Webhelp Expands Into the Healthcare Sector with Acquisition of Direct Medica

Direct Medica logo

  • Direct Medica is the leading French healthcare customer relationship management firm
  • 14th acquisition for Webhelp in four years

Leading global customer experience and business process outsourcing expert, Webhelp, has acquired a majority stake in leading French healthcare sector customer relationship management firm, Direct Medica.

Webhelp has signed an exclusive agreement for the acquisition of Direct Medica, which is expected to be finalised by the end of July 2017.

For 17 years Direct Medica has been the leading player in multi-channel relationship management in the healthcare sector in France and is recognised for its abilities to add value and continuously provide innovative solutions. The company serves a broad client base: pharmaceutical laboratories, hospitals, health insurance companies, institutional players and public authorities.

Webhelp will become the majority shareholder, but the three founders of Direct Medica, Jean-Christian Kipp, Sophie Kerob and Jerôme Stevens, as well as the management team, will maintain a significant capital share and will continue to ensure the development of the company.

This is the 14th acquisition Webhelp has made in the last four years and furthers the company’s strategy of growing through geographical and sector expertise.

Olivier Duha, co-founder of Webhelp, said: “Direct Medica began operations in the same year as Webhelp and, like Webhelp, has developed into a leader in its sector. Webhelp is delighted to be able to add the experience of Direct Medica in the health care sector to its portfolio and is confident that together the expertise of our two businesses will prove even more attractive to companies operating in this sector in Europe.”

Jean-Christian Kipp, chairman of the Direct Medica Group, welcomed the news: “By combining with Webhelp, we will integrate a strong entrepreneurial dynamic group with a strong European foundation, which will allow us to expand our service offerings, implement our innovative models internationally and offer even more attractive development prospects to our teams. This is a win win situation for Direct Medica and Webhelp, as well as our clients, their customers and our people.”

 

 

 


Multilingual Hubs – When Two Heads Are Not Better Than One

The phrase ‘two heads are better than one’ is commonly accepted in the context of collaborative working and idea sharing, but when it comes to maintaining service consistency and reducing costs in a multilingual contact centre environment, the fewer heads the better. And Netflix’s recent announcement that it would be creating 400 multilingual roles in its customer contact centre in the Netherlands is evidence that multilingual ‘heads’ are highly prized.

Leading global customer experience provider, Webhelp, has invested heavily in a robust solution to meet the language, cost and service challenges of its clients. To do this, Webhelp has augmented its portfolio of single language sites by creating multilingual hubs in strategic locations as part of a transformational approach to delivering outstanding customer service it terms ‘Bestshoring’.

Determining the right multilingual strategy - whether that means full service, service consolidation or shifting to digital channels for example - becomes that much easier when established locations and skilled teams are available and ready to speak the customer’s language. Bestshoring leverages Webhelp’s customer management expertise and infrastructure to deliver high quality multilingual, multichannel conversations that maximise cost efficiency and deliver scalability and flexibility.

Matthieu Bouin, director of strategy and new lines of business at Webhelp, said: “As more and more businesses have an international customer base, the ability to offer round the clock consistent customer experiences in the language and channel of the customer’s choice is becoming increasingly important. Much is made of the need to communicate with customers via the channel of their choice. Webhelp takes that one step further and offers the ability to communicate with customers via the channel and in the language of their choice, backed up by the inherent benefits of our robust operational footprint.”

 

Webhelp employs almost 2,000 multilingual advisors in hubs in Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal, Germany, Romania and the Czech Republic and can offer clients a consistent level of service across a range of different languages.

Athens, Enschede, Lisbon, Stuttgart, Bucharest and Prague were chosen by Webhelp because of a sustainable supply of people with exceptional language skills, combined with a strong work ethic and customer service orientation. In addition, these attractive cities offer excellent infrastructure, local and economic support, and strong transportation links.

From each multilingual hub, Webhelp can handle up to 23 languages depending on the location. The languages currently available are: French, English, Dutch, German, Swedish, Arabic, Danish, Norwegian, Italian, Finnish, Turkish, Polish, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Czech, Croatian/Bosnian/Serbian, Hungarian, Greek, Romanian, Slovak, Hebrew, and Lebanese. These languages can all be delivered across multiple channels including voice, email, videoconferencing, social, chat, forums, back office and self-service.

The actual Bestshoring ‘fit’ for clients depends on the scale and nature of customer demand. If the customer base is large, but most or all of them speak the same language and are located in the same country, one site where one language is spoken could also be an ideal solution, rather than a multilingual hub. This location can be on-, near-, or offshore, depending on factors such as cost, cultural considerations and interaction complexity. Webhelp has a large number of single language sites to cater for native language speaking requirements and therefore these tend to be based in the country where the language is most widely spoken; for instance, French from Rabat, English from Glasgow or South Africa, and German from Dortmund.

David Turner, CEO of Webhelp UK said: “The quality, scalability, flexibility, resilience and cost benefits of a Bestshoring strategy for our clients are clear and proven. But our people benefit too. Gone are the days when a job as a contact centre advisor wasn’t considered a viable career option. We are proud to offer educated and qualified people rewarding, long-term careers and the ability to use their language skills to deliver great customer experiences. In addition to promotion opportunities, one of the benefits of Webhelp’s global footprint is that our people can make location choices too. We are delivering so many languages from so many different hubs that this opens up possibilities for our people to travel, experience new cultures, and even to relocate.”

 

It’s time to forget the outdated practices of offshoring as a means of offering cheaper customer experiences - far too often at the expense of customer satisfaction. A well-tailored Bestshoring solution allows organisations to reap cost benefits while increasing levels of customer satisfaction through delivering consistent levels of service and native, or near native, language skills across multiple channels.

To read our white paper on the subject click here

 


Webhelp Netherlands announces the acquisition of Telecats

Webhelp Netherlands, a leading player in the transformation of customer experiences, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Telecats, a company specialised in the deployment of voice and speech technology.
Customer experiences and business processes are changing rapidly due to the increasing use of technology. This acquisition confirms Webhelp’s growing reputation as a technology enabler and strengthens its position as the best partner for innovative customer contact solutions.

Speech technology increases quality and efficiency in customer contact
Telecats is the Dutch market leader for speech recognition in customer contact solutions. These solutions include customer identification, call steering, self service and analytics. The use of speech technology in contact centres has been proven to increase NPS and employee satisfaction, whilst reducing average handling time and repeat traffic. The Telecats systems are used by a large number of clients, including leading blue chip Dutch and European companies, and handle millions of calls each month.

Gert-Jan Morsink, CEO Webhelp Netherlands and member of the Board of Directors at Webhelp said: "We are very pleased with this acquisition and the new opportunities this presents to our clients. Our clients can expect to see us drive a new technical agenda for smart solutions with best in class technology paired with our unrivalled human touch. This allows us to further improve the customer experience whilst reducing the total cost of ownership through smart solutions.”

Wim Luimes, CCO of Telecats about the deal: “I am very enthusiastic about the possibilities for our company. The international portfolio and Webhelp’s ambitions will undoubtedly help us meet our growth ambitions. As experience innovators we could not have found a better partner and look forward to making use of our combined expertise to create a sustainable improvement in customer experience.”

Telecats’ headquarters will remain in Enschede and will facilitate the anticipated growth over the coming years. The current management and staff have maintained a significant interest in the company. The day to day operations will continue to be led by the current management; Jan Willem Mulder, Martin Spitholt and Wim Luimes.

Earlier acquisitions and partnerships
Webhelp is a leading global business process outsourcer with a portfolio focusing on service provision, solution design and technology enablement. In 2016 Webhelp acquired several companies focusing on social media strategy (Netino) and digital strategy (MyStudioFactory) showing its continued commitment to being a business process partner for its clients.


Webhelp Enters Russian-speaking Market with Latvian Expansion

Leading global business process outsourcing and customer experience expert Webhelp, has announced plans to expand its business with the addition of a new site in the capital of Latvia, Riga.

With 40% of the population in Latvia speaking fluent Russian, this move allows Webhelp to offer an additional non-European language capability from a base in the EU.

Webhelp has already secured a high profile new client to occupy the site and recruitment for more than 200 Russian speaking technical advisors and management positions is beginning now.

Olivier Duha, co-founder of Webhelp, said: “It is great news that we are able to expand our business into the Russian speaking market with the addition of this new site in Latvia. We already have one very high profile new client that we will service from this site and I’m sure many more will follow.

“Webhelp’s strategy is to grow the business geographically and through sector expertise. This move adds both an additional language capability and a new country to our portfolio, which is very exciting.”

Arvils Ašeradens, deputy prime minister of Latvia and minister of economics, welcomed the news: “Developing new export opportunities and attracting foreign investment are among the main priorities of the Latvian government. I am pleased to see the successful outcome of my visit to Sweden and the meeting with Webhelp Nordic CEO, Terje Andreassen, bringing benefits to both parties. The decision of Webhelp to open an office in Riga is a significant step towards closer and deeper cooperation between both countries.

“For Nordic companies we are the "Affordable North” - sharing the same work ethics, with a good understanding of the Nordic culture, yet having one of the EU's best wage adjusted labour productivity in administrative services, and with experience in Russian and Eastern markets.

“We are proud Riga will be the location for Webhelp services and it acknowledges our ability to provide the highest quality service for the most demanding customers."

Webhelp will initially be recruiting more than 200 Russian speaking people to work at the Riga site where they will be handling Russian language technical support calls for a major international technology brand. Full training will be provided for all new colleagues in Riga beginning in June 2017, once the office has been refurbished.

Terje Andreassen, CEO of Webhelp Nordic, who will be responsible for the Latvian business, said: “We are very excited to be expanding into this new territory. Initially we will be recruiting over 200 people, but we anticipate strong growth for this business and therefore we hope to recruit additional people in the future. We are excited by the prospects of our business in Latvia. It is a welcoming climate for business and we are very impressed by the available pool of talent here.”

Andris Ozols, director of the investment and development agency of Latvia, commented: “We are proud that Webhelp has chosen Latvia as its new location, as global business services is one of our strategic sectors for investment promotion. Because Latvia has highly developed communications infrastructure, qualified and motivated professionals with language and communication skills, we are a prime destination for servicing international customers. Also, with its central location, Riga is well connected with other major European cities. I am convinced that the new center in Riga will quickly prove that it really is the best place for Webhelp to take on new challenges.”

If you would like more information on the available positions or to apply, contact: Camilla Rose on +45 8816 6616 or camilla.rose@nordic.webhelp.com

 

 

 


President of Madagascar Inaugurates Webhelp’s New Site

President of the Republic of Madagascar, Hery Rajaonarumampianina, has inaugurated the new offices of leading global customer experience expert, Webhelp.

Webhelp launched itself in Madagascar in April 2013. Since that time the business has grown rapidly from 60 colleagues to more than 300 today and serves 12 clients in the telecommunications, e-commerce and travel industries.

Olivier Duha, co-founder of Webhelp, said: “Outsourcing in Madagascar is flourishing and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the President for his vision in supporting the development of this industry.

“Webhelp has been very pleased with the quality of the people we have found in Madagascar and the favourable business climate here means we are happy to commit to our future here, with this move to a new site.”

Webhelp was founded in Paris in 2000 by two young entrepreneurs, Olivier Duha and Frederic Jousset, who had the vision to harness new technology to drive excellence in customer experience.

Since that time the business has grown to encompass more than 35,000 people, working in more than 90 sites across 25 countries.

Ten acquisitions in the past two years, means the growth of the business shows no sign of slowing down.

 

 


Webhelp on growth trajectory: Expanding its position as a leading innovator with the acquisition of O|con

Webhelp, global provider of business process outsourcing services (BPO), has announced the acquisition of O|con Office Concept GmbH, a state of the art BPO service center in Stuttgart, Germany with excellent technical expertise. Completion of the transaction is expected to be the end of March 2017, subject to authorisation from the relevant authorities.

This acquisition will ensure Webhelp continues its successful growth trajectory, furthering its strong market position and adding to its expertise in the automotive, retail, technology and public service sectors. Changing customer expectations and the increasing use of technology means Webhelp operates in a changing and challenging market. This acquisition allows the company to secure its position as a leader in terms of being able to offer innovative customer contact solutions to its clients.

Thomas Berlemann, CEO of Webhelp Germany, said: "O|con is a highly successful premium service center characterised by outstanding know-how and maximal innovation strength. Together with our customers we have the opportunity to test - initially in a small controlled environment - innovative technologies. Thus, O|con will take an important laboratory role within the Webhelp group."

 

The goal: After a successful trial period new technologies will be industrialised in order to create a competitive advantage for Webhelp’s clients.

Thomas Berlemann continued: "We are very pleased with the acquisition and the opportunities arising out of it for us and our customers. The partnership with O|con puts us in a position to enter new areas by joint collaboration and, making use of our combined expertise to develop new solutions which will lead to a sustainable improvement in customer experience."

Gernot Müller, managing director of O|con, said: "This transaction constitutes a very important development for O|con. This combination with one of the leading, international BPO specialists opens new perspectives and opportunities in respect of distribution as well as technology. O|con will benefit significantly from the newly gained market strength and competence."

 

The founders of O|con, Gernot Müller and his wife Marion, will stay connected to O|con and Webhelp and will continue to work in distribution.

Since its foundation in 1998 O|con has been a medium-sized, owner-managed family business with longstanding expertise in services for premium segment customers. The company currently employs 270 employees and has been awarded the DIN ISO 9001:2008 certificate due to its high standards of internal quality management.

 

ENDS

Press contact:

Kristina Lerch                                        Thomas Berlemann

Alsterbuben GmbH                                Webhelp

kristina.lerch@alsterbuben.de               thomas.berlemann@de.webhelp.com

+49 (0)40 605 90 97-13                         +49 (0)170 17 17 207


Growth Continues with Launch of Webhelp Nordic

Acquisition of Top Nordic Customer Experience Firm GoExcellent Completed

Leading global customer experience company, Webhelp, has confirmed the acquisition of top Nordic customer relationship management firm, GoExcellent, announced in June, has been completed. The company will now be rebranded as Webhelp Nordic.

Webhelp Nordic brings an additional nine centres and 1,700 people across Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark to Webhelp, as well as additional expertise in the technology, media and telecoms sectors.

The Nordic company has enjoyed strong growth in recent years under the leadership of CEO, Terje Andreassen, and recorded a turnover of US$90m in 2015. The team responsible for this growth will remain in place to ensure the expertise, contacts and local knowledge are maintained and harnessed to maximise the opportunities for development in the Nordic region and across Europe.


Frederic JoussetFrédéric Jousset, co-founder of Webhelp, said:

“I am delighted that this acquisition has been finalised today and that we can welcome Terje and his wonderful team to Webhelp as Webhelp Nordic. Their expertise will enhance our ability to offer our clients a seamless, quality experience across a greater range of languages and countries in Europe. And as Webhelp Nordic, they will be able to call on the expertise and resources of Webhelp to ensure they can continue to develop and deliver even greater levels of service to their clients in the Nordic region.”

Terje Andreassen, CEO of Webhelp Nordic, said:

“This is a very proud day for me and all the team here. We are delighted to become Webhelp Nordic and are very excited about what this means for our future and the possibilities for the business in this region. Fuelled by Webhelp’s commitment to, and strength in technological development and data driven customer insight, our position in the Nordic region will be further strengthened.”

 

This acquisition is part of Webhelp's strategy to actively pursue geographical expansion and will allow Webhelp to offer its customers services in four new languages in the areas of customer experience where Webhelp is already widely recognised.

The past 12 months have been very significant in the history of Webhelp. Major new client wins, such as the contract to handle customer contact for Unilever’s 400 consumer brands across five European countries, strategic acquisitions, and the commitment from global investment firm KKR, have seen this year mark a real turning point in the Webhelp story. In 2016 the turnover of the business is expected to be US$1bn.


Webhelp selected by Unilever to deliver European customer contact services

FALKIRK, July 13, 2016 - Global customer experience and business process outsourcer, Webhelp, has been selected by international consumer goods giant Unilever, to deliver customer contact services across Europe.

The contract will see Webhelp handling the day to day management of the customer voice, email and whitemail communications for around 400 of Unilever’s consumer brands from sites in the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands and Italy.

Olivier Duha, co-founder of Webhelp said: “This is a terrific contract for Webhelp and it is a real coup for us to be able to add such an illustrious brand name as Unilever to our growing list of leading global clients. Webhelp’s ability to offer a consistently high quality customer experience across a wide range of geographies and languages has been a key factor in our ability to secure this contract with Unilever.”

Michael Zarri, European CEC Lead for Unilever, said: “We are committed to ensuring our consumers can enjoy great levels of service whether they are contacting us with a query or a complaint across all channels. We have chosen to partner with Webhelp because we believe their values align with ours and they have the ability to deliver excellent consumer engagement services across their European estate. This gives us the confidence that our consumers will have a great experience wherever they are based.”

This latest contract win follows a period of exciting and sustained growth for Webhelp. In the last 12 months the outsourcer has secured partnerships with online retailing giant, Shop Direct and leading European low cost airline, easyJet, among others. There have also been a number of recent acquisitions made possible by the support of new major shareholder, investment fund, KKR, including the recent purchase of top Scandinavian firm Go Excellent.

Webhelp has seen revenues grow by 250% in the last four years and turnover in 2016 is expected to top US$1bn.


Webhelp Names IADVIZE As The Overall Customer Experience Challenge Winner At VIVA TECHNOLOGY 2016

PARIS, July 7, 2016 - Webhelp has announced the winners of the six customer experience challenges set by the outsourcer, as well as the overall customer experience challenge winner, at the inaugural Viva Technology summit in Paris last week.

Webhelp set six challenges it believes will shape the future of the customer experience industry. Companies were invited to submit their responses to these challenges, with 50 pioneering startups from USA, Canada, France, Spain, Netherlands, Iceland, Denmark and the UK, being invited to join Webhelp at their customer experience lab at Viva Technology.

A panel of experts, including venture capitalists, Webhelp’s clients and senior Webhelp management, listened to these 50 companies pitch their ideas live at the summit. A winner in each of the six challenges was selected with one of those being named the overall customer experience challenge winner.

The six winners were:

* Alcmeon - Social selling – How to generate sales through social media?

* Aircall - Seamless omni-channel customer experiences – How to support seamless customer experiences?

* Serious Factory - Augmented and virtual realities in customer experience – How to enrich customer experience and create value?

* Ibbu by IAdvize - Uberisation – Is customer service next? – How to help traditional models to reduce costs and improve experiences?

* Recast.ai - March of bots – Is this the future of customer service?

* Diduenjoy? - Big data + customer experience – Big customer experience?

Ibbu by IAdvize scooped the overall award. Based in Nantes, France, IAdvize is as a conversational commerce platform established in 2010. The company now provides real-time customer engagement in 40 different countries.

Olivier Duha, Webhelp co-founder and president, said:

“At Webhelp we are constantly seeking the best people and the most innovative ideas to ensure we can continue to offer our clients the solutions to the customer experience challenges of tomorrow. The wealth of talent and innovation on display in our customer experience lab, thanks to these pioneering startups, was incredible and hugely exciting. Webhelp is delighted to be able to facilitate the bringing together of these new ideas with our clients and potential investors and we are grateful to Viva Technology for providing such a wonderful environment for us to host this in.”

 


Webhelp Announces Acquisition of CONTACT2VALUE

FALKIRK, July 6, 2016 – Webhelp, has today announced the acquisition of top Dutch customer experience firm Contact2Value.

Contact2Value is a specialist operator in inbound retention and outbound services and will enhance and expand Webhelp’s capabilities in these areas in the Dutch market.

This acquisition is part of the Group's strategy to actively pursue expansion geographically and ensure a range of consistently high quality services across a variety of geographies and languages.

contact2value ACQUISITION

Contact2Value is based in Hilversum, 25kms outside Amsterdam, and employs around 50 people. Both the facility and the people will become part of the Webhelp family and there are no job losses anticipated. In fact Webhelp believes this acquisition will provide opportunities for growth in the future with both existing and potential new clients.

This is the latest in a serious of exciting contract wins and acquisition announcements from the outsourcer.

Thomas Blankvoort, General Manager of Webhelp in the Netherlands, said: “This has been a phenomenal 12 months for Webhelp. We received a huge boost in February with the announcement that international investment firm KKR was to become our major shareholder. With their support and belief in us, we have been able to make this new acquisition, which will greatly strengthen our position in the Dutch market.”