Webhelp UK wins Cycle Friendly Employer Award

Webhelp UK Falkirk wins The Cycle Friendly Employer Award, a national accolade for Scottish organisations committed to increasing cycling.

 

 

 

Over the last year Chris Wilson, Webhelp UK Environmental Coordinator Falkirk, has been working with the local council to help promote more sustainable means of transport to and from the workplace as part of the 'Take the right Route' scheme.

Ideally, as part of our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, we want to carry on with this initiative and hopefully roll it out cross-site in the future.

Chris said “Webhelp UK is one of the few organisations that has been pro-active in asking for assistance from a council to help highlight sustainable transport.  Cycling Scotland was pleased to recognise Webhelp UK Falkirk as a Cycle Friendly Employer.  Ideally, as part of our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, we want to carry on with this initiative and hopefully roll it out cross-site in the future.

Travel Clinics have been held at the site and a Top Gear style commuter challenge was organised with the help of our Engagement Ambassadors and site lead Gordon McDowall – a keen cycling enthusiast.  We are also investigating the possibility of hosting a commuter training course at the Falkirk site which will be run by Cycling Scotland in the near future.”

Cycling Scotland is the national cycle promotion organisation for Scotland, who is working to establish cycling as an acceptable, attractive and practical lifestyle option.


Webhelp UK Highly Commended for Best Outsourcing Partnership

Webhelp UK was Highly Commended for Best Outsourcing Partnership at the European Call Centre and Customer Service Awards 2012.

 

 

 

The was event hosted in the Hilton hotel in London’s Park Lane and was attended by Webhelp UK personnel including CEO David Turner, Directors Andy Doig, Helen Murray and Michael Galvin.

We were up against some fierce competition, so it is a fantastic achievement to be singled out for this distinction – David Turner, CEO

Commenting on the success of the evening David Turner said, “I am absolutely delighted, that both Vodafone and ourselves have been recognised by the industry.  We were up against some fierce competition, so it is a fantastic achievement to be singled out for this distinction.  It has put Webhelp UK firmly in the spotlight as a heavyweight contender, but we couldn't’ have achieved this without the incredible passion and teamwork from everyone involved in our joint team with Vodafone.”


Royal seal of approval for Webhelp UK

Webhelp UK Dearne Valley receives official visit from the Duke of York.

 

The South Yorkshire centre has been a part of the Webhelp UK network since 2004 and employee numbers there have virtually trebled in the past eight years.

Over 830 staff now work there for clients such as Vodafone, E-on and Office Depot and a number of employees had the chance to meet and chat with our VIP visitor as he toured the site – regularly stopping to chat en route.

Welcomed by Sunil Kant Munjal, Webhelp UK Chairman and escorted round the site by company CEO David Turner, the Duke was keen to speak to as many staff as possible and learn many aspects of the job.

The Royal visitor asked a variety of questions. “How long have you worked here” “What opportunities have you had to progress?” – the positive and confident answers explaining why the site continues to grow with an ongoing recruitment and training programme to bring new jobs to the area.

The fact that the Duke of York stayed well over his allotted time and spoke to so many of our staff underlines the positive impression they made with him. - David Turner, CEO

At the end of an informative visit, His Royal Highness unveiled a commemorative plaque and had words of encouragement and praise for the staff he had met.

His Royal Highness visited Webhelp UK following an invitation extended by Sunil Kant Munjal, Webhelp UK Chairman, during The Duke of York’s Diamond Jubilee visit to India in May of this year..

David Turner was delighted at the visit and the response from His Royal Highness.

“The Duke of York had a busy diary on the day – with a number of different engagements in the area,” said the CEO. “The fact that he stayed well over his allotted time and spoke to so many of our staff underlines the positive impression they made with him.

“I was immensely proud of them all.”


Royal visit for Webhelp UK

HRH The Duke of York to visit Webhelp UK Dearne Valley Centre.

 

 

 

 

 

One of the UK’s fastest growing customer management companies is to receive a royal visit later this week.

The Duke of York, KG will visit the Dearne Valley (Rotherham) operation of Webhelp UK on Thursday (September 20) and learn more of the philosophies and innovative training programmes that have seen staff numbers on the site nearly treble in the past eight years.

His Royal Highness is visiting following an invitation extended by Sunil Kant Munjal, Webhelp UK Chairman, during The Duke of York’s Diamond Jubilee visit to India in May 2012.

When Webhelp UK took over the former T-Mobile site in 2004, staff numbers had dwindled to less than 300. Today the thriving South Yorkshire centre has over 830 employees working for leading trade names such as Vodafone, E.ON and Office Depot – with an ongoing recruitment and training programme to bring new jobs to the area.

Chief Executive Officer David Turner will escort His Royal Highness around the site on Thursday and he is proud of the company’s UK-wide growth in recent years – in particular the increasing role of the Dearne Valley operation.

I am confident that His Royal Highness will find his visit here both interesting and enlightening. We are proud of our achievements here – and determined to keep on the front foot. -  David Turner, CEO

“We are well aware of our importance to the community and are delighted that has been recognised by The Duke of York.

“In difficult economic times, we have managed to grow our business, from long-term strategic partnerships with blue chip clients and bring vital jobs here and across other areas of the UK.

“A large percentage of that recruitment is among 16 to 24 year olds, where there is great concern nationwide at the high level of unemployment in that age group.

“His Royal Highness is particularly interested in all aspects of youth training and employment and during his visit he will meet our Head of Youth Employability and be given an overview of our in-house training programme – our Customer Excellence Academy.

“The Duke of York will meet a cross-section of our staff - from senior managers to recent recruits and, I hope, be impressed by the can-do attitude and professionalism of all.

“I am confident that His Royal Highness will find his visit here both interesting and enlightening. We are proud of our achievements here – and determined to keep on the front foot.”

Webhelp UK is one of the UK’s leading customer management companies – with 5350 staff spread over 10 UK sites.


Social media in contact centres – a winners combination

Social media is now a key channel for delivering excellent customer experience.

Andrew Merrick, Digital Analyst

The social media revolution

In life there will always be winners and losers, those who embrace change and those who have to be dragged kicking and screaming towards it. Historically, call centres have relied on the telephone as their preferred method of customer engagement and interaction and it’s been the main source of influence on brand awareness and customer satisfaction: how last century.

65% of consumers now believe that social media is a far better way to communicate with businesses rather than through the traditional call centre routes on offer. – information from Fishburn Hedges & Echo Research.

Fast forward to 2012 and the phenomenal rise of social media, and have a look at recent figures. According to a study by Fishburn Hedges & Echo Research, a staggering 65% of consumers now believe that social media is a far better way to communicate with businesses rather than through the traditional call centre routes on offer.

Sure, everyone’s starting to take notice, but too few are engaging properly with social media outside of global giants like Avaya (Link), which has recently introduced mobile and social features into their software.

Social media customer service: the facts

So why use social media in a call centre? Consumers are spending 22% of their time on social sites, and are becoming increasingly vocal online about their day-to-day life, including their experiences with call centres. A website set up by Fonolo – onholdwith.com – pulls live tweets from customers who are complaining they’re “stuck on hold” as a way of amplifying the need for businesses to become more aware of social as a viable contact method.

62% of consumers have used social media for customer service issues. – information from Zendesk

It’s important to remember that we live in a multichannel age, and it’s fast becoming the norm for consumers to expect companies to engage with them on their chosen platform of communication first time round.  So it seems reasonable to acknowledge that, according to recent research, 62% of consumers have used social media for customer service issues (Zendesk).

This change in consumer behaviour making online or social the first point of contact before resorting to phoning is already great news for call centres and their clients. It could potentially make huge in-roads into lowering call volumes by dealing with the most common queries through social used in combination with an online knowledge base.

Social media savvy consumers are demanding a superior service niftily delivered and to the touch point of their choice.

Another contributing factor to consumer’s high levels of service expectation is smartphone adoption. There are approximately 5 billion mobile phones in the world, 1.08 billion of which are smartphones.  Surely the convenience of posting on a Facebook page, or sending a tweet, outweighs the rigmarole of IVR and waiting in a queue?

Astonishingly though, only 29% of complaints on Twitter were responded to, but reassuringly 83% of complaints on Facebook are liked when a business responds expediently.  This clearly demonstrates that increasingly social media savvy consumers are demanding a superior service niftily delivered and to the touch point of their choice.

Social media won’t kill the call centre

Social media shouldn’t have the industry quaking in its boots and it categorically doesn’t spell the end for call centres. It is already proven that they can work symbiotically.

Social networks can be used to schedule call backs with customers to resolve difficult or complex issues, whereas simple private messaging can be used to resolve less complex issues. Another way to optimise service would be to use SM as a broadcast platform, for instance, to inform and update customers on say a system outage. Businesses should be embracing these online interactions and transforming them into a positive experience for their customer base and a cost saving exercise for their clients, rather than adopting a nervous twitch at the thought of change.

 


How Health and Safety can save your business money

Health and Safety may be seen as the unnecessary evil of the workplace but it can be a financial benefit. 

Glyn Beech, Head of Safety, Health and Environment

How good Health and Safety can benefit your business

The reluctance to accept the extremely positive and productive effect Safety, Health and the Environment can have on a business can be detrimental both legally and financially.

The fact is, that more and more companies are eager to be viewed as both safe and environmentally friendly, and increasingly they will only deal with like-minded businesses – so having a forward thinking Safety, Health and Environment department who actively seek to win valuable accreditations is tremendously constructive to any business.

By constantly identifying new opportunities to cut costs and be more environmentally savvy, my team have saved the company tens of thousands of pounds in terms of reducing the amount of wasted energy in electricity, gas and water.

It is testimony to our business, as a forward thinker, that we are committed to doing the right thing by addressing the delicate balance between maintaining profitability and reducing environmental impact.  We regularly engage with our employees and share best practice and tips.  We ask them for their input, comments on health, safety and green issues, and this interaction genuinely helps our employees feel part of our business through their contributions.

There are many other direct benefits to embracing energy management.  By constantly identifying new opportunities to cut costs and be more environmentally savvy, my team have saved the company tens of thousands of pounds in terms of reducing the amount of wasted energy in electricity, gas and water.

The importance that Safety, Health and Environment has in the workplace, and the knock-on effect in doing the right thing, has not just re-affirmed his department as a necessary part of the mechanics of the company, in respect of the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues, but in retaining and gaining clients and thereby assuring job security.

Our Safety, Health and Environmental team have worked extremely hard to win two internationally recognised and accepted accreditations - International Standard Organisation (ISO 14001) and the Occupational Health and Safety (OHSAS 18001).  Whether we have these very valuable accreditations, is one of the first questions a potential new client will ask, and maintaining them is part of the reason we as a business continue to be successful.

 

 


Happy employees deliver great customer experience

Webhelp UK aims to give employees a great experience so they can pass that on to our client's customers.

Gordon McDowall, Site Lead – Falkirk

 

Making the team feel a part of the bigger organisation

Back in the day, a lot of the job content could be perceived to be repetitive, although personally I didn’t agree with that because to me, every customer was different, and I enjoyed talking to them. However, I began to see how that perception could have an impact on the workforce and so I developed an interest in the importance of making sure that employees were made to feel part of the bigger organisation.

I'll admit that while I don't know everyone’s name personally, I will always make an effort to say hello. It is important to acknowledge people and not just to walk past them.

As I moved up through the world of outsourcing, I arrived at Webhelp UK and have been fortunate enough to work across most of the sites, starting off in Dunoon, Rothesay, Aviemore, Erskine and then Falkirk.

Falkirk is the biggest Sky site in the Webhelp UK fleet, and as Site Lead, I like to run a tight ship, although I am keen to say I have never lost sight of my roots. Even though I like a challenge, I'll admit that while I don't know everyone’s name personally, I will always make an effort to say hello. It is important to acknowledge people and not just to walk past them.

Happy people, happy customers

My mantra is Happy people, happy customers, and I believe this to be a truism; I passionately believe that people need to get the value of a “good morning” or by being seen to be the first person into the building and the last one out.

EventFull was designed by our people, it’s led by our people and it’s showcased by them. It allows them to create the entertainment they want and contribute financially towards that, it’s a great, fun way to empower people.

In Falkirk, I have recently moved to a more central area of the call-hall to allow him a better overview of the whole place. I did this to create an area where people can stop by my desk and just have a chat and sit down for a moment. A place where informal meetings can happen, to let people to know someone is there and can be approached.

We have also introduced an employee engagement project called EventFull. It arose from an employee survey that highlighted the need for the introduction of social activity and colleague interaction. EventFull was designed by our people, it’s led by our people and it’s showcased by them. It allows them to create the entertainment they want and contribute financially towards that, it’s a great, fun way to empower people.

The concept was pitched to the executive team who were asked to price match the employee subscriptions – and fast forward - this has now become a SMART methodology which has since been rolled out across all of the estate.

I am passionate about people but even I will admit that there are many day to day issues that can get in the way. This is why I have introduced “Gordon’s Virtual Surgery” where I will regularly announce through the internal newswire that the “Doctor” is in to anyone who wants to ask me questions or put their points across.

I believe that a positive attitude should be firmly embedded in a very active process that goes on behind the scenes, which helps make Webhelp UK a better place for people to be, and to stay.


Delivering customer experience innovation for Derby

“Webhelp UK...required a location that had a strong local workforce and a partner that understood our goal of creating long term sustainable employment in their community – Derby delivered." David Turner CEO, Webhelp UK

Webhelp UK has engaged in a long term lease for the Derby Pride Park centre. The site has a range of outstanding facilities, making it both a stimulating workplace and an engaging environment.

Previously the site housed EggÂ’s Credit Card Business and has the infrastructure in place to be rapidly deployed for any new operation. Webhelp UK are seeking a strategic partner to drive market di


Knowing the product helps deliver an excellent customer experience

By redesigning our employee education process we can guarantee a more consistent customer experience.

Mike Eadie, Director of People Development

Equiping our team

It is extremely important that we equip our people with the right tools and the right technical skills to empower them with the confidence to be able to professionally convey that knowledge to the customer, our advisors just need to bring the right attitude and the right customer service focus.

Traditionally, learning and development teams would provide induction and on-going technical training.  While this type of on-going training programme for employees may be the conventional way of dealing with our clients rapidly changing products and services, inevitably this means that some staff members are much better at recalling product information than others.

So, our radical approach was to redesign the whole process to ensure that the customer has access to the latest product information through our customer service advisors no matter which agent handles the call.

Informed service

Webhelp UK is transforming how contact centers work. Instead of continually updating our employee product knowledge, we have developed industry leading turnkey systems that store each client’s most current product and service information, which is available live to all customer advisors, enabling them to deliver a better, more informed service.

We’re also training our customer service employees in questioning techniques which allows them to better understand the customer’s problem, how to quickly access the relevant product information, and how best to deliver an answer to the customer improving their overall experience and thereby reducing call volume and customer frustration.

More than ever, people are demanding excellent customer service delivered expediently, where they want, when they want

More than ever, people are demanding excellent customer service delivered expediently, where they want, when they want.  They want their particular issue solved, and they want it solved fast, but they’ll get as much reassurance from getting that problem solved from the way they are spoken to, and how they are questioned, making the interaction part of the customer journey a more enjoyable experience.

This cutting edge approach means that we can ensure a consistently higher level of customer care, and it allows us to focus on building superior customer relationships skills rather than focussing on ever-changing product knowledge.  We have seen a 30% increase in CSAT, unequivocally proving that our methodology delivers results; our smarter systems really do deliver a superior service for our clients.


Webhelp UK’s move from contact centre to customer experience

My first action at Webhelp UK was to look at what we offered our clients and how we could deliver excellent customer experience.

David Turner, Chief Executive Officer

What I learnt

Not to see whether we did a good job or not, because I knew that we already did, but I just couldn’t see how we differentiated from our competitors in terms of value add for our clients. I had a vision about contact centres and where I thought we needed to go, but I knew it would take significant surgery and a radical rethink to ready us for that journey.

It was clear to me that although we met all of the service level agreements the business had; there was no real reason to keep us on as a supplier, because we didn’t do anything for our clients that was over, above and beyond that.

I had a vision about contact centres and where I thought we needed to go, but I knew it would take significant surgery and a radical rethink to ready us for that journey.

That’s the problem with commoditised businesses, the only way they can differentiate is on price, so I wanted to move us away from that and position ourselves more as a consulting business developing outcome based solutions.  I think our most significant asset is that we deliver a more qualitative service to our clients based on knowledge and insight rather than going after the cheaper volume based activity that a lot of our competitors pursue.

Evolving the contact centre into the customer experience centre

We needed to stop thinking about ourselves as a contact centre business, and more as a company that sold solutions around improving customer experience which at the same time improves our client’s revenues and profit.  That, in a nutshell, is what we started to do three years ago, and it’s what determined Vodafone choosing us as their strategic partner and started the growth of the business over that period of time.

The most important thing we provide today for our clients isn’t just about answering the phone... it's about the knowledge we can provide that makes them a better business.

Not to over simplify things, it was about understanding that our business had to change, that our proposition needed to be different.  The heart of what we did, which was answering calls and talking to customers still needed to beat as strongly as ever, but we needed to make sure we were also delivering unique, insightful outcomes to our clients.

The most important thing we provide today for our clients isn’t just about answering the phone, it isn’t even about giving them better CSAT, it's about the knowledge we can provide that makes them a better business.  It's all about how you use data in this business.  Data is so much more powerful and important when it is used correctly.  How we house the data, how we analyse it, what additional insights can we go back to our clients with, and those insights should all be around driving revenue, profit, customer advocacy and retention.

Investing in people

While we are still very evolutionary, we’ve come a long way from being a commoditised supplier to one that delivers complex solutions and is now a true strategic partner to our clients.

I am passionate about changing the perception of this business to be one where you don’t just come here for a job; you come here to pursue a career.

But it's not just data and technology that makes a difference the biggest reason our business will continue to succeed is if we invest in our employees.  I feel a tremendous sense of duty towards our people and the biggest kick I get is seeing them reach their optimum potential, when they’ve challenged themselves, when they’ve found new ways of solving problems and adding value.  I am passionate about changing the perception of this business to be one where you don’t just come here for a job; you come here to pursue a career.

And we can offer people real career progression here; there are so many opportunities to grow and a clear path of succession through the business, and that’s a terrific reason for people to want to stay within the company to develop their abilities and to achieve that potential.

This is what I really want to see happen, if I went out and spoke to the guys at the front end of the business today, I’d like to think that in 10 or 15 years time somebody in that audience will be sitting on the board looking after my pension!