Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail – Webhelp Gie it Yaldy!

Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail is the first ever national public art trail, which launched in Scotland eleven weeks ago. Over 200 unique Oor Wullie sculptures are currently on display in five host cities, including over 50 in Glasgow. The person sized sculptures, modelled after Scotland’s most famous comic strip character can also be spotted across Edinburgh, Dundee, Inverness and Aberdeen.

Webhelp have had great pleasure supporting this event and sponsored our very own Oor Wullie statue ‘Oor Charles’ inspired by another celebrated Scot, Charles Rennie Macintosh.

As proud sponsors we helped raise awareness of the public art project by holding activities to celebrate the themed weeks with the help of our colleagues and the community.

However, the trail is coming to an end, and as we prepare to say a final farewell to all the Oor Wullie’s we look back on some of our highlights over the past few months.

Weans Week 24th June

Webhelp celebrated Wean’s Week with the vibrant pupils from Saint Timothy Primary School. We gifted our wee Oor Wullie to the school, the children were overjoyed to take part in this exciting opportunity to design and paint an Oor Wullie statue, which they named ‘Oor Timmy.’

To show our appreciation we invited the ‘wean’s’ to The Forge shopping centre to view the masterpiece. The full story on Wean’s Week can be found here.

Oor Selfie Challenge 5th July 

Webhelp recently participated in The Oor Selfie Challenge organised by Glasgow Children's Hospital. A team of five from our Hope St office did an outstanding job, despite the miserable Scottish weather. They even won a Tunnock's food hamper for the most innovative use of transport during the selfie challenge. The transport included a Glasgow sightseeing tour bus, a tardis and a rocket. The hamper will be raffled off and the money raised will be donated to Glasgow Children's Hospital.

Charity Week 15th July

To honour charity week we looked back at a past campaign for one of the trail’s charities the Glasgow Children’s Hospital and the incredible impact it had on one very special family.

Nichola Hazard, who works for one of Webhelp’s key clients, shared the story of her young son Hugo, who was diagnosed with dense cataracts in both eyes just before his second birthday. Hugo, now 3 years old, had the opportunity to get permanent lenses fitted, which would mean no more lenses and a chance for his vison to improve. However, there was an obstacle in the way. Read more about Hugo’s story and how Webhelp contributed to the positive outcome.

Explorer week – 22nd July

To celebrate Explorer Week Webhelp launched the Oor Charles Selfie Challenge. As sponsors of the Oor Charles statue in George Square, we asked you to post pictures of yourselves with Oor Charles on social media.

This encouraged Webhelp employees to explore the streets of Glasgow and participate in the trail. Two winners were chosen and each received a £50 Love2Shop voucher.

Art, Music & Culture Week – 5th August

During this week we focussed on the arts and shared an interview with Freelance illustrator Laura Hallet, the artist of #OorCharles.

“I was really excited! To have a design that celebrates one of my favourite artists and designers chosen was really special, and it was great to find a sponsor that shared my love of Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Webhelp.” Laura Hallet.

Read more about Laura’s artistic background and the creative process behind Webhelp’s sponsored sculpture Oor Charles here.

Oor Wullie’s Big Walk – 10th August

A team from Hope St and Greenock took on the challenge to walk either the 3km or 10km distance to raise money for Glasgow’s Children’s Hospital.

Despite the summer drizzle our committed fundraisers enjoyed the day, passing the various Oor Wullie sculptures along the way! So far they have raised over £400 (their Webhelp Hope St Just Giving page is still open!).

A big well done to our BIG walkers: Brandon Harris, Kris Conway, Gordon MacLean, Maria McRobbie, Kayleigh Reid, Bethany Smith. And a special shout out to Owen Moran who was one of the volunteer marshals for the event.

Overall, the purpose of this event is to raise vital funds for children in hospital’s across Scotland. All proceeds raised will help give young patients and their families the exceptional care they deserve. We are proud to have had the privilege of being involved in such an amazing initiative and look forward to witnessing the impact of the total funds raised.

Chief Client Officer Anton Manley, Webhelp said:

“I’ve been blown away in terms of the reaction we’ve seen, there’s a huge energy and enthusiasm. Clearly the character of Oor Wullie is still well-known and synonymous in Scotland with being a cheeky chappy and it puts a smile on everyone’s face, so it’s great to see that positivity.”

Click here to find out more about Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail, which supports children’s charities the Glasgow Children’s Hospital, the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital and the Archie Foundation.


The Power of Donation | Webhelp and Together for Short Lives

Since we announced our partnership with Together for Short Lives our teams have been busy organising several fun events to raise money for the charity. We are delighted to report that the involvement and enthusiasm of employees has been exceptional.

Together for Short Lives is the UK’s leading charity for the 49,000 children living with life-limiting conditions, and their families. There are 54 hospice services in the UK that support seriously-ill children, providing specialist clinical care alongside practical and emotional support for all the family. Webhelp’s 13 offices across the UK are raising money to help fund this life-changing care and to create awareness of the invaluable work the charity does.

On Sunday 7 April, our Glasgow Hope Street Engagement Ambassadors organised a charity football match between the two client campaigns that we support on site. This took place at the Toryglen Football Centre next to the national stadium Hampden Park. The teams raised an admirable £235.

The success of the first charity football inspired a follow up game, a highly entertaining Cup Match between Glasgow Hope Street and Falkirk. It was a close match that saw Falkirk win 6-4. The event raised over £500 for the cause.

On Sunday 28 April, employees from our Glasgow Hope Street site hit the streets to participate in the Kiltwalk to raise funds. The team finished with aplomb and have since tallied up over £1300, with more to come.

Other fundraising events have included a lively campaign launch in Rothesay, a sale of goodies from our home bakers in Kilmarnock and creative Henna tattoos from our Falkirk teams, plus more events are planned for the future.

The charity is delighted with all the varied initiatives introduced so far, in addition to the commitment shown by Webhelp’s employees. Karen Yates, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Together for Short Lives said:

“We have loved how Webhelp have thrown themselves into supporting Together for Short Lives in every way they can, and in the most fun, imaginative ways possible. They are truly making a lifetime of difference for children and families at the children’s hospices they are helping us to support.”

Overall, each site is working hard to raise vital funds for Together for Short Lives to help ensure families create memories that will last a life time. Through on-going fundraising events Webhelp endeavours to make a difference and to ultimately promote the power of donation.

David Turner, Chief Executive Officer, Webhelp UK commented:

“We are deeply honoured to support the incredible work of Together for Short Lives. The charity strives to make every moment count for the children and families it cares for, a sentiment we really believe in at Webhelp.”

If you’d like to find out more about our 2019 charity and support the wonderful work they do please visit www.togetherforshortlives.org.uk


WEBHELP BRING A BUZZ TO KILMARNOCK SITE

 

 

Webhelp created a buzz in Ayrshire with the installation of two beehives at its Kilmarnock customer experience centre. In recent years, there has been a real reduction in bee numbers in the UK, so last year Webhelp announced a new partnership with Plan Bee Ltd, with the installation of its first ever bee colonies at its Sheffield customer experience centre. The Sheffield initiative has been so successful that Webhelp recently expanded its bee population in Kilmarnock.

Carl Schaefer, Webhelp’s Chief Information Officer, said:

“Webhelp cares passionately about the environment and as a leading employer in the area we believe we have a responsibility to help sustain the local ecosystem, and also to engage and educate on green issues in general.

“In this exciting initiative, Webhelp Kilmarnock will be home for approximately 120,000 honeybees, enhancing biodiversity and featuring in our beekeeping and engagement sessions with Webhelp employees and local schools.”

In recognition of World Honeybee Day, Webhelp employees in Kilmarnock have been able to get up close and personal with their new neighbours. The team had the chance to don bee-keeping outfits and see how the newest recruits worked up close. They even got the chance to taste some Webhelp honey.

The hives will help provide a habitat for these native pollinators, and alongside a range of wildflowers that have been planted, there should be plenty to keep the bees occupied. This initiative is part of a wider environmental strategy with further activity planned across 2019.


The rise of fake news, phoney profiles, data mining and the impact on trust in CX

In the age of online fakery, can brands still inspire trust and communicate with integrity? David Pattman, Managing Director CX Services at Gobeyond Partners, part of the Webhelp Group looks at the impact of diminishing online confidence on the future of CX.

With our screens full of references to fake news, bogus social media profiles and high profile data mining scandals hitting Facebook and Google, it’s hard not to assume that trust in online channels is plummeting. Facebook alone suspended over 1.3 billion fake accounts in 2018 and, shockingly, by their own admission an estimated 5% of remaining accounts are fake.

But they are not alone, as according to the Washington Post Twitter was reported to have shut down up to 70 million fake and suspicious accounts between May and June of 2018.

So how can brands counter this malicious activity eating away at ‘digital trust’ as a whole? The first step in answering that question is defining the term, as research specialists, Gartner has done below:

“Digital trust underpins every digital interaction by measuring and quantifying the expectation that an entity is who or what it claims to be and that it will behave in an expected manner. Source: www.Gartner.com

They offer further advice that “CIOs who lead digital business initiatives need to learn how digital trust differs from traditional trust models.”

The accepted theory of trust-based marketing, as originated by Dr Glen Urban former dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management focuses on clear dialogue, unbiased information and customer advocacy techniques to create a loyal customer base. Interestingly, digital trust seems to work under different parameters as Southampton University discovered as far back as 2011.

They undertook a unique study which identified the key factors in rating trust in websites, which were identified as (in order); Easy to find information, Easy to read, Coherent and Simple. They clearly linked trust to ease in online journeys, something that is core to producing effective CX.

As Roger Dooley, author and international keynote speaker on influence, highlights:

“Topics like recommendations, testimonials, reviews, and accreditations were also mentioned, along with other factors. But, the preponderance of references to a smooth and easy experience are quite remarkable.” Source: Neuroscience Marketing

Since then customer advocacy has become increasingly prevalent, instant and reactive, with crowd-sourcing review specialists G2, highlighting that 94% of customers read online reviews and Digital Marketing Group Fan and Fuel reporting that an incredible 97% of us factor customer reviews into our buying decisions.

                                The majority of customers read online reviews before buying

Photo Credit: rupixen/Unsplash

We can see that traditional word of mouth has been almost entirely replaced by search engines and review sites, so maintaining a positive reputation around customer service has become a crucial factor for brand success.

Interestingly, the way brands deal with reviews is another factor in establishing trust and according to 2018 research, over half of customers expect brands to reply to online reviews within 7 days.

It is my opinion that the direct approach is best, brands should be proactive in addressing customer feedback head-on. Companies should be there to listen and respond wherever the customer voice is active. Leaving a vacuum is bad for business as, according to Chatmeter, not replying online risks increasing customer attrition by up to 15%

To conclude, brands can take steps to counter falling digital trust by creating easy and smooth customer journeys, maintaining exemplary online customer service and delivering a fast response via social channels - which are key areas where we offer support and advice to our client portfolio.

And taking these steps are crucial for the bottom line, as Roger Dooley, author and international keynote speaker on influencing, puts it:

“Without “digital trust,” you won’t get their email, and you certainly won’t get their money.”

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Customer Experience as a Competitive Differentiator

Can quality CX provide a significant commercial edge for business? Here Webhelp Chief Customer Solutions Officer, Helen Murray, provides insight into innovative customer experience and its role as a competitive differentiator in the digital world.

In today’s internet-dependent society, almost everything is digital – from ordering a takeaway to checking a medical record. As a result customer expectations are increasingly heightened by access to innovative products and processes. The impact of online customer experience, both good and bad, is increasing as digital channels become the new norm.

As digital innovations are reshaping our society, economy, culture and lifestyle it’s becoming more certain that CX will be the competitive driver for future advancement, with the International Data Corporation (IDC) recognising this trend:

“Both technology vendors and their end customers are now investing heavily in customer experience technologies. European CX software spend will increase massively from $34 billion in 2018 to $47 billion in 2022 as CX becomes the competitive differentiator for the future enterprise.” Source IDC

IDC claims that 45% of Western European enterprises are using (or piloting) speech analytics solutions for CX. With tough competition, brands must stay relevant and improve the way they interact with their customers or lose out to competitors with slicker and better adapted CX offerings.

To accomplish this, brands must adapt and invest in more ‘human-like’ automated systems, as (according to Gartner) a quarter of customer service and support operations will integrate virtual customer assistant (VCA) or chatbot technology across engagement channels by 2020. They provide some insight into the reasoning behind this growth here:

“AI in sales allows for more efficiency and effectiveness in business processes, often with up to 30% higher conversion rates when engaging prospects or leads. It is becoming an attractive alternative for sales organizations with high volumes of lead processing, opportunities and forecasting processes because it provides fast and accurate support when performing the different sales stages.” Source: Gartner Newsroom

They conclude by asserting that by 2020, 30% of all B2B companies will employ artificial intelligence (AI) to augment at least one of their primary sales processes – taking their figures on board, it is not a stretch to foresee a wave of inevitable investment in CX technology, making it more crucial than ever to stay ahead of the curve.

This can be accomplished by adopting cutting edge AI and Automation in CX technology, a subject that we have taken a deeper dive into in previous blogs. But this alone isn’t enough; I believe that it will be personalisation and the human touch which will be the deciding factors in inspiring engagement in customer purchasing, retention and loyalty.

We need to stop thinking of customers as commodities and start engaging in real and valuable conversations with them. This applies whether these conversations are interactions through AI (Chatbots, Voice Assistants) or real-life contact with skilful human advisors trained in solution resolution.

So what tangible benefit does excellent CX actually offer to make investment worthwhile?  In fact, relatively small increases in customer satisfaction can have a tremendous impact on company turnover. Bain & Company suggest that by increasing customer retention rates by just 5%, brands could increase profits by a minimum of 25%. They also recommend establishing a smooth and streamlined online journey, as a cost-effective way to increase loyalty, recognising that:

“Companies that focus on building loyal relationships that by their very nature keep costs to a minimum are far better positioned to remain strong in the face of market turbulence.” Source: Bain

In conclusion, what we need to deliver the best results, is an in-depth understanding of the level of the customer’s emotional engagement. At Webhelp, we work with our clients to gather insight at key points, creating customer journeys that inspire positive engagement and build loyalty and trust.

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The creative process behind Webhelp’s fundraising ‘Oor Wullie’ sculpture

Webhelp is delighted to sponsor Scotland’s first-ever national public art trail which is raising vital funds for children in hospital's across Scotland. Here, we talk to artist Laura Hallet, revealing the design process behind our bespoke ‘Oor Wullie’ sculpture and how she feels about the incredible impact the trail is having.

Each week of the event takes on a different theme, as it is Art, Music & Culture Week, we are focusing on the Arts. Freelance illustrator Laura Hallet, the designer of #OorCharles, Webhelp’s artwork, shares her artistic background and her enthusiasm on being chosen to paint a sculpture for the trail.

First of all, tell us about yourself?

I’m a Bristol-based freelance illustrator, originally from Birmingham. I work primarily in watercolour and ink and specialise in illustrated maps and architectural illustrations. However, I enjoy working across the board on food, lifestyle, and narrative, in addition to information illustration.

I also love taking part in public art trails like the Big Bucket Trail and have painted several other sculptures before, most recently including a giant Gromit in Bristol which was fantastic. One of my favourite things about this process is meeting so many other local artists whilst working in the shared studio spaces, and I really enjoyed this whilst in Glasgow. Visiting new places is a great source of inspiration for my work

Are you familiar with Scotland’s most famous comic strip character - Oor Wullie?

I didn’t know that much about Our Wullie before the trail, although I did recognise him. But it’s been fantastic to learn all about his place in Scottish culture, and I’ve had lots of Scottish friends telling me how much they love Oor Wullie and how excited they are about the trail, which has been really lovely. I also enjoyed reading the latest annual and trying to get to grips with the Scots dialect!

How did you come across the call-out for artists to design an Oor Wullie, and why did you want to put yourself forward?

I have painted a few Wild in Art Sculptures before so I always keep an eye out for new projects. I was particularly excited when Oor Wullie came up, because the subject was so specific to Scotland, and it’s great when towns and cities feel a very personal connection with the trails.

It was also an unusually shaped sculpture and, as I hadn’t done a human figure before this presented an exciting design challenge. As soon as I thought of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh connection to Glasgow I knew I had to submit a design.

Did it take you long to think of a design, what inspired you to choose Charles Rennie Mackintosh as the theme?

Choosing the theme was easy but developing the design took several days. I spent time playing around with how to incorporate as many different Mackintosh inspired design elements as possible and make them work on what was quite a complicated sculpture. The chair idea came fairly late on and was definitely a ‘eureka’ moment!

How did you feel when you found out that your sculpture ‘Oor Charles’ had been chosen by Webhelp?

I was really excited! To have a design chosen that celebrates one of my favourite artists and designers was really special, and it was great to find a sponsor that shared my love of Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Webhelp.

It’s also a lovely feeling knowing that at the end of the process the sculptures will be auctioned off to make a real difference to the lives of Glasgow’s children receiving care in hospital.

How many weeks did it take you to complete the sculpture, did you hit a creative block?

As I was travelling and staying up in Glasgow I had to work long days instead of painting in smaller bursts over a long period, so there wasn’t much time for creative blocks! However, painting the very linear Mackintosh chair design onto the very bumpy sculpture surface on the back was definitely tricky! Oor Charles took about 4 solid long days (with very early starts) to completely finish.

Do you have a favourite trail sculpture?

Some favourites that I’ve spotted on social media are A Reasonably Accurate Map of Glasgow (I love maps!), Oor Billy, Oor Rail Bridge and The Amazing Oor Wullie.

Do you know that ‘Oor Charles’ is one of the top 10 unlocked sculptures in Glasgow? How does it feel to know the sculpture you designed has been unlocked by 2,894 members of the public so far?

I didn’t know that, but that’s amazing! It’s really great to know that so many people are visiting Oor Charles!

Click here to find out more about Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail, which supports children’s charities the Glasgow Children’s Hospital, the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital and the Archie Foundation.


The future of Social Media Moderation

Chloé De Mont-Serrat, General Manager of Netino, Webhelp’s digital and Social Media entity, looks at the future of content moderation, and the challenges that will come when combining the human touch with intelligent technologies.

There is no argument that the rise in social media has transformed communication across the globe. The industry, already over a decade old, influences how we consume news and media, interact with our families and friends, make consumer choices and share thoughts and ideas.

It provides brands across the technology sector with extensive opportunities to licence and monetize data, which is why it is still one of the highest growth areas.

Despite media domination of US social media brands like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, social media is truly global with big hitters like China’s Tencent (one of the largest internet companies in the world) and Tik Tok (the most download app in the US in October) and Russia’s answer to Google, Yandex.

With the juggernaut of social media showing no signs of slowing down, what will be the key challenges for the content moderation sector, in the next few years?

The first is likely to be regulatory changes, as governments and policymakers are becoming increasingly aware of the public issues around content and are asking platforms to do more. Mark McCarthy, Senior Fellow Georgetown University, and former Senior Vice President for the Software & Information Industry Association, believes that measures are needed to make regulatory decisions, for example on content removal, fair and clear:

“There must be explicit standards used for the removal decision and those standards need to be transparent so that users can form expectations about what is out of bounds and what is acceptable.” Source: CIO

However, resourcing is certainly a close second, despite recent rises in AI and automation and picture recognition there is an increasing demand for skilled operators. For example at job portal Indeed.com there was a 72% spike job in postings for the role of content moderator from January 2018-2019.

This expanding demand in recruitment highlights the third trend that brands should be aware of. The use of a combination of highly skilled people to provide both the social context and human emotion to compliment AI technology. Anurag Srivastava Vice President, Global Sourcing confirms this saying:

"The judgement-intensive nature of content moderation work requires the human touch. Indeed, with the increasing complexity of the work and the rising regulatory oversight requirements, the need for human employees as part of the content moderation equation will continue to grow significantly.” Source: Everest Group

Social media use is increasing as is moderation                        Photo Credit: Clem Onojeghuo/Unsplash

The final factor that will impact the future of social media moderation will be the increasing desire for customisation, personalisation and localisation – a pivotal influence across all levels of content management and customer journeys. So the key here will be for businesses to future-proof their content strategies at the upper level. This means targeting the right customers with the right messages, using recipient level data to inform the message, at the correct time and place.

At Netino we have the right people, insight and resources to help leverage digital and social presence, we specialise in digital content management, moderation, social media intelligence, and help our clients to better understand and manage their digital customer experience with a view to increasing satisfaction and revenue at each step.

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