Going For Green: Webhelp UK Awarded Energy Management Certification

GOING FOR GREEN: WEBHELP AWARDED ENERGY MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATION

As one of the country’s leading business process outsourcers (BPO), Webhelp UK has demonstrated its green credentials once again having formally received our ISO 50001 Energy Management accreditation.

This year we have committed to reducing our CO2 emissions and electricity consumption by 10 per cent per employee. In addition, we are targeting a five per cent decrease in gas usage per employee and 15 per cent reduction in our general waste output.

We recently announced a 20 per cent drop in our energy consumption over the last four years, reducing energy usage at our 12 UK sites by a combined 190,000kwh per month. This equates to a saving of 101 tonnes of carbon each month.

Webhelp UK has already received its ISO 140001 Environmental Management certification, demonstrating our commitment to protecting both the environment and reducing our energy consumption.

Carl Schaefer, Director of Infrastructure and Transition at Webhelp UK, said: “We are very committed to reducing our energy consumption across our UK operation so it’s a real achievement to now be officially accredited.

“We have reduced our C02 emissions by 40% per employee over the last four years and have firm plans in place to see our carbon consumption reduce by a further 10 per cent per employee throughout 2016. We’re confident that through continuing to improve our energy management systems, this will be achieved.

“Engaging our teams on energy management is another tactic that has helped control our consumption, and we believe it is vital we provide our people with the appropriate tools and know-how to control and reduce their own energy usage.

“We are extremely proud of the results we have delivered over the last four years and will continue to strive to be recognised as a leader in energy management.”

The ISO 50001 Energy Management certification provides organisations with an internationally recognised framework to manage and improve its energy performance. In particular, the standard addresses key performance indicators including energy use and consumption, measurement, documentation and reporting of energy use and consumption.


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 omnichannel 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.

Omnichannel also sits on the customer communication side – the impression any customer has of the brand through their interactions. This Econsultancy article highlighting the probable omnichannel trends for 2016 largely focuses on this side of the coin.

The key three trends featured by Econsultancy are:

1. 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.

2. Adopt new technologies; explore how the world is changing with new ideas such as virtual reality changing the way that customers see products.

3. 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 features like 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 omnichannel 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.


[Webinar Recording] – Big Data for Big Change

Chris Bryson, Webhelp's Data and Insights Director recently presented a webinar called: Big Data for Big Change: A Practical Guide to Harnessing The Power of Data in Driving Customer Experience Transformation...


...and we wanted you to have full access to the recording below.

During this webinar Chris:

  • Explored structured and unstructured data
  • Outlined how you can learn from each customer interaction
  • Demonstrated how to use what you have learned to create a truly personalised experience.

...and much, MUCH more!

And to bring things to life, Chris used some real data from one of the UK's leading retailers.

We hope you'll find this webinar both insightful and of real value to your business.

You can watch the full webinar recording below...


Retail Week Live 2016 at a Glance


[Free Download] Webhelp for Transformation Paper

Webhelp for Transformation: Our Ability to Deliver Change for the Better

Change happens. But what about Transformation?

Get instant access to our latest free paper 'Webhelp for Transformation', and join us on an exploration of the ways Webhelp engineer change on different scales for your business.

Inside the free paper you'll learn more about our Transformational approach to businesses on different scales.

Click here to access 'Webhelp for Transformation now.


[Retail Week Live] Transforming Business By Focusing On The Customer Experience

I’m speaking at Retail Week Live this week. It’s a great event focused on the future of retail and features some of the biggest hitters in the industry. My own talk is focused on creating a seamless customer experience and how this helps to drive business transformation. It’s really linked to digital transformation and how it is possible to digitise customer contact in a way that improves communication and creates new insights. I’m speaking at the event with Phil Hackney from Shop Direct and really looking forward to the session.

Shop Direct is the UK’s second largest pureplay online retailer, with annual sales of more than £1.8 billion. The company sells more than 1,100 famous brands, including big name labels and their own exclusive brands, and delivers 48 million products to over four million customers every year.

I think the real challenge for companies like Shop Direct has been to find how they can transform the traditional retail business in a way that creates a great customer experience. Moving from a traditional customer service operation to a modern omnichannel-enabled system requires a large-scale digital transformation programme. You need to explore the existing systems and draw a roadmap from there to a stable platform that can then be flexible for future changes because this is a fast-moving area of business – customers are constantly changing because their own digital experience of consumer technology evolves extremely quickly.

There are now some excellent examples of how changes to the typical retail processes can really make life easier for customers. Look at the Collect+ service that Shop Direct uses across all their brands. Deliveries are made free, the customer receives a text when a delivery is made and they can choose over 5,500 locations across the UK. This fixes one of the classic problems with e-commerce and online retail – how to accept deliveries when you might not be at home all day waiting for a package to arrive.

Returns are handled in the same way, allowing customers to receive an item easily and to then drop off the package at the same location if they have any items that need to be returned.

It is processes like this that don’t just improve the customer experience, they can reinvent it and make the process of using an online retailer even better than the in-store experience they might be more used to. This has been a really important change for a business like Shop Direct. Traditional brands like Littlewoods used to be considered catalogue businesses – we all remember those big photo-books – but now Shop Direct has transformed what they do positioning their business as a world-leader in digital retail. It is no exaggeration to suggest that by focusing on the customer experience, they have transformed and reinvented their business.

Customers today have an enormous amount of choice – many retailers are competing for their pounds – so the customer experience is top of the agenda for companies that want to succeed. However it is important to also consider how processes that might just be considered a part of the customer service can be used more strategically to change how the company does business.

Can you transform your business by focusing on and improving the customer experience? If you are going to be at Retail Week then I hope you can attend our talk, but please feel free to leave a comment here.


[Infographic] Transformation of Outsourcing: From the 60s to the present day

Outsourcing has well and truly transformed over the decades...

From the first known 'call centre' in the 60s, to the Continental Airlines telephone booking system off the 70s, through to the multichannel options available on our mobile phones today...

...it's easy to see how customer experiences have transformed over the decades.

Today, digital technology is playing a huge role in how customers engage and interact with companies they want do business with.

And, as you'll see in the infographic below, long gone are the days where companies dictated how customers engaged with them.

That model has flipped completely. Today, it's all about 'customer centricity'.

Customers want seamless interactions at a time that suits them. And they want to engage across multiple channels and on multiple devices.

Enjoy a trip through history as we explore the Transformation of Outsourcing from the 60s through to the present day.

Click here to access the full infographic


[Infographic] Transformation of Outsourcing: From the 60s to the present day

Outsourcing has well and truly transformed over the decades...

From the first known 'call centre' in the 60s, to the Continental Airlines telephone booking system off the 70s, through to the multichannel options available on our mobile phones today...

...it's easy to see how customer experiences have transformed over the decades.

Today, digital technology is playing a huge role in how customers engage and interact with companies they want do business with.

And, as you'll see in the infographic below, long gone are the days where companies dictated how customers engaged with them.

That model has flipped completely. Today, it's all about 'customer centricity'.

Customers want seamless interactions at a time that suits them. And they want to engage across multiple channels and on multiple devices.

Enjoy a trip through history as we explore the Transfomation of Outsourcing from the 60s through to the present day.

 

 

 

 

 


Omnichannel In Focus At Mobile World Congress

The recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona was the biggest annual show focused on mobile technologies. Over 100,000 people visited the event and all the major handset manufacturers were present, launching their latest smartphones and other devices, but I noticed something different about the event this year.

It was really focused on the practical application of technology, rather than just the latest upgrade to the mobile phones we all use.

Look at what the analysts are saying for an example of what I mean. The big themes at the event this year were:

  • 5G
  • Omnichannel
  • Virtual Reality (VR)

This is exciting news because it shows that those of us with an interest in the way that customers experience their interaction with brands are now driving the way that mobile technology companies are planning their own strategy. Instead of developing phone upgrades merely for the sake of continuing to develop the technology, it is these uses of technology and how they affect consumers that are really at the forefront.

VR will almost certainly become an important part of the customer experience in many industries. Gaming companies are already making extensive use of the technology, but it is clear that any company wanting to offer an immersive experience of their products will find this interesting.

5G plans by the phone networks will move us to an environment where the network performance of phones out on the road will rival what can be achieved when at home or in the office. It opens up new possibilities for streaming and the remote use of data-intense activities such as VR.

Omnichannel being a key area of focus was interesting, too. This is really because the mobile customer has transformed the journey from thinking of a product to purchasing it. Review sites, social networks, price comparison sites, these have all transformed the customer journey and mobile devices facilitate a 24/7 approach to customer contact.

However the real question is where it will go next – especially once we move beyond the phone into wearables.

Click here to take a look at the Ovum summary of MWC16


Webinar: Big Data for Big Change

Data is knowledge, knowledge is power and it is also incredibly cool...This webinar will look at how Webhelp can forecast customer behaviour and intervene in the customer journey to engineer the ULTIMATE experience. 

Join us