Webhelp raises awareness of homelessness in South Africa

Webhelp executives in SA to join The CEO SleepOut™

JOHANNESBURG, July 27, 2016 – Craig Gibson, CEO of Webhelp SA, and finance director, Mark Reynolds, will join around 250 CEOs to spend tomorrow night (Thursday, July 28), sleeping rough on Johannesburg’s iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge.  From 6pm on Thursday until 6am on Friday, July 29, the captains of industry, armed only with a sleeping bag and a piece of cardboard, will sleep out in sub-zero temperatures to raise empathy for and awareness of the plight of the homeless in South Africa.

In addition to raising awareness, the event also aims to increase empathy for the homeless, at the same time as raising money for charities involved in the eradication of homelessness in South Africa. According to the organisers, “in 2016, we’ll start with providing vulnerable communities with an education, which leads to financial freedom, so no one has to sleep on the streets.”

Craig Gibson, CEO of Webhelp SA, explained why he was getting involved: “Webhelp in South Africa was founded on the basis of strong commercial principles together with a focus on bridging the social divide in South Africa. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and contact centres provide a large number of jobs and these jobs are attainable for the particular sectors of South African society which struggle most with unemployment, such as youth, where unemployment rates are running at more than 28%.

“Webhelp has been working for some time with Columba Leadership on a grassroots level social investment programme that aims to restore economic equality and bridge the social divide through job creation.

“When the opportunity came to join this inspirational event and help raise the profile of and empathy with the homeless in our society, as well as raising money to combat the inequality that still exists here, I had no hesitation in becoming involved. I was keen to rise to the challenge and do my part to build a world that works for everyone. If not now, when?”

Craig and Mark have already pledged R160,000, but if you would like to help them boost their total, which this year will go to Columba Leadership, Steve Biko Foundation and ASHA Trust, you can donate via the following link: http://bit.ly/2abcnGh

You can follow Craig and Mark’s adventure on social media using the hashtags  #CEOSleepOut2016 - #4Leaders4Change - #RiseToTheChallenge.

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


How Collaboration Leads to Transformation

I have been thinking a lot recently about the way that modern organisations are changing their internal structure. Much of this has been driven by the need for the customer service team to evolve from a purely reactive service into a proactive engagement that becomes an integral part of the way brands market their service.

Changes in the customer journey have redefined how brands interact with their customers, not just in the number of channels available for interactions, but in the level of engagement that a customer expects. A few years ago, who would have imagined that a customer could ask their local supermarket a question about how to make chicken soup, and the supermarket would respond with a recipe? There are millions of interactions like this each day that have redefined brand engagement.

This has led to blurred lines between marketing and customer service, but this also creates new opportunities for companies that are ready to transform the way that they do business. This article from Destination CRM lists three key areas where a customer service and marketing team can collaborate and create real value for the business.

  1. Use content more effectively; content doesn’t need to be purely about marketing and sales. A mobile phone company that uploads videos displaying how to fix common problems on their most popular handsets is not only offering creating useful marketing collateral, they are deflecting calls away from the customer service team. Many customers will Google for an answer before asking a company a question, so if you have already uploaded the answer then that’s offering a great customer service experience without the customer ever getting in touch.
  2. Collect data and use it more intelligently; customers really expect a more personal service now. This applies to when they get in touch and need help – they expect you to know what they bought, when, and what they said on other channels. But it can also apply to marketing efforts, like determining the most likely time that a customer may be thinking of a new purchase and making sure a deal designed just for that customer is sent.
  3. Embrace social sales; customers are rapidly turning to social networks and messaging tools for service interactions, but it is also possible to intelligently identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities and to introduce these hooks into social or messenger conversations. Any conversations or interactions can be marketing opportunities as well as support.

These three tips really highlight some transformational opportunities available by allowing the marketing team to work closer with customer services. Can you think of more? Leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.

[WHITEPAPER DOWNLOAD] Webhelp's marketing connected contact centre how to leverage a closer relationship with our marketing departments and just what data to ask for.

http://www.destinationcrm.com/Articles/Web-Exclusives/Viewpoints/3-Keys-for-Sales-Marketing-and-Customer-Service-Collaboration--111677.aspx

The topic of the marketing connected contact centre is about to get very interesting...subscribe to get the latest content


Webhelp selected by Unilever to deliver European customer contact services

FALKIRK, July 13, 2016 - Global customer experience and business process outsourcer, Webhelp, has been selected by international consumer goods giant Unilever, to deliver customer contact services across Europe.

The contract will see Webhelp handling the day to day management of the customer voice, email and whitemail communications for around 400 of Unilever’s consumer brands from sites in the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands and Italy.

Olivier Duha, co-founder of Webhelp said: “This is a terrific contract for Webhelp and it is a real coup for us to be able to add such an illustrious brand name as Unilever to our growing list of leading global clients. Webhelp’s ability to offer a consistently high quality customer experience across a wide range of geographies and languages has been a key factor in our ability to secure this contract with Unilever.”

Michael Zarri, European CEC Lead for Unilever, said: “We are committed to ensuring our consumers can enjoy great levels of service whether they are contacting us with a query or a complaint across all channels. We have chosen to partner with Webhelp because we believe their values align with ours and they have the ability to deliver excellent consumer engagement services across their European estate. This gives us the confidence that our consumers will have a great experience wherever they are based.”

This latest contract win follows a period of exciting and sustained growth for Webhelp. In the last 12 months the outsourcer has secured partnerships with online retailing giant, Shop Direct and leading European low cost airline, easyJet, among others. There have also been a number of recent acquisitions made possible by the support of new major shareholder, investment fund, KKR, including the recent purchase of top Scandinavian firm Go Excellent.

Webhelp has seen revenues grow by 250% in the last four years and turnover in 2016 is expected to top US$1bn.


Snapchat best practices

A major contributor of Snapchat‘s appeal and meteoric rise among teens, was that their parents weren’t on it. Facebook was starting to look “old”. And guess what. The same is happening on Snapchat. Older audiences are flocking to the app.
Yup. Your parents are discovering Snapchat too.
A new report from ComScore shows that the number of over-35s on Snapchat are increasing. In fact, they have increased to 14% of U.S. smartphone users 35 and above – an increase of 12% in just over 3 years. The second strongest audience on the app – older millennials – currently the 25-34 age group have increased 5% in the same time. That’s 38% of U.S. smartphone users. 69% of 18-24-year-olds currently use Snapchat. That’s an increase of 24% in three years!

Read more: Snapchat Is Going Mainstream And Attracting Older Users http://wersm.com/snapchat-is-going-mainstream-and-attracting-older-users/#ixzz4Dpa8DSS5
Follow us: @WeRSM on Twitter | WeAreSocialMedia on Facebook


Webhelp praises inaugural Viva Technology

Webhelp, Europe’s third largest customer experience and BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) company, has praised the organisers of the inaugural Viva Technology held in Paris last week (Jun 30 – Jul 2) for successfully bringing together key investors, global industry players, pioneering startups and students in an environment where new ideas were presented, explored and developed.

Webhelp sponsored the customer experience lab at Viva Technology and hosted 50 startups from across the globe, chosen following an open call to submit ideas for six different challenges. These challenges are in the areas Webhelp believes will shape the future of customer experience.

The startups were invited to the Webhelp lab and given the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a jury of venture capitalists, Webhelp’s clients, who are leading global players in a range of industries and Webhelp’s senior management.

Olivier Duha, Webhelp co-founder and president, said: “Webhelp leverages the best people, technology and ideas to allow us to engineer the ultimate in customer contact experience. This first Viva Technology delivered exactly what we had hoped it would – the opportunity to bring together our clients, pioneering startups at the forefront of digital transformation and key investors. Having all these groups together in one room provided inspiration and the opportunity for discussion and development of ideas. As facilitators of this investigation into how technology will be able to support the future of customer experience, we are increasingly being seen in our clients’ eyes as a technology enabler.”

Further reading.

Read more about Webhelp at Viva Technology

Press information:

For more information please contact Heather Astbury, head of PR at Webhelp, on +44(0)7825 5593242 heather.astbury@uk.webhelp.com


Webhelp shortlisted in four categories at the 2016 UK Customer Experience Awards

FALKIRK, July 7, 2016 – Webhelp has been named as a finalist in four categories at this year’s UK Customer Experience Awards.

The UK Customer Experience Awards, now in their seventh year, celebrate examples of best practice in the nation’s customer experience industry. They are judged by a panel of independent business men and women using scoring methodology and criteria endorsed by Cranfield School of Management.

Last year’s winners include Waitrose, AXA PPP Healthcare and Eurotunnel Le Shuttle.

David Turner, CEO of Webhelp UK, said:

“Webhelp were finalists in three categories last year and, although we didn’t win on that occasion, we were delighted to be among a fantastic group of companies dedicated to driving the customer experience industry in the UK forward. We entered four categories this year and are thrilled to have been named as a finalist in each one of them.

“This has been an incredible 12 months for Webhelp. We have secured a number of fantastic new contracts and the introduction of international investment group, KKR, as a major shareholder in February, heralded an exciting period of acquisitions for the group. Our turnover has grown by 250% in the last four years and we expect the 2016 figure to be in excess of US$1bn. Winning a UK Customer Experience Award would be a wonderful way of capping such a great period for Webhelp.

“Expanding at such an impressive rate, while at the same time maintaining our commitment to delivering consistently high levels of customer experience across our estate, is something that is very important to us. Being named as a finalist in prestigious awards like the UK Customer Experience Awards is an endorsement that we are successfully achieving that aim.”

Webhelp is a finalist in the following categories: Insurance; Travel, Transport, Hospitality and Retail; Business Change; Experience and Design/Innovation, and will join representatives of more than 150 leading companies in London on Friday, September 23, to hear the final decision of the judges.

Press information:

For more information please contact:

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


Webhelp Names IADVIZE As The Overall Customer Experience Challenge Winner At VIVA TECHNOLOGY 2016

PARIS, July 7, 2016 - Webhelp has announced the winners of the six customer experience challenges set by the outsourcer, as well as the overall customer experience challenge winner, at the inaugural Viva Technology summit in Paris last week.

Webhelp set six challenges it believes will shape the future of the customer experience industry. Companies were invited to submit their responses to these challenges, with 50 pioneering startups from USA, Canada, France, Spain, Netherlands, Iceland, Denmark and the UK, being invited to join Webhelp at their customer experience lab at Viva Technology.

A panel of experts, including venture capitalists, Webhelp’s clients and senior Webhelp management, listened to these 50 companies pitch their ideas live at the summit. A winner in each of the six challenges was selected with one of those being named the overall customer experience challenge winner.

The six winners were:

* Alcmeon - Social selling – How to generate sales through social media?

* Aircall - Seamless omni-channel customer experiences – How to support seamless customer experiences?

* Serious Factory - Augmented and virtual realities in customer experience – How to enrich customer experience and create value?

* Ibbu by IAdvize - Uberisation – Is customer service next? – How to help traditional models to reduce costs and improve experiences?

* Recast.ai - March of bots – Is this the future of customer service?

* Diduenjoy? - Big data + customer experience – Big customer experience?

Ibbu by IAdvize scooped the overall award. Based in Nantes, France, IAdvize is as a conversational commerce platform established in 2010. The company now provides real-time customer engagement in 40 different countries.

Olivier Duha, Webhelp co-founder and president, said:

“At Webhelp we are constantly seeking the best people and the most innovative ideas to ensure we can continue to offer our clients the solutions to the customer experience challenges of tomorrow. The wealth of talent and innovation on display in our customer experience lab, thanks to these pioneering startups, was incredible and hugely exciting. Webhelp is delighted to be able to facilitate the bringing together of these new ideas with our clients and potential investors and we are grateful to Viva Technology for providing such a wonderful environment for us to host this in.”

 


Webhelp Announces Acquisition of CONTACT2VALUE

FALKIRK, July 6, 2016 – Webhelp, has today announced the acquisition of top Dutch customer experience firm Contact2Value.

Contact2Value is a specialist operator in inbound retention and outbound services and will enhance and expand Webhelp’s capabilities in these areas in the Dutch market.

This acquisition is part of the Group's strategy to actively pursue expansion geographically and ensure a range of consistently high quality services across a variety of geographies and languages.

contact2value ACQUISITION

Contact2Value is based in Hilversum, 25kms outside Amsterdam, and employs around 50 people. Both the facility and the people will become part of the Webhelp family and there are no job losses anticipated. In fact Webhelp believes this acquisition will provide opportunities for growth in the future with both existing and potential new clients.

This is the latest in a serious of exciting contract wins and acquisition announcements from the outsourcer.

Thomas Blankvoort, General Manager of Webhelp in the Netherlands, said: “This has been a phenomenal 12 months for Webhelp. We received a huge boost in February with the announcement that international investment firm KKR was to become our major shareholder. With their support and belief in us, we have been able to make this new acquisition, which will greatly strengthen our position in the Dutch market.”

 


Are High Street Stores Now The Weakest Link For Retailers?

As I have often detailed here, omnichannel is here to stay. Customer expectations today demand that the experience they have of a brand is just as good online as offline and however they choose to communicate, the service will be great.

That’s what customers expect today, but for many brands it is still not a reality. This article in eCommerce News about retailers in Sweden shows that for retail brands there it is often the physical store that is ruining the omnichannel experience. High street stores are becoming the weakest link.

A quarter of Swedish shoppers feel that they get a much more personal experience when shopping online, according to a new study.

Can you imagine that statement from a couple of years ago when the personal in-store experience was considered to be the reason why people will keep on returning to real stores.

Customers know that brands know about them and this helps retailers identify what customers like, what they are not interested in, and how to offer timely deals that will encourage more purchases. All this information is easier to gather in the online environment, but now there appears to be a backlash against the way that the real in-store experience differs – because the employees of the store do not know you when you walk in off the street!

Naturally the real in-store experience will always remain the weakest link if customer expectations for personalisation are increasing to the point where customers want to be treated as individuals when they walk into a store.

Building this kind of in-store personalisation can be complex, but it depends on the approach. The UK retailer Mothercare wrapped an online receipt system around all their existing processes – so after a purchase was made if the customer gave their email address for the receipt details then the system could match up their details to previous spending and offer additional deals.

This does rely on personalisation after a purchase though. Facebook offers location-aware technology to retailers so they can be aware of which customers that already “like” their brand are nearby to a store. This can be cross-matched with other demographic information to send offers direct to the phone of the customer.

Utilising a system like this also restricts the brand to only working with customers who are active mobile users of Facebook, but I do think that some kind of “logging in” will become more common when customers enter a store they like – probably using apps available from the retailer.

If a customer is encouraged to let the app know that they are in-store and the retailers makes it attractive enough to do this then not only can the in-store experience be personalised, but the retailer gets even more data on what the customer is interested in.

Most of us have now become used to reading news online to the extent that some major newspapers, like The Independent, no longer even provide a printed edition. The online news experience lets us comment on stories and share articles that are interesting. It is a far richer experience that the traditional consumption on news printed on paper and this kind of paradigm shift is taking place with retailers. The online experience is now so good and personalised to the individual; those shoppers want to feel the same way when they walk in a store.

What do you think about these changing expectations? How will it affect retail on the High Street? You can leave your thoughts or comments below.


Are High Street Stores Now The Weakest Link For Retailers?

In our latest blog post, Mike Purvis poses the question - "Are High Street Stores Now The Weakest Link for Retailers?"

Referencing new research from Sweden that found a quarter of shoppers feel they get a much more personal experience when shopping online, Mike suggests this statistic would have been unthinkable only two years ago...

Click here to read the rest of Mike's post...