How videos are used by remote sellers to accelerate business growth

Never before in the history of B2B selling has buyer behavior been more in sync with remote selling motions. To sell and attract new businesses or take buyers through the sales funnel, remote sellers must include the use of synchronous and asynchronous video. 

This has created the perfect alignment between buyer behavior and remote sales motions. Subsequently, the implementation of video in all its formats is key to keeping the sales pipeline full and ensuring a Return on Investment (ROI). 

Asynchronous videos do not occur in real-time and subsequently, will incur some delay. An email or recorded video, video voicemail, video messages, screen shares, etc, all fall within this category. They’re easier to consume, can be rewatched, shared far and wide, allow for better quality viewing and offer more control. In short, asynchronous sales messaging enables sales people to reach more prospects and start more sales conversations.

On the flip-side, creating videos does take time and a salesperson has to wait for response, once the video has been shared.

Synchronous videos occur at exactly the same time. This form of communication includes video conference calls, phone calls, face-to-face conversations, etc. However, this can cause fatigue, be contingent on bandwidth/internet connections, or result in reduced audio or visual quality. 

Use of video to create empathy and trust 

Video messaging enables a member of your sales team to show compassion and cut through the noise of today’s selling environment to build trust. Video messages or live video calls, can occur via zoom, FaceTime, or Twitter spaces, to name a few, in conjunction with other modes of communication, such as the mobile, chat or email.

The omnichannel remote selling experience is the now the hallmark of modern-selling and part and parcel ofB2B sales. 

For example, a channel sales person can send a video reminder for an upcoming meeting and then a video follow-up after the meeting, to connect at a much deeper level. Alternatively, a prospect can start a conversation over chat and receive a follow-up email with an embedded video specifically addressing a prospect’s pain points or purchasing needs. 

Personalized sales video messaging delivered through email can be tracked and measured, allowing a sales person to more effectively plan the next stage of the buyer journey. Consequently, including a video in sales emails outreach can improve click rates by a staggering 96%. 

In some instances, a client or prospect may prefer to deactivate their camera, but are perfectly comfortable with speaking to sales team member if they are out and about. This connection fosters increased engagement and trust, as the prospect doesn’t have to wait until they arrive at work or reach home for a response. 

Videos can increase a salesperson’s productivity

In today’s world, time zones and schedules matter. People in your team may find it difficult to attend video calls at a fixed time. They might be receiving calls at the expense of their productivity. 

On the flip side, recorded videos allow plenty of flexibility. Your team can watch (at whatever speed they like – they can speed the video up, too) when it’s suitable for them, and even re-watch if required. 

Feedback videos

When you’re not in the office, a salesperson can substitute a feedback loop with a quick video, when they cannot meet a sales colleague in person. This is better than sending multiple texts or emails which not only take time to review, but may not convey what they’re trying to say due to lack of vocal expression. 

Product demonstrations via video increase conversions

Recorded and live product demonstration can supplement showrooms by augmenting the user experience from anywhere in the world. 

In the B2B world, this means that sales are able to provide additional personalization within all their interactions, thereby allowing prospects to take the lead to explore and shape their own experience for the most value. 

  • 90% of customers state that product videos help them when making purchasing decisions. 
  • 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video. 
  • Importantly, recorded product videos can be repurposed on a company website, social channels or personal live call, thereby decreasing the cost of sales and maximising reach. 

Video content is easy to consume and allows a prospect to retain more information. A salesperson can convey tone and expression effortlessly to reinforce the intuitu personae so crucial to establish with a client. 

Video streaming services are leading to success

There are many steaming platforms used to showcase a product or service: from social media platforms to Microsoft applications, virtual event apps or Zoom. Therefore, using the right streaming service to deliver a successful campaign is vital. 

Most people are visual learners. Therefore, if a prospect can see your sales person whilst speaking about your product or service, how it works, and how it could benefit them, they are more likely to engage with your sales person in a conversation. Importantly, executives are more likely to take action via a video. A Forbes report: Video in the C-Suite indicates that 65% of senior executives have visited a vendor’s website after watching a video and that 59% of decision makers prefer to watch a video rather than reading an article. It is also easier to retain information, thereby increasing sales conversion. 

Prospecting via video enables a sales person to stand out from the crowd and capture their attention. In this instance, the seller can introduce themselves, provide their value proposition and have a call to action. “These are methods we use for our own prospecting. In a daily life made of multiple solicitations, a video message is much more memorable than lines of text: the pitch is fluid, the seller’s intention is clearly conveyed, intimacy is created,” observes Alexandre Barthel, Global Head of Demand at Webhelp. 

Another popular personalization method is to include a screenshot of the prospect’s LinkedIn profile or website within a video. This highlights the effort a sales person took to research the prospect on LinkedIn and learn more about them.

Harnessing videos in proposals

Remote sellers can go beyond sending an email with an attached proposal and actually record a video outlining each point of the proposal and the next steps. It can even be useful when going over any legal issues and contract details. 

Finally, the seller can create a video thanking the client for their time and handing over the client to the Customer Success manager or other members of the business. 

Video as a training and equipping vehicle

Should you need to guide your team on how to use a particular type of software, or if you need to provide step-by-step instructions on a task, how-to videos are ideal. These types of videos are great for knowledge sharing and are also perfect for reaching out to the B2B audience. 

Video streaming services are leading to success

Although we can’t choose the video steaming platform for you, we can tell you what has worked for our clients to build successful relationships, engagement, and revenue growth. 

Using channels such as video, social and digital marketing to drive sales, meet targets, ramp up new service offerings, track and measure video engagement with prospects, is fuelling the B2B sales pipeline. 

Furthermore, joint content creation between talented, multilingual teams, using video streaming, enables a collaborative and flexible approach leading to new and recurrent sales.​ 

Video plays a significant role with driving sales through engaging social channels and digital marketing platforms, when displaying service offerings, thereby providing the quintessential omnichannel selling. 

Video enables businesses to be innovative and to differentiate themselves amongst their competitors. We believe that understanding the power of technology and a human mindset approach, connects you with your customers to achieve the most value. With video becoming a strong contender due to growing audience popularity within the digital space, we believe it has untold power to deliver a game-changing experience. 

Get in touch with an expert

Get in touch to find out how you can optimize video success in your business strategy.
 

Speak with us today
SHARE

Onyx banner

Webhelp expands footprint in Americas with OneLink

Global BPO Webhelp Acquires OneLink to Expand Operations in the Americas for Customer Experience Services and Solutions

 

Complementary CX brands bring a game-changing, holistic approach to CX in the digital world, creating modern customer experience journeys for client brands.

PARIS — July 13, 2021 — Webhelp, a leading global provider of customer experience (CX) and business solutions, has announced its intent to acquire OneLink, an innovator in digitally-enabled CX, BPO and technology services supporting tier one brands throughout the United States, Europe, and Latin America. OneLink clients include progressive hyper-growth technology brands in areas such as shared mobility, e-commerce, fintech, fitness tech and payment apps, etc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Following the acquisition, which is subject to approval of the relevant regulatory authorities, Webhelp will have revenues in excess of U.S. $2.4B, with 190 locations across 55 countries and more than 90,000 employees globally.

“Webhelp and OneLink share a similar culture and challenger mentality. We both create disruptive experiences in the digital world that position our clients as customer-focused organizations, helping them build brand loyalty and create revenue,” said Olivier Duha, co-founder and CEO of Webhelp. “Together, our combined value will offer clients access to additional locations and extended customer service and support capabilities, as well as the strength of our combined innovation in digital and technology-driven customer experience solutions.”

Webhelp continues to expand its global footprint and service offerings through organic growth and M&A activities, including 13 acquisitions in the past five years. The company recently acquired Dynamicall, now Webhelp Peru, expanding operations to support the U.S., LatAm, and European markets. Adding OneLink offers a significant expanded footprint across Latin America, an attractive best-shoring mix, and top-level nearshore capabilities for the U.S. market, as well as next-generation in-house technology solutions.

Key to the Webhelp-OneLink deal was a complementary solutions portfolio and a focus on creating exceptional human experiences aimed at driving success for clients. Both companies have built a culture of imaginative, passionate people, who are driven to build value for clients across challenging industries such as consumer tech, industrial, e-commerce, health, and finance. In a world that’s increasingly digital, both organizations are keen on leveraging the positive multiplier effects from bringing together people and technology to create incredible, seamless customer journeys. In addition, both organizations are founder-led, creating a like-minded approach to growing a global business based on the strength of an empowered workforce.

“We’re very proud of our team of Incredybles who have driven our success over the past eight years. We are all excited about joining forces with the Webhelp family,” said Eduardo Salazar, CEO and co-founder of OneLink BPO. Combining our strengths opens up opportunities to continue making real impact for our clients, our people and the communities where we work, driven by a shared ambition of creating inclusive and sustainable value.”

According to Sandrine Asseraf, Webhelp’s Group Managing Director North America, the natural fit of the companies and teams was clear from the first conversation. OneLink’s purpose-focused approach is closely aligned with Webhelp’s. Both brands are driven by a mutual and ambitious people-first culture dedicated to making a real impact for employees and clients by challenging the old ways of engaging and supporting end customers.

For Webhelp, Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE served as exclusive financial advisor while Latham & Watkins LLP served as legal counsel.  For OneLink, Rothschild & Co served as exclusive financial advisor while Greenberg Traurig, LLP served as legal counsel.

Onyx banner

About Webhelp

Webhelp designs, delivers, and optimizes unforgettable human experiences for today’s digital world – creating game-changing customer journeys. From sales to service, content moderation to credit management, Webhelp is an end-to-end partner across all B2C and B2B customer journeys. Its 80,000 passionate employees across more than 50 countries thrive on making a difference for the world’s most exciting brands. Webhelp is currently owned by its management and Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (Euronext: GBLB), a leading global investment holding, as of November 2019.

About OneLink BPO

OneLink provides digitally enabled CX, BPO, and technology services to leading North and Latin American clients through a comprehensive portfolio of complex front, middle & back office, chatbots, AI, and various other automation services.

OneLink operates 17 centers in Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Colombia, and Brazil and employs over 14.000 people – the Incredybles. The company has grown since inception at a +30% CAGR. The company is currently owned by New York based private equity firm One Equity Partners (OEP) and current members of the OneLink management team.

Advisors to the deal

Webhelp

  • Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE – Paris Branch / exclusive financial advisor
  • Latham & Watkins LLP / Legal advisor
  • Linklaters LLP / Tax structuring advisor and legal advisor on the financing
  • KKR Capital Management & Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE – Paris Branch / financing provider
  • Alvarez & Marsal / Financial and Tax due diligence advisor
  • Roland Berger / Commercial due diligence advisor
  • Auctus Advisors / IT Technical due diligence advisor

OneLink Holdings

  • Rothschild & Co / exclusive financial advisor
  • Greenberg Traurig, LLP / legal counsel to OneLink Holdings and One Equity Partners,
  • KPMG / financial and tax diligence support


social media

Webhelp Ranked Highly Across all Aspects of Social Media by Leading Analyst NelsonHall

social media

Firm announces host of analyst accolades 

Paris, France , 11 February 2021  

The leading global customer experience (CX) and business solutions provider, Webhelp has been recognized by top-ranking industry analyst, NelsonHall, for its social media capabilities. 

The firm was recognized across three core areas: customer care and sales capability; online reputation management capability; and content moderation, trust and safety capability.  

NelsonHall’s Evaluation & Assessment Tool (NEAT), part of a “speed-to-source” initiative, enables strategic sourcing managers to assess vendors’ capabilities to identify the industry’s best performers during the sourcing selection process. The methodology specifically evaluates the quality of players’ abilities in several categories, such as technology and tools, service innovation, geographic footprint, and scalability, amongst others. 

“We are thrilled that NelsonHall has recognized our social media capabilities. Now more than ever, and in an increasingly digital world, businesses need to deliver high-quality and trustworthy customer experience interactions. Webhelp has a diverse range of digitally enabled services, which allow us to support global brands with their social media interactions and reputation and work with social media platforms and marketplaces themselves to support a safer online environment for users. We are very proud of our achievements in this space,” said Webhelp Co-Founder Olivier Duha.  

Ivan KotzevNelsonHall CX Services analyst, said:

“Webhelp’s strong performance in social media support and sales is built on a fundament of proprietary technology, channel management experience, and CX consulting capability. Notable is the company’s expertise in lead generation and sales activities on social channels, an increasing priority for brands looking to meet their customers on these channels.” 

Webhelp’s extensive capabilities and growing global footprint continue to be validated by the analyst community, with esteemed U.S.-based analyst, Gartner, naming Webhelp as a Niche Player. This builds on the analyst’s reporting of Webhelp as a Rising Star in 2019/20, as the business further establishes its reputation as an industry disrupter and credible alternative to the more traditional players in the North American market. 

These recent accolades amplify Webhelp’s current positioning by global analyst Everest Group as a Leader in Customer Experience Management (CXM) in its PEAK Matrix® Assessment 2020, as well as a Leader in its CXM in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) Services PEAK Matrix, recognizing Webhelp as being particularly strong in terms of both vision and capability. The Everest Group positioning extends to a new report where Webhelp is recognized as a Major Contender in work-from-home solutions amongst other global players.  

Everest Group wrote in its WAHA (Work aHome Agent) CXM Services PEAK Matrix Assessment:

“Webhelp is driving digital transformation through cloud adoption, CX consulting, and automation by partnering with technology vendors such as Amazon Connect, MS Azure, and UiPath, utilizing their platforms as per clients requirements.” 

 


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.

 


How AI and data analytics can support vulnerable customers

Well before the COVID-19 pandemic began, the identification and protection of vulnerable customers was a significant focus for companies and regulators. Here James Allen, Chief Risk & Technology Officer for Webelp UK Group looks at the impact it will have, now and in the future.

In these testing times, the identification and protection of vulnerable customers will now assume even more importance as organisations work on proactively recognising customers who need assistance, prior to the predicted surge in demand for financial support - as aids like employee furloughs, payment holidays and credit schemes end.

Worryingly, prior to the outbreak over half of the UK population were already financially vulnerable, with one in six people unable to cope with a £50 increase in monthly bills, according to a survey of Britain’s personal finances by the City regulator. The Financial Conduct Authority’s biggest ever survey of households found that 4.1 million people are already in serious financial difficulty, falling behind with bills and credit card payments, with 25- to 34-year-olds the most over-indebted.

Furthermore, 50% of adults (over 25.6 million people) “display one or more characteristics that signal their potential vulnerability” and just under 8 million are over-indebted.

And this is not limited to the UK, as the 2019 Prosperity Now Scorecard finds that forty percent of American households lack a basic level of savings and don’t have enough savings to make ends meet at the poverty level for three months if their income was interrupted. Almost half (48.1%) of Americans with credit had scores below prime and 20% of households had no credit in the past 12 months and were likely to be without access to it.

Furthermore, a report from the ING Group states that southern European economies like Italy and Spain are especially vulnerable to the economic effects of COVID, exacerbated by the importance of tourism which accounts for at least 13% of GDP and about 15% of total employment. They also have a larger share of vulnerable workers and a higher chance of bankruptcies due to firm size.

However, throughout all this we must remember that vulnerability can be a temporary and fluctuating status, with many causes, including mental health, dementia, changes in employment and personal circumstances, literacy, numeracy and socioeconomic factors.  It is key to use technology to help people on an individual basis, never forgetting that unique set of circumstances they may be experiencing.

Plus, regulators will be keeping a close eye on these new developments, and the pressure may soon be on firms to use all available routes to safeguard customers and prevent the global financial crisis from deepening.

So the question for many global companies has become, in the post COVID world, how do we identify and support customers who are financially vulnerable, without compromising operational efficiency?

And this is especially important for us at Webhelp, as we carry a people-first commitment and our think human value through to the customer base of over 32 clients in the UK, India and South Africa.

It’s clear that data analysis and artificial intelligence (AI) is already changing the way that companies offer support to their most vulnerable customers, and that this may play a part in reshaping the regulatory landscape. While establishing if someone is vulnerable and how best to support them is a very human judgment, at Webhelp we believe that sensitive and careful use of data, using AI to segment, can help direct the right customer support teams to the right people, spotting potential issues before they become a problem.

We combine the very best in technology and skilled people to create the best outcomes, as Chris Bryson, Webhelp Global Data & Analytics Director explains:

“We’re helping clients leave no stone unturned to reveal customer vulnerability. Whether customers tell us directly that they’re experiencing issues, or if they show characteristics of someone who can be vulnerable; using analytics from customer contacts and records helps us and our clients see those signals clearly.

We use our own unique speech and text analytics engine, which is applied to advisor and automated customer conversations. The resulting Voice of the Customer analytics drives constant improvements in the way we measure quality and enhances the overall customer experience.

As a result, we can help our clients to spot vulnerable customers who would otherwise slip through the net. At the heart, it’s about helping our advisors to better support that customer, and working with our clients to ensure they are recognising these signs of vulnerability.”

By using this insight, and access to the best analytical technology, and to the right people to put this in action for the greater good, we can confidently move forwards and create a better financial environment for both clients and customers in the future.

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

 

 

 


How AI is changing the retail experience

As part of our #servicereimagined series, Helen Murray, Chief Customer Solutions Officer for the UK Region, looks at how Artificial Intelligence is influencing the retail sector, how it is being used to leverage new customer service models and why brands must evolve to embrace this unstoppable wave, or risk falling behind the curve.

Whilst I love a good movie, the fictional relationship with Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not a happy one – and almost universally results in a troubled experience for the human! The silver screen, and latterly the internet, often warns of the dangers of pitting man against machine, but in reality AI has seamlessly, quietly and unobtrusively embedded itself into our daily lives.

AI shares our homes, guides us when we travel, takes our selfie when we socialise and influences our retail and leisure activities, and it may well have become the most indispensable tool of the 21st century.

Beyond the media tropes, today AI is firmly focused on problem solving, by making millions of decisions at a basic level without human intervention. Machine learning allows processes to adjust to new inputs, and avoid pitfalls based on experience. Essentially it uses multi-layered data analysis to predict patterns and, in some cases, to uncover and direct customer behaviours.

It is much simpler, more benign and much, much more useful to business than its movie counterpart.

Dave Pattman, Director of CX Services at Gobeyond Partners, part of the Webhelp Group, sheds some light on this when he says;

“Whilst AI is everywhere, most experts agree that business is currently using the narrowest point in the definition, by enhancing brand delivery with mathematics, statistics, machine learning, deep learning and big data. However, even in its simplest form AI is making a radical difference, and is visually in our daily lives in our smart home device functions, autonomous vehicles and predictive text.”

 “AI solutions are being developed in a broad range of sectors, and will inevitably be used for common business tasks like auto classification and recommendation services, which will streamline operations and drive revenue. However, the real benefit will come to those business that combine next level AI technology with the right skilled personnel – and use this to stimulate and track consumer emotions!”

But what does AI mean for retailers?

Both physical and virtual retailers could see a benefit of integrating AI into their processes, to improve task management and customer insight. As we reported in our blog on the future of retail post COVID-19, shoppers will be looking for a more experiential real journey, and traditional brick and mortar enterprises will have to work harder to compete. As the storefront.com magazine reports:

“Brands need to reimagine the total in-store experience, and technology is key. In-store technologies must be able to solve business processes and incorporate planning and strategy, rather than just implementing flashy, PR-driven technology. It’s crucial that retailers effectively merge technology and function, which is why AI is at the forefront of in-store tech.”

However, I believe that it is in customer service management where AI has the most significant potential for change, gathering detailed customer patterns and preferences, capturing both short term consumer market fluctuations and informing longer term business planning.

As AI grows more and more prevalent, at Webhelp we are also exploring language processing for the purposes of automation, as Chris Bryson, Webhelp Global Data & Analytics Director explains:

“The direct interaction between customer and machine is allowing us to analyse conversations, at scale, and to make recommendations. We have developed own speech and text analytics engine, which we apply to agent and automated customer conversations.

At Webhelp, this is deployed to drive efficiency in our measurement of quality and to create CX improvements through actionable Voice of The Customer analytics”

When intelligent algorithms are used to process customer and sales data, there is a wealth of actionable and valuable information to be discovered. Intelligent chat bots, voice analytics and word recognition are also changing the game for retail customer service. And, as David Turner, Webhelp CEO for the UK region, Webhelp are at the forefront:

“We have already made significant investments in our digital and automation capabilities to help clients improve customer experience and reduce costs using digital self-service, and leverage technologies such as chatbots to reduce volumes of non-complex and low value interactions. At the same time, we are identifying where human support adds value to digital experiences. Providing guidance and support to customers during high value, complex and emotionally important journeys.”

These technologies are unavoidable, and brands must learn how best to use them to their advantage, as Craig Gibson Chief Commercial Officer Webhelp UK recognises:

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

To discover more about how to leverage customer service models in this new world, I would suggest that you read our new Whitepaper, a joint publication with Gobeyond Partners, on Reimagining service for the new world, which aims to address these crucial questions and is underpinned by our unique industry perspective alongside new research to discover the operating models of the future.


Demand Marketing guides salespeople to the best business opportunities

(Article published initially in French in Actionco.fr)

Selling is hard. More than ever, marketing-commerce congruence is essential to accelerate growth by generating higher value qualified leads. 

While the first two thirds of the B2B customer journey is now in digital form, "it is essential to stimulate the customer as soon as he prepares to make a purchasealone, online, to help the business to make this purchase intention a reality", underlines Alexandre Barthel, Marketing Director at Webhelp Enterprise. 

From data to information, from information to action 

Demand Marketing is above all based on data: "The ability to collect data to extract information is crucial to understand your audience and address them in a personalized way, the antipodes of the "’mass’ Direct Marketing actions of 20 years ago". It is now a multitude of highly targeted marketing campaigns that delivers value and feeds Lead Scoring. This method consists of allocating points according to behaviour within a digital path: opening an e-mail, clickingvisiting a site, etc., in order to produce a ranking reflecting the prospect's interest in the commercial offer and his propensity to buy. The objective is to guide the sales force in priority towards these opportunitiesReinforced by automation, Demand Marketing plays a major role more than ever in generating leads, in a daily life without trade shows or even face-to-face meetings. 

Key figures  

 - Between 27% and 40%: this is the average contribution of marketing to turnover (source: Markletic March 2020) 

 - 69%: this is the share of companies that make the generation of qualified leads their top priority for 2020 (source: Hubspot) 

Predicting buying behaviour 

Beyond the essential work of segmentation, marketers are sometimes helped by data scientists to create predictive models: "it is a question of anticipating the need, in order to take proactive action, for example to retain a subscriber for whom signals of risk of termination have been detected"These models are now reinforced by web listening’ techniques, which consist of analysing online interactions to detect purchase intentions. The retailer can then propose an adapted offer, but "it goes without saying that the posture towards the customer, in particular the tone of the message, must be benevolent enough to be perceived positively," notes Alexandre Barthel 

 Social Selling completes the generation of demand  

 Demand Marketing is extended by an individual approach with Social Selling. The modern seller appropriates the brand's marketing content to share it with his ecosystem on social networks. Here again, the goal is to generate business. "This mastery of social selling has become the standard in sales to accurately identify and contact decision-makers. In addition to generating business opportunitiesthis approach enhances the expertise of the sales representativewho makes a commitment on behalf of the brand to a wide audience," says Alexandre Barthel. 

Would you like an audit of your sales model and evaluate the value of marketing campaigns to feed your sales force? Get in touch with specialists.  

 


WFH – Best practices of effectively managing a team – Part 2

One of the greatest misconceptions about managing a remote team is that it exclusively needs a new set of skills. However, managers must work harder to foster a positive team dynamic to ensure remote workers feel part and parcel of the whole group as they would in the office. It requires a constant proactive approach. And below are additional best practices to ensure that you stay in sync with your remote working team.

Remember their career paths
It's common for a team manager to focus on the main agenda or project at a given time often forgetting that the team members have their career goals. Despite them being virtual, they too have goals and aspirations. It's important to ensure they make progression in their careers for growth and self-development to avoid frustration and confusion. Having regular one to one conversation brings you to understanding their individual career development aspirations.

Balance schedule inconveniences
With regards to virtual teams that work globally, be flexible in understanding that your team members operate on different environments with change in time zones. It's thus your responsibility to entrust your team with freedom and flexibility to get their work done on the schedule that helps them to be more productive rather than being rigid on the assigned time schedule. They should however keep it consistent.

Remote friendly whiteboarding
As a manager, it is your duty to create a simulation of what other office going employees typically use to share documents or during brainstorming sessions. Tools like Teams, Mural, Miro, Parabol, Google Docs are optimal for remote teams. They engage, empower and assists in the easy execution of tasks within the teams. These online tools enhance collaboration and also provide creative spaces for the remote teams to exchange ideas.

Meet in person when possible
As a way of strengthening the bond within your team members, it's admissible to meet occasionally if the work setting isn’t fully remote. This helps in nurturing a sense of belonging as well as a way of creating a team feeling. The energy from these meetings is always high and provides an opportunity to have even further discussions around the vision, culture and the team’s future objectives.

Owing to the current obligatory social distancing measures resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, many companies have resulted to embrace virtual working and are benefiting from these best practices to effectively manage their remote teams. At Webhelp we pride ourselves in providing professional, adequate and timely services by using our remarkable remote working culture integrated in our business model right from our company’s founding.