With many businesses finding themselves in an increasingly international market, it is appealing to service the majority of Europe from a single location. Especially for customer care activities, the level of support staff can be used much more effectively than a multi-country solution. That is why we have been travelling around Europe to find the ideal multi-lingual hub that can support every language in Europe, alongside having low prices and high quality. Unfortunately there is no such thing as a single ‘ideal solution’; or at least, the perception of an ideal solution shifts over time. 15 year ago the ideal solution was in Amsterdam and in the meantime it has shifted from Dublin to Berlin to Barcelona, to several places in Eastern Europe and latterly to Portugal. Webhelp runs multi-lingual locations in various areas of Europe, playing to their individual strengths; the Netherlands for high value technical work, Romania for back office work streams, and Portugal for Voice.

I think that Portugal is still the place to be in terms of Multi-Lingual hubs in Europe. Although development started ten years ago, and may be over its peak, it is still one of the most exciting options, so visiting Lisbon and the rest of Portugal is great to manage and steer our own development ideas. Lisbon just being such a pleasant city to be in is clearly one of the great attractions. Spending an evening around Praça do Commércio is obviously a high point on any working visit, but also embodies the secret behind Lisbon as a hub. Lisbon is both the Grand old lady who has withstood the trends of time, and the bustling metropolis full of (night)life.  For many people, starting a career in customer care in such surroundings with beaches, beautiful city sights and a laidback culture is an excellent opportunity. The danger lies in keeping those people captivated by their work and the environment in the long run.

Thus personal engagement is the key to maintaining a high quality multi-lingual hub. In my last trip I talked to people who had great personal experiences from really personalised and intimate recruitment processes, to fantastic development in their careers and great places to work; but also more than a few who seemed to be less happy in their environment. And in the competitive workplace that Lisbon now is in terms of opportunities for talent, that is the fine line between success and suffering high attrition.

Webhelp has recently kicked off our own activities in Lisbon in our drive to develop our international capabilities and we are happy with the current undertakings and growth. Portugal and Lisbon are a country and city that can even make times of hard work still feel so easy; a place I will gladly visit frequently over the coming months!