The creative process behind Webhelp’s sponsored bear

In just a few days’ time, the bears will hit the streets of Sheffield for this summer’s sculpture trail. Ahead of the launch on 12th July, we caught up with Eleanor Young, the artist of Webhelp’s Pastel Pattern Patchwork Bear to learn more about our bear sculpture and the creative process behind the design.


First of all, tell us a little bit about your background as an artist?

I’m a designer maker based in rural Perthshire, where I run my design studio Fun Makes Good. Having studied textile design at Glasgow School of Art I now specialise in contemporary patchwork, creating bold, bright, design-led interior products and upholstery as well as large scale bespoke textile pieces for commercial spaces and the public realm. Although primarily specialising in textiles I’ve enjoyed evolving my practice to include murals and pieces of public art too, all in my signature colourful graphic style.

How did you come across the call out for artists to design a Bear for the trail?

I was privileged enough to be asked by The Children’s Hospital Charity’s team to submit a design as I was already working on a project with Sheffield Children’s Hospital. I jumped at the chance, as it seemed a nice way to develop on the work I was already creating for them, bringing the work out of the hospital and into the wider city for people on the street to enjoy.

How did you feel when your design was chosen by Webhelp?

It’s really lovely to have a company behind it who feel passionate about the cause and want to support the sculpture trail. I’m delighted my design was selected!

What inspired you to choose the patchwork theme for the bear?

I chose to create a design that takes direct reference from the textile work that I had been working on for Sheffield Children’s Hospital. I’d recently been making bespoke cushions for seats and seating areas in the hospital that featured soft patchworks of flowing shapes in ice-cream colours. I wanted to use the same colour pallet and reference the same pattern but as if the shapes continued on into one large patchwork, that could wrap around the bear. It was nice to expand on the design and take it into a 3-dimentional space!

How many weeks did it take you to complete the sculpture, did you hit a creative block?

It was very good timing as the bear arrived just days before the very first lockdown last year. It provided me with a very calming activity to work on whilst everything else seemed to be so uncertain. It was really lovely just taking the time to work on it bit by bit unpressured.

Fun Makes Good has created work for unusual and interesting places, what has been the most memorable place?

One of my favourite projects actually took one of my pieces out on tour, to help promote live performance across the Highlands and Islands. I upholstered some theatre chairs in bespoke digitally printed velvet. The chairs travelled across country on the top of a yellow car and were placed in some of the most beautiful locations across the Highlands including beaches, hills and beside lochs. It was such a fun idea!

Can you tell us about your collaboration with Artfelt when you created bespoke textiles and interior decoration within Sheffield Children’s Hospital?

I feel very privileged to have worked with Artfelt, the charity arts programme at Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital, on a few different commissions after meeting Jade Richardson the Arts commissioner at a Christmas Market at the Hepworth in 2018. After seeing my cushions at the market I was asked to make some in a hospital suitable material, that could add an element of ‘home’ and comfort in some of the seating areas. Working with healthcare grade vinyl, I made a number of patchwork designs that tied in with the existing interior decoration.

From there, I worked on designing a whole scheme for one of the parent’s rooms, bringing together textiles with hand painted murals and wall art. It was a fantastic experience and I received great feedback from the staff who were all involved in the design process, making sure all the elements were right for the space. I also really enjoyed the experience of coming into the hospital to paint, as I was able to meet some of the parents who would be using the room and could see how much they appreciated having an area designed for them.

Around the same time, I was commissioned to design some large-scale cushions to be fitted into internal windows within the newly completed ward. The scale of the large internal windows provided an opportunity to create a space within the corridors for seating. These individual pods could provide semi private, quiet spaces for waiting and contemplation and I designed some complimentary soft seating pads.

Will you be visiting Sheffield to see the Bears?

Yes! I’m very much hoping to make a trip later in the summer with my family as my wee boy has been asking ‘where has the bear gone’ and I know he’ll love hunting out the others across the city.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Eleanor’s designs check out Fun Makes Good amazing product selection here.

As proud sponsors of the trail, Webhelpers across our three Yorkshire sites have various actives planned to raise funds for Sheffield Children’s Hospital. We can’t wait to see what they have in store!

In the meantime, let the bear hunt begin #PatchworkBear.

Peer Hackman joins as Managing Director of Telecommunications, Media and Technology Practice

Webhelp and Gobeyond Partners are pleased to announce the expansion of their Telecommunications, Media and Technology Practice, under the leadership of Peer Hackman.

Peer joins Webhelp as Managing Director for TMT. He brings a wealth of knowledge to the business with over 20 years’ experience in leadership, consulting and operational roles with CSPs, technology vendors, management consultancies and media start-ups.

He is supported by a global team of industry consultants, customer experience specialists, customer engagement operations experts, analysts, data scientists and engineers, who work with our clients to transform and create value from customer engagement and experience engineering. This practice brings together specialists who transform customer experience excellence into profitable growth and run your customer operations at greater efficiency and lower costs.


Commenting on the TMT expansion, David Turner, CEO of Webhelp UK said:

“Telecommunications is a diverse and hugely important sector of the global economy, which has provided a crucial  role during the pandemic in keeping individual and businesses connected, media companies entertaining and informing us, and technology vendors providing the devices and infrastructure. However, the gap between these sectors in shareholder returns has widened. All businesses have realised that customer engagement, experience and trust is THE decisive enabler to produce sustainable growth and expansion in uncertain times. Peer and his practice are working with leading operators, media businesses and technology vendors to help them mature their digital transformations across strategy, customer engagement, operations, culture, technology and data, to build sustainable, resilient and highly profitable future-facing businesses.”


Peer Hackman, Managing Director for TMT, continues:

“Webhelp and Gobeyond Partners provide end-to-end capabilities – from assessing our clients’ digital and CX maturity, to helping them to shape their customer engagement strategy to drive business performance, to engineering profitable customer experiences and providing holistic customer engagement solutions. We are uniquely placed to deliver transformative programmes which help clients grow the value of their existing customers, open new market opportunities, drive down the cost base, increase revenue and improve customer satisfaction.

“I’m delighted to be joining the team at Webhelp and Gobeyond Partners and look forward to bringing customer engagement transformation solutions to the often complex challenges faced by their prestigious client base.”



Webhelp announces partnership to help the hospitality industry bounce back with award winning fintech Yoello

Webhelp, a global leader in customer experience and business solutions, is supporting Yoello as it accelerates its growth in the UK and into Europe.

Yoello’s simple and secure mobile ordering solution allows customers to order food and drink from the comfort of their table by scanning a QR code, using any phone and without downloading an app. With COVID safety in mind, Yoello minimises unnecessary contact, removes queues and replaces physical menus.

Webhelp is providing the order and pay platform with B2B outbound sales support and will be helping the company onboard new clients to meet the spike in demand following the new measures introduced to the hospitality sector.

Yoello, which is offering new clients a free 3 month trial of its mobile table ordering platform, will benefit from Webhelp’s highly-skilled experts, a bespoke sales model, market intelligence and analytics.

David Turner, Webhelp UK Region CEO, said:

“Our people bring unrivalled expertise and a start-up mentality that is essential for innovative and ambitious firms like Yoello. It’s exciting to partner with a fast-growing fintech that is helping the hospitality industry adapt by keeping employees and guests safe. From the beginning Webhelp embraced an entrepreneurial spirit which remains at the very heart of everything we do, even 20 years later.  Our founders are still as passionate to this day, and their continued leadership enables us to help exciting technology innovators like Yoello to prosper in their own journey.”

Sina Yamani, CEO of Yoello, said:

“We’re so pleased that Webhelp is able to provide valuable insight and support for our business at this exciting time. Yoello is helping the hospitality industry move seamlessly to a safe and easy way to serve food and drink and Webhelp is a perfect partner – together we’re enabling even more operators to take a data-driven approach to social distancing.”

The fast growing fintech received recognition last week (Thursday 1st October) at the Wales Start-up awards, picking up the award for Fintech Start-up of the Year and Mobile and Emerging Technologies Start-up of the Year. Now in their fifth year, the awards are exclusive to Welsh companies that have launched within the last three years and provide a unique opportunity to recognise the achievements of those entrepreneurs that are making an incredible impact on the Welsh economy.

Find out how Yoello is supporting thousands of hospitality businesses through mobile order and pay technology – ​

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.


“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.

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 – 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.


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.”

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.


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