Webhelp celebrates a Cape Town community hero on World Humanitarian Day

Webhelp UK Region is celebrating World Humanitarian Day by sharing a very special story, highlighting how one big-hearted employee is making an incredible difference to those directly affected by the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa.

Donna Oakes, part of the Claremont Facilities Team, founded Alms of Love in 2016, a non-government organisation (NGO), which means it does not receive government support and is founded and funded by citizens. The organisation was inspired by a personal experience in a settlement near her home, as she explains:

"As I drove along the gravel path, I was greeted by a group of dirty-faced, barely clothed children who were about 3 and 4 years of age, and my heart broke. I was shocked to see how poverty had gripped this small community and thought - how can I live so close to a community that is so clearly in need of help?"

Motivated to find a constructive way to make a difference, she created Alms of Love to give freely and completely to those who need it most. Unfortunately the COVID crisis had a significant impact on those already in poverty, and the need for support increased in Donna’s community during lockdown. Low-income households were hit by job losses and food quickly became an urgent requirement for families. Donna quickly realised that;
“Access to nutritious meals can be difficult for some members of the community at the best of times but knowing that children could be going to bed hungry drove me to do all I could for the disadvantaged in my community during lockdown.”


Business Director, Jodie Smith interviewed by Insider Media

Webhelp UK Group Business Director, Jodie Smith was featured by Insider Media in their Northern Powerhouse series - where she outlined what the initiative means to her, how to make the North an attractive place to work and build a business, and the importance of investment to ensure all regions can contribute to the UK's Covid-19 recovery.

The Northern Powerhouse has the goal of boosting economic growth in the North of England, particularly in the "Core Cities" of Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Hull and Newcastle.

Jodie highlighted that, as Webhelp recognises with our own vision to make businesses more human, this growth should always start by investing in people. She added:

“Infrastructure and technology are of course vital enablers but we must always focus on the talent in the North, supporting their development, and helping them reach their full potential. Collaboration is so important too — we encourage our teams to embody that spirit, as there are infinite opportunities to work closely with clients and partners in our regions and beyond.”

“At Webhelp, we're already investing in our people through training and employee wellbeing programmes. As a result, our clients know that our talented people can be game-changers for their businesses. A Northern Powerhouse that is firing on all cylinders will help to support the investment we're making to ensure that we keep skilled employees in the region.”

Read the full story here: Powerhouse Perspective Jodie Smith

 


Meet our Advisors – Ibtishaam from South Africa (ep.3)

The golden rule for great customer experience is to "treat customers as you would like to be treated".

I remember I had an elderly customer who was seeking assistance regarding ordering fresh flowers. The fresh flowers were for her husband who was in a care home at the time. She was quite a lovely customer and very talkative. I took my time to listen to her as she was a bit confused thinking she could purchase her fresh flowers from us.

I then took the time to explain to her that I was working for the company who delivers on behalf of the suppliers from where she can purchase some lovely fresh flowers. I provided her with some supplier's contact details. I advised her about online websites to read more about the flowers as well as to view them online before just purchasing any bunch of flowers.

The customer was very thankful that she got through to me. She couldn't stop thanking me. This is the kind of experience that makes me appreciate my job because I was able to educate my customer and I knew that she couldn't go wrong when purchasing those flowers.

YOU CAN ALSO JOIN THE TEAM!


78% of directors believe customers are paying more attention to responsible business practices since pandemic

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 responsibility, transparency and trust are now perceived to be more important than they were prior to the pandemic. These values are deemed to be so important that over seven in 10 directors of UK companies stated that their customers are now paying more attention to how responsible their business practices are compared to before the COVID-19 crisis.

Responsible business is just one of a number of data points in some joint research and accompanying report by Gobeyond Partners and Webhelp which underlines the importance of a human experience, as we move to a more digital age. It also highlights that organisations will need to work hard to manage this emerging trend, which will be crucial to the future of customer service as we enter this new normal.

Gobeyond Partners and Webhelp surveyed 500 respondents of 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, 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.

Mark Palmer, CEO of Gobeyond Partners comments on the findings: “When considering the seismic changes that COVID-19 has already driven for businesses on a global level, it is heartening to note that many brands have responded remarkably; adapting to rapidly shifting consumer demands and rethinking propositions at unprecedented pace. However, some have also suffered significant damage too. Certainly, at the start of lockdown, social media feeds were awash with examples of brands accused of behaving irresponsibly and this hasn’t gone unnoticed by their customers. As organisations rush to respond to changing consumer behaviour and working practices, by making much-needed technology and operating model changes, our research highlights the importance of doing this in a responsible, and human way.”

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.

Craig Gibson, Chief Commercial Officer at Webhelp Group continues: “Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a major shift when it comes to the health and wellbeing, and of course, the safety of team members. However perhaps more interestingly customers have been paying even more attention to how companies deliver on this. We have already seen, and indeed will continue to see, a new more "responsible" behavioural shift, with more empathy for those at the front line. This in turn will place more pressure on businesses to deliver on responsible human work practices and ensure this is communicated as part of their customer journey. Never before has there been a greater need to demonstrate transparency and create genuine and deep emotional connections with customers and colleagues.”

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.


Trends 2020 – Connected vehicles: data sharing will benefit all players

Car manufacturers are in a paradoxical situation: they are bringing back huge amounts of data from vehicles without fully exploiting or sharing it. Yet, the PTOLEMUS Consulting Group's Vehicle Data Market Global Study report reveals there are high stakes in opening up this ecosystem as manufacturers, motorists and third parties would have a lot to gain. The customer experience could be completely transformed - in compliance with current regulations. Manufacturers must act now, otherwise the exploitation of this data will be done without them.

To gather further insights into transforming the customers experience in mobility services, we interview Frédéric Bruneteau's, President of PTOLEMUS Consulting Group, who has over 20 years' experience in mobility services, becoming one of the worlds’ foremost experts in the field of connected vehicles. Our Director of the Telecom & High-Tech BU at Webhelp, Jalil Lahlou, also shares his insights into these transformations.

Why did you launch this study on vehicle data?

Frédéric Bruneteau (FB): The market was close to maturity on the strategic issue of vehicle data, and on the opportunities for value creation offered by their sharing. This hypothesis was confirmed during the 50 interviews that many international automotive professionals gave us, in 18 countries.

I should point out that the study does not only concern car manufacturers, since we studied 8 vertical mobility markets, including: fleet management, car rental and car sharing, payment from the vehicle, car maintenance (remote or local), car insurance, etc.

In the end, these 8 months of work allowed us to better estimate the fantastic data production of the vehicle, current and future, and its fundamental economic stakes. The 600-page report covers the period 2018-2030 and proposes case studies from 7 manufacturers who already share their data.

How is vehicle data produced and what is the role of Vehicle Data Hubs?

FB: Firstly, I would like to point out cars are already producing phenomenal amounts of data, and with good reason. There are a good hundred sensors in a vehicle, and there are more lines of code in the computer programs that manage it than in those of an Airbus.

To take advantage of this data, new platforms are appearing today, these are the Vehicle Data Hubs (VDH).

These are sometimes traditional players who have gradually taken an interest in vehicle data and its use, such as insurance (LexisNexis, Verisk) or maintenance (CCC) providers. These players have been exchanging data with manufacturers for several years now within the scope of their original business which makes them specialists.

In addition, we have recently seen the emergence of more generalist players, such as Wejo, Otonomo and Caruso. Their approach is first and foremost to serve carmakers and open up their data to the rest of the world, in all verticals.

What are the current and future business models for exploiting this data?

FB: The data generated by a rolling vehicle is of all types: traffic information, incident and accident detection, maintenance data, conditions, and modes of use, etc.

Some data takes on a special meaning, and therefore value when crossed intelligently. For example, some VDHs are already doing this and can thus determine which lane on a 3 or 4-lane road runs best. This information can be monetized in different ways.

Another example: for an insurer, interesting data can be retrieved from the vehicle, such as distances travelled, as well as risk levels; depending on whether one is driving during the day rather than at night, on the highway rather than on the road, etc., this makes it possible to build different billing models based on usage.

However, in this insurance niche, suppliers of electronic boxes are already positioned to provide this data; competing solutions also exist, based on the mobile phone. In other words, car manufacturers are already ‘short-circuited' in these business models. This should make them aware of the value of the data they collect...

More generally, the automotive ecosystem is particularly large and diverse, with dealerships, repairers, accessory dealers, leasers, and a multitude of equipment and service providers.

All these players have a strong interest in accessing vehicle data to create all kinds of business models.

Jalil Lahlou (JL): I would simply add that vehicle data can create a lot of value, as long as it can be coupled with user data. The latter are now being exploited in a very relevant way, based on data analytics.

Based on cross-referencing of vehicle-driver data, loyalty and personalisation actions can be imagined. For example, for a manufacturer, this opens-up opportunities for range renewal: the sales pitch to a driver would be much more relevant, since we would be aware of his real uses.

In other words, this opens up opportunities for upselling complementary options, mobility products and services, etc.

For example, a good knowledge of the driver and his or her uses would make it possible to recommend other products - such as the purchase of an electric scooter for a very urban, short-distance, environmentally conscious user.

In a loyalty and renewal framework, the proposal for a replacement vehicle could be based on reliable bases (age of the vehicle, kilometres travelled, repurchase value of the vehicle, etc.).

These practices are highly developed in telecoms. Conversely, today, manufacturers find it very difficult to keep track of a vehicle's life.

More generally, this cross-referencing of vehicle-driver data would lead to the emergence of new types of prospects and customers, highly relevant to the automotive and mobility ecosystem. Subject, of course, to strict compliance with regulations in force, such as the RGPD, and the rejection of dubious practices of the dark pattern type.

How important is consent to the use of vehicle data?

FB: This is one of the most important questions - how will this consent be granted, and renewed on a regular basis? Some data will not be personal data - anonymised traffic data, for example, but others will fall within this legal perimeter, such as geolocation data.

Significant efforts will therefore have to be made in terms of transparency and education, so that users see their interest in this exploitation of their vehicle data.

This is the sine qua non of consent, whether one-off or more permanent.

Which segments are affected by the use of vehicle data?

FB: Based on the study, 4 segments can be distinguished:

  1. Company cars, which in some markets account for around 50% of new car sales (Belgium, England...),
  2. New cars - the majority of which in Europe are purchased by people over 50 years of age, this population being users of digital products and services
  3. Second-hand cars which often lack a digital link to the manufacturer or other players
  4. As for the digital natives, they see the world without owning a car. However, they are looking for mobility and carpooling solutions from their mobiles. Neither do they have a digital link with the manufacturer or other players.

As you can imagine, each of these segments has its own challenges in terms of the customer experience

JL: As far as new vehicles sold in Europe are concerned, regulations require them to be equipped with the eCall emergency call system. Cross-vehicle driver knowledge creates new opportunities in customer care such as premium support that could concern the optimised use of the vehicle, or a ‘concierge’ type service for vehicle maintenance and to make the driver's life easier, for example.

Preventive maintenance services are also possible on these bases. Generally speaking, these 4 segments could all benefit from a much-improved customer experience and customer relations.

You advocate a model for sharing vehicle data, what are your arguments?

FB: As I pointed out, cars already produce a considerable amount of data flow, and the trend will increase in the future since all new models in Europe are connected. Yet, paradoxically, these gigabytes of data are hardly ever shared with third parties.

Here, a comparison must be made as data from mobile phones has been widely shared and used for a long time. There is a strategic challenge in sharing vehicle data to offer drivers new services and a richer, more satisfying experience.

Apple has just announced its intention to use vehicle data (in partnership with BMW) to launch a digital solution for Car Keys - to open the door of a car purchased, rented, or borrowed with an iPhone.

This enables manufacturers to implement this service for car users so they can easily access the car using their Apple mobile device.

How can manufacturers create a mechanism for third parties to access vehicle data?

FB: The manufacturers we interviewed already have ideas or solutions.

The general idea is to design a platform model that allows targeted access to certain data, with the necessary consents. Each platform would be linked to a manufacturer on the one hand and to third parties on the other.

Of course, there are already some implementations that correspond to this model at some manufacturers, for example BMW or General Motors, but they are still only on a small scale.

It is true that today, manufacturers do not have a data centric culture, or that they have other priorities, but rather extraordinarily complex and heavy in investments: the autonomous car, the electrification of vehicles, the reduction of emissions, and so on.

So, one of the key conclusions of the study is that the most efficient way to go to scale in vehicle data management would be to use specialised players. These have the expertise to create data hubs, and to make them available to thousands of players. This is the purpose of GM's investment in Wejo and Nissan's investment in Otonomo.

What do you think of Apple and Google's App Store model?

FB: It is indeed the model of app stores, as it was developed for smartphones. Millions of developers can thus create applications, often useful and with high added value.

Our analysis and our bet is, this model will eventually prevail, due to a great market demand and the solidity of the model. Moreover, Silicon Valley has proven that by putting customer data at the centre of the organization, we solve all the problems of an industry or service!

Finally, it is very likely that a regulation will be put in place on these subjects, in Europe and the United States in the next 2 or 3 years, and we must anticipate this.

Will manufacturers be able to draw inspiration from the success of Apple and Google?

That would be the start of a new era!


Reimagining Service: Insurance spotlight

COVID-19 has dramatically impacted millions of lives and fundamentally changed the direction of the global economy, but what are the emerging implications for the insurance industry, which is currently inundated with enquires and claims across all area of cover?


Half a million UK businesses have shut down, 20% of the workforce furloughed and revenue expectations and profitability has been severely reduced. Whilst insurance was less visibly impacted than sectors like travel and tourism, 2020 losses are still estimated at a considerable $200bn globally. Survival has now become a medium-term question and with the expectation of legal challenges, consolidation and increased loss ratios, radical changes are on the horizon.

Flexibility and speed of response has created frontrunners, and interestingly, type of risk alone is not dictating the level of impact. This now hinges on multiple factors, including leadership, culture, digital maturity, and the way organisations have designed their operating model.

What's next?

There are some emerging characteristics for success, the most obvious perhaps being the critical business continuity provided by investing in supported homeworking, which has in many cases helped to increase productivity and decrease advisor attrition. A heightened focus on swift regulatory compliance and vigour in commitment to operational resilience has also been a crucial factor.

It’s clear that shifting business to digital platforms has created much needed traction too, but this reactionary approach must now become mature, otherwise it will continue to deliver fragmented and frustrating customer journeys. And, companies that invest in mitigating the human impact of the pandemic will reap the benefits in public perception and employee commitment and satisfaction.

Often borne out of necessity (like car or business insurance) or for peace of mind, like home and personal cover, insurance can coincide with major life events that carry a deep emotional impact, so concentrating on relationship building and platforms that inspire trust will help brands to build better experiences and drive scale.

Humanising, streamlining and redesigning operating models should remain high on the insurance transformation agenda, as a critical fulcrum for engaging and creating the customer loyalty. Insurance must now build on the momentum of change generated to thrive and ensure genuine longevity, in this new and challenging world.

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: retail spotlight

The existing retail transformation agenda has been radically altered. And, while doors are now reopening following what could be the toughest ever period of trading, it is clear that the sector has been hugely impacted by the current crisis.

Many bricks and mortar stores (and even entire portfolios) are still teetering on the brink, so reduced footfall coupled with social distancing measures may render them un-viable. Government intervention may help in the medium term but, as cash reserves dwindle, insolvencies and consolidation will rise.

For multichannel retailers, digital growth has helped to subsidise bricks and mortar revenue. However those behind the curve on the digital agenda will suffer the most, with w-commerce and mixed model adoption (like click and collect) becoming a huge priority. Emerging winners will need established robust digital channels, a modern and scalable attitude to customer service, and have less exposure to costly store portfolios.

What's next?

Brick and mortar focused organisations will have to work much harder for success, as profit margins decrease. Options include undergoing restructuring, investing in omni-channel approaches, or exploring experiential outlets. But, ultimately, retailers must understand how to recreate brand and human experiences digitally.

Obsolete legacy retail teams must merge with digital teams for the benefit of the consumer and, importantly, new digital should not be layered onto an outdated operating model or “broken” customer journeys. Ideally, companies should be rethinking their new world customer experience from the ground up.

Delivering a seamless, consistent service through a blended home/office model will be a difficult balance to strike, especially as moving forward employees and customers will become less forgiving. So, being human and transparent has never been more important – but a laser-focus must remain on performance management and repeatable customer experience, irrespective of location and model.

This may be a tall order for those retailers with limited transformation funds, already reeling from the current shock. However, the first lesson in retail is to begin with a deep understanding of your customers: harnessing existing data and insight and ensuring that expertise and exemplary practices are in place when building new journeys, will be the best starting point for retailers to succeed on their digital journey.

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: Travel spotlight

In 2019 the outlook for travel was fairly optimistic in comparison to some other major sectors. It was at a place of maturity in customer experience, using the ability to emotionally and personally connect, whilst leveraging consumer behaviours to create buy in and deliver enhanced customer journeys.

Some disruption was evident, including financial fragility caused by the emergence of new players and go-between providers, like AIrBnB, and also a growing interest in personalised, sustainable eco-tourism. Both factors were impacting on the traditional value, luxury and price based market. Plus, technology was giving regional providers global reach, and bricks and mortar travel retailers were being challenged by digital startups.

The arrival of COVID-19 increased existing pressures, while lockdown and flight bans created income stasis and refund deficits. Cost sustainability is now a huge factor, especially for standalone venues and cases where low operating margins coincide with high cost distribution or intermediation, with go-betweens and resellers draining income flows.

What's next?

Thankfully, the industry is trading again, but the extended airline recovery period is likely to create immediate price hikes and a lack of availability in the leisure market. For business travellers and the corporate market, this recovery will be much longer.

We can expect short term growth in domestic markets, as people have less money and opportunity for international journeys. With global destinations limited, travel will become a simpler more meaningful and relationship-based activity. Lasting consumer trends will result, including a renewed interest in sustainable tourism and purposeful, enriching travel.

Two segments are emerging: The smaller, local, mid-market meaningful avenues for travel, versus luxury propositions. As companies jostle for space in this new world, mature customer service will be vital. But, there is a substantial learning curve required to develop as a seasoned customer advisor, with the depth of understanding needed covering the sector, brand and processes.

In tandem with the rise of homeworking, leisure travel will become blended with business needs, creating the new concept of ‘Bleisure’. Put simply, the human experience of travel and the need for personal contact and connection will be at the forefront of all these changes, and will be increasingly valued and promoted.

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.

 


Identity verification meets our KYC proven strategies

Fraud and economic crime rates remain on record highs, negatively impacting many companies than ever before. And if you thought the pandemic would slow down the online fraudsters, it has in fact created an opportunity for them. Criminals are now capitalizing on the current situation to further commit financial scams. With surgical masks and other medical amenities in high demand, fake shops, email addresses, social media accounts and websites allegedly offering these items, have surged online.

blog KYC
Common fraud scenarios in business…

  • Business identity theft – when perpetrators open business accounts under the names of legitime existing companies.
  • Phishing – when hackers impersonate a trusted vendor to convience you to authorize a financial transaction.
  • Shell companies – firms that are purposefully set up with the objective of commiting fraud. Such companies never provide a product or service, but rather use their companies to launder money.
  • Voicemail message scam – is a more recent means of businesses fraud which involves a voicemail that is delivered via e-mail. While at first glance the e-mail appears to be official, it normally has malware attached to it.
  • Invoice fraud – from false invoices that lack a corresponding product or service to inflated invoices where the reported expenses are higher than the actual costs, companies face a myriad of wrong invoicing fraud schemes.

And because many global organizations often handle numerous monthly supplier payments, cybercriminals continue to take advantage of the susceptibility that exists. The damage is estimated at $63,000 in 87% of companies who earn an annual revenue of more than $1 Billion. (Source: KPMG – nsknox.net).

With over 10 years of experience since our founding, our team is made up of 450 KYC experts who are spread around five EU countries. Until now, we have served over 100 customers in various sectors such as Banking & Insurance, Gaming, Marketplaces, Real Estate and verified millions of documents.

Why us?...

Our solutions
Using our KYC solutions, we provide instant customer verification through enriching technology with a human touch.Our wide-ranging portfolio is designed and customized to match your business and industry needs. Our solution entails a mix of manual and digitalized processes which provides instant online customer identification and ID verification for B2C businesses.

Our approach
And just like we mentioned in our previous blog about the importance of using AI and humans in content moderation, combining the human touch with technology is equally important in the verification procedure. The innovative technology that KYC uses, accelerates activation, enhances customer experience and decreases fraud. Our best-in-class Application Programing Interfaces (APIs) are enriched with teams of experts who focus on value-adding customer interactions.

Our process
From complex to simple documents, our systems scan and verify all types of files such as, IDs, driving licenses, proof of address, pay slips, legal status bank details etc. The automatic extraction and authentication of data is enhanced with manual intervention from our Subject matter Experts.

Our risk mitigation
In order to stay compliant with the Anti Money Laundering (AML) and CTF rules, part of our obligation is to certify that customers are the people they claim to be. And for us to mitigate the risks, we use Realtime Name Check against sanction lists, Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) and Interpol. Project implementation is also backed up with compliance expert advises.

Our technology
The best-in-class deployment of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technologies ensures that the verification process is steadfast. We collect E-signatures as well as enable video streaming capabilities. Additionally, our API is connected to multiple external databases.

Our services
Apart from our Know Your Customer services, we also offer Know Your Business (KYB) where we offer a full range of services that help you better identify your B2B partners during their digital onboarding process. Our KYB service is compliant with international regulations and ensures higher transformation rates, increased performance and stronger security.

Moreover, with our Know Your Employee (KYE) system we have developed an innovative candidate onboarding platform enabling faster, more secured, and more efficient recruitment process. Finally, we design bespoke Remediation processes helping our customers to comply with regulation by collecting, updating, and verifying end user data. We are able to process very large data basis and thanks to our inbound and outbound calling capacity, we manage to drastically improve positive Remediation rates.

What is the main challenge and how does KYC overcome it

Main issue is to be able to externalize the end to end KYC process and not only part of it. Many software providers propose automatic identification processes leaving customers to manually carry out fallback tasks in order to complement the technology when automatic ID verification fails. This creates complexity and hinders a seamless customer journey.

Webhelp unique combination of technology and manual fallback ensures 100% accurate and definitive decision on identification process, leaving high value added tasks and business decision to the customers. Low value added tasks and upfront verifications are done on Webhelp side, providing an end to end verification process. Our clients can thus concentrate on their core business relying on our proven dual verification approach.

Would you like to also benefit from our expertise in this field? Get in touch with our expert via LinkedIn - Hervé De kermadec President Webhelp KYC, or via E-mail on herve.dekermadec@webhelp.com.