4 Solutions to the Communication Challenges of HealthTech Adoption

Despite significant advancements in healthcare technologies (HealthTech), many providers in the sector are having difficulty adopting and realising their full potential.

TeleHealth, which is shorthand for providing health-related services through telecommunication technologies, underwent a rapid acceleration of adoption when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Since then, the majority of patients have embraced the convenience of digital engagement and virtual care options for enhanced access to personalised, high-quality care and follow-up monitoring.

However, at the same time, an alarming number of physicians and providers have scaled back their use of TeleHealth as they struggle to keep up with the increasing demand for virtual visits and health condition remote monitoring at scale, creating a shift in patient-physician relationships.

Here at Webhelp, we see the same issue across the entire spectrum of HealthTech — consumers are on-board, but providers are often slower to adopt the technology. This trend extends to almost every technology offered within the consumer care and healthcare system, especially software and physical solutions that create new digital diagnosis or treatment opportunities.

We believe that adequate communication and related solutions are the key components to solving these challenges, so this article outlines several strategies for aligning patient and physician perspectives and empowering providers with the full potential of HealthTech solutions.

Virtual training and onboarding for clinical staff

A great starting point is to help healthcare professionals to understand the benefits that healthcare applications and similar HealthTech tools can provide.

During this process, representatives can inform, train, and onboard doctors at their offices, in the hospital or online. Additionally, this is an ideal opportunity to host webinars and introduce multidisciplinary boards into the process – a medical science liaison, for example.

By organising these virtual events through digital channels, providers can understand everyone’s preferences in-depth, monitor the information provided, analyse attendance trends and obtain valuable feedback to inform future strategic planning. As previously reported at Webhelp Medica, providers have begun offering webinars, remote workshop sessions, and social networks intended solely for clinical staff, suggesting that the industry is open to digitising its communication endeavours. Now it’s just a matter of increasing adoption.

Support, training and outreach for patients

As part of this solution, providers could run informative campaigns to build awareness of the different healthcare apps available whilst implementing patient support programs for specific treatments and drugs. Providing motivational calls to help patients understand the benefits of these is a proven enabler.

Once implemented, nurses can teach patients to be autonomous in their treatment, such as administering injections themselves at home. Once the patient becomes responsible for this process, the nurses can carry out continuous remote monitoring, including as part of virtual wards through SMS or other channels, enabling patients to follow treatment and monitoring plans independently in their own homes. When Webhelp Medica implemented a self-injection learning program for almost 3,000 patients, 99% of physicians and 93% of patients were highly satisfied with the approach, highlighting the efficacy of combining nurses with digital support.

These initiatives become game-changing for non-tech users and vulnerable or immobile patients, especially when coupled with the creation of online patient groups where people can discuss their pathology with others in the same situation. Equally, it’s crucial to include caregivers, families, spouses, and patient associations to expand these groups further and provide more support and autonomy for patients.

We like to think of this process as creating “expert patients” trained in their pathology with the knowledge to help other patients with their treatment routines, lessening the burden on clinical staff. It also allows physicians to strengthen their relationships with patients by enrolling them in coaching and learning programs.

Ongoing monitoring to link clinical staff with patients

Once engaging with clinical staff and patients through training, onboarding, and outreach, the monitoring and follow-up process is where the optimisation of patient-provider communication flourishes. By customising patient journeys based on their uptake of technology and putting digital technology at the heart of the follow-up wherever appropriate, clinical staff can vastly increase patient awareness of the importance of care continuity.

While it’s essential to determine whether patients feel comfortable talking with health professionals remotely, virtual monitoring ensures that problems and concerns can be solved quickly, efficiently, and effectively for many pathologies. For example, for psychological and behavioural follow-ups, providers can install a team of remote nurses and psychologists, or even tobacco specialists and dieticians, to follow the patient’s progress and provide guidance and advice via digital platforms or telephone calls.

For tech-savvy patients, there’s an opportunity to apply conversational SMS platforms and social messaging tools to communicate with clinical staff instantaneously. Clinical staff can also automate appointment and medication reminders to reduce the rate of no-shows and ensure patients stay on track with treatment plans. Plus, providing an inbound line allows autonomous patients to ask questions if they have any doubts about their treatment.

In another example, providers could email patients a QR code that refers to an informative video explaining, presenting, and informing people on their pathology, treatment follow-up, and tips for improved well-being. After a teleconsultation, physicians could also automate a message to check in on long-term patients and ask if they have questions about their treatment.

When implemented correctly, virtual wards and outpatient monitoring processes like these bring clinicians and patients closer together, preventing communication challenges before they occur.

Round-the-clock medical information helpline

Another relatively untapped communications solution is a readily available information helpline operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. An incoming medical information line can provide patients with status updates on product availability, medication request follow-ups, medical information requests, patient data and held information, pharmacist information, specific questions from a doctor, and pharmacovigilance.​

 

With these four communications strategies and solutions, healthcare providers can improve their relationship with HealthTech, encouraging physicians to share the same enthusiasm for technological evolution as their patients.

Emma Bouché

Head of Healthcare

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Frédéric Maus (WSN): "In the world of fashion, 2022 will be the key year to capitalise on B2B marketplaces and omni-channels"

Given the uncertainty in the event world today, it is difficult to predict whether B2B trade shows will be held in 2022. What is certain, however, is that digital trade shows and B2B marketplaces will bring new opportunities throughout the year. Trend analysis and advice from Frédéric Maus, Managing Director of WSN.

Fashion: the 4 trends that will shape 2022

1 – The COVID pandemic has already saved textile companies 7 years in their digital transformation.

This is what explained Marie Dupin of Nelly Rodi during the Role Model Day of the Fédération Française de Prêt à Porter held on December 7, 2021. Let’s also remember, as Clarisse Reille (Director General of DEFI La Mode de France) did, that digital technology impacts not only sales but also logistics and the very heart of the customer experience. Digital technology will therefore continue to grow rapidly in 2022 and for many years to come.

2 – “Think Global Act Local ” is the challenge for 2022 and future years for stakeholders in the fashion industry.

Some organisations, like WSN and Comexposium, have already succeeded in reconciling this international dimension with local management, and indeed this has already been the philosophy of Webhelp Payment Services for more than 30 years. As for Impact, WSN’s sustainable and committed trade show event launched in 2019, its international success proves its raison d ‘être.

3 – In B2B, omni-channel options are no longer an option, they’re a must.

Let’s look at what has happened in B2C: we have all adopted omni-channel options, i.e. the ability to at any time choose the sales or communication channel that best suits us (shop, brand website, instant messaging, email, phone call, etc.). This flexibility of operation and quality of customer experience are gaining vast amounts of ground in B2B practices… and we have everything to gain from it!

4 – Trade shows will develop along 2 different dimensions: physical and digital.

Of course, it would be wrong to believe that digital trade shows will simply replace physical ones in the fashion industry! But it would be a bigger mistake not to take full advantage – 24/7, 365 days a year – of the incredible opportunities and facilities provided by digital trade shows like WSN and the Comexposium platform.
It’s important to clarify that this is why at WSN, unlike our competitors, we conceptualise the physical trade show as an extension of our digital trade show (to do the opposite would be rather short-sighted!).

My 4 tips for taking advantage of the opportunities of 2022… and staying in the race

1 – Don’t choose between physical and digital trade shows: enjoy the best of both worlds.

Whether you are a buyer or a seller, it is counter-productive to see “physical trade shows” and “digital trade shows” as competitors: you do different things in each, and you do these different things at different times. Both abound in opportunities, so why deprive yourself of one or the other?
At physical trade shows, you will be able to create and maintain trusting relationships with your contacts, and of course view and touch the collections. Afterwards, outside the physical trade shows, you will be able to exploit the buying and selling opportunities that are available to you 24/7 all year round. When checking out the opportunities available on these platforms, start small and then increase your ambitions step by step.
Illustration with a typical journey for a buyer: locating a brand on the platform, organising a visit to the trade show, then finalising sales, deliveries, and payments on the platform.

2 – Move towards a sales model that makes your cash flow smoother.

Do we really need to emphasise this? Cash flow is the lifeblood of fashion. On this crucial point, platforms provide a powerful and proven solution: the complete digitalisation of financing and payments.
Let’s take an example, on the buyer’s side: I identify a brand and products that interest me; I ask for and obtain the corresponding financing; I finalize my orders and my payments on the platform; I sell my products; I pay the financial intermediary on the due date.
Just as a reminder, a payment intermediary such as Webhelp Payment Services has been providing such services for over 30 years, both nationally and internationally, and works in partnership with WSN and Comexposium.

3 – Reduce your inventory problems.

Here again, the situation has not changed: inventory management carries a major risk in the fashion sector. To protect yourself against this risk, staggering your orders and payments is good practice.
Platforms like WSN and Comexposium are designed to optimise this spread by finding the one that suits you best, all year-round.
In short, inventory is expensive and is harmful for the company as well as for the planet. But there are solutions!
Thanks to platforms, it is possible – and easy – to improve inventory management, to replenish part of your range quickly, and even test new types of products in a flexible and agile way, all with very limited financial risk and a reduced ecological impact. It is up to you to find the best mix to optimise your business.

4 – In your stores, test the “concept-storisation”.

In France and elsewhere, the trend is to expand the range of products on sale: hence the concept stores where we find fashion, food, sports goods, etc.A platform like that of Comexposium greatly facilitates the creation of a “winning mix”. Buyers and sellers of fashion items, food, and sports goods already use the platform. And in 2022 optical items, lingerie, and many other categories will be added.With the concept store, there is therefore a uniqueness of the goods on offer, at a given place. This opens up the possibility of trialling certain categories and sometimes responding to specific inventory problems.

In short, in 2022, pandemic or no pandemic, fashion buyers and sellers will be able to develop their business, sometimes at physical trade shows, sometimes on digital platforms. The latter will enable you to reduce financial risks and costs, inventories, organisational constraints, and the environmental impact of your business. Who would still want to deprive themselves of this?

Frédric Maus

 

In figures…

  • WSN, the global leader in B2B fashion shows with 32 years of experience, works with the top 150,000 retail locations worldwide. In 2019, WSN successfully launched Impact and in 2020 resumed the Traffic trade show dedicated to innovations and solutions for fashion brands and distributors.
  • With more than 35 years of experience in fashion and luxury goods, Webhelp Payment Services supports nearly 1,000 brands across a network of 35,000 stores in Europe and North America.

 

 

 

 

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ECCCSA success for Webhelp

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

 


Buy now pay later

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

Buy now pay later

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

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

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

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

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

4 ways to stand out with BNPL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4) Your payment solution needs to be comprehensive and flexible

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

 

*According to a report published by Merit.

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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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Fashion and ready-to-wear: 3 tips to help you make the most of the economic recovery

A quick analysis of the fashion and ready-to-wear market, plus 3 tips from Bertrand Mahon, VP Operation Logbox at Webhelp Payment Services, whose credit management network covers 35,000 shops and more than 400 brands; a unique economic vantage point.

What a lovely surprise! Back in autumn 2020, who would have placed any bets on the fashion and ready-to-wear sector being back up and running? So many bankruptcies, outstanding debts, mass unemployment, disaffected consumers… the media was dominated by grim predictions. And yet here we are in autumn 2021, and the indicators are pretty positive… excellent even: at Webhelp Payment Services, we’re even breaking records – our monthly sales figures for September 2021 are the best since our company was founded, in 1984!

Without claiming to replace the pollsters, our “surface area” means that we really understand these markets: we manage more than 400 brands and 35,000 ready-to-wear shops in Europe and the United States, as well as department stores and online retailers. In 2021, we expect to manage more than 600,000 invoices, equivalent to 1.3 billion EUR.

Based on this, we can say today that wholesale distribution networks in Europe & the United States have weathered the storm – no doubt due to the exceptional financial support that has been offered, and thanks to the fact that brands have managed to restructure some of their debts. And we can attest to the fact that the current levels of debts and disputes are neither extraordinary nor worrying.

A general picture that is totally different from the catastrophic situation in 2008-2009, for example. This time, the market has been managed well – that’s our first observation.

Digital players have benefited from the health crisis

Our second observation will be less surprising: digital players have been able to take advantage of a period during which in-store stopping was prohibited or limited. In addition, many department stores – and even retailers – were able to develop their online sales channel quickly. In the end, the sector sped up its digital transformation, and so new buyers were recruited. But the wholesale market has still done well in this complicated, competitive environment.

Admittedly, overall, we are not yet seeing the same levels of activity as “before”, in other words in 2019, but everything is pointing towards the fact that there is some new momentum, and that it would be a good idea to make the most of that.

For 2021, according to a study carried out by Euler Hermes, a partner of Webhelp Payment Services, a rebound of +14% is expected in the turnover of French textiles and clothing, but we won’t be going back to pre-crisis levels before 2023. As for marketplaces, they grew by +27%, so twice as fast as in 2019 (according to Fevad).

Let’s allow ourselves to dream a little: what if 2022 were to surpass the performance we saw in 2019? If you spend some time at trade shows, and according to our clients, that idea isn’t as crazy as it might seem!

Tip #1: don’t be timid

Faced with this new momentum, it’s a good idea not to hold back. During the crisis, brands and the wholesale market protected themselves from risk, including in particular by reducing the number of models or collections.
Now, we need to turn over a new leaf and get away from this “crisis mentality” that holds initiatives back. Although some supply chains have been disrupted, a return to normal is falling into place. And consumers – who have saved a lot of money in Europe – are rediscovering the desire to treat themselves, to step out of the gloom and even to build a better world.
Brands that are more daring will win market share. This is backed up by the spectacular growth seen in ethical, second-hand and eco-friendly fashion.

Tip #2: watch out for signs of impending failure

We know that there are some warning signs before a shop or a retailer defaults. That’s why we advise our clients to watch out for “weak signals” that indicate a potential breakdown. In particular, levels of debt and disputes should be closely monitored!

To that end, we have created indicators, alert thresholds and procedures to detect and mitigate financial risks.

Tip #3: take national and international payment practices into account

Our extensive experience of national and international markets backs up this advice – the crisis hasn’t changed anything in this area: you need to take into account the specific characteristics and payment habits of each country or economic area. The desire to impose “unique conditions”, with exactly the same payment deadline for all European countries, for example, runs the risk of significantly penalising your business.

To sum up, Webhelp Payment Services has unique quantitative and qualitative information: we have local bases and have been pooling millions of pieces of data from brands and stores for more than 30 years. That means that we understand what really happens with payments, depending on the stakeholders and the countries, in real time. This customer knowledge is a key asset when it comes to making the most of the recovery that lies ahead.

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Mode paiement

[Fashion] - 4 tips to make payments easier and more secure in Europe and the US

Mode paiement



For fashion brands, the European and United States markets are strategically very important. But there are some risks when it comes to payments, especially with department stores and e-commerce sites. Anke Glaser, General Manager of Webhelp Payment Services for Central Europe, offers some advice.

 

1. Fashion brands should make the most of the momentum driven by departments stores and e-commerce sites

Over the last 2 or 3 years – and especially since the health crisis – online sales have really flourished in the fashion industry, both in Europe and in the United States. This growth is mainly due to department stores, which already have a digital strategy, and e-commerce platforms.

This trend is explained by companies investing more and more in digital technology generally – in England, spending on websites and online sales platforms went up by 30% in one year. In the United States, department stores can account for up to 70% of suppliers’ turnover. We can also see this trend in Spain where the leading Spanish department store has made its digital development a major focus in its development strategy.

We therefore recommend taking full advantage of this momentum, driven by departments stores and e-commerce sites, because we think it’s one that is going to last!
However, while digital strategies are undeniably seeing a surge, we remain convinced that the physical component is still vital, and that the crisis will lead to an offering that combines human and digital solutions.

2. Protect yourself against the problem of deduction

Brands have to comply with the conditions imposed by department stores and e-commerce platforms, which generally have very strict rules, at the risk of having to deal with chargebacks. In practice, whichever country you’re in, department stores and platforms rarely make a payment for just one invoice. Usually, they send us a payment advice: a document summarising all the invoices to be paid. Added to these are debit notes or chargebacks that are deducted from the payments. For a brand, it is important to be aware that these practices, which can be for many different reasons, are widespread.

Webhelp Payment Services manages debit notes directly for department stores and platforms. We check them, as agreed with the brand, and if the deductions are not totally justified, we dispute them with the department store or the platform. Our regular contact with the stores and platforms means that we can speed up the processes and so resolve any disputes faster.

Every year, this work by our experts, dedicated exclusively to managing these key accounts, helps our clients’ brands recover substantial amounts of money, as well as giving them a clear overview of the buyer’s current situation.
The benefit: if the Order to Cash process is under control, those involved in distribution generally pay on time.

3. Know how to manage the complexity of accounting documents for department stores and e-commerce platforms and avoid mistakes

Each season, brands receive documents with a lot of items to reconcile, from department stores and platforms. This involves a considerable amount of work for their accountants!

We have developed a specific reconciliation and comparison tool for documents that come from department stores and platforms. It makes the accounts much easier to understand, and means we can analyse the source of chargebacks.

Our dedicated customer platform allows clients to find all the information and all the payments in one place. It is here, for example, that any deductions will be clearly shown. This document provides a good basis for the interaction between us, the brand, and the department store or e-commerce platform.

4. Digitise your data exchanges

The relationship between department stores, platforms, and sellers is also going digital. Implementing this digital process is really useful when it comes to optimising your cash flow with these different stakeholders. Indeed, in addition to the speed of transmission via EDI, it also means that you can check to make sure that invoices have been received, and act promptly if the invoice is rejected or incomplete. This means we can reduce delays to invoice payments, but also lots of chargebacks that might not be due.

We are currently working on setting up EDI with the many department stores and e-platforms so that we can offer our clients simple, unique access, whilst also relieving them of the technical work specific to each buyer. Why not take advantage of it?

 

With 35 years of experience in fashion and luxury, Webhelp Payment Services can be both a personal advisor and a facilitator, not only for department stores and e-commerce platforms, but also for retail distribution. We are currently working with 400 ready-to-wear brands with a network of 35,000 stores in Europe and the United States.

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‘The Nest’ by Webhelp expands across Europe

The customer experience program offers a simple and scalable outsourcing proposition for fast-growing companies

Oxford, March 24th, 2021

The leading global customer experience (CX) and business solutions provider, Webhelp has announced the expansion of its program, The Nest by Webhelp, across Europe which aims to support startups and scaleups to provide the best-in-class customer experience. The Nest enables fast-growing companies across all sectors to grow exponentially by offering a unique, tailor-made outsourced CX proposition.

This news comes at a time when many young companies are facing multiple challenges due to the pandemic and are requiring flexibility and ROI optimization while uncertainly prevails in their business environments.

Chloe de Mont-Serrat, Head of The Nest, said:

“We’re delighted to expand our offering to companies across Europe. Thriving startups have one key thing in common – exceptional customer experience. Outsourcing CX with a trusted partner can enable businesses to scale up quickly while maximizing ROI, freeing them up to focus on what matters most – growing their business.”

Launched in France in 2018, the program already supports dozens of the most dynamic startups, many of which have been placed highly in ​The French Tech Next rankings. In addition to this, Webhelp is a long-standing partner for countless unicorn startups and is well-placed to help fast-growth companies differentiate their businesses. The program is taking on a European dimension by expanding into the UK, Spain, Germany, The Nordics, The Netherlands, and Turkey.

“The early years of building a startup can be complex. From scaling quickly in new markets, building solid expertise and processes to sustain growth, innovative products, and services to differentiate from competitors, the challenges can be vast. Our program can support startups by providing outstanding customer experience to deepen their understanding of customers as they scale through leading-edge insight and analytics,”

added Vanessa Flather, Managing Director, The Nest, UK.

The Nest by Webhelp makes the expertise of Webhelp, the European market leader for CX, available to smaller businesses and is based on a strong people-first working culture. Its core focus is to support its clients as they grow their businesses and enable them to generate competitive advantages in the CX space. The program offers a wide variety of services, all of which can be customized to the client’s individual needs, including, but not limited to; omnichannel customer engagement services  (including customer care, community management and technical support),  sales support  (customer acquisition & retention, sales assistance) and digital services  (content management, moderation services, digital marketing). The program operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is available in more than 40 languages.

In addition to a best-in-class customer experience delivered by expert teams, clients also get access to ‘The Nest Community.’ This resource will offer members mentoring, business development, and networking opportunities as an additional way to generate traction and achieve better results through a strategic startup network.

As Charles Egly, CEO of Younited Credit, and one of the first startups to join The Nest by Webhelp program, testified:

“In the early days of a startup, the senior team often try to tackle all the issues head-on, sometimes to the detriment of the final product or service. The outsourced support that The Nest program offers was invaluable to expand our team and provide reinforced expertise. It also allowed us to conquer new markets much faster. Working with an outsourced partner in this way offers increased efficiency, lower operating costs, more flexibility, and faster time-to-market. Not to mention, access to the best processes and tools on the market, most of which are usually too costly for a startup.”

Webhelp Co-Founder, Olivier Duha, concluded:

“We are thrilled that – despite the COVID-19 pandemic – the startup world is still booming, and the pace of fundraising has not slowed down. Ultimately, supporting fast growing startups has always been in our DNA, as we still have an entrepreneurial culture that perfectly guides that.”

About The Nest

The Nest by Webhelp is an outsourced customer experience (CX) program by Webhelp to help startups and fast-growth companies differentiate themselves and scale-up their team, quickly and simply. Operating across Europe, the program provides clients access to its global network of operational customer experience specialists 365 days a year and seven days a week. The Nest offers a wide variety of services, all of which are customized to the client’s individual needs, including, but not limited to; omnichannel customer engagement services (including customer care, community management and technical support), sales support (customer acquisition & retention, sales assistance) and digital services (content management, moderation services, digital marketing). Clients of The Nest will have access The Nest Community, offering mentoring and other business support and guidance to enable startups to grow and succeed in their marketplace.

More information can be found at thenest.webhelp.com