Webhelp “Think Human”

Webhelp rings in its next phase of strategic development with new brand

Paris-headquartered Webhelp, the European leader in customer experience and business solutions, today revealed its revamped brand platform, supported by an updated visual identity.

The group’s new brand reunites the strengths of its collaborators in 36 countries today and plays a key role in its ambitions to grow to a global leadership position.

The group’s new vision of “making business more human” is founded strongly on Webhelp’s existing company culture, as well as the role enterprises play in society and the rising desire of consumers to create emotional connections with the brands they engage with. No matter the activity in business, people are involved and therefore are the main focus of Webhelp’s brand.

“At Webhelp we truly believe if you focus on the person in front of you, suddenly everything comes alive” explains Olivier Duha, co-founding President. “this holds for each connection built between a brand and a consumer, but just as strongly between employer and employee, client and provider. Helping hard things become easy takes empathy and imagination

The new brand identity, which has been built inside-out, in partnership with the brand experts at FutureBrand, showcases a warm, welcoming and vibrant visual system and color palette, and reflects the group’s people-first culture and game-changing mentality. Providing services to thousands of clients across the world with a wide range of Customer Experience and Business Solutions, the group puts its clients at the heart of its all its activities, thus forming true and lasting partnerships.

Frédéric Jousset, co-founding President adds: “over the years we have continuously invested heavily in both enabling and matching our clients’ needs to technologically innovative solutions, as well as our people. We feel embracing technology is key, and it’s the people that deploy these tools that make the difference and take the experience to the next level.”

“We are truly excited to reveal the new face of Webhelp, which better expresses who we are to the world, following an intense project of close to a year. We have engaged with stakeholders from all areas and levels of our business and believe we have created a vision and brand that’s built to last, as is shown through the enthusiasm of our new future shareholders at GBL regarding the outcomes of the project.” States Sandrine Asseraf, Group Secretary General.

About to celebrate its 20th anniversary, having grown from a challenger to top player in Europe, both through organic growth and acquisitions, Webhelp aims to maintain and accelerate its performance through its redefined vision and mission, together with the strong collaboration of its investment partners. Webhelp is currently in the final stages of negotiations with GBL as new investment partner, stepping in for KKR, and expects to announce the closing of the deal before the end of the year, after obtaining the regulatory authorizations required.

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Making business more human for the world’s most exciting brands

We live in an era of fast connectivity and AI. Today, human experiences have even more power to make businesses come to life in customers’ hearts and minds.

Webhelp is committed to making business more human.
It’s through this commitment that Webhelp enriches customer experience, and designs business solutions that create value for the world’s most exciting companies.

Webhelp is a partner across a range of services including customer experience solutions, social media moderation through to payment services.

Hundreds of brands across the world trust Webhelp because of their people, the culture they work in, and the ideas and technology they put to work.

Webhelp believes that Emotional Intelligence creates a lasting impact, and their skill in marrying a differentiating human touch to the right technology is what makes a real difference for their clients.

By choosing Webhelp they access the passion and experience of 50,000 game-changers from more than 140 locations in 36 countries. Each one determined to bring their own intelligence, empathy and experience to the table every day. Webhelp invests in people and the environment they work in, because they know that when people thrive, it has a powerful impact on them, their customers and on their partners’ business.

Webhelp believes that making business more human leads to a better customer experience - and a healthier bottom line.

Webhelp is the European leader in their industry, with a revenue of €1,4B in 2018, and aims for a global leadership position. Webhelp is currently owned by its management and KKR, a leading global investment firm, as of March 2016.


Employees agree on the advantages of a cross age-group workforce

New YouGov research shows broad support for multi-generational and flexible working and fast resolution for customer service issues.

60% of British employees value the sharing of different view-points among a multi-gen workforce

76% support casual dress, working from home (76%) and flexible working (89%) existing in their workplace

Half (49%) believe their business has policies that proactively promote 'multi-generational working'

Employees are preparing to take on a massive age-related challenge, with the rise of Gen Z and the post Baby boomer shift radically altering the makeup of the workforce.

The good news is that indications are that most of us are willing to embrace that change, as a new study commissioned by Webhelp shows the majority (60%) believe having the ability to share different viewpoints is an advantage of a business having a multi-generational workforce.

Encouragingly, the younger age-groups value a range of view-points the most, with Gen Z the most enthusiastic at 65%.

Additionally, over half (53%) appreciating the specialist knowledge that access to a range of age-groups can provide.

Interestingly, fewer disadvantages were seen for multi-generational working, with the main red flag raised being the potential for conflicting approaches to productivity, at 12%.

More worryingly, the figures raise the possibility that employers are struggling to keep up with the pace of change in catering for a more diverse workforce.

While nearly 8 in 10/ 4 in 5 (79%) of employees say they are part of a multi-generational workforce, only half (49%) agree that there are any recruitment processes, collaborative working or other age related policies in their workplace, which actively promote multi-generational working.

On a lighter note, casual dress (76%) working from home (76%) and flexible working (89%) have support across all age groups – although as expected, support amongst younger generations tends to be higher.

However, the highest age range was shown to be less comfortable in other areas of working life, as only 17% of Baby Boomer’s feel informed about new technology, or confident in using them (18%), in contrast to Gen Z (28% feeling informed and 27% feeling confident using them).

The results are drawn from an insightful online YouGov survey of more than 2,000 British employees, commissioned by global business Webhelp, who are one of the UKs leading customer experience providers.

Gillian Campbell, Webhelp’s Human Resources Director, said:

 “An increasingly age disparate workforce with varying views and life experiences is a great thing. The fact that people of all ages see the benefits of working together is extremely positive, particularly when there are fears about widening gaps between generations.

As an employer our role is to create awareness and acceptance of difference in the workplace, ensuring we value our staff and encouraging our people to value and support each other.

This type of rich diversity is incredibly valuable to our business. It also means we can better understand and relate to consumer needs and create better experiences for them.”

More findings from the report, plus exclusive responses from age trends experts, sector leaders, academics and frontline staff in can be found in this Whitepaper, which is part of Webhelp’s Disruptor series tackling Customer experience industry challenges.

Survey Methodology

This survey has been conducted using an online interview administered to members of the YouGov Plc UK panel of 800,000+ individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2002 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 6th - 13th June 2019.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of British business size.


Regardless of age, consumers want a fast response and value data security

A clear preference for speed in customer service across the board

The most important aspect of customer service for companies to prioritise is protecting consumer data (53%)

Nearly two-thirds would pay more for a company’s product or service if a company deals with issues and queries quickly and effectively, even more than if a brand is involved in the community (44%) or has values aligned with their own (55%)

Ease of contact very important in the banking sector (67%), followed by insurance (55%) and utilities (54%)

Businesses are recognising that the post Baby Boomer shift, and the rise of Gen Z as a consumer force, will have a profound effect on the customer service industry.

In a timely move, an insightful YouGov online survey of more than 2,000 British consumers has been commissioned by global business Webhelp, one of the UKs leading customer experience providers.

This survey looked at how age-related differences impact consumer attitudes about customer experience.

Unsurprisingly, traditional methods are still heavily favoured by Baby Boomers, as many struggle with today’s impersonal nature of interacting with brands.

However, there is a clear preference for speed in customer service across the board. The most valued type of customer service is fast issue resolution (39%) followed by fast response (16%) and high availability of customer service advisors (12%).

The exception to this trend is the banking sector, where ease of contact is deemed very important by 67% of respondents, followed by insurance (55%) and utilities (54%).

Consumers are willing to pay a premium for speed, as nearly two-thirds (65%) of respondents (and 69% amongst 18-24 year olds) would pay more if a company deals with issues and queries quickly.

Consumers are more likely to pay more for speed in customer service compared to community involvement (44%) or aligned values (55%).

In this age of high profile data-leaks, it is unsurprising that the most important aspect of customer service for companies to prioritise is protecting consumer data (53%), according to consumers.

Following this, but behind by some margin, is ensuring vulnerable people understand the terms and conditions of products and services they purchase (20%).

As expected, the evergreen telephone remains the preferred method of contact when getting in touch with a company at 32% – followed by email (29%). Despite an industry high profile, Webchat (14%) lags behind as does face-to-face (6%) and social media (1%).

Telephone also remains the most trusted when receiving information from brands (30%) especially compared to newer types of contact such as webchat (15%) and social media (8%).

Helen Murray, Webhelp’s Chief Solutions Officer, said:

“These findings stress the importance of a well-rounded customer service approach across all channels, taking into consideration both the priorities and preferences of the consumer. Customer experience impacts the emotional connection people have with brands, and even if some of the resulting behaviour is unconscious, this reinforces the upside of investing in the right mix of customer service.”

More findings from the report, plus exclusive responses from age trends experts, sector leaders, academics and frontline employees in can be found in this Whitepaper, which is part of Webhelp’s Disruptor series tackling Customer experience industry challenges.

Survey Methodology

This survey has been conducted using an online interview administered to members of the YouGov Plc UK panel of 800,000+ individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2035 adults.

Editor’s Notes

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2035 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 5th - 6th June 2019.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).


Whitepaper launch: Generations – Cohort views on CX and the workplace

Webhelp’s latest Disruptor Series Whitepaperwhich highlights the impact of generational influences on CX. For the launch, Gillian Campbell, Chief People Officer UK Region & Director Global Engagement, takes a look at employee issues and how they will affect the workforce moving forward.

Preface: 30/04/20

Since publishing this blog, the world has changed dramatically, with entire countries entering strict lockdown periods and many regions operating under shelter in place instructions. The coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to have an unprecedented impact on business and society across the globe, and as a result many of our people are working from home, so it is important that the wants and needs of each generation are understood and embraced as we adapt to this new normal. Click here to find out more on our people first response to this crisis.

Today’s workforce is at a turning point, as it takes on the challenge of the post Baby Boomer generational shift, which will result in both a profound global population change and a transformation in the employee relationship.

Webhelp’s new Whitepaper provides some welcome insight. It reveals the results of our exclusive YouGov study on age-influenced attitudes to multi-generational working and customer experience, as well as gathering informed viewpoints from sector leaders, academics and staff at the frontline of this change.

From a people perspective, a multi-generational workforce, with differing views and life experiences, is an absolute asset for our business. It creates awareness and acceptance of difference internally and demonstrates that we value our people and encourage them to value and support each other, and is part of our overall approach on diversity and inclusion.

Throughout our company, we see the benefits of a diverse workforce in action, from fresh starts bringing new ideas, digital proficiency and enthusiasm, to experienced people sharing their knowledge base with those new to the work environment, and putting daily frustrations into perspective.

Interestingly the results of the survey, echo our findings as all age groups we asked valued multi-generational working, with the youngest groups being the most enthusiastic overall.

At one of our sites, in Rothesay, in Scotland, there are three generations of one family working, and there is an incredibly collegiate, supportive atmosphere. Across our portfolio, we witness our people working smoothly in collaboration, across generations, guiding each other through difficult situations and dealing with complex customer queries.

It is essential to create a working environment in which the distinct wants and needs of each generation are understood and embraced. We have worked hard to ensure our employer brand has clearly defined values which encompass all of this.

When developing our employer value proposition over the past year, we took the time to understand what is attractive to people from all generations. This endeavour is a cycle of continuous engagement, feedback and improvement, through which we identify areas for growth in the existing employee experience. Moreover, our investment in our employer brand is paying off – it’s helped us to attract and to retain the right people.
The benefits of an inclusive approach can play out in surprisingly profound ways. Take our impact sourcing in South Africa, through the Harambee programme. By employing young people who could ordinarily be overlooked, Webhelp is accessing an untapped resource of hugely motivated talent, and as a result, delivering-industry beating levels of attrition and productivity.

We are also introducing more flexible working options, which was highlighted as pivotal to all generations in our YouGov survey with 89% of the 2000 employees asked expressing support when asked.

The way companies plan resource to meet demand in CX is incredibly complex, but flexible working, done well, can give access to a better pool of talent, more suited to particular roles. It also means we are not excluding skilled people, and by offering flexible working, it shows that we are a company that values its people. We are already seeing benefits flowing on from the introduction of this programme, in terms of energy levels, access to talent, and employee engagement.

More information on the development of our people based value proposition, our employee wellbeing programme (now a global initiative), our employee rewards programme and our talent retaining career progression paths can be found in the Whitepaper. Read on to find out more.

In case you haven’t registered yet, Sign up to receive fresh insights and invitations to exec events with our Webhelp Disruptor Series campaign https://www.go.webhelp.com/disruptorseries.


WEBHELP EMPLOYEES RECEIVE RECOGNITION OF EXCELLENCE AT WEBHELP ANNUAL STAR AWARDS

Pic Caption: Webhelp Celebrated Excellence with Annual Star Awards 2019

Rising customer service stars from across the UK were recognised last night by global sector leader Webhelp at an exclusive red-carpet Star Awards ceremony.

The Webhelp Star Awards are employee-driven, from all areas across the business. Everyone within the company is encouraged to nominate local stars from any site in the UK, South Africa and India.

The annual awards, held at the Assembly Rooms Edinburgh, were created by the company nine years ago. The aim is to firmly put their people first and to reward and recognise excellence across the business at a team and individual level.

There are monthly, quarterly and annual award categories, with the initial prizes ranging from a half-day holiday and a star awards certificate to a full day holiday.

Quarterly winners are also invited to the annual Gala Event and shortlisted to win an Annual award.

The 2019 winners listed below received cash prizes of £1,000.

David Turner, CEO of Webhelp UK, India and SA, said:

“The Webhelp Star Awards is one of our proudest moments of the year as we gather to acknowledge the contributions of some of the best individual and team performances across our business.

“As we always say, Webhelp is only as good as the people we employ, so it is incredibly important to recognise and reward these great examples of excellence.

“I’d like to congratulate all our winners, who represent just a small section of our dedicated and motivated employees.”

Webhelp UK Star Awards 2019 Winners:

The Rising Star of the Year Award

Duncan Knox, Rothesay

Duncan has demonstrated a marked improvement, moving from ordinary to extraordinary performance in an advisor role.

The Shining Star of the Year Award

Sarah Graham, Falkirk

Sarah has shown a commitment above and beyond the ordinary in an advisor role – including demonstrating exceptional performance, integrity and unity.

The Brightest Star Award

Suzanne Morris, Dearne Valley

Suzanne demonstrated that she achieved personal growth, development and learning and applied this to her role to reach a positive outcome. Our Brightest Stars have committed to furthering their own development.

People Leader of the Year Award (in a Team Leader role)

Alexander Holloway, Cardiff

Alexander has demonstrated a commitment over and above the job description which has resulted in exceptional performance, integrity and unity.

Role Model of the Year Award (in a support role)

Mandy Taylor, Falkirk

Mandy has demonstrated role model behaviour and truly lived our values. Nominees for this award are our most inspirational and motivational employees.

People Leader of the Year Award (in a non-Team leader role)

Steven Inglis, Falkirk

Steven has demonstrated a commitment over and above the normal job description and is commended for exceptional performance, integrity and unity.

The WOW Factor

Scott Genelli, Derby

Scott has shown that he can “go the extra mile”. This award covers an innovative idea put into practice that has had a great outcome or an example of going above and beyond for a customer, client or colleague – with amazing results.

Role Model of the Year Award (in an operational role)

Scott Gates, Dunoon

Scott has demonstrated role model behaviour and truly lived our values. Nominees for this award are our most inspirational and motivational employees.

The Spirit of Webhelp Award

Sarah McMahon, Sheffield

Sometimes the people that are the most deserving of praise never get it because they are the ones that work quietly in the background. Sarah has shown that she is reliable, works hard and shows fantastic team spirit. Nominees for this award support and encourage their colleagues and managers and have a positive attitude and approach to their work.

The Webhelp UK Team of the Year

The Sky Development Bay led by Mark Fountain, Falkirk

This Award recognises a team that has been thrust together to achieve a goal, and did so successfully, even in the face of adversity.

The Engagement Ambassador Team of the Year Award

Dunoon  

The Engagement Ambassadors work year-round to improve engagement, communications, recognition and charitable support on their sites. The Dunoon team has gone above and beyond to deliver positive change and has helped promote this around Webhelp and their local community.

The Making a Difference Award

Janet Kelly, Kilmarnock

We all know someone who makes a difference by working hard all year to support community causes that are close to their hearts. Janet has worked tirelessly and selflessly to support others. Nominees are recognised for either giving up their time, fundraising or just by going the extra mile to really make a difference in their community or with their chosen charity.

The CEO Special Recognition Award

The Shop Direct Customer Relationship Centre, Glasgow City Park

This award goes to an individual, team or area of the business that has achieved something amazing during the last 12 months that our CEO and Executive team would like to recognise.

 

Winning Charity

The Innovative Schools Project

Charity Runner Up

CF Warriors

 

Charity Runner Up

Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital

 

ENDS

Press information:

Tim Hammersley, Quiller 07809 136 880

Scott Jacobson, Quiller 07776 383 312


Webhelp and Harambee hire 500 Unemployed young people

Building on its successful partnership with Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, Webhelp will hire approximately 500 unemployed youth for a peak period campaign to service Shop Direct customers.

The Harambee model has worked very well for Webhelp, previously having hired 267 unemployed youth to work for several different clients in South Africa, of which just over half went into the Shop Direct campaign. The business success has been evident as measured by improved employee retention, excellent performance and high levels of customer satisfaction (NPS). And for young adults entering the world of work for the first time, there has been a significant positive social impact.

Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator received the 2019 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. Hear Cathy Kalamaras talk about Webhelp’s experience of working with Harambee.

The first group are currently undergoing training and will go live in October, gaining valuable work experience during Shop Direct's peak trading period.

Mark Billingham, Group Customer Operations Director at Shop Direct, said:

“Shop Direct is committed to assisting the Webhelp initiative of youth employment in South Africa. The relationship between the UK retailer and the SA-based BPO has been exceptionally successful thus far. We have found that the SA youth identify positively with the UK-based customers’ mind-set and attitude towards client service offerings.” Further adding, “Experience vs youth?? Often a debate, I had the privilege recently of being shown it doesn’t really matter, it’s about attitude, dedication & never giving up.”

Suzanne Edmondson, Head of Global Customer Operations at Shop Direct, said:

“I had the immense pleasure & pride recently to meet our first cohort of new Harambee trainees. Setting off on their journey to support the Shop Direct 2019 peak, in partnership with Webhelp & Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator.”

Also adding, “the energy, passion & enthusiasm is incredible. I am super proud of their commitment & excitement for day two into their programme. I genuinely cannot wait to see their journey unfold & be part of something super special for them, their communities, South Africa & our customers!”

Cathy Kalamaras, Managing Executive, People at Webhelp South Africa, said:

“Positively impacting youth unemployment is at the heart of our CSR strategy, which is about giving back to the communities from which we recruit. Developing skills, removing barriers that keep youth locked out of the formal sector and creating sustainable employment have all become paramount in the fight against youth unemployment in our country.” 

Stephen Shields, Harambee’s Executive for Global Business Services, said:

“Harambee partners with business, government and young people to tackle the global challenge of youth unemployment by training young people to get and keep thier first job. Our work readiness programmes help orient them to the world of work – a model particularly effective for the contact centre industry as evidenced by our enduring partnership with Webhelp.”

The Webhelp-Harambee partnership dates back to an extremely successful 2016 Shop Direct pilot designed to determine if the Harambee model would work for international contact centres, help increase employee retention, protect labour arbitrage and have a positive impact on youth unemployment. Results exceeded expectations with 90% of recruits staying more than 12 months and maintaining exceptional behavioural metrics – including speed to competence and promotions in under 12 months.

The partnership has gone from strength to strength since – and this year, Webhelp has partnered with Harambee to source and prepare 500 fresh recruits for Shop Direct’s peak period. The intention is to permanently transition a large proportion of these candidates into Webhelp’s business and operations after the peak period has concluded. Webhelp and Shop Direct have also jointly created a work seeking fund, to support those that they cannot absorb into the business with finding other job opportunities.

To date, the Webhelp-Harambee partnership has positively impacted 130 families and 520 lives in the Shop Direct Campaign.


About Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator

Harambee solves youth unemployment through partnerships. They are a not-for-profit social enterprise with experience building solutions and innovations that can address the global youth unemployment challenge at scale. They work with business, government, young people and many others who are committed to results. Harambee has provided 125,000 jobs and work experiences to its network of over 600,000 youth. Visit www.harambee.co.za.


Generational future-proofing, with Anne Marie Forsyth, Chief Executive CCA Global

In preparation for the next chapter of our Disruptor Series, looking at the Generational factors within CX, Anne Marie Forsyth, Chief Executive, CCA Global shares her thoughts on the challenges brought by the shifting populations.

Taking the industry as a whole, what are the main issues that will impact front line service?

Customer experience is a broad challenge. The number one issue in this industry is handling vulnerable people. This is massive, especially as we’re in an uncertain, stagnated climate.

As a result of this, on the front-line, we are likely to find more emotionally difficult complaints. It will become essential to train people carefully, so that these situations can be handled with appropriate sensitivity.

Another issue that is likely to have a substantial impact is generational difference – for example:

A brand may have a longstanding workforce, that finds it challenging to adapt to new technology, or a young workforce without all the necessary life experience to deal with difficult calls.

Companies may be dealing with various contrasting perspectives. It’s a very mixed issue.

How will these challenges influence developing technology (like AI and Automation) and what are the likely blockers to overcome?

For most companies we work with, voice is a large part of the customer experience offer, but there is a drive to reduce the reliance on this channel. Over the last few years, the industry has seen a race to become more digital.

As companies are shifting to automation, we are finding that more and more of these emotional issues are surfacing. As an upshot, some brands are having to reconsider their plans and slow the pace of change.

Also, while there is a tremendous wealth of IT and multitasking knowledge amongst younger workers, in particular, realising that value within a call centre environment is not always easy. Frustrations can develop, since we can’t be as freeform as people might like in this environment.

Finding the right balance to utilise this new skill base - while managing expectations - will be crucial.

Are there any other generational factors which could create pitfalls or opportunities?

As the generational shift progresses, managing service reaction times will gain greater importance, as will understanding how to measure progress around the customer journey.

Related to this, is an increasing appetite for instant feedback from those delivering the service. Younger generations, in particular, expect this. To them, the notion of a biannual review may seem odd.

This younger generation also wants that personal touch. Our research has shown that it’s a bit of a myth that young people are found online only. This will be evident in the growth of store-based experiences.

There are age-related challenges within the CX workforce

Photo Credit: Anthony Brolin/Unsplash

Final thoughts on what the future holds, any trends or themes that you feel will gain traction?

Over the last six months, there has also been a growing trend of slowing down the pace of change and putting more energy into the people agenda. I think the uncertain climate is driving some of that. It may be transitional, but I’m noticing this across numerous forums, while seeing people development rising up the agenda. There is increasing talk about how to make the workforce more effective and an increasing appreciation of ‘kindness’.

Over the next few years I think we will see a focus on understanding emotion, especially when using voice for customer service. There is a huge need for this. It’s important to remember that, when it comes to voice or automation, it’s not one or the other. Both are needed.

In case you haven’t registered yet, sign up to receive fresh insights and invitations to exec events with our Webhelp Disruptor Series campaign, and check out our latest Whitepaper on 'Emotion' here