-answer redirection to email, you might generate frustration and end up making social media a new source of bad experiences.

#5 Building a community needs to both respond to your clients’ most urgent needs and inspire new users to come and visit your page.

Spontaneity is good as a general guideline, but it needs to rely on clear ground rules for it to work, which need to stem from a clear strategy.

Having customers follow your page is the social equivalent of them subscribing to a loyalty program.

Here are the top 3 main customer expectations, which, in my experience, you can’t ignore when growing a community:

  • Gaining access to discounts and exclusive deals and receiving regular updates on the brand
  • Benefiting from a privileged contact with the brand – for example in case of a problem with a product or service
  • Create a personal, strongly experiential bond with the brand and the brand’s universe

Your community management strategy needs to reflect and respond to these expectations – and that’s how you grow your community.

Feel like finding out more?

Please feel free to reach out: @tweetinmarianne

It’s Time for Business Transformation

We’ve all seen a very typical outsourcing scenario...

...a company issues a Request for Proposal and waits for all of their suppliers to pitch for business. Outsourcing; and the area of customer experience has now changed however, with two key trends shaping how companies are working together: partnership and transformation.

Partnership, as you might expect, happens when two companies work together to achieve a business outcome. One offers tools or expertise to the other, but partnership is more than just a typical client-and-supplier financial transaction. Often companies cannot succeed in their own market without expertise from specialists – especially in an area as complex as customer interaction.

The periphery of the typical organisation has become blurred. A customer service agent may work in the office of a brand, but be paid by a specialist customer service company that supplies technology in addition to people. Today’s customer service partnerships blur the lines surrounding who pays whom, and the relationships enable both companies to benefit from their mutual success.

Transformation is extremely important in corporate relationships today. The customer journey is changing: customers want to make less effort, and they want interactions to be as easy as possible. Customer expectations are moving faster than most companies can manage; unless they have a programme of transformation that will move client-facing people and systems ahead of the competition.

These two aspects of organisational behaviour will be critical in the years ahead. Companies in this fast-changing world will only succeed if they get the right partners on board and ensure that success rewards both parties. In addition, serving customers who now expect an omnichannel that works requires a serious amount of planning and change.

Those who succeed will have the right partners, but they will also have planned the future state of their business and created a transformation roadmap to help everyone on the team get there.

Transforming the Customer Experience

Companies that Have Transformed the Customer Experience

Customer experience transformation is underpinned by considerable knowledge, careful, expert data analysis and – most importantly – getting to know your customer. It’s impossible for any B2C company to serve customers well if it doesn’t know who they are, or if its people have become so immersed in the corporate world that they have failed to consider the most basic needs of service users.

Premier Inn climbed 15 places in the KPMG Nunwood Customer Experience Excellence rankings between 2013 and 2015. One of the primary pillars of its transformation was the development of a Premier Inn app. As indicated in a recent study, 61% of customers think better of a brand when it provides a good mobile experience. The Premier Inn app allows guests to check in, order breakfast and even adjust the temperature and lighting in their rooms. It also gives them information about places to eat, drink and explore around the hotel.

In addition to tech innovation, way back in 2010  Premier Inn achieved a customer experience masterstroke the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Santa realised that children were quite fond of toys.

It changed the beds.

A small change yet a big transformation – Premier Inn made it more comfortable to sleep in its hotels. It also started offering a Good Night Guarantee; unless there’s an earthquake in your hotel, the company will take full responsibility for your night’s sleep. If you don’t sleep well, Premier Inn will give you a refund. In one move, this hotel brand made great strides in terms of both empathy and accountability and started a meteoric rise up the customer excellence charts.

This kind of basic, fundamental change is key to customer experience, and yet many companies overlook opportunities like this because they can’t see the woods for the trees. Dedicated analysis and opportunity scoping, particularly when conducted as part of a wider business process outsourcing endeavour, can remove the blinkers from yours and your Board’s eyes.

Another company that has climbed drastically in the KPMG rankings is Richer Sounds. After a difficult couple of years post-recession, the company climbed 18 places in the Customer Experience Excellence Rankings between 2014 and 2015, landing in 4th place.

The Richer Sounds transformation fell back on the basics: revamping the business’ approach to the Six Pillars of customer experience. Already known for a superior in-store service in terms of technical knowledge, Richer Sounds developed its customer experience further by prioritising how it handled expectations.

By identifying the need to increase meeting and managing of expectations, Richer Sounds was able to increase advocacy and brand loyalty, leading to a better reputation and more word-of-mouth recommendations. A bigger focus on training – staff at Richer Sounds spend three hours per day learning about new products – and improved service that includes home installations greatly improved customer perceptions of the brand.

Richer Sounds rolled out another substantial change – a loyalty card that grants members access to extended opening hours, six-year guarantees on equipment and 10% discount on clearance items. Richer Sounds committed to examining the problems with existing retail loyalty cards and took an innovative approach that has clearly paid off.

Planning for Transformation

Initiating transformation means dedicating specialist resources to finding the areas that need improvement and working to engineer solutions. This can be done via projects that target a single area, projects that change entire end-to-end processes or multi-year programmes of change. Regardless of the scale you are working to, it’s vital to focus on two elements: boosting loyalty (at the expense of your competition) and creating financial gain, either through revenue increase, cost reduction or both.

The first step in any transformation process is identifying opportunities for change; the easiest and most effective way of doing this is via your customers and advisor frontline. The people who handle your customer interaction are the ones with a direct line to what they want, and that is your most valuable transformation asset. Webhelp’s Discovery labs, for example, utilise grassroots feedback from frontline staff to identify problems and test solutions with limited, closely monitored initial rollouts.

Data-driven analysis by experts is also key to scoping out opportunities for change; for broader scale transformation, effective analytics is paramount. Once actionable intelligence has been generated, solution architects need to step in and start creating the roadmap for change.

Evaluating Transformation

Whether transformation has taken place across an entire company or just one campaign, it is vital that no one rests on their laurels. Both Premier Inn and Richer Sounds used ongoing feedback and consultation to ensure that their strategies were consistently evaluated. Transformation isn’t something that occurs once – it has to happen continuously if your business is to thrive and respond effectively to customer needs.

In a world where customer desires change, adapt and increase in response to everything from technological innovations to online reviews, transformation has never been more vital. The ideal customer experience is not something that will be engineered overnight, or even over the course of a year – it is something that will develop and entirely change over a company’s lifecycle. Transformation appears to be a mammoth and long-term task, but it is one that is easily achievable with the right resources, knowledge and level of commitment.

Polish Potential

Landing  in Warsaw’s Frédéric Chopin airport is really something. When you arrive, not having visited the Polish capital since the fall of the Iron Curtain, you are immersed in a total shock.  The thing that strikes me most, after almost 30 years, is the energy that flows through the city. Everybody seems busy, on his or her way, or at work.  The city has the charm of a working man’s capital. A bit raw but also very honest in the impression it leaves on you.

Since I am here for work, that atmosphere suits me perfectly. I am here to find out more about the potential for German Nearshore and Polish onshore . German nearshore opportunities in Eastern Europe or elsewhere are slim. With a very competitive market domestically, the past 15 years has seen many fashionable destinations come up in Eastern Europe. Unfortunately, the low prices do not always match the envisioned quality. This indicates that although there is a significant demand for high quality nearshore services, there is also a lot of skepticism around delivery quality. In Poland, the destination of choice is Krakow, but that market seems to be saturated.

Today, I am visiting Webhelp’s operations in Warszaw, located right on the outskirts of the city and close to the airport. Immediately, the energy that we saw in the city springs to life. The welcome is enthusiastic and the site tour is very interesting, filled with proud achievements. Listening in and looking at the backoffice conversations, a highly dedicated workforce with a good grasp of the German language and culture is evident.

During lunch where obviously Pierogi is the featured main (good!) we see a new fata morgana arise. A couple of hundred seats we can fill easily, we discuss. But then the dream is cruelly shattered; it will take a year to fill that demand. But there is good news as well. People like the work, stay very long and remain motivated. That means new growth, although slow, will continue and create a high quality solution. So maybe not ideal, but still a very good supporting option.

Our second question is: what are the Polish domestic market options. The response is once again very realistic, we’re told that it may not be the best option to house Polish domestic business in a capital. In this sense Poland is no different from other European countries. We discuss several other good options and feel once more positive about the future.

It is a breath of fresh air to see a “can do” mentality with a lot of realism combined with high levels of energy, making us feel very positive about business opportunities for contact centers in Warszaw.

At the airport I buy a bottle of Bison Vodka and together with the Pierogi I had before it’s my only encounter with the ‘traditional’ Poland I have seen during my trip. This is far from a bad thing though, as I genuinely like the ‘new’ Poland with all its great potential. I’ll be back soon.

Webhelp UK gives colleague £9,000 new car voucher as thank you for hard work

Webhelp UK, one of the country’s leading business process outsourcers (BPO), has given one lucky colleague a £9,000 voucher to spend on a new car.

Lorna Lewis, from Falkirk, who works at the business’s Larbert site, claimed the top prize and can now purchase a new set of wheels courtesy of Arnold Clark.

The giveaway marks the end of Webhelp’s Christmas bonanza raffle held over last year’s festive period.

This overtime incentive challenge ensures that customers continue to receive the very best level of service at the busiest time of the year. Colleagues who worked an additional ten hours overtime received ten raffle tickets.

Alongside the new car voucher, Webhelp raffled a selection of prizes including Apple watches, TV’s, top of the range mobile phones and coffee machines as well as holiday vouchers, courtesy of Thomas Cook.

Reflecting on her prize, Lorna, who works as a customer experience advisor at Larbert, said:

“I honestly couldn’t believe it when my name was called out at the raffle day. It’s not every day you leave work with £9,000 in your back pocket for a new car. It’s a very generous gesture from Webhelp, one that I am extremely grateful for.”

Anton Manley,

Webhelp UK stands up to cancer and raises £40,000

Webhelp UK, a leading BPO provider, has raised £40,000 for Cancer Research UK after nominating the organisation as its national charity in 2015.

Colleagues across Webhelp’s 12 UK sites raised the total by organising, and participating in, various activities and events including bake sales, dress down days and setting up donation stations for its colleagues to donate unwanted items.

The customer experience provider smashed its initial fundraising target of £15,000 by £25,000 – which represents an additional 167%.

A standout example of Webhelp's fundraising efforts comes from its Kilmarnock site in Scotland, which participated in a sponsored climb of Ben Nevis – raising £2,300

The total money raised will now go towards supporting the invaluable work that Cancer Research undertakes to provide support to communities across the country.

Sarah Johnstone, Local Fundraising Manager at Cancer Research UK, assisted the Webhelp UK sites with their fundraising activities throughout 2015.

She said: “I would like to thank Webhelp UK for the fantastic amount they have raised and the outstanding contribution they have made to our life saving research.

“From climbing Ben Nevis to bake sales and dress down days to Race for Life, the Webhelp UK staff have really got behind Cancer Research UK.

Colleagues across Webhelp’s 12 UK sites raised £40000 for Cancer Research UK

“Money raised allows Cancer Research UK’s doctors, nurses and scientists to advance research which is helping to save the lives of men, women and children across the UK.

“One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives but the good news is that more people are surviving the disease now than ever before.

“Survival rates have doubled since the 1970s but more funds and more supporters are needed to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.”

David Turner, CEO at Webhelp UK, added: “Charitable contribution is a crucial part of our company ethos and the work that Cancer Research does really inspired us to go above and beyond to hit our target.

“Bettering the target we set last year is an incredible testament to the hard work across all of our sites and an achievement that we are all extremely proud of.”

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

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

5 tips to improve the design of your training toolkit

5 tips to improve the design of your training toolkit

Your training material therefore needs to be well-designed in order to have a maximized impact.


Webhelp DMS give you 5 tips to help you optimize the design of your training material:

5 tips to improve the design of your training toolkit