Black Friday, reliability and attractiveness the key components for your online strategy

Black Friday, known as an American consumer tradition and one of the busiest shopping holidays of the year.

This event is traditionally known for shoppers to line the streets, waiting for stores to open the day after Thanksgiving to pick-up what they hope will be the bargain of a lifetime. In recent years, Black Friday, closely followed by Cyber Monday, has now transpired and  adopted across several other parts of the world.

In the mainstream media, Black Friday is typically represented by crowded scenes of over-excited and frustrated shoppers, fighting it out for that last item on the shelf and taking items from each other’s shopping cart. Over the last few years, many retail activities have shifted online. This shift to digital platforms has steadily grown, and due to 2020 events, this has skyrocketed. Many retailers online are even starting promotions early to gain traction to their platform and the opportunity to retain customer loyalty.

According to Adobe, in 2019 US Black Friday online sales beat all previous records, at an astonishing $7.4bn, up from $6.2bn in 2018. CNBC reported that Cyber Monday was an even bigger day for online shopping than Black Friday, with sales totaling $9.2bn, up 16.9% on 2018. From 2019 to 2020, sales increased by a further 22% to a record astonishing $9bn.

Integrated omnichannel experience

It’s not hard to imagine that the momentum will persist, and Black Friday will drive even more customers onto their phones, tablets, or laptops. Businesses now attempt to avoid crowded in-store events, to safeguard their customers in the COVID era and simply follow this trend we have observed over a number of years now. Doing so without losing retail sales must go through a strong Digital Content strategy to meet customer demands and ensure an integrated omnichannel experience.

Consumers have become intrinsically used to shopping from the warmth of their home, therefore a successful Black Friday via online channels is something all retailers are hoping for. To ensure a successful campaign, it is key businesses content strategy is aligned with those ambitions and consumers expectations.

Managing content to attract and convert customers

Attracting consumers with the right content against the competition and ads that are displayed to them, requires a streamlined catalog management process. This ensures online users land on a well-managed platform, with a catalog that shows the right promotions and the right products for them. That being said, following your marketplace’s guidelines and ensuring a smooth and homogeneous experience are key challenges for conversion and retention.

At Webhelp, we are fully prepared for this event. We have a highly successful track record of managing peak demand in terms of partner onboarding for the international retail and logistics brands we support.

Case study: leading online e-commerce and marketplace platform in Turkey

View more case study videos

Behind the scenes, this success hinges on an incredible amount of preparation and hard work from our team of experts, and of course close collaboration with our clients, supported by our strong processes and sourcing capabilities in finding the right, specialized resources.

 

Technology and expertise combined

Every year leading up to the peak period, we create an exciting atmosphere to support and motivate our talented experts. We focus on motivation and ensure we reward people for their hard work. Along with the energy and commitment of our teams, technology and adaptability also plays a huge part to ensure we offer a smooth and seamless experience for our partners and their customers.

The skills and expertise that our teams have shown by quickly reacting in order to prepare for key events in a retailer’s calendar year, is reflected in the highly positive feedback that we receive from our client partners. This year is no exception as Black Friday and Cyber Monday will create added pressures for the retail and logistics sectors where our teams continually provide a game-changing experience. Our talent, global footprint and stable infrastructures are capable of efficiently creating success for our clients by providing their customers with an exceptional online shopping experience.


Contact an expert

 

Thomas Japy

Digital Content Services Business Analyst

Contact Thomas
SHARE

Webhelp Welcomes Tech Leader Benjamin Faes to Executive Committee

Webhelp, a leading global provider of customer experience (CX) and business solutions, announced that Benjamin Faes has joined the group from his leadership role at Google.

As Group Managing Director, Benjamin reinforces the company’s executive leadership team at a time of significant growth, including an expanding technology client portfolio.

Benjamin’s career at Google spanned 14 years, most recently as Managing Director at Google Cloud for Southern Europe and Emerging Markets, where he worked to transition the business’s enterprise clients to the cloud. Prior to this, he led the launch of YouTube’s services across Europe.

“As a strong leader with an agile growth mindset, Benjamin will reinforce the business and executive team with his fresh perspective. His expertise and knowledge will serve him well as he leads our global marketing and business development practice,” said Olivier Duha, CEO and Co-founder at Webhelp. “I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say that I am thrilled to welcome Benjamin to our team and am confident in his ability to further develop our strategy to create unforgettable human experiences.”

Benjamin brings 25 years of experience in sales and marketing strategy, leadership, and mergers and acquisitions, through his work with globally leading technology and media companies.

At Webhelp, he will work closely with the executive leadership team and Matthieu Bouin, Group Managing Director, leveraging his expertise in fast-growth organizations to support the business as it continues to scale globally.

“Today, the success of brands is based on how they design journeys that take their customers’ needs into account every step of the way,” said Faes. “I look forward to working with the team to help design, deliver and optimize truly incredible customer experiences. I’m impressed by the unique entrepreneurial spirit and culture that is brought to life across all areas of the business and am excited to join on this journey.”

To find out more about this topic

Contact the author


ECCCSA success for Webhelp

We’re very pleased to announce that Webhelp UK picked up three awards at last night’s European Contact Centre & Customer Service Awards (ECCCSA), building on a series of award wins in recent years. 

The 2021 awards were back in-person this year following 2020’s virtual event, taking place at Evolution, Battersea Park, London, and Webhelp are celebrating success across the following categories: 

  • Gold for Best Outsourcing Partnership (large) 
  • Silver for Best Support Team (customer) 
  • Bronze for Most Effective Learning and Development Initiative 

The Best Outsourcing Partnership award recognises the efforts made in building a successful and sustainable partnership between our business and one of our major global clients, with the Best Support Team recognising the cross-functional excellence of our Operational Support Team. Our Operational Support Team are a highly skilled group from various departments who come together to add value and deliver exceptional service to our clients and operational teams, and this award is a great testament to that work. 

The final award, Bronze for Most Effective Learning and Development Initiative, replicates our success from 2021 and recognises our continued focus on delivering the best learning experience possible for our advisors. This year’s success was based on our gamification-led learning experience, adapted for a virtual world and providing advisors with new, engaging ways of learning whether they are in the office, based at home or working in a hybrid way.   

David Turner, Webhelp’s Chief Executive Officer for South Africa, UK and India said: 

“Winning awards in conjunction with clients is always incredibly satisfying and speaks volumes for the partnerships we seek to create here at Webhelp. 

I’m particularly pleased to again be recognised in the learning and development category and with the Best Support Team Award – both awards speak to the game changer, collaborative culture we’ve built here at Webhelp and my congratulations go to everyone in our business who has worked hard across 2021 to deliver this success 


The European Contact Centre & Customer Service Awards are recognized as the longest-running and largest awards program in the customer experience industry, which celebrates organizations across Europe that deliver exceptional service to customers.
 

 


Role of Data

Anywhere, Anytime, Any device

In the post-pandemic world, customers expect to interact with brands on their terms – via their preferred channel, and at the time and place they want.  

With demand for digital channels spiking, brands must now integrate all forms of communication which are relevant for their specific customers – such as chat bots, SMS, web, mobile apps, phone, email, video, WhatsApp and Messenger. 

Here, we discuss three trends in demand for new channels to optimize CX while retaining operational control – a topic explored more fully in the CX21 series.

Provide a seamless user experience

Many customers want to proactively investigate, and self-serve, solutions to problems – often using multiple channels simultaneously for a speedier resolution.  

What people will not tolerate is brands wasting their time by failing to manage the complexity of the multichannel environment. In reality, that means being asked to provide the same information multiple times or being sent down ‘dead end’ or circular channels, where it’s impossible to complete transactions. It’s vital that customers can complete journeys in any, and all, channels provided by the brand – be it an app, website, social channels or bot. 

Advanced firms recognize that multichannel is a strategic priority. They’re investing in cloud contact centres which enable them to integrate all their business operations – from sales, customer service, CRM, and marketing, which helps customers to switch easily between channels. It also ensures technologies work together, and provides a ‘single view of the customer’ across online and offline experiences.  

Design with the customer in mind

Brands must resist the temptation to implement ‘cool’ new channels for the sake of it – effectively putting tactics before strategy.  

The journey to multi-channel should always begin with a “human sense of design thinking” – gaining a genuine understanding of what people your customers are trying to achieve, and the journeys they’re taking to get there.  

For consumers, the priorities are most likely to be convenience and simplicity. When introducing new channels, it’s often easier and more practical for brands to introduce bolt-ons for existing customer technology, rather than introduce clunky proprietary apps – many of which to date have collected data but added little value to customers. 

With demand for digital channels soaring, it may also be time to ‘bust the myth’ that people, by default, want to get into phone conversations with advisors. In reality, these calls are often the “human last resort” for people happy to self-serve, thus brands should recruit and assign highly skilled advisors to handle these complex queries. 

In short, customers love digital channels – but their primary concern remains the ability to easily complete transactions – whatever the channel.  

Role of data

Providing an opportunity for great CX anytime, anywhere and on any device marks a clear win for consumers. But it also enables intelligent brands to secure a competitive advantage – through gathering, centralizing, and mining data from the entire customer journey.  

Brands will need to use AI and analytics to create the customer profiles which underpin future products and services. These data-led approaches help to exceed customer expectations, cement customer loyalty, and refine multi-channel strategies.  

And that’s a wise move, because delivering a robust multi-channel environment is not a one-off exercise; brands will need to make a long term, operational commitment, and a team of people to continuously assess and improve performance.  

The shift to multi-channel will put clear water between CX brands. Those which streamline channels, apply human design thinking, and harness insights from powerful data, will maintain ‘sticky’ customer relationships  – delivering experiences well beyond purely transactional and reactive services. Brands which don’t engage with multichannel risk reputational damage from wasting their customers’ time on poorly-designed journeys which prioritize channels over user experience. 

Discover our CX21 series that explores the major trends, opportunities, and challenges in the world of CX in the 21st century, focusing on how brands can thrive in this dynamic context. 

SHARE

Webhelp Partner at CCA Leaders' Summit

We are delighted to announce our involvement as a partner in the 2021 Customer Contact Association (CCA) Leaders’ Summit, taking place in Glasgow on 1st December.

The event will welcome over 200 senior customer service and experience executives from some of the leading brands in the UK & Ireland, providing a platform to collaborate and connect with business leaders and discuss the latest customer experience innovations shaping the customer contact industry.

Webhelp will be represented by Mark Guest, Managing Director, Customer Solutions and Dave Pattman, Managing Director, Customer Experience, with both looking forward to sharing their knowledge in the customer experience space; including the re-imagining of the customer service model, the balance of technology and human support within customer experience design, and much more.

Commenting on the event Mark said:

“I’m looking forward to attending the CCA Leaders’ Summit to engage and network with like-minded businesses, particularly on the challenges and opportunities they face in their industry, and how this will shape their customer experience strategy for 2022.”

Dave continues:  

“The summit promises to be a thought-provoking discussion on the future of CX. It will be great to hear first-hand how leaders in their respective fields are exploring the current state of service delivery and customer experience and to lend our expertise to the debate.”

 

As we countdown the final weeks of 2021, the CCA Leaders’ Summit should prove to be a timely opportunity to discuss and debate the trends and behaviours that will shape the next year ahead in CX – and to celebrate those organisations who are already delivering customer service excellence.


Buy now pay later

B2B - Buy Now Pay Later, a new payment standard: 4 ways to stand out

Buy now pay later

Now is the time! The opportunities offered by Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) appear to be massive for B2B. When offering their payment methods, platforms and marketplaces should choose to stand out from the rest, as recommended by Meriem Ouenniche, Client Solution Manager at Webhelp Payment Services.

This is no longer simply an option, it’s a standard: Buy Now Pay Later is experiencing exponential growth in the area of B2B. It is noted that this credit purchase option has been offered in e-commerce and B2C marketplaces for years by fintechs such as Younited Credit or Klarna, who are now transposing their solutions to B2B. Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) allows marketplace operators, sellers and buyers to access deferred payment solutions.
But is this not “merely” a new credit option? Here are the arguments suggesting that this phenomenon deserves to be looked at more closely:

– It is true that credit is nothing new in B2B commerce, but we are conscious of a new desire on the part of Buyers and Sellers for a solution that is perfectly integrated with the shopping experience. This “way of thinking” comes as no surprise: millennials represent a significant part of the workforce in companies, and 73% of them are involved in B2B purchasing decisions*. As keen supporters of B2C purchases on ultra-optimised platforms (eBay, Amazon, Cdiscount, etc.), they aren’t ready to give up this quality of experience in the workplace.

– From the perspective of Sellers and the business platform, BNPL is seen as an opportunity to increase the value of the average basket, to enhance customer involvement and loyalty, to reduce financial risks and to focus on the business and growth rather than on payments.

– From the Buyers’ perspective, VSEs and SMEs are a very receptive target for the benefits offered by BNPL, as long as the operations and formalities are straightforward and fast. These companies are looking for more flexible and less restrictive alternatives to the credit solutions offered by conventional banks.

4 ways to stand out with BNPL

In a context of rapid change it would seem appropriate to offer Buy Now Pay Later in the following 4 areas of differentiation:

1) You need to offer a highly personalized shopping and payment experience

The buyers must feel understood, listened to, and that their preferred payment methods are taken into account. Analytics and AI seem to be particularly relevant in this new purchasing ecosystem, thanks to their ability to personalise the customer experience.

2) Your payment solution should make it possible for the seller to be paid more quickly (instant pay out) and for the buyer to pay on the payment date that suits them (which may differ from the one proposed by the seller)

Scoring plays an essential role in the analysis and evaluation of the buyer’s profile in order to define the appropriate credit line and thus limit the risk of non-payment.

3) Your payment solution needs to be fully integrated, fluid and seamless

In contrast, a complex payment experience will, in the long run, prove to be a deal breaker. This shows the importance of continuous, dynamic improvement of the user experience (UX).

4) Your payment solution needs to be comprehensive and flexible

To meet new market demands, it is recommended to offer BNPL solutions in order to support B2B marketplaces in their growth and diversification of their offer.
As a PSP (payment service provider), Webhelp Payment Services covers the entire spectrum of B2B payment services through a scalable offer adapted to the client’s needs: scoring, onboarding of buyers & sellers, pay in / out, white label invoicing, dunning, debt collection, credit insurance, BNPL, etc.

 

*According to a report published by Merit.

To find out more about this topic

SHARE

Webhelp appoints Tammy Chetty as South Africa's new Managing Director, Operations

We’re pleased to announce the appointment of Tammy Chetty as the new Managing Director of our South Africa operations.

Tammy joins the business from Harambee, whom Webhelp have a longstanding partnership with to bring career opportunities to young people in South Africa. Since 2014, Tammy has been Chief Operating Officer for the Harambee Academy, and the National Client Services and Western Cape Executive of Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator.

Drawing on the wealth of experience Tammy brings with her from Harambee, this is a huge opportunity for Webhelp to further increase diversity and inclusion across all areas of the business as they continue to build a sustainable business in South Africa and deliver on their ambition to employ candidates from disadvantaged communities through impact sourcing models.

Bringing over two decades of private sector business management and sales experience with her as well, Tammy has held senior roles in the Business Banking division working for Barclays (Absa) where she led a team of over 2000 people.

 

Commenting on her new role, Tammy Chetty said:

 

I am excited to be joining the team at Webhelp as I’ve had first-hand positive experiences of the values and culture that so resonates with me. Their People first and Client at the centre approach has made a significant impact to the growth of the Webhelp business and sector in South Africa. Making a difference in communities through impact sourcing has stood out for me as a beacon of hope and sustainable practice in growing the business further. I am eager to get stuck in and be a part of the next phase of the journey and continue to build on their exceptional global reputation in the BPO sector.”

 

As the first female MD for South Africa, Tammy joins Cathy Kalamaras, Melissa Naidoo Claassen and David Turner, Webhelps Chief Executive Officer for South Africa, UK and India in the country leadership team, with David commenting:

 

“Much has changed since we started our South Africa operations in 2014 so as we look at all areas of our business, this is a hugely exciting appointment for us. The Webhelp story in South Africa is one of tremendous growth, with nearly 5500 people now working across locations at Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and our newly launched site in Durban.  Our first female MD for South Africa, I’m really excited to be continuing our long-term relationship with Tammy as we officially welcome her to the team and to work with her to develop exciting new opportunities to grow our team of passionate game-changers in South Africa.”


Webhelp appoints Emma Bouché to lead Healthcare expansion in the UK

We’re pleased to announce the appointment of Emma Bouché as Head of Healthcare for Webhelp in the UK.

Emma joins the business with extensive international experience in creating and scaling business segments for a large corporate and private equity-backed start-up. She has spent 15 years with General Electric (GE) where she had several leadership roles focused on Healthcare across marketing, finance and commercial. Most recently she led GE’s current business transformation, from selling products to value based integrated solutions.

“I’m incredibly excited to combine my experience scaling value-based solutions and my passion about healthcare with Webhelp’s expertise to expand its presence in Healthcare to the UK” said Emma. “I look forward to working with the team to help design and deliver journeys to shape patient-centered experiences. I’ve been so impressed by the unique entrepreneurial spirit and culture that I see across all areas of the business which I’m delighted to now be a part of.”

A commercially astute leader with extensive international experience in creating and growing business segments, Emma has worked in Europe and the United States of America, honing her industry expertise in Healthcare, Energy and more recently in Vertical Farming.

Commenting on the appointment, Webhelp’s Chief Customer Solutions Officer Helen Murray said:

Emma is a fantastic addition to our business and senior leadership team, bringing a growth mind-set along with her exceptional knowledge and expertise in the Healthcare sector. I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say we’re thrilled to welcome Emma to our team as she develops our strategy to grow our presence in the sector in the UK.”

Emma will extend the reach of Webhelp to the healthcare sector in the UK by developing partnerships with Pharmaceutical and Med-Tech companies as well as Start-up and Public Health Agencies to develop Go-To Market solutions, and Patient support programs.

As a key strategic market for the business, we’re able to combine our outstanding Customer Experience track record with Healthcare Expertise, to offer the industry innovative solutions to promote products, demonstrate outcomes and create better patient and Healthcare provider user experiences.


people_talking

The Happiness Equation

Happiness + Human connection = powerful forces for optimizing employee-customer relationships and experiences.

Brand leaders recognize that happiness and human connection – once considered soft aspects of CX – are now powerful forces for optimizing the employee-customer relationship and experience, while driving revenue growth. Find out how your brand can connect employee wellbeing, customer experience, and brand values to gain a competitive advantage.

Happy teams make happy customers, but why is that? Explore CX21.

Wellbeing: Defining winners and losers in CX

Wellbeing is critical for advisor engagement and has a highly beneficial impact on performance and productivity. Brands face a stark choice – create a positive culture and see motivated advisors deliver gains in CX and financials. Or neglect teams’ wellbeing, and pay the price of continued employee churn, sickness, and absence, leading to reduced quality in CX and unrealized financial gains.

The pandemic has intensified demand on customer service centers, with advisors experiencing intense emotional labor, dealing with ever-increasing volumes of demands from customers across multiple touchpoints and channels in the customer journeys. The shift to remote working has also accelerated – reducing human connections and bringing a potential overload of digitization and recent technologies to advisors.

In response, brands should be mindful of their virtual workforce suffering mental health issues, which could more easily go undetected when teams can no longer see each other’s body language.

Advanced brands will recognize the role of emotions in CX and invest in short programs offering their advisors insights on how to calm down agitated callers by effectively gathering facts, analyzing feelings, and finding resolutions.

EX: A route to supercharge results and CX

Several studies across the globe have found that it’s also a priority to support the wellbeing of advisors themselves.  Employee engagement is linked to improved personal and organizational performance, as well as improved CX.

When advisors enjoy their work, radiate enthusiasm, and communicate with customers in an emotionally skillful way, it helps to drive brand and store loyalty.

Firms should also renew campaigns to maximize employee engagement to protect mental health, wellbeing, and emotions – inviting people to access resources and coping strategies proactively, rather than mandating participation.

With a rise in workplace review websites – where staff leave feedback on employee experience, now is the time to encourage people at all levels to believe, engage with, and practice brands’ mission and values. Brands which fail to achieve this culture will lose in the war for talent, suffer reputational damage from being linked with poor working practices, and even lose customers who may be tempted away by more ethical competitors.

Human connections: Ever impactful in the digital world

The need for strong links with customers also is still critical in digital. Despite brands introducing modern technologies such as AI, human conversation remains one of the most effective ways to fully understand and resolve complex customer queries.

With ever-increasing product complexity, and customer expectations, the days of providing purely transactional services are gone; creating human connections with customers is now critical to success.

In response, many companies are recruiting people with experience not just in customer service – but also specific topics or products; as well as social media influencers, to build more authentic customer conversations relationships with customers.

To optimize the use of technologies in creating real human connections, brands will need to harness data from customer conversations to inform more intelligent automated responses.

But with more advanced processing of customer data comes added potential risk for CX brands…

Data: A powerful opportunity – but manage with care

Longer term, companies will also need to balance using their customer data to realize opportunities, with the need to protect, educate, and empower customers. They must be able to choose how their data is used in a hyper-personalized, data driven, privacy challenged world.

Brands must offer the choice to opt out or consent to receive more intelligent assistance, which could be powered by augmented reality and AI. These advances will require more sophisticated controls, and regulation of analysis and reporting.

In parallel, brands face an unprecedented risk of data breaches – bringing a risk of long-term damage to brand reputation and sales. Chief executives must create a culture of security consciousness in their businesses – including maximizing security within their own workforce. – to stay secure, keep customer trust and gain a competitive differentiator.

In the past, brands struggled to justify investing significantly in the happiness and wellbeing of their people – with many deeming it as ‘non-business critical’. In the 21st century, brands simply cannot afford not to. Now is the time to motivate your people to deliver the best possible service for customers – driving significant and sustainable business growth.

Discover our CX21 series that explores the major trends, opportunities, and challenges in the world of CX in the 21st century, focusing on how brands can thrive in this dynamic context.

SHARE