Webhelp scores a hat trick at the CCA Excellence Awards

Webhelp has picked up three top awards at this year’s prestigious 2022 Contact Centre Association (CCA) Excellence Awards.

Taking home Gold for Excellence in Skills, Learning & Development - in recognition of entering into a new phase of digital delivery driven by engagement through gamified and incentivised learning - the leading provider of customer experience and business solutions also won Gold for Outstanding Flexible Working Programme in acknowledgement for the evolution of their Webhelp Anywhere operating model.

Flexible and scalable for clients, Webhelp Anywhere delivers a codified methodology to support organisations, their people and their customers with the delivery of a future CX operating model.

The CCA Awards, regarded as ultimate recognition for customer service excellence, innovation and best practice were presented at a glittering black-tie event held on Wednesday 27th April in Glasgow.

The evening also saw the Webhelp team win Silver for Team of the Year and a shortlist for Excellence in Business Process Outsourcing Collaboration.

David Turner, Webhelp UK Region CEO, commented:

“We are delighted to again receive this level of industry acknowledgement which is a testament to the dedication and hard work that continues to come from the people within our business. I know these wins will mean a lot to them. I’m also pleased that, amid the shifts to homeworking, our Webhelp Anywhere solution was recognised. Enabling us to be agile for our clients, as a people-first business, it’s been great to see the impact on employee sentiment as we continue to blend people engagement, well-being and connectivity.

With more than 20 years’ experience, the CCA is recognised as a trusted reference for research, analysis and expertise. This year’s awards also follow Webhelp being named a Leader in Gartner’s 2022 Magic Quadrant.


Connecting biotech, healthtech and medtech - Webhelp to lead discussion at LSX World Congress 2022

Webhelp are delighted to be announced as an official partner at this year’s LSX World Congress, taking place in London on 10th-11th of May.

The 8th annual LSX World Congress will welcome many industry leaders, from founders and CEOs of innovative start-ups through to healthcare giants. Attendees span various healthcare backgrounds, including experts in biotech, healthtech, and medtech.

Representing Webhelp are Dr Jerome Stevens, General Manager & co-founder of Webhelp Medica, Emma Bouché, Head of Healthcare at Webhelp UK, and the newly appointed Tom Houston, Healthcare – Client Partner, Gobeyond Partners (part of the Webhelp Group).

A keynote panel hosted by Webhelp opens day two of the congress and is entitled ‘The Devil Is in the Data: How the Medtech Sector Is Optimising Its Data Assets and Connecting with Consumers in a Wholly Patient-Centric Approach’.

Jerome Stevens will moderate on behalf of Webhelp, joined by four speakers – Marc Julien, Co-CEO of Diabeloop, Laurent Vandebrouck, CEO of Chronolife, Eliane Schutte, CEO of Xeltis, and finally Ian Crosbie, CEO of Sequana Medical.

The panel will discuss topics such as:

  • Unlocking the full potential of health data, and new applications in 2022
  • Healthcare professionals and patient onboarding, training and ongoing support
  • Information is power: ethical data use and the importance of patient transparency
  • How to ensure data security and demonstrate best practice for Healthcare professionals and patients

 

Commenting on the panel, Jerome said:

“I’m looking forward to joining innovative leaders to collaborate and share our expertise on health data in the medtech sector and the opportunities this creates. With particular focus on optimising and securing data and prioritising patient-centricity, it promises to be an invaluable session.”

 

Keep an eye out for first-hand highlights and key takeaways from our panel discussion.

For more information on healthcare trends read Emma Bouché’s recent article here.


Webhelp Partner at CCA Leaders' Summit

We are delighted to announce our involvement as a partner in the 2022 Customer Contact Association (CCA) Leaders’ Summit, taking place in Glasgow on the 27th of April. 

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 Vicki Wharton, our newly appointed Managing Director for the financial services sector.  Vicki has over 20 years of experience working with global financial services brands, deploying her deep knowledge of customer experience and operational performance to deliver a wide range of transformational projects within the sector. 

Joining Vicki Wharton will be Vicki Butcher, Client Partner at Gobeyond Partners, part of the Webhelp Group.

Vicki Wharton commented: 

“I’m delighted to be attending the CCA Leaders’ Summit to meet and network with like-minded customer and operational leaders, discussing the challenges and opportunities they face in their industry, and how these will shape customer experience strategies moving forward.” 

The evening of the Leaders’ Summit sees the prestigious CCA Excellence Awards take place. 

The CCA Excellence Awards are extremely well regarded across the industry as the ultimate recognition for customer service excellence, aiming to celebrate those companies who have achieved extraordinary success or individuals who have shown exceptional leadership, passion and commitment. 

Webhelp has been nominated for four awards on the night: 

  • Excellence in skills, learning & development 
  • Outstanding flexible working programme
  • Team of the year
  • Excellence in business process outsourcing collaboration  

 Commenting on the awards, Vicki added: 

“This is a great opportunity to join business leaders and discuss the innovations shaping the customer contact industry.” 

The CCA Leaders’ Summit should provide a timely opportunity to discuss and debate the trends and behaviours that will shape the rest of 2022 and beyond in CX – and celebrate those organisations that are already delivering customer service excellence. 

To register your place, click here.


Webhelp opens its doors to sustainable, refurbished Sheffield site

We’re delighted to unveil the exciting transformation of our Sheffield office, having invested in a series of green initiatives along the way. 

The 72,000 sq.ft Nunnery Square site, located opposite the Hope Street conference centre, has been refurbished to include a number of sustainable facilities which has seen it gain ISO Energy Management Certification.  

Re-using over 75 tonnes of assets which has saved close to 500 tonnes of carbon, the overhauled building has natural as opposed to carbon-intensive mechanical ventilation. Other features include LED technology which will see the business use up to 50% less energy, as well as waterless technology saving up to 2.3million litres of water each year. 

Commenting on the refurbishment, Richard Carr, Head of Property, Environment and H&S at Webhelp said:  

“The Covid pandemic has led many businesses to re-evaluate what their people need. Webhelp’s vision for Nunnery Square has always been to create a more sustainable building and we’re delighted that our new infrastructure has not only created an aspirational place for our people to work, but that it also supports the UK’s drive to Net Zero. Webhelp’s Global ESG strategy is dedicated to creating more inclusive and sustainable growth and we believe that as corporate citizens, we can do more for the planet and future generations by reducing our carbon footprint.” 

We set about the extensive refurbishment in August 2021, with Doc Designs Ltd, L&P Projects Ltd and Carey Contracts Ltd. A spokesperson for Carey Contracts said: 

“Carey Contracts Ltd were delighted to be selected by Webhelp as their fit out partner for the Nunnery Square refurbishment project. Working close with Webhelp’s Facilities team we have created a new innovative and sustainable workplace for everyone to enjoy.” 

Further plans for our Nunnery Square site include the installation of charging points for electric vehicles, solar panels and a micro forest. 

As a result of ongoing growth, we have a number of new roles at our Sheffield base. If you’re interested in finding out more, we’re hosting an Open Evening for Sales Advisers on 24th February from 5pm. More information on all roles available can be found at  https://jobs.webhelp.com/careers/ 


Could a proper KYC strategy have prevented ‘The Tinder Swindler’?

‘The Tinder Swindler’, true crime documentary recently released on Netflix which highlights the rising importance of identity verification, and on a broader level, fraud prevention. Could a KYC procedure avoid this kind of situation? We have asked Guillaume Casterman, Director International Projects & Knowledge at Webhelp KYC Services for their take on it.

First, let’s start with a brief reminder on KYC (Know Your Customer). These processes are intended to validate individual user identity information through data collection and analysis. They are a regulatory requirement for many businesses, mostly in the financial and regulated sectors to tackle money laundering and fraud operations. KYC procedures are applied to a broader spectrum of businesses such as car rental, crypto transactions, online registries and many more, so why not dating apps? The recent Netflix documentary, ‘The Tinder Swindler’, showcases how easy it is for someone to fake their identity online, to manipulate and catfish innocent people. Shimon Hayut, an Israeli fraudster and convicted criminal, pretends to be a billionaire businessman named Simon Leviev. Through this fake identity, he seduces vulnerable women via dating apps and convinces them he is in danger and needs large amounts of money.

Could a KYC strategy have prevented ‘The Tinder Swindler’ from scamming innocent women worldwide? Well, it could have made it harder at least.

How? The first thing to consider is that the various loans and credit cards were not in his name, and have not been contracted through identity theft. This makes it hard to prevent. But then there are two types of money lending: direct from his victims’ savings, and through loans and credit cards that his victims contract in their name. What could have raised the alarms? Opening a large number of relatively small credits through different banks should be limited by a credit-check before lending the money, and not only a revenue check. This would limit the amount that can be swindled. Then there is the credit card. When the credit card that he is using gets maxed out, which happens fairly quickly and frequently, the maximum amount available is raised by sending a fake payslip to justify that the account owner has enough money. This is where a good KYC onboarding could have helped. If the proof of revenue had been cross-checked (tax receipt checked through the official website, for instance), the newly provided payslip with an absurdly high amount, compared to what was registered during the onboarding should have raised a red flag. It is then possible to ask for more documents, to check directly with the company if this employee exists, even to cross check the employer against a database of similar alerts raised by other banks in different countries. Bear with me, this is not an easy check. But it can be possible when externalizing the KYC procedure to a global expert who can use their own fraud database, on top of external fraud listing sources. With this additional internal check, it is possible to identify when a payslip has been used in multiple similar cases, and when some of them have led to fraud sanctions. This could have helped limit the amount that the victim was able to raise, and make it harder for the swindler to scam those women.

Without a solid identity authentication procedure, users are left vulnerable to potential fraudsters and malicious actors.

In August 2021, Tinder announced that users will be able to verify their ID on the app in the ‘coming quarters’, in addition to the existing photo verification feature. At first it will be on a voluntary basis. ID verification will also be used to cross-reference data such as the sex offender registry in regions where that information is available. Although this investment in security features is promising, Tinder doesn’t say if this will ever become an obligation for its new user to verify their ID. The other question left is, what about the 75 million existing active users?

To be prevented, elaborated fraud requires elaborated checks. Internal resources and tools are usually not enough to prevent fraud, which is why calling on a global KYC partner with specific expertise and know-how can be the right solution.

To find out more about this topic

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Webhelp Receives Prestigious Learning Award for their Onboarding Programme

Webhelp has been recognized at the prestigious 2022 The Learning and Performance Institute Awards, picking up Bronze for Onboarding Programme of the Year.

The Learning Awards, presented at a ceremony in London on 17th February, celebrate achievements in workplace learning from across a range of sectors. The judges recognised Webhelp as an organisation that has built an exemplary and effective Onboarding Programme that demonstrates consistent high quality and innovation, as well as a defined and measured impact on our business.

Through the combined work of their Quality, Insight, Continuous Improvement, Change and Operational Teams, Webhelp has built a colleague centric employee on-boarding programme focussed on enhancing colleague and customer experience, delivered through a new and innovative game-based approach. The new on-boarding programme, which launched in June 2021, was first piloted in onsite, virtual and hybrid operations and has since expanded the reach of Webhelp’s Operational Learning team, allowing them to flex even more to the different needs of colleagues and clients.

Declan Hogan, Director of Operational Training at Webhelp, had this to say of the win:

“The team were delighted to receive this recognition from The Learning and Performance Institute, which shows how we have moved forwards as a training team, to being a learning provider.  As we strive to deliver the best in class support to our colleagues, customers and partners, it validates our efforts and highlights how through consultation and effective communication, Webhelp designs leading, micro learning. The implementation of our learning eco-system, academy and performance coaching have shown how our on boarding methodology and practices sets Webhelp apart as an employer and how we’re truly a team of people first, passionate game changers.”

Through their in-depth understanding of the impact Covid-19 has had on traditional learning, continually evolving their immersive onboarding programme remains high on the agenda for Webhelp.


UK Healthcare innovation continues to accelerate in 2022

Emma Bouché, Head of Healthcare for Webhelp UK, looks at how the seismic impact of COVID-19 has accelerated a culture of innovation within UK Healthcare, and predicts some of the key areas that will be on the sector’s agenda in 2022. 


Healthcare investment is soaring through ever greater innovation

In September 2021, the UK government announced plans to add an average of £12 billion per year for health and social care over the next 3 years. On another front, venture capitalist investment into digital health saw an almost 300% rise between 2017 and 2020. As a result, the flow of innovation shows no signs of slowing, and is in fact accelerating. Finding efficient go to market strategies and leveraging next generation commercial models is key to driving innovation adoption.

Virtual healthcare models are evolving at pace, moving from purely “virtual urgent care” to a range of services enabling longitudinal virtual care, integration of telehealth with other virtual health solutions, and hybrid virtual/in-person care models. All have the potential to improve patient experience, convenience, access, outcomes, and affordability.

The challenge for healthcare professionals in 2022, is simply to keep up – adapting the new innovations and technologies to local demands, and paying attention to human issues as well as technical will prove the difference between success and failure.


A COVID-driven wakeup call for Medtech providers

Whilst a few pioneers had started to experiment with next-generation commercial model design pre-COVID, the challenge to connect remotely with customers during the crisis has completely changed the game.

Medtech providers are now working hard to design a next-generation commercial model that capitalizes on digital and omnichannel interactions. The shift to omnichannel sales is a strong lever for value creation for Medtech companies. According to a BCG 2021 Medtech survey measured over a 10 year period, the commercial productivity of remote sales reps can be double or even triple that of traditional field reps when embedded in a well-oiled, omnichannel model.

Customer loyalty also has a huge impact on longer-term profitability. It is essential that the day-to-day customer process is well oiled between marketing, sales, and customer  management. A successful end-to-end customer journey relies on an agile, use-case-oriented design approach, leveraging an omnichannel sales force with performance-enhancing technologies, and a focus on customer success as well as sales.


Care pathways are being re-designed to optimise capacity and provide care closer to home

Part of this re-examination involves assessing the effectiveness of existing care pathways, as we shift from an illness-based, provider-led system towards one that is patient-led, preventative in focus and offers care closer to home.

In 2021, the NHS introduced virtual wards and remote monitoring at 92 sites across England, to allow for safe hospital discharge of COVID patients. Although initially designed purely for this purpose, these virtual wards began to be successfully implemented to ease pressure on NHS staff, allowing for remote care for many patients from the safety of their own homes.

The anticipated logical progression of this in 2022, is to expand the roles of the non-medical professional workforce to help manage the growing burden of chronic disease more efficiently and effectively, with technology innovations allowing patients to play a greater role in their own care.

This won’t be a smooth transition, however. Healthcare organisations intent on driving this change in 2022 will need to consider multiple factors, including role design, change management, and appropriate technology. Most of all, they will need to ensure the end user, the patient, is at the centre of every decision.

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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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Altnets are hitting our streets, but are they here to stay?

With vast investments currently being made by altnets on Fibre rollout, Peer Hackman, Managing Director, Telecommunication, Media & Technology at Webhelp looks at why CX differentiation will be key in the competitive UK “Gigabit” market

 

Waking up to the sound of loud drilling and excavators digging up the street is rarely a pleasant experience, but when this happened to me last week, I was happy to learn that the crew from G.Network had arrived to bring full-fibre broadband to the area.

Considering I live a stone’s throw from Google’s new King’s Cross head office and trendy Coal Drops Yard, it is somewhat disconcerting that we’ve been making do with copper delivering about 6 Mbps for the last 15 years. In fact, just one week before G.Network’s arrival, I’d switched to Virgin, hoping to prevent yet another video conferencing disaster.

Having worked in the telecommunications industry for years, I’m thrilled to see that the altnet boom is happening on our doorsteps. Still, is this a short-lived scramble for market share or a disruptive force that will push incumbent providers to compete on a new level? And what can altnets do to extend their longevity in the market?

The altnet push for market share

As they compete directly with only two incumbents, BT Openreach and Virgin Media, alternative networks (altnets) are spending vast amounts of money to claim their slice of the UK’s increasingly competitive “Gigabit” broadband connectivity market.

Whilst relative minnows compared to established players, alternative operators are fuelling growth and account for 57% of homes passed on a Europe-wide basis. UK FTTx altnets are also projected to reach almost 30 million UK homes by 2025, according to the sector’s trade body INCA.

Fibre rollout is accelerating fast, with investment from Openreach, Virgin, altnet providers, and their financial backers likely to exceed £30 billion by 2025. Still, there are significant challenges for independent network operators in their roles as network builders, wholesale vendors, and ISPs.

Challenges for altnets

New entrants to the UK broadband market have to deal with multiple hurdles like future market consolidation and price erosion, overbuild by incumbents, limited access to skilled labour, and the acquisition of land access rights. However, perhaps the biggest obstacle to their commercial success is creating awareness, generating high user satisfaction, and providing positive, differentiating customer experiences for their services.

OFCOM’s 2021 survey of UK broadband ISPs found that consumer broadband satisfaction rates have dropped by as much as 11% for some of the leading providers over the last five years. The COVID-19 challenge was a significant driver of these results. As such, altnet providers can pick up churn from Openreach, its partner ISPs, and Virgin, but “new” customer acquisition will be difficult.

Other issues altnet providers will face include service installation logistics, sourcing and set up for CPE (Customer Premises Equipment, such as routers), customer onboarding, high support requirements through surveying, frequently rescheduled installation appointments, and support over live and assisted channels.

All these factors—combined with Openreach and Virgin’s potentially aggressive wholesale pricing—negatively impact the business case and OPEX profile for altnets whilst affecting new ISPs’ and resale partners’ ability to provide superior customer experiences as competitive differentiators.

Strategies for tackling CX challenges

Assuming that altnet providers can overcome some of the supply-side and demand generation issues, here at Webhelp, we see three areas in particular in need of attention to ensure a best-in-class customer experience.

  • Ensuring reliable, consistent and resilient network QoS (Quality of Service) and QoE (Quality of Experience) after COVID-19 bottlenecks.
  • Better designed services, customer/employee journeys, and touchpoints to provide understanding, confidence, trust, and the ability (by the customer or the provider) to rapidly solve issues across the customer lifecycle.
  • Orchestration of support and engagement to deliver simple, straightforward, and easy-to-find omnichannel customer engagement pathways with first-touchpoint resolution and elimination of multiple handovers.

Let’s add some context to each of these areas and explore them in more detail.

Quality of Experience

With demand levels higher and reliance on TMT services increasing after COVID-19, broadband quality and consistency are top-of-mind when customers make their purchase decisions.

Additionally, as more digital and smart-home services that require resilient connectivity gain traction, providers must track both QoS and QoE and address them on a per-customer, per-service level. This approach can help altnets avoid costly customer service calls and truck rolls or prevent angry customer tweets, which can damage net promoter score (NPS) and word-of-mouth reputation.

To monetise the customer experience, avoid churn, and grow Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), altnet providers must focus on CX metrics, engagement tracking, as well as network KPIs whilst detecting and proactively addressing disconnections, slow response times, frame freezing, and similar issues. Analytics, AI, and customer education can help locate and predict poor QoE, whilst root cause analysis and rectification tracing can help address complaints related to network issues in the home (which is by far the majority).

Backup connectivity options are a positive interim step and may accelerate the growth of 5G FWA as the primary broadband household connection in the future. Still, it could threaten the profitability of fixed infrastructure investments unless providers can clearly articulate related use cases.

Customer journey/experience design and implementation

Once altnet providers have created demand amongst future paying customers—or RGUs as they’re known in the industry—it is crucial to design and implement customer journeys that enhance the frontend, omnichannel experience whilst seamlessly integrating with backend systems, including all relevant OSS & BSS business processes and components.

It is essential to involve customers at the beginning of this design process and throughout, as their input enables providers to improve complex processes, find new value streams, and enhance customer experience and product use.

Initiatives like customer-centric journey analysis, design and re-engineering, test and learn, and best-practice implementation frameworks (e.g. TMForum) can help take the sting out of service launches whilst enabling customers to become more capable of interacting digitally with websites and apps, setting up services, and solving issues themselves, ultimately keeping them happy and profitable.

Orchestrate digital and assisted customer support

Whilst most operators have been pushing for a digital-first approach to customer engagement, around 50% of consumers in all categories still state that “telephoning the call centre is the preferred contact method, regardless of query type”, according to a survey from EY.

The dichotomy here is that several customer segments would happily interact with apps or chatbots as long as a live advisor is available when required. However, voice support is up to 30 times more expensive than digital channels, so altnet providers must find the right balance between channel interactions to acquire, retain, and grow their customer base to more profitable levels.

To achieve better commercial and customer engagement outcomes at lower costs, operators must implement a flexible, scalable, and holistic support ecosystem that delivers exceptional experiences through all preferred customer interaction channels. However, getting there requires an understanding of the business’s current digital maturity and its prospective and existing customers.

Wrapping Up

Altnet providers have introduced momentum into a market that had been relatively static in the past. With government support through Project Gigabit injecting an additional £5 billion to support operators as they roll out across the final 20% of rural premises, growth of the sector is all but assured. However, competition will be tough for altnets, and consolidation is inevitable.

By offering “brilliant basics” that are easy to communicate and simple for customers to understand, along with resilient service performance, and straightforward sales, onboarding, and support journeys, altnet providers can almost certainly find success in the UK market.

Once my current contract has expired in 2023, I, for one, am eagerly looking forward to trying a new Gigabit, 100% full-fibre broadband service provider, having hopefully helped some of them to deliver outstanding customer experience and to grow successfully.


Webhelp to host talk at Retail Week’s Consumer Week 2022

We are delighted to confirm we are taking part in a fireside chat for Retail Week’s Consumer Week 2022.

 

Running from September 13 to 17, Consumer Week 2022 will allow retailers and brands to access exclusive strategic insights across free virtual masterclasses, exclusive consumer research and free online content to identify and influence tomorrow’s shopper.

Webhelp UK’s Chief Customer Solutions Officer, Helen Murray, will host a discussion with Bloom & Wild CEO, Aron Gelbard, to discuss direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales and how retailers can make their offerings stand out to shoppers in a crowded market.

In the chat, Helen – who is responsible for leading Webhelp UK’s business development function and the delivery of client differentiation through enhanced customer experience – will share insight on listening to customers and how maintaining a focus on customer experience is key to delivering sustainable growth.

Helen will also explore how partnerships can support brands to deliver brilliant customer experiences, exceptional brand advocacy and loyalty, all at scale.

Aron will share Bloom & Wild’s customer centric strategy for consistent growth, the changing DTC market and what to expect in the future as well as key learnings retailers can take from their journey.

Helen said: “I’m delighted to be taking part in Retail Week’s Consumer Week 2022 and to have the chance to hear first-hand from retailers about the challenges and opportunities they face in their interactions with shoppers as the sector continues to evolve.

“I’m particularly excited to host Bloom & Wild’s CEO for a fireside chat.  We’ll discuss the importance of listening to the customer and the positive impact this can have on customer experience, alongside understanding more about Bloom & Wild’s customer-focused approach to achieving consistent growth.”

The fireside chat, ‘Tapping into the DTC opportunity: Learning from a retail disruptor’, will be available to view from September 16 and will include questions from registrants throughout.

 

To register your place, visit retail-week.com/consumer-week.