Final Farewell to the Bears of Sheffield

In support of The Children’s Hospital Charity, Webhelp sponsored our very own bear in the Bears of Sheffield sculpture trail.

From 12th July – 29th September, 60 big bear sculptures designed by artists and 100 little bears decorated by local schools hit the streets of Sheffield for this summer’s biggest bear hunt. Our very own Pastel Patchwork Pattern Bear was brought to life by Fun Makes Good, a Scottish design studio founded by textile designer Eleanor Young.

Despite restrictions, our colleagues organised initiatives as best they could to raise funds for the charity. It’s amazing to see their hard work pay off with a rewarding total of £3000 raised. This is set to increase, as colleagues are aiming to raise even more. With donations going towards the transformation of the Cancer and Leukaemia ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, we are determined to raise as much as we can.

 

All too soon, the trail ended last month. Our colleague Cherelle Atkin, Operations Manager, attended the Farewell event and had a great time meeting all the Bears before they were auctioned off.

At the auction, we were determined not to part with our bear. As a result, we successfully out-bid others to win Pastel Patchwork Pattern Bear, bringing our total fundraising donation to £6500. It’s fantastic to learn that overall £525k was raised from the sculpture auction, which surpassed the Heard of Sheffield (elephant trail) in 2016.

 

After so much time apart during lockdown, this art exhibition has brought the Sheffield community together. We are proud to have been part of this initiative, and look forward to seeing the outcome of all sponsors donations.

Keep an eye out for our #PatchworkBear, which will set up home at our newly refurbished Nunnery Square site alongside our elephant statue from the 2016 trail.

 

To find out more about our sculpture and the creative process behind the design, read our interview with artists Eleanor Young here.


car_dealership

Protect dealers and buyers on secondhand car platforms

Detecting fraud requires a combination of human expertise and technology.

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Secondhand cars have seen considerable growth since 2020. With used-car retailers using digitalization to make their offerings more attractive on their platforms: from photos to video demonstrations, states Motor Intelligence.

With car dealers and private sellers uploading content, it’s vital these platforms provide a safe and seamless journey for customers. This requires a balance of technology and human intervention to manage the journey at each step.

This paper looks at some of the pain points on secondhand car platforms, key industry insights, and how Webhelp can offer a comprehensive and game changing solution with experts in digital services.

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Author

Thomas Japy

Digital Content Services Business Analyst

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Africa

Webhelp: Setting the agenda for BPO CX in Africa

Africa: A continent of near-limitless opportunity for a range of customer experience outsourcing services – but without an informed market entry and execution strategy, a place where global brands can severely damage their reputation.  

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As the pandemic disrupts established offshoring locations in Asia Pacific, global brands are assessing and ramping up alternative offshore sourcing locations within AfricaThe C-suite recognize that the continent offers a clear route to maximizing business continuity and minimizing risk, while systematically reducing operational costs, and achieving a more balanced distribution of customer engagements associated with high quality outcomes.  

We have understood the opportunities well – having grown from a single market entry position on the continent in Morocco, to the current team of over 25,000 people working across seven African countries, serving both English and French language needs, providing CX management services in multiple industries, including automotive, e-commerce, FMCG, retail, airlines and oil and gas. We also continue to learn from these extensive engagements – using insights to optimise market entry strategies.

Webhelp is now one of the biggest customer experience management firms within Africa, but it has taken us 20 years, and a deep level of understanding of all the specific and different nuances associated with each and every country in which we operate in Africa today.  

 As the second largest continent in the world, Africa is home to over 1.2 billion people and makes up 20% of the earth’s surface. It’s home to extreme wealth, obscene poverty, and everything in between – with widely varying levels of political stability and infrastructure availability. It’s vital that brands which are now considering adding Africa to their sourcing portfolio’s view the continent as a long-term, integral part of their business strategy. Most multi-nationals recognize that while critical, the actual delivery of customer experience management is not their core business, and they need support with creating and implementing human experiences in a digital world. In our experience, brands must also balance responsible business, leveraged opportunities, and risks, in order to succeed within Africa.

Responsible Business

Within Africa, young people account for 60% of those who are unemployed, according to the World Bank. Areas hit hardest included Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal, and South Africa. As a leading global CX services provider in Africa, with an extensive global footprint, we recognize that we’re uniquely placed to offer employment opportunities and to tackle the social divides resulting from  these high levels of unemployment. So, we’ve created a bespoke and scalable Impact Sourcing Model for unemployed youth, to deliver social reform systematically through all our CX outsourcing work in Egypt, the Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Morocco, Senegal, and South Africa.

Young African man

In South Africa for example, we work in partnership with Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator – a world-renowned not-for-profit social enterprise – as well as multiple governments and customers, using a model for inclusive youth hiring at scale. Through all our contracts, we provide  formal work readiness training, including, jobs, and professional call centre qualifications, to young people aged 18-35 who are at risk of long-term unemployment and economic exclusion.  In addition, we provide bespoke programmes designed to maximize understanding of the sectors in which our clients operate, such as retail. This approach accelerates time to competence, and we are seeing young people thrive in their careers with Webhelp. We are also seeing remarkable outcomes being delivered for our clients’ customers.

So far, in partnership with Harambee, we have supported hundreds of excluded and unemployed young people into career opportunities with Webhelp, either through jobs, or work placements, and we have a firm commitment to increase numbers every year.

Having said that, as a business striving to deliver world class customer experience outcomes, we know that we can’t enter new countries with a ‘cookie cutter’ approach. We were one of the first companies to work directly with our customers in customizing and configuring our Impact Sourcing methods to meet the specific needs and objectives of their businesses.

In terms of talent management, Webhelp South Africa has also partnered with the University of Stellenbosch Business School to launch a leadership diversity programme. By combining formal education with career experience, we can create an equitable pipeline of skilled and talented future leaders. Social value aside, I cannot overstate that we won’t work anywhere in the world without first fulfilling our responsibility to carry out extensive due diligence on countries which we, or our clients, are considering as a place for new business or offshore expansion. 

Our expert team rigorously scrutinize each and every country’s standards in terms of political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal (PESTLE) criteria. We use this insight, alongside guidance from the UN, World Bank, and World Health Organisation to ‘score’ each country under consideration for new business. We then deploy a team of subject matter experts who spend time in the country surveying the local labour markets, salary levels and recruitment, before getting all our insights validated by teams of people based within the target country.  

Only when evidence shows that a country meets our high standards on ethics, compliance, and operations, will we consider designing the best way for us and our clients to work there.

Opportunities

With 60% of the population aged under 25, Africa is set to have the biggest number of consumers globally – backed by steadily increasing education levels, improving infrastructure, and a dynamic start-up business culture. Soon, brands will have access to an abundance of highly motivated and skilled people, who due to their emerging global status as consumers, have a unique understanding of the importance of CX.

Young African muslim lady

Not only that, but right now, brands considering investment in Africa can benefit from a myriad of funding opportunities. Many governments across the continent award significant grants to firms which can deliver positive social outcomes – which is one of the reasons why South Africa has been voted the most favoured offshore CX delivery location by Ryan Strategic Advisory. There is also significant funding available through organizations like the Rockefeller Foundation, and the World Trade Organization. 

We encourage competition in Africa because it drives performance. We’re not only looking to build our own business here – we’re looking to develop the whole CX industry in the regions in which we operate. As more and more brands commit to the continent as a key part of their go-to market strategy, we’re expecting to see second, third and fourth generation businesses open up opportunities for local suppliers to gain a foothold into the formal economy, driving economic growth. That means even more momentum on investment, and greater social value within African countries. 

Companies which thrive in Africa now will gain a huge competitive advantage in the long-term.  

Risk

But for every opportunity in Africa, there’s also a potential risk.  

While infrastructure is improving, it’s generally still behind more established offshoring locations, and standards vary widely between countries, so it’s smart to pre-empt potential challenges in terms of telephony and communications. Further, in a continent with historic issues relating to debt, brands may also need to be alert to, and navigate away from, potential corruption issues, as well as the potential mismanagement and misappropriation of African aid. 

It all means that Africa is not a go-to destination for any brands seeking a ‘quick win.’ Firms don’t scale here by luck – they succeed by designing and implementing robust operating models, due diligence and governance, appropriate sourcing, investment back into the available capabilities, and nurturing a pipeline of management talent.  

The operating model we use in Africa, and across the world, is Webhelp Anywhere – a system which enables clients to standardise excellence at any location in a way that’s bespoke to the needs of their business, with a focus on six key pillars – talent, engagement, performance, technology, security, and resilience. We also deploy specialist teams, comprising global and local talent, into new countries to support the set-up and establishment of new services, the combined effect brings assurance to this process. 

Finally, I’d urge any firms considering their operating model strategy, entry into new territories, and business operations, to talk to brands like Webhelp, which have already overcome these challenges and established a presence in a number of countries in Africa. Leaders can save a lot of hassle by getting advice on how and where to invest, avoid pitfalls, and fulfil social value in a country with infinite opportunity.  

About the author

Craig Gibson

Craig Gibson, grew up in South Africa, was educated at Durban Technikon in South Africa and helped to develop the first major contact centre BPO offshore model in South Africa – working across the US, Middle East, UK, Europe and Africa.

A business he started in South Africa was later acquired by Webhelp, which accelerated his work to bridge the social divide in communities in which the company makes investments with its clients, alongside delivering world-class outcomes for them.

Today Craig leads the Webhelp Group’s growth efforts, working with clients to address their customer management needs, he lives in London.

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Webhelp Welcomes Chief Growth Officer in APAC

Webhelp Bolsters APAC Leadership with the Appointment of Andrew Quake to Chief Growth Officer

October 12, 2021 — Webhelp announced the appointment of Andrew Quake to Chief Growth Officer for the APAC Region. Serving in a newly created role that solidifies Webhelp’s commitment to invest in APAC, Andrew will support the business from Singapore.

A seasoned business leader who has built and grown new companies and created new products and revenue streams, Andrew brings over 20 years of deep experience across management, business development and client relations. He most recently served as CEO of TapTap, a digital loyalty and e-payments startup in Vietnam, where he helped the business set up and scale rapidly, bringing onTapTap platform merchant clients on board across diverse consumer sectors.

Andrew, who has taken on this new position in Singapore, explained his passion for the role, “I am thrilled to be a part of such an exciting organization driven by a people-first approach. When I learned about Webhelp’s ambition, I knew I wanted to be part of the pivotal hyper-growth taking place in the APAC region. Webhelp is transforming how businesses look at end-to-end customer journeys, and I look forward to building upon this approach in APAC. I am excited to further strengthen our client relationships, especially in Singapore.”

Andrew will work from Singapore, where several of Webhelp APAC’s leading technology, entertainment, and e-commerce clients are located.

“We are thrilled to welcome Andrew to the Webhelp family during this exponential time of growth and look forward to working with him to accelerate this. Andrew’s passion for innovation combined with his previous experience working in the B2B space with some of the top global brands, such as Visa, Mastercard, and Accor, has given him a think-outside-the-box perspective on transformation,” said Markus von Rhein, CEO of Webhelp APAC. “On behalf of the entire leadership team here, we are excited to leverage Andrew’s expertise to amplify and grow Webhelp’s reach in the region.”

Webhelp APAC operates from Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, providing multilingual multichannel customer experiences for both local players as well as some of the largest leading technology and consumer brands.

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Webhelp Appoints Co-CEO of Digital Content Services

Webhelp Appoints Paul Danter Co-CEO of Digital Content Services to Lead Expansion in the Americas

PARIS — October 5, 2021 — Webhelp, a leading global provider of customer experience (CX) and business solutions, has announced the appointment of Paul Danter as Co-Chief Executive Officer of Digital Content Services (DCS). In this new role jointly leading the global DCS practice alongside Chloe de Mont-Serrat, Paul will be responsible for developing Webhelp’s digital content services business to support U.S. clients with services, including content management and moderation, digital activation, and data annotation.

Webhelp’s growth strategy includes expanding its service offerings to support new and existing clients in the U.S., where many of the leading tech companies operate. These services are especially valuable for platform businesses that are responsible for millions of customers’ data and digital experiences.

A seasoned professional with experience in software development and digital services, Paul most recently served as the CEO of RWS Moravia, the fastest-growing company in translation and localization, where he worked with many of the largest technology companies in the world. Before Moravia, Paul worked in the converging areas of content and mobile, where he joined forces with technology leaders, media companies, publishers and broadcasters, as they evolved to support their digital audiences.

Paul shared why he’s excited to join Webhelp, “I first met the Webhelp management team a few years ago and was impressed with what they were building and how they were doing it. It was clear Webhelp’s enviable culture played a huge role in driving phenomenal growth and success. I could sense the company’s spark was driven by an exciting team and strong leadership, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of it.”

“Since then, I’ve worked with companies to provide seamless digital customer journeys and look forward to using this knowledge to drive truly transformational change for our clients. I am incredibly proud to be part of the Webhelp family and am excited to design and deliver unforgettable human experiences in today’s digital landscape.”

“I am very pleased to welcome Paul to the team and look forward to co-leading the digital content services business across the Webhelp group. His extensive knowledge and expertise in the digital space will no doubt play a pivotal role in accelerating the growth of the business and especially in the U.S.,” said Chloe de Mont-Serrat, Webhelp’s Co-CEO of Digital Content Services.

“I’m thrilled that Paul has joined the team during such an exciting period as we are expanding our reach in the U.S. and continue to strengthen our digital and technology-driven customer experience offering. Paul will also play a role in developing new areas of the business to expand our offering and capability. This is an exciting step for the DCS practice, and I am truly delighted to welcome Paul into the Webhelp family,” commented Sandrine Asseraf, Group Managing Director, Webhelp Americas.

About Webhelp

Webhelp designs, delivers, and optimizes unforgettable human experiences for today’s digital world – creating game-changing customer journeys. From sales to service, content moderation to credit management, Webhelp is an end-to-end partner across all B2C and B2B customer journeys. Its 90,000 passionate employees across more than 50 countries thrive on making a difference for the world’s most exciting brands. Webhelp is currently owned by its management and Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (Euronext: GBLB), a leading global investment holding, as of November 2019.

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Webhelp joins forces with Blossom to support female empowerment in South Africa

The financial inability to afford sanitary products, coupled with a lack of knowledge about menstruation, is called period poverty. The problem affects millions of young girls and women in South Africa every day – and yet there are ways to combat this social issue, while also assisting with job creation at the same time.

In Sandton, Johannesburg , Webhelp and the Co-op, one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, have joined forces with Blossom Care Solutions to fight this national problem in a practical, holistic way.

The partnership will support the set-up of a Blossom factory in Sandton, employing six previously unemployed young women and producing enough pads to eliminate period poverty for thousands of school girls each year. The approach enables the empowerment of girls and women from both an individual as well as an economic perspective.

Shamiela Sarlie, Managing Director at Blossom Care Solutions, a social enterprise that exists to combat the issues brought about by period poverty in South Africa, while also investing in sustainable job creation, explains, “The overall impact of period poverty is to present even more obstacles to the learning and development of those young girls and women who are affected by it, when compared to their male counterparts.

“This, together with the social stigma that is still associated with menstruation in township and rural markets, causes additional social and economic disadvantages to those affected. This is why Blossom Care Solutions was established in 2019 as a mission-centric social enterprise: for women, by women.”

Claire Carroll, Head of Sales and Service at the Co-op, says: “We’re so pleased to offer support to Blossom Care Solutions, who are making strides in eliminating period poverty. At the Co-op, we believe in co-operating for a Fairer World. We’re proud to play a small part in helping to eliminate period poverty for thousands of women, while creating job opportunities at the Blossom factory.”

Cathy Kalamaras, Webhelp’s People Director of South Africa, adds: “Unemployment remains a pivotal issue in South Africa and as we continue to support initiatives which bring about meaningful change and build sustainable futures, it was a natural choice to become involved with Blossom.

“When we see the numbers of young girls and women in our more disadvantaged communities, who do not use sanitary pads or are occasional users, and look at new ways to alleviate the unemployment situation, the work of Blossom Care Solutions becomes even more vital. Acting responsibly and strengthening our communities to make a positive difference is key not just to Webhelp, but the partners we work with, which is why we’re proud to be supporting this initiative alongside the Co-op.

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Voice of the Customer – Retail’s secret weapon

With huge advances in the tools and methods available to analyse unstructured customer data, Vanessa Flather takes us through the wealth of untapped insight to be gained from Voice of the Customer (VoC) feedback.  


When retailers look to examine and measure the relationship they have with their customers, they typically focus on two areas – brand experience and customer experience. In our work with retailers across multiple sectors, it’s become clear that the impact of customer experience (CX) on overall brand perception is greater than ever. 

Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) are the most significant, and most widely used, customer experience metrics.  

NPS measures the extent to which individual customers would recommend your product or service to their friends, on a scale of 0-10. CSAT arguably takes it even further in its simplicity, usually composed of a single question such as “On a scale of 0-10, how satisfied were you with your recent purchase?” 

The regular, reliable stream of direct customer feedback from NPS and CSAT ensures their popularity, and indeed the value to be gleaned shouldn’t be underestimated. We believe, however, that these metrics only form part of the customer experience puzzle.  

One key limitation on both metrics is their ability to truly represent the end-to-end customer experience. Considering this, we commissioned internal research with our analytics team that discovered, depending on scope and response rates, survey-driven CSAT and NPS data could represent as low as 5-10% of all customer interactions. 

An additional factor to consider is situational bias. Put simply, customers are much more likely to fill in feedback surveys when their emotions are heightened, be that negative or positive. The data is still valuable, of course, but it can be difficult to gain a full spectrum view of customer mood and intention from the surveys.  

There’s a lot more customer experience data out there, and the retailers who harness this data – who better understand the voice of their customer – are the retailers who can most effectively deliver exceptional customer experiences.  

So, what’s the missing piece of the puzzle?  


Voice of the Customer – Listen, Empower, Engage 

Voice of the Customer (VoC) provides organisations with a detailed understanding of customer requirements, based on customer interaction data. The sheer volume of available data, however, can be daunting. This creates a need for data and analytics experts to properly mine and structure this data, before uncovering the actionable insights that can transform the customer experience.  

Once properly armed with this VoC data, organisations can deploy a ‘Listen, Empower, Engage’ approach to delivering valuable improvements across all aspects of their customer journey.  

Listen – by mining conversations at scale, retailers can uncover opportunities to improve the customer experience 

Empower – by using natural language processing, organisations can spot signals from conversations and link these to the customer experience, creating the environment for a great customer conversation.  

Engage – by understanding the topics, sentiment and emotion of the conversations from the customers’ perspective, it’s possible for retailers to deliver proactive, personalised communications strategies  

Accessing, understanding and utilising your VoC data can provide opportunities to transform your retail operation and brand, for the better – across sales, delivery, and service. We’ve identified four key ways in which VoC can transform your business: 

It’s time to transform your customer experience 

With NPS and CSAT, retailers get a sense of how their customers are feeling about their products and services. 

Innovative retailers, however, want more than this.  

By listening to their customers like never before, by challenging themselves to better understand their customers’ needs, and by embracing the wealth of data available from their front-line, real-time customer interactions, retailers can deliver a holistic, transformative and innovative brand and customer experience.  


Interested in learning more about harnessing Voice of the Customer data to transform your customer experience? Download our guide: Beyond Brand, NPS and CSAT - it’s time to recognise the voice of the retail customer.