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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Voice of the Customer – Retail’s secret weapon

With huge advances in the tools and methods available to analyse unstructured customer data, Vanessa Flather takes us through the wealth of untapped insight to be gained from Voice of the Customer (VoC) feedback.  


When retailers look to examine and measure the relationship they have with their customers, they typically focus on two areas – brand experience and customer experience. In our work with retailers across multiple sectors, it’s become clear that the impact of customer experience (CX) on overall brand perception is greater than ever. 

Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) are the most significant, and most widely used, customer experience metrics.  

NPS measures the extent to which individual customers would recommend your product or service to their friends, on a scale of 0-10. CSAT arguably takes it even further in its simplicity, usually composed of a single question such as “On a scale of 0-10, how satisfied were you with your recent purchase?” 

The regular, reliable stream of direct customer feedback from NPS and CSAT ensures their popularity, and indeed the value to be gleaned shouldn’t be underestimated. We believe, however, that these metrics only form part of the customer experience puzzle.  

One key limitation on both metrics is their ability to truly represent the end-to-end customer experience. Considering this, we commissioned internal research with our analytics team that discovered, depending on scope and response rates, survey-driven CSAT and NPS data could represent as low as 5-10% of all customer interactions. 

An additional factor to consider is situational bias. Put simply, customers are much more likely to fill in feedback surveys when their emotions are heightened, be that negative or positive. The data is still valuable, of course, but it can be difficult to gain a full spectrum view of customer mood and intention from the surveys.  

There’s a lot more customer experience data out there, and the retailers who harness this data – who better understand the voice of their customer – are the retailers who can most effectively deliver exceptional customer experiences.  

So, what’s the missing piece of the puzzle?  


Voice of the Customer – Listen, Empower, Engage 

Voice of the Customer (VoC) provides organisations with a detailed understanding of customer requirements, based on customer interaction data. The sheer volume of available data, however, can be daunting. This creates a need for data and analytics experts to properly mine and structure this data, before uncovering the actionable insights that can transform the customer experience.  

Once properly armed with this VoC data, organisations can deploy a ‘Listen, Empower, Engage’ approach to delivering valuable improvements across all aspects of their customer journey.  

Listen – by mining conversations at scale, retailers can uncover opportunities to improve the customer experience 

Empower – by using natural language processing, organisations can spot signals from conversations and link these to the customer experience, creating the environment for a great customer conversation.  

Engage – by understanding the topics, sentiment and emotion of the conversations from the customers’ perspective, it’s possible for retailers to deliver proactive, personalised communications strategies  

Accessing, understanding and utilising your VoC data can provide opportunities to transform your retail operation and brand, for the better – across sales, delivery, and service. We’ve identified four key ways in which VoC can transform your business: 

It’s time to transform your customer experience 

With NPS and CSAT, retailers get a sense of how their customers are feeling about their products and services. 

Innovative retailers, however, want more than this.  

By listening to their customers like never before, by challenging themselves to better understand their customers’ needs, and by embracing the wealth of data available from their front-line, real-time customer interactions, retailers can deliver a holistic, transformative and innovative brand and customer experience.  


Interested in learning more about harnessing Voice of the Customer data to transform your customer experience? Download our guide: Beyond Brand, NPS and CSAT - it’s time to recognise the voice of the retail customer.


Altnets are hitting our streets, but are they here to stay?

With vast investments currently being made by altnets on Fibre rollout, Peer Hackman, Managing Director, Telecommunication, Media & Technology at Webhelp looks at why CX differentiation will be key in the competitive UK “Gigabit” market

 

Waking up to the sound of loud drilling and excavators digging up the street is rarely a pleasant experience, but when this happened to me last week, I was happy to learn that the crew from G.Network had arrived to bring full-fibre broadband to the area.

Considering I live a stone’s throw from Google’s new King’s Cross head office and trendy Coal Drops Yard, it is somewhat disconcerting that we’ve been making do with copper delivering about 6 Mbps for the last 15 years. In fact, just one week before G.Network’s arrival, I’d switched to Virgin, hoping to prevent yet another video conferencing disaster.

Having worked in the telecommunications industry for years, I’m thrilled to see that the altnet boom is happening on our doorsteps. Still, is this a short-lived scramble for market share or a disruptive force that will push incumbent providers to compete on a new level? And what can altnets do to extend their longevity in the market?

The altnet push for market share

As they compete directly with only two incumbents, BT Openreach and Virgin Media, alternative networks (altnets) are spending vast amounts of money to claim their slice of the UK’s increasingly competitive “Gigabit” broadband connectivity market.

Whilst relative minnows compared to established players, alternative operators are fuelling growth and account for 57% of homes passed on a Europe-wide basis. UK FTTx altnets are also projected to reach almost 30 million UK homes by 2025, according to the sector’s trade body INCA.

Fibre rollout is accelerating fast, with investment from Openreach, Virgin, altnet providers, and their financial backers likely to exceed £30 billion by 2025. Still, there are significant challenges for independent network operators in their roles as network builders, wholesale vendors, and ISPs.

Challenges for altnets

New entrants to the UK broadband market have to deal with multiple hurdles like future market consolidation and price erosion, overbuild by incumbents, limited access to skilled labour, and the acquisition of land access rights. However, perhaps the biggest obstacle to their commercial success is creating awareness, generating high user satisfaction, and providing positive, differentiating customer experiences for their services.

OFCOM’s 2021 survey of UK broadband ISPs found that consumer broadband satisfaction rates have dropped by as much as 11% for some of the leading providers over the last five years. The COVID-19 challenge was a significant driver of these results. As such, altnet providers can pick up churn from Openreach, its partner ISPs, and Virgin, but “new” customer acquisition will be difficult.

Other issues altnet providers will face include service installation logistics, sourcing and set up for CPE (Customer Premises Equipment, such as routers), customer onboarding, high support requirements through surveying, frequently rescheduled installation appointments, and support over live and assisted channels.

All these factors—combined with Openreach and Virgin’s potentially aggressive wholesale pricing—negatively impact the business case and OPEX profile for altnets whilst affecting new ISPs’ and resale partners’ ability to provide superior customer experiences as competitive differentiators.

Strategies for tackling CX challenges

Assuming that altnet providers can overcome some of the supply-side and demand generation issues, here at Webhelp, we see three areas in particular in need of attention to ensure a best-in-class customer experience.

  • Ensuring reliable, consistent and resilient network QoS (Quality of Service) and QoE (Quality of Experience) after COVID-19 bottlenecks.
  • Better designed services, customer/employee journeys, and touchpoints to provide understanding, confidence, trust, and the ability (by the customer or the provider) to rapidly solve issues across the customer lifecycle.
  • Orchestration of support and engagement to deliver simple, straightforward, and easy-to-find omnichannel customer engagement pathways with first-touchpoint resolution and elimination of multiple handovers.

Let’s add some context to each of these areas and explore them in more detail.

Quality of Experience

With demand levels higher and reliance on TMT services increasing after COVID-19, broadband quality and consistency are top-of-mind when customers make their purchase decisions.

Additionally, as more digital and smart-home services that require resilient connectivity gain traction, providers must track both QoS and QoE and address them on a per-customer, per-service level. This approach can help altnets avoid costly customer service calls and truck rolls or prevent angry customer tweets, which can damage net promoter score (NPS) and word-of-mouth reputation.

To monetise the customer experience, avoid churn, and grow Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), altnet providers must focus on CX metrics, engagement tracking, as well as network KPIs whilst detecting and proactively addressing disconnections, slow response times, frame freezing, and similar issues. Analytics, AI, and customer education can help locate and predict poor QoE, whilst root cause analysis and rectification tracing can help address complaints related to network issues in the home (which is by far the majority).

Backup connectivity options are a positive interim step and may accelerate the growth of 5G FWA as the primary broadband household connection in the future. Still, it could threaten the profitability of fixed infrastructure investments unless providers can clearly articulate related use cases.

Customer journey/experience design and implementation

Once altnet providers have created demand amongst future paying customers—or RGUs as they’re known in the industry—it is crucial to design and implement customer journeys that enhance the frontend, omnichannel experience whilst seamlessly integrating with backend systems, including all relevant OSS & BSS business processes and components.

It is essential to involve customers at the beginning of this design process and throughout, as their input enables providers to improve complex processes, find new value streams, and enhance customer experience and product use.

Initiatives like customer-centric journey analysis, design and re-engineering, test and learn, and best-practice implementation frameworks (e.g. TMForum) can help take the sting out of service launches whilst enabling customers to become more capable of interacting digitally with websites and apps, setting up services, and solving issues themselves, ultimately keeping them happy and profitable.

Orchestrate digital and assisted customer support

Whilst most operators have been pushing for a digital-first approach to customer engagement, around 50% of consumers in all categories still state that “telephoning the call centre is the preferred contact method, regardless of query type”, according to a survey from EY.

The dichotomy here is that several customer segments would happily interact with apps or chatbots as long as a live advisor is available when required. However, voice support is up to 30 times more expensive than digital channels, so altnet providers must find the right balance between channel interactions to acquire, retain, and grow their customer base to more profitable levels.

To achieve better commercial and customer engagement outcomes at lower costs, operators must implement a flexible, scalable, and holistic support ecosystem that delivers exceptional experiences through all preferred customer interaction channels. However, getting there requires an understanding of the business’s current digital maturity and its prospective and existing customers.

Wrapping Up

Altnet providers have introduced momentum into a market that had been relatively static in the past. With government support through Project Gigabit injecting an additional £5 billion to support operators as they roll out across the final 20% of rural premises, growth of the sector is all but assured. However, competition will be tough for altnets, and consolidation is inevitable.

By offering “brilliant basics” that are easy to communicate and simple for customers to understand, along with resilient service performance, and straightforward sales, onboarding, and support journeys, altnet providers can almost certainly find success in the UK market.

Once my current contract has expired in 2023, I, for one, am eagerly looking forward to trying a new Gigabit, 100% full-fibre broadband service provider, having hopefully helped some of them to deliver outstanding customer experience and to grow successfully.


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 deductions

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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5 Mistakes start-ups should avoid when building their B2B sales engine

When creating a B2B startup, a solid sales strategy is obviously a critical success factor.

Rushing to build your B2B sales strategy or missing some key processes in your sales team training or target identification processes could undermine your initial efforts to build your product and promote it.

Whether you’re looking to acquire your first customers or to improve your sales operations in a period of strong growth, here are some mistakes to avoid when establishing your B2B sales engine, picked by our expert Julie Cadalen


Webhelp Oneshot Technology CX

Discover the 7th edition of our OneShot magazine on Technology

Our 7th edition of the OneShot is here!

Download your OneShot Magazine

Webhelp Oneshot Technology Customer Experience Relation

“Let’s talk about the well-being of your customers and employees. Because well-being has become a central challenge for brands.
At Webhelp, we believe digital technology must be oriented around this axis. Technology can really make life easier, to the benefit of both women and men.
As you will discover in these pages, today there is a lot of evidence of its effectiveness – and not only in the context of the «maintaining of bonds» that we are going through.
There are also new avenues that deserve to be actively explored, And this is what we are doing, with and for you, as part of numerous experiments.
What is the goal of our Technology department? To make technology an ally, entirely to benefit the well-being of your customers and employees.
An exciting project!”

Discover through this 7th edition technological innovations that humanize customer relations, facilitating the work of our advisors, and always to the benefit of final customers.

You will also find testimonies and advice from experts: Massimo Dutti, Vattenfall, Samsung…

What are the latest technological trends that are worth a look?

What are the conditions for successful technology integration?

And let’s not forget Webhelp’s vision and ambition: transparency, security, data and, of course, the human touch.

Summary

  • A word – SXO
  • A number – Zero
  • Three opinions – Technologies that humanize the customer experience (Yan Noblot, Massimo Dutti, Vattenfall)
  • Some info – How Toyota operates predictive customization ?
  • A demo – Home: a place to live, a place to sell
  • A B-case – How Webhelp proposed and deployed an intelligent tool… to facilitate the work of Samsung Electronics advisors
  • A hashtag – #VideoChat
  • An offer – Telecats, the voice of the customer as a path to action
  • A meeting – the WorldSummit AI
  • A conversation – A weapon of seduction to re-enchant commerce in the city
  • A story – Lego : in what world are you playing?
  • A perspective – For efficient and benevolent technologies

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Helping Yodel to build a market-leading customer experience journey

As one of the UK’s leading parcel carriers, Yodel wanted to build a robust customer journey that matched up to their customers’ specific needs and expectations, delivering a truly transformative customer experience.

Webhelp’s partnership with Yodel began in 2015, focusing on their goal of improving their client and customer relationships, with a particular aim to create additional value within their CX function with multiple milestones passed along the way.

2021 in particular has been an incredibly successful year, working with the team at Yodel to achieve:

  • An increase from a team of 50 at launch, to well over 300 in 2021, across diverse sites in South Africa and India.
  • A score of 4.6% on Trustpilot, up from 2.8 in 2018.
  • 40% savings across existing customer journeys, which have been reinvested into Yodel’s people, and more efficient tech solutions.
  • Recognition at the 2021 CCA Global Excellence awards in the Best CX Transformation – Inhouse Technology Solution category

 

You can read our Yodel client story for more details of the journey so far, and what the future has in store.


Everest

Webhelp named a global CX leader by Everest Group

Webhelp Recognized as a Global Leader in Customer Experience by Analyst Everest Group for a Third Consecutive Year 

Paris  – 29th July, 2021

Webhelp, a leading global provider of customer experience (CX) and business solutions, has been recognized again as a Leader in Everest Group’s 2021 Customer Experience Management (CXM) PEAK Matrix® Assessment. The organization ranked strongly in terms of completeness of vision and capability, making significant progress in market impact.

Webhelp is a global leading CXM provider with particular strength in Europe, which has recently been bolstered by acquisitions in Latin America,” said David Rickard, Vice President Everest Group. “Webhelp has also continued recent strong growth by investing in its Webhelp Anywhere platform and methodology to support virtual operations and provide tools for talent and workforce management, as well as enhanced security capabilities such as biometric recognition. Through its stand-alone global consulting business, Gobeyond Partners, it also supports clients through the entire customer journey from strategy, journey orchestration, and AI-led text analytics, which are all areas of high demand from enterprises looking to deliver digital CX transformation.”

Webhelp scored top marks from Everest Group for value delivered and vision and strategy. Client interview feedback also cited Webhelp’s adaptability, proactivity, employee orientation, ease-of-doing-business and cultural alignment as a few of its key strengths.

Everest peak matrix

The report validates the significant growth Webhelp has made during the past year by focusing on developing its digital transformation capabilities and CX consulting to create value-driven end-to-end customer journeys.

Following the acquisition of Dynamicall and the more recently announced intent to acquire OneLink, the company has significantly expanded operations to support clients in particularly the United States and Latin America, and European markets, further strengthening its geographical footprint and technology capabilities.

Everest Group notes Webhelp’s proprietary methodology and platform, Webhelp Anywhere, which combines best-shoring with remote, hybrid, onsite operations, and tech-enabled capabilities to deliver flexible and tailored solutions.

Also highlighted was Webhelp’s designated program to support customer experience for start-ups and scale-ups, The Nest by Webhelp.

Everest Group notes Webhelp’s continued success after three consecutive years ranking as a Leader in its PEAK Matrix® Assessment, as well as a Leader in its CXM in EMEA Services PEAK Matrix®.

Everest Group’s CXM Services PEAK Matrix® is an annual report combining an assessment of the changing global CX landscape with evaluations of leading CX organizations. It selected 39 organizations to evaluate and compare in this year’s report based on the service provider’s market success, vision and strategy, service focus and capabilities, digital and technological solutions, domain investments, and client feedback.

Olivier Duha, CEO and Co-Founder of Webhelp, said:

As a global company committed to delivering game-changing customer journeys for our clients, we’re very proud to receive this recognition from Everest Group. We’ve focused heavily on supporting our clients, their customers, and our own people through this challenging period, and I am delighted that this commitment has delivered growth. As we invest further in regions like the U.S., Central and Latin America, and Asia Pacific, as well as capabilities like digital transformation and consulting, we are well positioned to deliver increasing value to the market.”

Download a custom version of the report here.
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Missing the customer: why human-centred design is key in delivering regulatory outcomes

Yee-Ping Pang, Head of Design and Development, and Faye Sadler-Clark, Head of Risk, Compliance & Innovation, explain the benefits of placing the customer experience at the centre of your regulatory outcomes

In every industry, it’s a certainty that one regulatory body will supervise the market – the FCA for financial services firms and financial markets, Ofcom for communications, and Ofgem for Gas and Electricity, to name a few. Independent regulatory bodies supervise the specific industry which they regulate and protect the consumer whilst ensuring that the market is operating fairly. The FCA for example, summarises that:

“Financial markets need to be honest, fair and effective so that consumers get a fair deal.”

The regulatory outcomes sought naturally differ across regulators, driven by the maturity of the industry and specific areas that need additional focus. However, there are similarities across some key topics such as protecting vulnerable customers, operational resilience of firms (the ability to continue to provide important business services throughout shocks or disruptions) and making switching easier for customers. The customer is very clearly at the centre of each of these areas of common regulatory concern.

As consumer consumption patterns change and industries evolve, the regulators continue to develop new and make changes to existing regulation in order to stay ahead of any changes in the industry alongside addressing the key risks in each sector. An example of new regulation is the much debated proposed Online Safety Bill, which is centred on protecting children and vulnerable individuals and applies to organisations that either host user-generated content or allow people to interact online. The landmark regulation seeks to protect users from ‘online harms’ in response to the ever-growing use of online platforms in generating and consuming content, which has increased rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

An example of regulatory change came during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, where the FCA confirmed an increase in contactless payment thresholds from £45 to £100, increasing the convenience for consumers to buy goods safely. Sheldon Mills, Executive Director, Consumers and Competition at the FCA said: ‘During the pandemic more people have been using contactless payments. We are changing our rules to help the industry continue to respond to the changing ways in which people prefer to pay.’ This showcases both how regulators adapt to changing trends, and the role that regulation can play in enhancing customer experience to have the best outcomes for customers.

What is human-centred design, and how is it currently being used?

Human-centred design is a common technique used by designers across all industries. At the crux of it is a focus on the people who will be using the product or service. These may be external or internal customers (colleagues) who are using services such as the IT Service desk.

Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods, the primary objective is to build understanding and deep empathy for the people for whom the product or service is being designed. Understanding customers’ thoughts, emotions, and behaviours, and defining the key themes from triangulation of all the research, is the foundation required to understand both what products and services to build, and how to build them. Pairing this with agile ways of working and iterative designs and feedback, we can see how powerful this is in adapting to constantly changing customer behaviours.

The benefits of design are compelling, with data from McKinsey showing that organisations regularly applying design thinking saw a third higher revenues and 56% higher shareholder returns than those who didn’t over a five-year period.

Human-centred design shifts the focus from designing solutions to solving problems and instils the mantra that the “customer is king”.

Source: McKinsey

Adding value by focusing on the customer for regulatory outcomes

So, what’s the common intersect between regulatory outcomes and human-centred design? Regulators are focused on protecting consumers and ensuring they get fair value, and human-centred design is entirely focused on designing for consumers. The consumer is at the heart of both.

For firms to stay ahead and really claim to be customer-first, they need to employ design approaches for their actual customer needs and circumstances, while ensuring that regulatory demands are still met.

Often, businesses view adhering to regulatory outcomes as something that must be done something that has a financial impact on their bottom line – and not as a value creator. Risk professionals need to help change the conversation from ‘what do we need to do to comply, and how much investment do we need for implementation?’ to ‘what is the intended regulatory outcome and what benefits could it bring us as a business?’ This change in mindset and conversation will put the focus on understanding why the market is shifting, which consumer problems need to be solved, and on the benefits that are often supportive in meeting strategic objectives on acquiring, retaining, and growing customer loyalty.

Focus on your customer needs to thrive

With COVID-19 recovery continuing to be the core focus for most businesses, strengthening capabilities in human-centred design, design thinking and user experience will be a key driver for growth, meeting customer needs and meeting regulatory outcomes.

In order to add real value, it’s important that risk and compliance teams continue to be inquisitive and understand the drivers behind regulatory change, and the movements within different markets and industries. Whilst organisations don’t have a choice about whether or not to comply with regulation using human centred design in responding to regulatory developments and changes can drive a competitive edge.

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Fashion Tech – Reshaping customer experience for your start up

Fashion has always been playground for innovation. The acceleration of fashion tech forces brands to rethink their digital channels and relationship with customers. Fashion players strive to develop the technologies that will differentiate themselves, internally or through partnerships with the latest tech startups. In this article, we have included several exciting fashion tech businesses to follow that support major fashion players reshaping their customer experience!

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