Webhelp South Africa launches unique leadership diversity programme

Webhelp South Africa launches unique leadership diversity programme in partnership with the University of Stellenbosch Business School

Webhelp South Africa launches unique leadership diversity programmeWebhelp South Africa and the University of Stellenbosch Business School are delighted to announce an innovative new educational partnership.

Webhelp, a global leader in customer experience and business solutions, is collaborating with the university to develop an inclusive and accredited route into future business leadership, which aims to fully reflect the rich diversity and culture of the country.

The collaboration is another step in Webhelp’s investment in South Africa and the University of Stellenbosch Business School is an ideal partner. The university provides highly-regarded academic credentials and is ‘triple crown accredited’ an accolade given to only 1% of business schools worldwide.

This in-house, bespoke leadership acceleration programme will create a sustainable skill-based pipeline, to promote the development of equity candidates within various levels of leadership. The course will deliver a blended approach, combining formal education, in-role experience and relationship building. It will be available to a range of Webhelp employees from all academic stages and backgrounds.

David Turner, Webhelp CEO for the region, added his support to this approach by saying:

“As a people first business, Webhelp is fully committed to diversity and inclusivity, which starts with giving all our people the skills, confidence and opportunity to fulfill their potential. Together we are actively working towards making sure our leadership teams of the future reflect the full range of talent South Africa can offer.”

As the first candidates start their leadership journeys this week, Dr. Chris van der Hoven, CEO for the University of Stellenbosch Business School explains why they believe this will be such a unique opportunity:

“We believe that the combination of being authentically African and globally accredited is an important element of the contribution Webhelp is making in the development of teams and executives.
“Our faculty and professional staff come from highly diverse backgrounds and feel strongly aligned to the transformational ambitions of Webhelp as a business for Africa. The key account relationship and close partnership allow USB-ED to really understand the business, develop insights into the challenges, and innovate over time to secure impact and relevance.
“Our excitement about working in partnership with a global business in a growing and highly relevant business cannot be overstated.”

Many of these employees will be returning to the world of education while working full-time, so they will be supported by a team of learning process facilitators. This team will help them every step of the way by looking after their individual wellbeing, supporting them to deliver assignments and acting as a friendly hand to guide them through any unfamiliar interactions within the faculty.

Cathy Kalamaras, People Director at Webhelp South Africa is enthusiastic about the possibilities that this new initiative will bring, saying:

“At Webhelp, we truly believe in nurturing the talent of all our people. We work hard to deliver a transformational journey that creates a level playing field and offers all employees an equal opportunity to discover their full potential. This partnership is another exciting step in achieving that, and I am looking forward to seeing our people reach new heights. This programme gives them everything they need to succeed at Webhelp and offers lasting qualifications that they can carry forward throughout their careers.”

Trish Koning, Commercial Director at the University of Stellenbosch Business School adds:

“We are proud to be a partner and look forward to delivering our brand promise in this game-changing leadership acceleration programme. It gives people the opportunity to be the best that they can be and creates a strong pipeline of future leaders.”

Webhelp and The Very Group

Collaboration with our clients is second nature to Webhelp, and we are excited to work with partners who are aligned to our culture of ‘Think Human’, and who are innovators and game-changers themselves. Here we reveal the joint approach taken with The Very Group, a major player in the online retail and financial services industry.

Webhelp and The Very Group

Joining the discussion were Suzanne Edmondson, Head of Global Customer Operations and Lucie Child, Strategy Manager for Customer Care from The Very Group, and Kellyann McCafferty, Account Director at Webhelp UK Group and Morne Amos, Head of Operations for Webhelp SA.

  • What was the starting position of The Very Group, and your outlook before the onset of COVID-19?

Suzanne Edmondson (The Very Group):

So, like any major organization we had a strong development roadmap in place for the future. However, unlike other companies, our brand has a fairly unique proposition, as we blend being an online digital retailer with offering an integrated credit function.

So, while we could be compared to services like Amazon, we give quite a different package to our customers, 95% of our customer base uses the credit function to access goods. A large proportion of revenue is driven through our financial services proposition. We’re attractive to customers, who value the ability to spread the cost, and brand partners, whose products are accessible a new customer base through credit.

Prior to COVID-19, we were comfortable that we were providing a compelling service to our customer base, and delivering our purpose to make good things easily accessible to more people.

Lucie Child (The Very Group):

I’d agree. Customers can access credit from numerous places, but we offer a really integrated and clear approach: a one stop solution for their retail credit needs. And most importantly, we put the data and the knowledge we have about our customers at the heart of our service. As a result, our customers appreciate the ability to spread the cost, to have some breathing space and take the pressure off, while still being able to give their families the things they want too.


  • How has COVID changed the landscape and the way you continue to service the market?

Suzanne Edmondson (The Very Group):

Our strategy hasn’t changed. We are seeing an upswing in customers, which aligns with our goal to bring on board more highly engaged customers in the new financial year. That’s harder than it sounds as we have a large, loyal and active customer base and aim to bring in new customers with the same level of engagement.
However, this success was not only due to our credit function, but the availability of product and speed of delivery – something which was very important to families under lockdown. For example, trying to buy a barbecue that would actually arrive before the sunshine disappeared!


  • Do you have any insight to share on the service provided by Webhelp prior to COVID?

Kellyann McCafferty (Webhelp):

Prior to COVID-19, we saw the conclusion of the most successful seasonal peak yet. Performance was high and Q1 was healthy across the board (with service credits given for the period), and there was a very strong trajectory in the last two quarters.

Suzanne Edmondson (The Very Group):

Our metrics are all based on customer outcomes. During COVID-19 as you can imagine, we had a few peaks and troughs, especially prior to establishing our homeworking solution. However, at TVG we live and die by TNPS, which is the touch point Net Promoter Score (NPS) that measures customer satisfaction post interaction. Over this period this metric reached 30+, which was phenomenal given the circumstances.
First contact resolution within a seven day period remained high; it was strong at 73%+ going into COVID-19 and remained above 70% throughout, which is again fantastic. And given the diverse operational, fulfilment and logistical challenges faced this was a significant achievement.

Morne Amos (Webhelp):

Prior to COVID, an innovative impact sourcing strategy was in action for TVG for their seasonal peak, a key success story for the partnership. I believe that this fantastic initiative between TVG, Webhelp and Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator has delivered the most innovative impact sourcing strategy in South African history.


  • Do you have anything to share on the operational approach during COVID, for example how and when our partnership reacted – any standout examples, or challenges?

Suzanne Edmondson (The Very Group):

To be honest, I think the biggest challenge was the incredible pace. There are issues when you do anything with that level of hastiness, simply because you are forced to make so many decisions in one day.  Normally we have time to calculate, consider and combine approaches; however, by necessity leaders were working incredibly swiftly in both organisations, over different directions and geographies. This created some challenging conversations. But any partnership would have faced the same hurdles, considering the unprecedented nature of the situation.

Kellyann McCafferty (Webhelp):

With the estate covering multiple territories in the UK, South Africa and India, we had to react to three lockdowns in parallel, all of which had connected consequences. There was significant impact across the whole partnership, but I am extremely proud of the way we managed to minimise disruption whilst also launching a new virtual centre in the UK.
We knew these issues were coming based on what we had seen happening in other countries so before lockdown restrictions in the UK were initiated, we agreed with TVG to set up over 140 employees to work from home in Glasgow. Kit was shipped to homes, virtual assessments were completed and systems testing was successfully rolled out. A massive collective effort from the team enabled us to do this in less than 10 days.
Faced with a different environment in South Africa we made the decision to delay the move to working from home and bolstered the team in the UK by virtually recruiting and training over 70 additional colleagues into TVG. This was a huge success for the partnership, as the team provided support and flexibility to the existing infrastructure. Within the next three weeks we were then able to mobilize over 270 colleagues in South Africa to work from home, with kit, in a fully compliant environment.
As restrictions in South Africa started to ease, the team were able to bring a further 100 colleagues into the office – which we set up according to strict government guidelines.
I have to say that the commitment shown from all of our people both in Webhelp and in TVG was incredible, going above and beyond to make sure that we were never behind the curve.

Morne Amos (Webhelp):

On the people front, it’s one thing to have the intent to think human and it’s another to put investment behind it, so a high-point for me was to see that our board was quite intentional about putting people first, despite the significant economics in play. And that was clear in all decisions; like providing transport and equipment, making sure there was investment into health and safety precautions, mask provision and temperature checks in the office.


  • Thoughts for the future and how the market will react, given the negative financial forecasts?

Suzanne Edmondson (The Very Group):

I think we are now in a really strong position. We’ve started to get a rhythm and routine, and performance and productivity is virtually on par with pre-pandemic levels.
I feel that, regardless of whether or not you’re looking at our virtual team set up within the UK, or those working from home or the office in South Africa – the level of adoption, flexibility and determination to be able to deliver the great outcomes for our customers is phenomenal.
And yes, there were teething problems, of course, but nothing that we’ve not been able to lean into and crack on with. But, you know, ultimately, I’m really pleased with where we currently are, I couldn’t ask for anything more – the team are doing a fantastic job.

Lucie Child (The Very Group):

We have some confidence that our business model is quite recession proof, because as I mentioned earlier, we do give people that breathing space. However, how the market will react to the traditionally important retail events like Black Friday remains to be seen.

Kellyann McCafferty (Webhelp):

On the operational side, I feel that homeworking, rotational, blended and hybrid working models will all become more important as we move into the next phase of business after COVID. From a peak point of view it will offer us much more flexibility, and we are building this into the partnership for the future.

Lucie Child (The Very Group):

Absolutely, we are looking at various models, reinforced by the feedback that we’ve got from our people in a recent survey. Their response to homeworking was very positive; they valued the extra time it gave them with their families, less commuting and more flexibility.
You know, if someone had told us six months ago that we’d have managed to make this transformation happen so quickly while delivering great customer outcomes, and looking after all our people, I’d have thought it was impossible.
Yet we pulled together, we had the right attitude. We made it happen. And that is actually exciting because we’ve got empowerment; and we’ve got the right people, so the question is – how do we harness that in the future?


To discover more about customer service models post COVID-19 read our new Whitepaper, a joint publication with Gobeyond Partners, part of the Webhelp group, on Reimagining service for the new world which is underpinned by our unique industry perspective alongside new research to discover the operating models of the future.

Webhealth KM Challenge

WebHEALTH KM Challenge has travelled beyond the Earth to raise funds for STEPtember!

Webhelp launched its biggest WebHEALTH challenge yet, reuniting thousands of Webhelpers from across the world around one common goal; travelling the circumference of the world through exercise in just 30 days.​ We’ve now hit the halfway mark of our time to complete the WebHEALTH KM Challenge, and have smashed our initial goals far beyond!

In just 15 days, we’ve not only travelled the circumference of the world, we’ve also gone around the moon for a total of 50.996KM!
Back on earth, some of our participants are getting very creative in adding kilometers, like our colleague Tor Andre, a customer service representative based in Malaga who took his Webhelp spirit to the next level!

Besides having fun and working on our fitness as a community, there’s a bigger reason behind our dedication to this challenge.
As a company determined to make business more human, Corporate Social Responsibility is highly important to us.
For many, being able to exercise or even simply walk might be an entirely normal thing, but unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone. ​
One of the many reasons we launched this initiative is to sponsor important charities such as STEPtember, a global initiative to raise funds for critical Cerebral Palsy research.​
Cerebral Palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood that in various degrees hinders its patients’ from living a normal life.

Webhelp has joined many major global and local corporations to raise funds through the STEPtember initiatives to support research that could truly change many patients’ lives.​
To find out more please visit www.steptember.us.

Here is what Sandrine Asseraf, Group Managing Director, People & Business Development – Legal & Compliance and Dominique Chatelin, President of Supervisory board Webhelp Payment Services had to say about the initiative:

How does Webhelp and sponsoring charities fit together?

Sandrine Asseraf: Our Think Human approach means that we take care of our people and their health. We look after each other and also the communities we live in. Participating or funding the associations in our communities which contribute to changing the life of people, is part of our commitment to positively impact our societies. The KM Challenge is not just Webhelp supporting an amazing cause, it is each Webhelper playing their part in making business more human – inside and outside of Webhelp.

Why is it so important to participate in STEPtember?

Dominique Chatelin: WebHEALTH Kilometer challenge is a great initiative, and by combining it with STEPtember, we can raise money to finance medical research and support for kids suffering from Cerebral Palsy. This gives us the opportunity to Think Human as we walk for kids that will probably never walk. The program was born in Australia, and is now also available in France, Netherlands, Turkey and many other countries: https://www.steptember.org.au/

Are you participating in the challenge yourself and how?

Dominique Chatelin: Of course! I am running and you can support me on my page: https://www.steptember.fr/fundraisers/dominiquechatelin.

In the past, I have participated in a semi-marathon pushing a wheelchair to contribute to the same cause.

Sandrine Asseraf: I am a much slower runner than Dominique so I try to do some biking as well to put in more kilometers!

Any words of wisdom to close with?

Dominique Chatelin & Sandrine Asseraf: Having good health is an undervalued gift that we often take for granted. Until we face people that do not have the chance of this invaluable gift, running for them takes little efforts. Nonetheless, it is such a big help for these kids and adults who will never walk! Enjoy your WebHEALTH Kilometer Challenge and have fun contributing to STEPtember.

We’ve managed an incredible achievement in these first 2 weeks already, but now is not the time to stop! ​We are on our way around Mars as we continue to reach for the stars!

​You can keep track of our progress in this blogspace and across our social media pages through the hashtag #WebHEALTHKilometerChallenge ​

OneShot #5 - Influence

Our 5th edition of OneShot is here!

Download your OneShot magazine

Following the unprecedented situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous companies have been forced to make vital adjustments to stay afloat and also guarantee business continuity. Our interesting reads also include:

A Word: KOL – Key Opinion Leader
A Number: 10,000 subscribers and no more
Three Opinions: Influence: How to get your messages across?
One News: TikTok supports its position in Europe
A Demo: The dark social
A B-Case: How Webhelp’s KYC participated in securing a platform by Bpifrance
A Hashtag: #TrustYourInfluencer
An Offer: MyStudioFactory
An appointment: Conversation 2020, Paris
A Conversation: How to restore confidence in the time of fake news?
A Story: Santa Claus, citizen of the New World

Read all about these exciting and thought-provoking topics in our 5th edition of OneShot.

Employees recognised for exceptional performance at UK Star Awards

Shining lights in customer experience from across the UK were recognised by Webhelp at last night’s virtual 2020 Star Awards. It is the first year that Webhelp’s awards are all linked to its company values and cultural behavioural pillars; recognition, integrity, unity, commitment and ‘wow’.

Marking their 10th anniversary this year, the Webhelp Star Awards are driven by employees across all areas of the business. Everyone within the company is encouraged to nominate local stars from any site in the UK. The awards recognise and reward excellence across the business at a team and individual level.

There are monthly, quarterly and annual award categories, with the initial prizes ranging from an extra half-day of annual leave and a Star Awards certificate to a full-day holiday. Quarterly winners are shortlisted to win an annual award.

The 2020 winners announced below each received a cash prize of £1,000.

David Turner, Webhelp UK CEO, said:

“The Webhelp Star Awards is one of the highlights of the year and, even though we couldn’t gather face to face, it’s never been more important to pay tribute to our teams and individual colleagues for what they have achieved.

“I’m proud of our Webhelp employees and the flexibility, commitment and unity they have shown as we have embraced and overcome the challenges of the last 6 months.  

“Our priorities through 2020 have been keeping our people safe and our business strong. We felt it was important to go ahead with the Star Awards as an online event and to thank everyone for their hard work and dedication.”

Webhelp UK Star Awards 2020 Winners:

People First Award

Emily Thomson, Glasgow

Emily supports and encourages her team to meet their targets and become top performers.  She is known for having great ideas, using her initiative and going above and beyond in her role.

The Integrity Award

Karen Gavazzeni, Glasgow

Karen has overcome a lot of change on her campaign and managed this like the true professional she is.

Client at the Heart Award

Lauryn Walker, Rothesay

Lauryn resolved a major issue for her client against a tight deadline, ensuring the client’s customers were not impacted. She was calm, she was patient and she was committed to finding a solution.

Commitment Award

Harry McKinstray, Kilmarnock

Harry is innovative, flexible, collaborative and, above all else, he just gets the job done. Nominees in this category are dedicated, driven to achieving great outcomes; they show resilience and have a real determination to overcome any obstacle.

Passionate Game Changer Award

Ryan Bogan, Kilmarnock

Ryan has been recognised for his attitude, insight and delivery. He’s hard-working, determined and always thinking of new ideas.

Recognition Award

Chris Galante, Sheffield

Chris demonstrated exceptional effort and dedication throughout the set up and launch of a new Webchat team for his client, in response to the pandemic. He was focused, committed and organised when supporting the speedy training and mobilisation of 54 colleagues within two weeks.

Strive to Enjoy Every Day Award

Stuart Fraser, Falkirk

Stuart has been recognised because of his great work implementing mental health support in the workplace. His initiative was a huge hit and colleagues have remarked how supportive and innovative he is.

The Unity Award

Team Louise, Kilmarnock

This team, led by Louise Wilson, was the top performing team on site for 16 months at the time of their nomination. The team was also called “a force of nature led by a fearless leader” and it has been stated that we would not find a more dedicated, energetic and successful team.

The WOW Award

Emma Bradford, Dearne Valley

Angela Bartraham, Glasgow

Chris Glendinning, Falkirk

Not just one but three WOW Awards, in recognition of what an amazing year this has been when so many Webhelp employees rose to the challenge in 2020.
Emma, Angela and Chris all demonstrated energy, drive, problem-solving skills, passion to succeed. Above all else, they are role models who their colleagues respect and look up to.


Whitepaper: Reimagining service for the new world

Whitepaper 14th July 2020

A framework for tomorrow’s successful customer-focused operating models

As the urgency for change and transformation intensifies in the post COVID landscape, some pivotal questions will be raised: How different will service look and feel in the future? How will businesses and their operations need to adapt? And how can employers engage and support their colleagues to deliver on new customer promises?”

This new Whitepaper, reimagining service for the new world aims to address these crucial questions and discover more about how to leverage customer service models in this new world.

This is a joint publication with Gobeyond Partners, part of the Webhelp group, is underpinned by our unique industry perspective and new research to reveal the operating models of the future.

Click here for an instant download: Reimagining service for the new world

And join our mailing list below for invitations to forthcoming events and webinars

“Globalization does not make a nation competitive by nature…”

Co-founder of Webhelp, Olivier Duha shares his opinion on globalization in these thought-provoking times.

When things go wrong, it is common for people to search for a guilty party, someone who is responsible for the pain experienced. The crisis we are going through has not escaped this rule and, of those considered culpable, globalization tops the list.

Already accused of causing mass unemployment, increasing inequalities, weakening local culture and driving up global warming, globalization is now considered responsible for the circulation of the virus and for our dependence on strategic foreign assets.

The accusations against globalization are flawed. The reality is that globalization has become the victim of many biases.

  1. Cognitive biases, what Steven Pinker called “progress phobia”. Our minds, for example, naturally tend to focus on costs rather than benefits, the evil can sometimes appear stronger than the good. These biases lead us to forget or ignore the progress that globalization has made during the twentieth century. The rate of extreme poverty (considered by X as earning/having less than $ 1.90 / day) fell from 60%, to 10% between 1950 and 2015. Life expectancy has more than doubled since 1900, from 32 to 72 years. Famine and malnutrition, conflicts and wars, infant mortality, illiteracy, slavery and servitude; all over the world these evils are in free fall, and despite what the daily news is pouring out to us, we are witnessing the most dizzying improvement in our living conditions that the world has ever known
  2. Cultural biases: criticism of globalization is a "privilege" of Western populations, places where individuals have inherited progress rather than felt the immediate effects in their lifetime. In developing countries, the effects can be seen in a much more concrete way. We benefit from progress without realizing it, while we feel the costs of globalization more directly
  3. Fundamental aspiration: imagining a “de-globalized” world has no meaning or future. Firstly, because globalization responds to a fundamental human aspiration of exchange, which is the expression of freedom. As economist Ricardo said in 1817, freedom is the most effective engine of growth, and homage there is no progress without growth. In addition, we can view globalization as a drug for society - a socio-degenerative phenomenon for some, an ecological disaster for others. For many, globalization remains a powerful trigger of our strongest consumerist impulses.

As Sébastien Bohler (author of The Human Bug, 2019) notes globalization is our best ally, as it has made it possible to democratize what was for thousands of years reserved for an elite. In this context, the debate is not “should we try to stop globalization?”, but “how can we make globalization more virtuous?”

First of all, it is essential to never lose sight of the fact that globalization does not make a nation competitive by nature. It is the competitiveness of a nation that enables it to enjoy the potential of globalization.

We can work to create a more “reasoned” globalization by preserving free trade while taking a firmer view of the proponents of short-termism or the selfishness of states.

If the debate on industrial sovereignty opened by the crisis is legitimate, we must above all give ourselves the means to be part of global competition, to benefit from the multiplier effect of a global playing field. This requires stable and effective regulations co-constructed with economic players, investment in infrastructure (telecoms, energy, freight), training and research, and coordinated and proactive policies.

The means to place a price on carbon, protect intellectual property rights, apply anti-social policies or anti-public subsidy measures are known. It is the political will to apply them consistently at the global level that is lacking. For that to happen, multilateralism must be overhauled, out of the quagmire of the “Doha Round” initiated by the WTO in 2001, which to this day has not seen any results.

The challenge is immense, but the gravity of the current situation imposes on us an urgent need to reassess the current world order.

This article was originally posted on L'Opinion.

Reimagining service – Banking spotlight

During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, banks and financial service firms across the world played a critical role as key workers; supporting economies and communities alike as government interventions required support to be stood up at scale and at short notice.

The drive, determination and flexibility of people across the sector to deliver during one of the most volatile periods in decades was remarkable to witness. Teams went above and beyond as we all adjusted to new working practices, the increased demand for mortgage holidays and also requests for emergency loans and distribution of funds as rapid state interventions were rolled out.

While many firms just about managed to deliver service to anxious customers during the darkest days of the crisis; many came away with a sense that delivering seamless, multichannel service, reimagining the art of the possible and adapting to the shifting sands of customer demand, felt far more difficult than it should have - with many leaders concerned about their ability to weather future storms.

As the pressure continues to mount on banks to support economic recovery and deliver for customers who are now carrying refreshed expectations of what ‘good’ service looks and feels like; we have seen firms across the world emerge with a palpable hunger to reassess, refocus and accelerate transformation programmes.

Getting this right will take more than simply moving faster than before. Engaging and empowering people, driving focus in the right areas and challenging some of the sectors most ingrained ways of working and culture must all be aggressively pursued, to help build stronger and more resilient banks fit for our new future.

As the backbone of economic recovery across the world, banks cannot afford to get this wrong.

To discover more about customer service models post COVID-19 read our new Whitepaper, a joint publication with Gobeyond Partners, part of the Webhelp group, on Reimagining service for the new world which is underpinned by our unique industry perspective alongside new research to discover the operating models of the future.


Over 60% of business leaders are re-evaluating how much they will be investing in change & transformation since COVID-19

New research from Gobeyond Partners, the consulting firm focused on customer journey transformation, and Webhelp, Europe’s leading provider of outsourced customer engagement services, has today revealed that over 60% of business leaders are re-evaluating how much they will be investing in change and transformation since COVID-19, yet only a third of survey respondents are committing to a higher spend in this area.

Gobeyond Partners and Webhelp surveyed 500 respondents at director level and above across a range of industries about the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses. By combining Webhelp’s expertise in customer engagement with Gobeyond Partners’ customer journey design and transformation capabilities, the two organisations were able to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 across a number of key areas and offer recommendations to businesses as they start to plan towards a post pandemic world. When it comes to the issue of transformation, the research highlights the value of an intelligent use of rightsourcing* which will be crucial for businesses to establish the most cost effective and relevant solutions to support the flexibility and speed needed during this transition period.

Change and transformation are two of a number of data points highlighted in the joint research and accompanying report by Gobeyond Partners and Webhelp which explores how consumers are now demanding more human experiences, even in digital environments, and why organisations must balance agility and adaptability against a clear focus on maximising value from investment in transformation.

Mark Palmer, CEO of Gobeyond Partners comments on the findings: “As the urgency for change and transformation intensifies in our new reality, it raises some pivotal questions. How different will service look and feel in the future? How will businesses and their operations need to adapt? And how can employers engage and support their colleagues to deliver on new customer promises? The engineering of an authentic human experience in the digital world will need a delicate balance, and companies will need to work hard to create service transformation that satisfies both these needs. This may expose a lack of capability and flexibility inherent in many organisations, due to a lack of investment. For brands to survive, leaders can no longer pay lip service to digital transformation and digital must be fully integrated into the overall operating model.”

Other key findings from the joint research include:

  • 70% of businesses have seen a direct impact to their bottom line as a result of COVID-19, with more than half being negatively affected.
  • These financial impacts are expected to last, with more than 80% of respondents believing they will be financially impacted for six months or more and 50% expecting their finances to be affected for more than a year.
  • Companies that have been affected negatively by COVID-19 are twice as likely to expect cuts to their transformation budgets after the pandemic has subsided.

Craig Gibson, Chief Growth Officer at Webhelp Group continues: “Overall whilst budgets may reduce, spend on individual change and transformation programmes should not be reduced commensurately. Instead, the entire change portfolio should be reviewed and reprioritised. Now is the time to focus on and invest in a critical, clear and concise set of priorities, which the whole organisation can communicate and contribute to. This will ensure that the most critical agenda items will accelerate, without depleting vital cash reserves.”

*Rightsourcing is the process involved in selecting the best way to deliver services based on what a business needs resulting in the most appropriate sourcing arrangement to help organisations meet their strategic goals.

To discover more about customer service models post COVID-19 read our new Whitepaper, a joint publication with Gobeyond Partners, part of the Webhelp group, on Reimagining service for the new world which is underpinned by our unique industry perspective alongside new research to discover the operating models of the future.

Reimagining Service: Telco spotlight

Prior to the pandemic, the Telco industry displayed a competitive and pressured cycle of customer recruitment. Using short term promotions hinged against quarterly goals with the ambition to replace lost customers with fresh ones, the sector concentrated investment on infrastructure and technology. Ironically, this strategy increased customer attrition due to post-promotion price friction and low investment in customer service and employee skills.

But COVID-19 has interrupted this cycle, by reducing new business, especially in the smartphone market, resulting in customers temporarily staying put. This provides a unique opportunity to retain and maximise profits from loyal consumers, by addressing consumer churn caused by inadequate customer service.

Companies that remain with irrelevant quarterly strategies, relying on promotions and weak customer journeys, put themselves at risk of damaging consumer trust and will emerge from this period of transformation behind the curve.

Instead, giving consumers and networks an equal value base for investment could substantially bolster revenue, as Bain research suggests that customer loyalty leaders increase revenue 2.5 times faster than industry peers and could deliver 2-5 times more in shareholder returns over the next decade.

Crucially loyalty can be increased by a more human and personalised approach to customer service, with a focus on building trust and anticipating customer needs. Advisor longevity helps to create customer connection with the brand and consistency builds trust and credibility, so the entire customer journey must be a positive emotional experience.

Interestingly, a Webhelp survey reported low emotional connection in the Telcoms sector, at just 15%. There are benefits to be reaped here as emotionally connected customers are more likely to purchase within the brand, remain more loyal and will actually pay more, negating the need for aggressive price structuring.

Prioritising customer service may require transformation in both outlook and operations, but being proactive now will increase market share after the post COVID consumer behavior shift. The industry must switch track and fully commit to a long-term mindset, start regarding current customers as a valued and profitable assets, and strengthen consumer loyalty to benefit the sector.

There has never been a better time to change the game.

To discover more about customer service models post COVID-19 read our new Whitepaper, a joint publication with Gobeyond Partners, part of the Webhelp group, on Reimagining service for the new world which is underpinned by our unique industry perspective alongside new research to discover the operating models of the future.