Read the 6th edition of our OneShot magazine on Social Engagement

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Time is ticking away – now is the time to start focusing on social engagement.

Social commitment means becoming aware, but above all, taking action and standing up for inequalities.

Taking action can be as simple as these recipes to be: more human, more green, and more equal. Not only are these good for you, but for others too.

Compelling your company to pledge and commit in the fight for social and environmental changes, such as the global warming crisis or social justices and equalities – are vital steps to take now for a brighter future.

And it all starts with knowledge. So, here’s to your learning with the latest edition of the OneShot.

Dare to be ‘woke’ and be a driving force for change.

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legal framework

Legal frameworks of content moderation around the world (Part 3)

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With an initial goal of curbing fake news and online hate, the NetzDG unfortunately, created a blueprint for internet censorship around the globe.

Turkey
For many years now, freedom of speech and press freedom have been strongly condemned in Turkey, it is ranked 154th out of 180 countries in the RSF 2020 World Press Freedom Index. (Source: www.rsf.org). Denying access to around 3000 articles, Turkish courts blocked articles that were highlighting political corruption and human rights violations in 2018, added to a track record of frequently blocking social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

On 29th July, the Turkish parliament enacted a new law that was hastily ushered in without considering the opposition or other stakeholders’ inputs. Once approved by President Erdogan, the law mandates social media platforms to appoint a local representative in Turkey. However, activists are severely concerned that the law is designed to further conduct government censorship and surveillance.

Australia
Following the gruesome terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch (New Zealand), which was carried out by an Australian in 2019, a bill amending the Australian criminal code was passed. The amendments hold service providers criminally liable for failure to instantly remove violent content that is shared on their platforms.

Despite similarities with the NetzDG, the main difference is the take-down timeframe and the subject matter of illegal content. The amendment faced criticisms from media companies, stating it could lead to censorship of legitimate content due to the incentive it creates to over-screen their users. Others called for the government to address the problem at its root: violence and Anti-Muslim hatred as opposed to holding social media platforms accountable for the manifestation of such problems.

Nigeria
On 5th November 2019, an Anti-Social Media Bill was proposed by the senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to bring to book violations in peddling malicious information. The campaign has been backed up with the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) held with traditional rulers, government officials, and leaders of the National Assembly.

Following the recent terror at Lekki Toll Gate on the night of 20th October 2020 that turned fatal when police brutally invaded peaceful protests to #EndSARS by use of live ammunition, the infringement of freedom of speech amidst media censorship continues to oppress the fundamental human rights and is condemned by Amnesty International. Nigerian Police have since then denied despite evidence of people streaming live on their social media platforms to showcase this cruelty. (Source: amnesty.org)

China
With a more sophisticated censorship approach, China’s government blocks websites, IP addresses, URLs whilst monitoring internet access. Online service providers are expected to authenticate the real names of the online users according to the Cyber Security Law (CSL) that has been effective since 1st June 2017. Additionally, the CSL mandates all network operators to closely screen user-generated content and filter out information that is prohibited from being published or relayed by existing laws or administrative regulations.

Other countries that also have heavy internet censorship through political media restrictions and social media include Iran, North Korea, Somalia, Ethiopia amidst political unrest, and many Eastern European countries such as Moldova.

Following the recently concluded U.S. elections against a highly controversial and polarizing incumbent, President Trump is yet to concede. Instead, he has been making widespread allegations of voter fraud as well as concerns about the integrity of the process. Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook continue to struggle with screening fake misinforming content.
Due to the thin line that exists between permitted and prohibited speech, enacting a universal solution globally governing content moderation is assertive. When relying on automated decision-making tools, moderation systems are prone to errors. Online platforms are hence forced to assess the amount of collateral damage that would be deemed “legitimate” versus the amount of harmful content that would slip through the cracks. Stronger enforcement means less hate and fake news will be shared, but it also means a greater probability of flagging of for example activists protesting police brutality or journalists exposing injustices and corruption in those particular governments.

This article is the the final part of a series. If you missed the first part, read it here.

Want to discuss the specificities in your country? Get in touch with our experts to find out more.

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Video Chat for Customer Service sees 70% growth in Europe

Consumers embrace video calling when interacting with organizations since COVID-19.
Over one quarter of consumers would switch brands if offered the option of video chat.

Paris, France 
20 January 2021 

Webhelp, a leading global customer experience and business solutions provider, has today released new research regarding consumer preferences towards video chat . The research conducted during the pandemic found that, whilst COVID-19 has resulted in an uptick in the use of video calls across both personal and professional lives, consumer preferences for the use of video calling in a customer service setting have dramatically increased at 70%. This data is underlined by the increased opportunities that Webhelp is seeing to support its clients and their customers effectively with video chat as a new channel. 

The research, which polled over six thousand consumers across the UK, France and Germany, found that prior to the pandemic, only 21% of European consumers had used video-calling in a customer service setting; however, since COVID-19, that number has grown substantially. The research highlighted that 62% of consumers are now using video to interact with brands; either the same amount or more, since the pandemic started. And when asked whether they would use video calls to contact businesses after the pandemic had subsided, 76% of consumers revealed they would likely use it the same, if not more.  

Vincent Tachet, Group CIO of Webhelp, comments on the findings: 

As we go into 2021, consumer behaviours are understandably continuing to change dramatically as a direct result of the pandemicAlongside improvements in technologythis is making video chat more accessible for consumers and more successful for brands, if used in the right context. Video chat makes full use of the capabilities of the technology devices now available to consumers and agents. The interaction itself can take many forms. For example, customers can share their cameras to help identify technical issues, or agents can co-browse with the user to show product features or benefits. This can help reduce overall contact time and therefore cost-to-serve or increase the opportunity for sales conversion and additional revenue – whilst also helping take the experience to the next level for brands. Even if it is not going to be appropriate for every customer interactionwe are seeing great success in high value sales, insurance claimsand during complex or critical customer service conversations. Similarly, for our clients who are looking for new and innovative ways to market their services, video has provided some real added value and set them apart from their competitors. 

Other key findings from the Webhelp research, conducted by OnePoll, include: 

  • Social networking and speaking to family were the most commonly adopted use cases for video-calling, both pre and post COVID-19.  
  • Customers were more likely to want to use video when dealing with insurance claims, accessing hardware and technical support and when entering into high value sales and mortgage conversations. 
  • 27% of European consumers said they would switch to a different brand if that brand offered video chat as an additional channel for sales and customer service.  
  • Citizens between 25-34 years old, and people who have used video chat when contacting organizations, are more likely to express a preference for this channel. 
  • 40% of European consumers expect they will keep using video as much as they do now, whilst 14predict that they will actually use it more after the pandemic.  

Vincent Tachet continues 

We are far from out of the danger zone when it comes to COVID-19, but given the roll out of the vaccine, we wanted to look at the impact of video calling in a post pandemic world. Our results are certainly a timely reminder that video chat is here to stay. We’re always looking at emerging channels here at Webhelp and video is fast becoming a way for our clients to differentiate themselves from their competitors. If done well and used in the right context, brands can not only improve their customer services, but also their sales too. Video calling could well give a brand a competitive advantage both now and in the future. This is certainly something we have been seeing across the brands we partner with who are already bringing this innovative channel into their customer experience journey armoury.”  


5G and Customer Service - What early adopters are looking forward to

With the marketing of new 5G equipment and packages, the questions of the first customers and early adopters will not fail to flood the contact centers.
Here are a few comments from Jalil Lahlou, Director of the Telecom & High-tech business unit at Webhelp.

1. The 5G early adopters will want to take advantage of their latest high-end smartphones.

Three prerequisites are necessary in order to benefit from 5G: being in a well connected area, having a compatible smartphone and the availability of a 5G package. It will not be necessary to change your SIM card. The latest generation smartphones have the ability to access and switch between 4G and 5G networks when needed. In addition, some operators will push usage by offering 2 SIM cards for users who also have a tablet, connected watch or compatible laptop – the offer is expected to grow progressively. Ambiguities concerning the dual SIM mode will most likely have to be resolved.

2. A number of early adopters in 5G have shown an interest in video streaming.

Netflix, Amazon and other video streaming services will be among the first beneficiaries. The quality and fluidity of the display will benefit from the high speed of 5G. Similarly, fans of video downloads will experience a significant reduction in download times. On paper, 4K and 8K video enthusiasts who want to share them will also be delighted. But in reality, everything will depend on the actual speeds…

3 – What’s holding back the 5G market? When will the “real” flows come?

As far as disruptive factors are concerned, the question will certainly be asked: when will the speeds promised by 5G, i.e. similar to the fibre (with the theoretical) maximum speed announced exceeding 1Gbps arrive? It should be remembered that in 2021 5G will have a limited speed (5G non-standalone, i.e. coupled with 4G) and that it will be necessary to wait for the operator’s network to evolve to take advantage of the “true” 5G standalone network.

4 – 5G will bring benefits to gamers

5G promises shorter latency times. In other words, the fluidity of interactions will be greatly improved, which should benefit fans of online video games and cloud gaming (Microsoft Xcloud). However, it is not certain that the offer will be very extensive: some publishers could delay the distribution of their games to avoid disappointing their audience – as the current performance of 5G is not sufficient. But, in the short to medium term, gamers equipped with hyper-powerful smartphones, coupled with 5G, will definitely seize the day!

5 – Connected objects and 5G: who should get involved?

Online connected items will certainly be the big winners of the move to 5G. Thanks to this new technology, the possibilities of data exchange will be enhanced. For the general public, the 3 areas that should eventually be of benefit are connected automobiles, connected healthcare and connected homes. However, it is in the field of industrial connected devices that 5G promises to be revolutionary, by enabling massive connectivity.

6 – And regarding some worrying rumours.

The 5G is the subject of lively debates, not only in France. The questions that have been raised by customers and prospects regarding the health and environmental debate. At present, contrary to official claims, 175 studies have been carried out worldwide on the subject of 5G. For the time being, as far as millimetre waves (26-28 GHz band) are concerned, it is true that there is a lack of scientific data on their possible health impact. But these frequency ranges will probably not be deployed until 2025, and independent studies are underway. For his part, Orange CEO Stéphane Richard has a clear position: “I fully agree that we should not rush to use them, and wait for work to be done”.

To be continued! So, what questions have you asked yourself so far?

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The transformation of B2B sales

Meet those who make the modern B2B go-to market: “inside sales” sellers. Driven by changing B2B buying behavior, the sedentary selling model is evolving beyond simple optimization in a period where physical business interactions have fallen by more than 50%.

According to FEVAD, in 2020, 79% of French SMEs have requested a rate for a B2B purchase on the internet, even before contacting a seller. The change in sales models seems to have become unavoidable, accelerated by confinements as interactions with prospects and customers can no longer be done face-to-face, ” nevertheless, everything must be done to develop customer portfolios”, explains Gautier Romani, an inside sales representative operating for a Webhelp client. Gautier continues, “The proposal for meetings using channels as varied as they are complementary – social networks, mail, etc. – has been intensified to take advantage of the increased available time of our contacts”. The B2B customer has gained knowledge of the offers, thanks to more simplified access to information. As a result, sellers can now focus on the higher value-added elements of the business proposition.

A win/win relationship

Salespeople are doing well, thanks to the pool of information at their disposal (browsing history, sales statistics, etc.) which allows them to continue the purchasing cycle on different channels. This variety encourages them to be proactive in supporting the client and confirming his enlightened choice. “The inside sales must not only know its product, but master its environment (competitive advantages, market trends, etc.). The business now corresponds more to delivering expertise to its client via the right communication channel, mostly via LinkedIn today. “Once Social Selling is mastered, we gain access to a space of more promising business opportunities than in 3 days of face-to-face trade shows”. This leads to rethinking its approach to the customer: how to start the relationship, at what pace to follow up, etc. These are points that are too often underestimated,” Gautier concludes.

Account Based Marketing (ABM): effective under certain conditions

Targeting professionals based on demographic data has become the key asset of sedentary salespeople who employ ABM. This strategy consists of targeting key accounts while sending specific messages; by sector and for each profile of decision-makers showing the most appetite. Rather reserved for targeting mid-cap companies and beyond, this approach is more thorough, but has a conversion rate 5 times higher than the average. “To do this, it is necessary to map the targeted company, analyze its environment, its market, its competitors, and also identify decision-makers or influencers, to send them personalized messages.” Underlines Luc Massias, Business Development Executive at Webhelp.

Outsourcing your B2B sales force allows you to accelerate your commercial growth.

Further reading: B2B Inside Sales Generation

 

Get in touch with our experts to find out more.

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legal framework

Legal frameworks of content moderation around the world (Part 2)

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Internationally, two documents provide freedom of expression protection. The first is Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), and the second is Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The importance of free speech and free expression are recognized as fundamental human rights with caution of unjustly infringing on them.

By obliging social media platforms to delete illegal content within 24 hours or otherwise face exorbitant fines, the NetzDG triggered fierce debates and concerns regarding its ramification on freedom of expression by:

  • The Streisand effect (detrimental outcomes of censorship)
  • Accidental removal of legal content
  • Privatized law enforcement
  • Unnecessary sanctions
  • Global Internet censorship through authoritarian regimes

At least 13 different countries have enacted or outlined laws that are similar to the NetzDG matrix. According to the Freedom House’s Freedom on the Net, five of them (Honduras, Venezuela, Vietnam, Russia, and Belarus) are ranked as “not free”, five others are ranked as “partly free” (Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Kenya, and India) and the remaining three are categorized as “free” (France, UK, and Australia). (Source: freedomhouse.org). More recently, Turkey was also added to the list, having passed the worst version of the NetzDG, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (Source: eff.org)

United States
According to a study that was conducted last year, 85% of daily active Facebook users live outside of the U.S. and Canada, 80% of YouTube users and 79% of Twitter accounts are mainly from up-coming markets such as Brazil, India, and Indonesia. (Source: www.omnicoreagency.com)

While most of these big tech companies have their headquarters in the United States, the majority of their users are based outside the country. As a result, these companies are essentially governed by U.S. law. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Section 230 are the two principal legal frameworks that regulate the online freedom of expression.

In the U.S., the government is prevented from infringing on the right to free speech by the First Amendment. However, tech companies are not similarly subordinate to the First Amendment. Consequently, they can enact their codes of conduct and policies that often further restrict speech that would not be prohibited by the government under the First Amendment. For instance, Tumblr and Facebook prohibit the publication of graphic nudity on their platforms.

Yet under the First Amendment law, such prohibition by the government would be unconstitutional. And because Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects social media networks, website operators, and other intermediaries, they are not held liable for the generated content in their platforms and have been able to thrive.

United Kingdom
To combat detrimental content, the U.K. released a White Paper last year highlighting multiple requirements. Internet companies must keep their platforms safe and can be held accountable for the content published on their platforms and, they are liable to pay consequent fines. (Source: assets.publishing.service.gov.uk)

This article is the second part of a series. If you missed the first part, read it here.

Want to discuss the specificities in your country? Get in touch with our experts to find out more.

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legal framework

Legal frameworks of content moderation around the world (Part 1)

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Following increased pressure to protect the audience from harmful content, both large and small online platforms that mainly host User Generated Content have come under intense scrutiny from governments around the globe.
Depending on their size and capacity, different online platforms deploy two content moderation models to tackle this issue:

  1. Centralized content moderation – using this approach, companies establish a wide range of content policies they apply on a global scale with exceptions carved out to safeguard their compliance with laws in different jurisdictions. These content policies are implemented by centralized moderators who are trained, managed, and directed as such. Facebook and YouTube are examples of big internet platform companies using this model.
  2. Decentralized content moderation – this model tasks the users with the responsibility of enforcing the policies themselves. Being diverse by nature, this approach mainly enables platforms like Reddit to give their users a set of global policies that serve as a guiding framework.

Centralized models help companies to promote consistency in the adoption of content policies while decentralized models allow a more localized, context-specific, and culture-specific moderation to take place encouraging a diversity of opinions on a platform.
After failed attempts to push social media platforms to self-regulate, the German parliament approved the

Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) on 30th June 2017. Also known as the “hate speech law” the NetzDG took full effect as from 1st. January 2018. The NetzDG directs platforms to delete terrorism, hate speech, and other illegal contents within 24 hours of being flagged on a platform or otherwise risk hefty fines.

While the NetzDG encourages transparency and accountability of social media platforms it also raises concerns regarding the violation of the e-Commerce Directive and fundamental human rights such as freedom of expression. In a statement that was sent to the German parliament in 2017, Facebook considered the NetzDG draft submitted in 2017, to be incompatible with the German constitution by stating, “It would have the effect of transferring responsibility for complex legal decisions from public authorities to private companies”. (Source: businessinsider.com)

Following criticism from a wide array of activists, social networks, politicians, the EU commission, the UN, and scholars, the NetzDG is a controversial law that should be adapted with a grain of salt. Unintentionally, Germany created a prototype for Global Online Censorship from highly authoritarian states who have adapted the NetzDG to manipulate the freedom of speech on the internet by pushing their illiberal agendas camouflaged as moderation policies.

Find out more about this topic

This article is part of a series looking at legal frameworks around the world. The series will focus on countries legal amendments to moderate user-generated content in the following countries: U.S, U.K., Turkey, Australia, Nigeria, and China.

Want to discuss the specificities in your country? Get in touch with our experts to find out more.

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Webhelp will recruit 600 young people in three months

Co-Founder of Webhelp Olivier Duha, discusses Webhelp’s program to recruit 600 employees over the next three months, with Enguérand Renault, journalist from the French magazine Le Figaro.

Webhelp – present in almost fifty countries around the world. The customer relationship specialist wants to train young people who are far from employment.

In the midst of a pandemic crisis, the customer relations specialist Webhelp has decided to step up its youth recruitment program.

“We are going to recruit 600 employees over the next three months. Out of a total of 3,900 employees, this represents a 15% increase in the number of employees linked to our new facilities.

We will offer part-time contracts for students, fixed-term contracts but also 10 to 20% immediate permanent contracts. Webhelp has a strong inclusion program by recruiting and training young people: people excluded from employment, in professional reorientation, or in a situation of disability.” explains Olivier Duha.

Olivier_Duha

If Webhelp is speeding up its recruitment program, it is because the group has managed to get through the global COVID-19 crisis by adapting. Faced with the first wave of COVID-19 in the spring, Webhelp has succeeded in teleworking 85% of its 65,000 employees around the world. A rate today returned to 50%. Olivier mentions “we have been able to demonstrate that teleworking has not degraded the quality of service we provide to our customers. On the contrary, it allowed greater flexibility and an extension of working schedules”.

After a sudden air gap, Webhelp’s activity has picked up sharply and should end the year with growth close to 10%, as expected.

Digitalization of companies

“The pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of businesses. These had to align with the quality standards of customer service decreed by the pure players. Many companies have therefore decided to entrust their customer relations to us. I think this shift will increase and that the rate of outsourcing of this service will be revised upwards”.

Webhelp, which recently came under the control of the Belgian fund GBL, has a turnover of 1.6 billion euros with 180 customer relations centers in almost fifty countries.
“We should see many consolidations in our business.” Webhelp wants to participate in this move and be among the world leaders in the business behind Teleperformance. “We aim to double in size in 5 to 7 years”, concludes Olivier Duha, Co-Founder of Webhelp.

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[Webinar] Travel rebound, evolution or revolution in traveller experience?

2020 has changed travel forever.

With the entire sector facing challenges like never before, we talk to industry leaders from easyJet, Expedia, Evaneos, and IATA, to share their experiences during these times of accelerated digital and operational transformation. With further insights into what this means for the future of travel in 2021 and beyond.

 


Telecats named as an Exceptional AI Solutions Provider by Frost & Sullivan

Virtual reality concept: abstract visualization of artificial intelligence

This report puts a great spotlight on Telecats and is a strong recognition of the company’s long-term commitment to invest in AI and delivering speech enabled solutions for accelerated customer experiences. Part of Webhelp Group since 2017, Telecats is headquartered in the Netherlands near top university Twente and partners with over 100 European leading brands such as DPG Media, easyJet, MSD France and MSD Vaccins, KPN and Webhelp itself, automating voice-based interactions. By implementing Smart IVR, Voicebots and Speech Routing, and other actionable use cases leveraging language modeling, Telecats redesigns the way contact centers operate.

Federico Teveles, Research Analyst – Information and Communications Technologies at Frost & Sullivan stated;

“Telecats’ remarkable technological capabilities are pivotal to its success in meeting market expectations. They have a successful track record of delivering advanced, custom conversational AI solutions to leading global enterprises, and exhibit exceptional customer satisfaction rates. Telecats incorporates a myriad of high-quality, forward-looking features that allow customers to optimize the customer journey and enhance agent experience (AX) and customer experience (CX). The acquisition by Webhelp has helped to position itself as a market leader.”

In this report, Frost and Sullivan has reviewed a wide range of companies in the entire European market and has paid a specific attention to the trends, opportunities, and challenges in the fast-growing industry of Voicebots and A.I. This study highlights Telecats in particular for the strong assets they bring to the table; a combination of highly developed technology skills, long-term business experience and its association with Webhelp, Europe’s leading CX and business solutions provider, bringing Telecats a unique positioning in Europe. With a focus on 2 client implementations, the report is a great demonstration of Telecats’ strong track record of delivering great AI-powered solutions to leading global companies.

Martijn Franssen, Director Digital Transformation KPN stated:

“The innovative speech solutions of Telecats fitted perfectly in the architecture required to bring KPN’s digital strategy to life within Customer Service. And importantly, we definitely see a Cultural fit. Telecats simply provides a flexible, modernized approach. The results we achieved with the voice and AI technology are proof of our unique cooperation. With a clear voice for Customer Service the customer literally becomes the center and basis of innovation in the field of customer contact.”

Telecats’ nomination as exceptional A.I. Solutions provider follows the recognition of Webhelp’s leadership, particularly in innovation, by the group’s top position in Frost & Sullivan’s RadarTM: European CX Outsourcing 2020 announced just a few days ago.