Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and managed to relax and spend some quality time with your loved ones… I certainly did!

Over the holidays I also took the time to reflect on some key milestones and learnings from last year. First and foremost, 2018 was quite a year! This really struck me when I read Craig Gibson’s recent blog about all the awards Webhelp won. In addition to prestigious external awards, Craig shared how he earned a considerable number of Air Miles visiting our teams to recognise our top performers in our own annual Star Awards. As a ‘people first’ business, recognising exemplary performance is core to Webhelp’s people agenda – and it’s also something that gives me great personal pleasure.

At the very end of last year Webhelp was shortlisted for REBA’s 2019 Employee Wellbeing Awards, which I’m absolutely delighted about. Last year we worked really hard to step up our internal programmes for helping employees manage their own health and wellbeing, although I don’t think that ‘health and wellbeing’ really encompasses all the help we offer our people. For instance I’ve heard some fantastic stories from individuals who have benefited from services such as free financial advice which has made a huge difference, particularly for life-changing moments such as buying a house.

Nonetheless, while this kind of programme can improve engagement and really reduce stress at work, which undoubtedly leads to better individual performance, it’s just one step towards our goal of redefining the value of employment in customer service. Truth be told, our industry is too often seen as a stopgap, something you do just because you want flexibility and to earn money, and we’ve certainly been doing our bit to change this perception and will continue our efforts throughout 2019.

The world of Customer Experience (CX) is transforming, which means that contact centres today need data analysts, specialists in robotic automation systems, and experts in designing machine learning algorithms. Increasingly they’ll need consumer experts, behavioural psychologists, and Customer Experience design professionals. And the work our advisors do is becoming increasingly more valuable – and valued. All this means that CX will become a desirable career choice – we’ll see people actively seeking out a role in CX because it is the fastest changing area of modern business, constantly at the cutting edge of new technologies and innovation.

In 2018 we demonstrated to our clients that we are at the forefront in our industry in terms of CX transformation, and that they can turn to us for advice on how customer experience can transform their business. Our gobeyond business almost tripled its revenue in 2018, and our investment in OEE Consulting in October 2018, is further evidence of our commitment to be the leading customer experience transformation business.

CX transformation is an enormous opportunity for Webhelp (and indeed our gobeyond business) and our clients. In 2019 our focus will be to enhance our position as a trusted advisor to our clients and to find new companies who want to transform and improve their CX, and to continue with our people related investments. After all, our industry is no longer about maximising the number of advisors inside a contact centre answering calls; CX services are now transforming how entire industries operate and our clients are coming to us for advice on how to make it work.

To conclude, the market is evolving quickly, presenting new opportunities as companies universally become more customer-centric. If you’d like to find out how to put CX at the heart of your future strategy email me at david.turner@webhelp.com, or contact Helen Murray, Chief Solutions Officer at helen.murray@uk.webhelp.com.