Brand humanity – what it is and why it works!

In part 3 of our blog serialisation of the latest Webhelp whitepaper “Emotion: Establishing emotional connections with customers: What brands need to know” A driving force in the ‘Think Human’ re-brand, Polly Ashdown, Marketing & Communications Director Webhelp UK, India & South Africa, reveals how brand humanity can create positive emotion and prevent disruption in CX.

As the range of digital consumer platforms and devices multiply, customer relationships are increasingly being disrupted by digital communications. Used to getting what they want when they want it, customers now expect brands to interact with them across each touch-point consistently – and in line with their expectations.

The brands that are able to speak with customers – rather than at them – will create and reinforce emotional connection. As our new YouGov consumer research shows, the impact of brand humanity on consumer behaviour cannot be underestimated. And neither can the impact on measurable outcomes including spend, loyalty and advocacy.

But how important is this connection to the customer, and consequentially to brands? Overall, 40% of consumers report feeling an emotional connection to a brand, and this connection makes them behave in different ways towards the brand.

In fact, of those who said they feel an emotional connection to one or more brands, 54% of people are prepared to pay slightly more for products/services, 66% are more loyal to the brand, 55% are likely to purchase other products/services, 63% recommend the brand to family and friends, and 49% share experiences of the brand.

Revealingly, only 4% of customers reported that having an emotional connection to a brand would NOT make them behave in a particular way, when talking to friends and family.

And these results become all the more interesting when we look at the source of emotional connection. The top 5 ways in which people feel emotionally connected to a brand are: The overall customer experience (53%), The brand is easy to deal with (38%), The brand’s values are similar to mine (34%), The quality of interactions with the brand (26%), The brand is ‘human’ (22%).

As we can see, customers reward brands who successfully demonstrate humanity with loyalty, advocacy, and their cash. If brands are perceived as ‘human’, customers are more likely to: Emotionally connect with the brand (net likely 56%), Go back to the brand repeatedly, rather than trying a different brand (net more likely 69%), Spend more money with the brand (net ‘more likely’ 61%), Recommend the brand to other people (net ‘more likely’ 67%). People in the ABC1 (the three higher social and economic groups) bracket are more likely than C2DE (the three lower social and economic groups) respondents to take positive actions towards a brand because it feels ‘human’.

Brands therefore have an opportunity to leverage emotional connection as a powerful driver of positive behaviours with customers with disposable income.

Brands that really ‘get’ the importance of a human angle look at making connection in the most human way possible. They’re less focused on the transaction – i.e. of selling the product, or answering the question – they’re focused on building trust, anticipating customer needs, and giving customers the edge. They know that consistency is key to trust and credibility, and focus on the entire experience, rather than one element of the customer journey.

In a nutshell, brands that are human are good at building relationships. They design customer experience from the customer’s ‘ideal’ of a relationship, and with a good understanding of their motivations. Customer insight and analytics are key to making sure that everything – from messaging, the language and channels used – correspond to the customer’s ‘ideal’.

At Webhelp, we’re using customer insight and analytics to create experiences that are human. While technology is inevitably core to customer experience, we always view technology from the standpoint of how it can augment the end to end experience and bring out the best in people.

Consider emotional connection as a hierarchy. Clearly, there are functional “transactional” things that need to ‘get done’, but there are experiences that need to happen in order to form emotional connection, and achieve the holy grail of loyalty and advocacy.

You can follow blog the serialisation, and join the conversation, on the Webhelp LinkedIn and Twitter sites or read the Whitepaper in full below.

Make ‘Time for a Cuppa!’ with Webhelp and Dementia UK

Webhelp is delighted to be working in partnership with Dementia UK as their corporate charity for 2020. And we’d like to help spread some support for their Time for a Cuppa campaign, which is starting a week of activity, on the 1st to the 8th March. And who better to tell us about this than Admiral Nurse, Wendy, who hosted her own party last year!

We love a brew and a good conversation here at Webhelp, so we think Time for a Cuppa is the perfect occasion to get together with our colleagues (and eat some amazing home baking!) whilst raising money to help dementia specialist nurses to support more families facing dementia.

Our people are getting ready to host their own tea parties, right across the UK, which we will share on social media, and to inspire them we’ve asked Admiral Nurse Wendy Mountford to tell us why her work is so important and how to get involved:

“Throughout my 25 year nursing career, I have always enjoyed working with people living with dementia and their family members.

I became an Admiral Nurse at Douglas Macmillan Hospice in 2017, to ensure that families with dementia are given information and support regarding end of life care.  It’s a very difficult time for families, but we can be there for them to make sure the person with dementia is comfortable and not in any pain, and that the family are as well looked after as possible.

Admiral Nurses help families throughout their experience with dementia, and one of the great honours about being one is helping people to cope, while dealing with one of the toughest health conditions out there.

We help people to understand how the person with dementia might be feeling, to help them identify if they are in any pain, and to give them the tools and the confidence to communicate with other healthcare professionals, such as those working in a care home, to make sure that the person’s wellbeing and best interests are always being looked after.

Throughout my role as an Admiral Nurse, Dementia UK has done a huge amount to support me through monthly supervisions and training sessions so it was really important for me to give something back – Time for a Cuppa seemed like an ideal opportunity.

Last year, we held a Time for a Cuppa at the hospice. Each department baked a cake and entered them into our cake competition. The prize was afternoon tea for two at a popular local venue. People made donations for slices and we played games, such as guess the bear’s name and the number of sweets in a jar, to raise funds and to get people chatting.

We invited everybody: hospice staff, patients, visitors and volunteers and many attended; catching up with them all was my favourite part of the day!”

You can hold your Time for a Cuppa anytime of the year, not just in March – and remember every cake you bake, every cuppa you make and every pound you raise can make a huge difference to people with dementia and their families.

We will be supporting Dementia UK throughout the year and posting regular fundraising stories, led by our on-site Engagement Ambassadors at www.webhelp.comTo find out more about the valuable work of Dementia UK visit



Industry expert Scott Logie on why emotional connection works


In part 3 of our blog serialisation of the latest Webhelp whitepaper “Emotion: Establishing emotional connections with customers: What brands need to know” here industry expert Scott Logie, Customer Engagement Director, REaD Group and Chair of the DMA Customer Engagement Committee, shares his view.

For the DMA’s Customer Engagement Committee members, the topic of emotional connection is very important. As consumers we have emotions. We feel strongly about brands. It therefore makes sense that brands build on this.

However, ‘connection’ differs from brand to brand and it’s not always straightforward to pinpoint the drivers.

Take a dating company for example. An emotional connection is actually what their customers are buying. There’s an assumption that openness will be quite high, and that extroversion would be highly correlated with openness. However, in work we did for a leading dating agency, this was not the case for all customer segments. Rather than being driven by traditional demographics (age or gender for example) or personality traits, we found that segments are actually driven by behaviour and life-stage.

Emotional connection is key to loyalty. DMA Research reveals interesting similarities - and differences - regarding brand loyalty. All brands can have a ‘functional loyalty’ that’s based on the right method, the right product or service and the right price. That’s the baseline.

In financial services for example, unless you get the functional stuff right, there’s no point in brands trying to tap into emotions. On the other hand, consumers are increasingly ‘big’ on ethics and morals in certain sectors, and some will actively seek out brands that treat people fairly and are concerned about the environment.

In terms of ‘tactics’, rewards don’t play a big role in terms of loyalty to brands, with the exception of supermarkets, which is hardly surprising as we’re well trained in terms of supermarket rewards.

However, even here there are some interesting findings. Financial services organisations typically don’t offer rewards, yet in our research consumers stated that they would respond favourably to them.

In the YouGov survey for Webhelp: Only 18% of respondents said that they consider things like “if the brand gives me personalised rewards (e.g. birthday vouchers, discount codes, etc.)” when thinking about if they are are emotionally connected to a brand.

By far the biggest complaint in the DMA’s survey was a ‘lack of consistency’. Often consumers will get a campaign they’re interested in, but when they respond it’s a real “oh no” moment when they try to contact the brand via the website, on social, or by telephone and the experience doesn’t follow suit. Customers are more demanding than ever, so ignore consistency at your peril…

It’s worth noting that organisational structure can be a barrier to consistency – with siloed teams being the biggest challenge. Unless there’s an executive sponsor or a key driver to change that, then brands will struggle. Certain companies realise this; Santander, for example, is trying to unify across all their teams and consider the end to end customer journeys. However, by and large, not enough is being done.

To conclude, while it’s possible to measure loyalty, the measurement of emotional connection has some way to go. Many brands don’t know where to start, although some companies we work with analyse demographics and behaviours, overlaying data from Mention Me, a ‘refer a friend’ platform. It’s not highly scientific, but it does give a measure of loyalty and recommendation.

The DMA’s Customer Engagement Committee was put together to help brands reach and engage customers and develop customer loyalty across all channels. Its mantra is to combine data, technology and creativity to help brands dramatically improve their campaign results.

You can follow blog the serialisation, and join the conversation, on the Webhelp LinkedIn and Twitter sites or read the Whitepaper in full below.

Spotlight on the work of Operation Hunger, Webhelp charity partner for 2020

Webhelp is delighted to be working with Operation Hunger as their new charity partner in South Africa for 2020. Dr Selma Browde and Dr Nthato Motlana started the charity in 1978, and together with a group of caring individuals and organisations, they began to combat the anguish and toll malnutrition had inflicted on the South African people and its economy.

Over the past 40 years, the charity has grown to be a driving force in South Africa, inspiring positive action to fight against hunger in homes, schools and communities. It uses sustainable methods that empower people at a grass roots level, to tackle this vital issue.

Sandy Bukula, Acting CEO & Business Development Director at Operation Hunger explains:

“Our focus is on engaging and collaborating with vulnerable people, to help them become active agents of change, forming constructive partnerships that directly address the problems associated with chronic malnutrition and poverty.”

Here we share three short spotlights on the incredible and varied work of the charity, and the communities and people who are active in the fight against hunger.

Mama Queen, helping the fight against childhood malnutrition

Elizabeth Malan, affectionately called “Mama Queen,” started as a volunteer for Operation Hunger in the year 2009. She works hard in the Rooi Rand soup kitchen in Northern Cape with other staff members and volunteers to provide nutritious meals to children in the community.

Mama Queen is highly dedicated and has been elected as the secretary of the soup kitchens. She enjoys cooking, working in the garden harvesting vegetables for the kitchen and also takes charge of the recycling and running of the sewing project.

Mama Queen has now been with Operation Hunger for over nine years and is a loyal and much loved volunteer. She is still going strong and her hard work helps improve the community.

Operation Hunger staff and many volunteers have expressed high appreciation for all Mama Queen does at the kitchen and in the community.

Growing gardens, growing communities

Two Tunnel gardens, developed in partnership with Operation Hunger, at Chirela and Maseveni in Jane Furse Limpopo sell community grown vegetables, which are organic and free from poisonous agrichemicals.

The gardens were designed in a holistic manner and use permaculture principles to help disadvantaged families produce more food with fewer resources. The community is using compost made from animal waste, and other sustainable organic material.

The community have greatly invested in soil fertility through liquid organic fertilizers which they make from plants like comfrey, borage, stinging nettle and lucern. They plan to invest their income from the garden on other projects such as sewing and value-added food processing initiatives to boost their revenue and improve local commodity supply.

The Tunnel Gardens produce Spinach, Giant Red Mustard Greens, Savoy Perfection Cabbage, Curled Purple Wave Mustard and Red Russian Kale. This new source of nutrition in the Limpopo region has positively affected the quality of life for the community in Jane Furse. The project is also supported by the borehole water installed by Operation Hunger in every village.

Sweet success for self-help bakery

Operation Hunger has helped locals to establish a self-help Bakery in Hammarsdale Kwa-Zulu Natal. Overseen by KZN Regional Coordinator, Bheki Zuma, the kitchen is staffed by local women and provides delicious confectionaries, which are then sold in the community.

The women are passionate about the project, which, like many Operation Hunger operations, develops the community and creates self-sufficiency. This is considered the best solution for disadvantaged and malnourished communities, creating a lasting effect rather than just a stopgap solution.

We will be supporting Operation Hunger throughout the year and posting regular fundraising stories, led by our on-site Engagement Ambassadors at 

To find out more about the valuable work of Operation Hunger visit:

Emotion in CX, getting beyond the hype!


In part 2 of our blog serialisation of the latest Webhelp whitepaper “Emotion: Establishing emotional connections with customers: What brands need to know” Helen Murray, Chief Customer Solutions Officer – Webhelp UK, India and South Africa looks at how brands can get beyond the hype to find what will work for them.

Brands providing customer engagement services ignore the importance of emotional connection at their peril, as across all age groups, emotionally connected customers behave more positively towards brands.

Emotional connection is a hot topic. But how do brands get beyond the hype?

“Organisations tend to focus a lot of attention on executing short-term tactics that bring an immediate return on investment, but brands can gain bigger benefits when prioritising long-term strategies,” says Jo Causon, CEO at the Institute of Customer Service. She points out that “connections based on feelings last longer than those based on a transient need, resulting in loyalty that stays throughout the entire customer life-cycle.”

And, this loyalty can be strengthened by creating a brand identity that resonates with customers.

As Chris Bryson, Global Analytics Director at Webhelp, who is heavily involved in the company’s work on emotional connection, says:

“Customers feel most emotionally connected with a brand when its value proposition aligns with their motivations and desires. For example, people who strongly wish to “stand out from the crowd,” or “feel a sense of belonging” will choose products or services that help them experience that specific feeling. By understanding consumer motivations and engagement expectations, brands can create customer experience that is in accordance with these, and ensure it’s consistent across every customer touch-point.”

To do this brands must invest in tailored insight and analysis, as Rebecca Price, Partner at creative communications consultancy, Frank, Bright & Abel, adds “The key emotional motivators driving consumer behavior are unique to each brand and category. To identify what will work for their brand, marketers and customer experience professionals need to lean on data and analytics gleaned from consumers, social media listening or messaging analysis.”

Understanding how to leverage human brand attributes to cultivate emotional connection opens up vast potential for brands, as Polly Ashdown, Marketing and Communications Director, Webhelp UK, India & South Africa, points out:

“Brands that really ‘get’ the importance of a human angle, look at making connections

in the most human way possible. They’re less focused on the transaction – i.e. of selling the product or answering the question – they’re focused on building trust, anticipating customer needs, and giving customers the edge. They know that consistency is key to trust and credibility, and focus on the entire experience, rather than one element of the customer journey.”

This is echoed by Webhelp’s people, who are at the heart of customer engagement. They reveal the importance of human values in building customer relationships. As an advisor points out: “Empathy shows we are human beings beyond the processes and ways of working.” This human first approach is reinforced by our team leaders, one of whom explains that: “Advisors do their best to not only help their customers, but get everything solved in a way that matters for them.” This is a core value for Webhelp, as we do a human-centric job – with personalized contact on a daily basis. People are really at the heart of what we do.

As David Turner emphasises, there are no short cuts to achieve this:

“The desire to have emotional connection to a brand has to be part of each company's employee value proposition. The brand needs to have a strong vision, be worth working for, and appeal to customers, colleagues and shareholders. In the past, too much focus was placed on the latter, but today, the successful brands are able to articulate in a compelling and vibrant way, who they are and what they stand for. People aren’t looking for jobs any more, they’re looking for experiences. You need to take people on the journey.”

And as people are at the heart of customer experience, human interaction – and the art of conversation – are fundamental. As Webhelp’s founders, Olivier Duha and Frédéric Jousset explain: "We believe people connect best with people, and our emotional intelligence - together with our innovation is how we go the extra mile.”

You can follow blog the serialisation, and join the conversation, on the Webhelp LinkedIn and Twitter sites or read the Whitepaper in full below.

Emotion in CX, Introduction from UK CEO David Turner

David Turner, Webhelp UK Group CEO, introduces the blog serialisation of our latest whitepaper “Emotion: Establishing emotional connections with customers: What brands need to know” 

Commissioned by leading customer experience provider Webhelp, the series will look at what brands need to know about emotional connections with customers and feature a range of industry experts.

Great brands make us feel something. They’re there where and when we need them. The best ones go further. They chat, share, understand, fix, reward and put people first.

In the midst of the feelings brands inspire, how many of us really think about what we’re buying and why?

An interesting question as apparently 95 percent* of our purchasing decisions take place in the subconscious mind, which is overseen by our emotions.

If we look specifically at research from the retail sector, it has been shown that customers who feel an emotional connection to a brand are far more valuable to that brand, spending twice as much than those just simply satisfied with the brand; they also have a 306% higher lifetime value, stay with a brand longer and recommend more**. To thrive in today’s competitive landscape, it is therefore very obvious that brands must cultivate an emotional connection with their customers.

As part of this third chapter of the Webhelp Disruptor Series, we have once again commissioned research through polling experts YouGov. This time, we took a deep dive into the hot topic of ‘emotional connection’ and explored to what extent emotional connections exist between consumers and brands, what forms an emotional connection, and how people behave if they are emotionally connected to a brand.

While emotional connection can – and does – exist, it is not reported by all consumers. However, the extent to which our research revealed that emotional connection positively impacts consumer behaviours was hugely encouraging. People really do buy more, remain loyal and recommend more if they are emotionally connected to a brand. And it was no surprise to me to see just how crucial customer experience is to forming these highly profitable emotional connections…

And at a time when Webhelp has just launched its new brand vision of ‘Making business more human’, it was particularly interesting to see just how important being a ‘human’ brand is to consumers. Heartening reading indeed for us all at Webhelp – and no doubt other industry professionals who read this paper.

A word of caution however. As many brands undergo digital transformation, the focus on emotional connection – as well as ‘human’ brand attributes - must not be overlooked.

Often, given the number of channels that can be used to communicate with customers, brands forget that connection is essentially ‘human to human.’ But if brands are unable to establish and maintain strong emotional bonds with customers they will most certainly get lost in the choppy seas of competition…

* Harvard Business School


You can follow the blog serialisation, and join the conversation, on the Webhelp LinkedIn and Twitter sites or read the Whitepaper in full below.


An Admiral Nurse’s story: Why the Dementia UK helpline is so important to families!

Webhelp is delighted to be working in partnership with Dementia UK as their corporate charity for 2020. When things get challenging or difficult, Admiral Nurses work alongside people with dementia, and their families: giving them one-to-one support, expert guidance and practical solutions. Today we talk to Admiral Nurse, Vicky Loewer, about her work on the Dementia UK Helpline and her personal commitment to fundraising.  

Tell us about the life-changing work you do with the Dementia UK helpline?

I have been working on the Admiral Nurse Dementia Helpline since 2016. It is such a fulfilling role for me as I come into contact with a wide range of people. As dementia specialists, the Admiral Nurses on the Helpline provide the most appropriate advice, tailored to individual circumstances.

It doesn’t matter what stage of dementia a family is at as we support families throughout the progression of the condition.

Can you give a real life example of how a call can make a difference?

There was one woman whose family member was showing signs of dementia but was refusing to accept support or to acknowledge that there might be a problem. I talked to the woman to gain a thorough understanding of the family situation, such as how their loved one was coping with day-to-day life.

I advised her to approach these symptoms as a general medical condition so their family member would be less anxious about a GP appointment. Dementia still has a lot of stigma but as Admiral Nurses, we shine a light on the condition and help families feel more confident about it.

On this particular call, I highlighted the importance of getting an appointment with a GP as this can be the route to a diagnosis and could rule out other treatable conditions, which may have similar symptoms to dementia, like depression. I spoke to the woman about the importance of building up trust and to see if there was anyone that the family member would be most comfortable with in taking them to the GP.

Are there any challenges in working on the helpline?

A lot of the work of an Admiral Nurse is being aware of family dynamics and finding the best route forward in light of these, which is a challenging as well as fulfilling part of the role. I’m passionate about raising awareness of the vital work which Admiral Nurses do. There’s a great team of Admiral Nurses working on the Helpline already but we do need to continue to grow to support the increased number of calls we’re receiving.

We know you are a keen fundraiser for Dementia UK, can you share any experiences or ideas that our employees could use?

I know quite a few local people who have family members with dementia so I decided to hold a Time for a Cuppa event at our local church hall.

The church warden advertised the coffee morning to all church members and placed posters on the church notice board which was a great awareness boost for the event. I also emailed the local school, which is connected to the church, and they kindly sent an email out in support too.

There was a great turnout on the day with over 50 people attending over a 3 hour period! It was fantastic to be supported on the day by three friends and another Admiral Nurse, Barbara Fitzpatrick. My close friends donated cakes and I made three cakes myself.

Tell us more about the Time for a Cuppa campaign…

The next Time for a Cuppa campaign week will be held on the 1st – 8th March but you can hold your tea party on any day – or month – that suits you! Just Invite some guests, bake (or buy) some cakes, take some donations and enjoy catching up with friends and family!

I would say the more cakes you have the better - so consider finding a way to sell them if they do not all go on the day. We sold over half of the cakes at the coffee morning and the rest I sold as an after-school cake sale.

Time for a Cuppa is such a wonderful event which brings people from all walks of life together. It’s a huge honour to be an Admiral Nurse and to help raise awareness of the vital work we do through events like this.

We will be supporting Dementia UK throughout the year and posting regular fundraising stories, led by our on-site Engagement Ambassadors at

To find out more about the valuable work of Dementia UK visit





Why understanding emotion can be key to customer service!

Webhelp has launched a new whitepaper looking at the impact of emotional connection in CX.

The paper reveals the importance of establishing emotional connections with customers, and how brands can pin-point, monetise and measure those connections to drive value to their business.

We know that emotion is a huge part of the human experience. During the 1970s, psychologist Paul Eckman identified six basic emotions that he suggested were universally experienced in all human cultures. The emotions he identified were happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, surprise, and anger. However, new research indicates that our spread of emotion could be much more complicated, which may have significant implications for how customer service is delivered.

Take a look at the infographic below for an overview of the new research and why harnessing emotion is so important in creating good CX.

Plus, Webhelp’s Disruptor Series takes a deeper dive into the issues facing the CX industry, including the impact of emotional connection by sector.


Webhelp Enterprise: Negotiating a New B2B Paradigm

Recently, Stephen Loynd of market intelligence firm TrendzOwl posed a series of questions to Etienne Turion, CEO, Webhelp Enterprise Sales, in order to learn more about the company’s perspectives on the B2B sales market in the United States.

Stephen Loynd, Principal Analyst, TrendzOwl:

It seems like these are exciting times for B2B sales.

As in the B2C world, B2B customers are demanding a more personalized, seamless experience. And I’d suggest that what might be termed the “Amazon Experience” is “liquid” in the sense that the customer experience expectations it engenders in the B2C realm have seeped over into the B2B space as well. But as Dixon, Toman, and Delisi point out in the classic book, “The Effortless Experience” –

“Of course, getting to loyalty can be more challenging in the B2B context because it has to be achieved twice, not just with your actual business customers (ie, the decision-makers who sign the contract) but also with the end users (ie, the people who use the product or service).”

Can you comment on this changing market?

Etienne Turion, CEO, Webhelp Enterprise Sales:

There certainly is a lot going on.

To step back… for some time, companies were reluctant to outsource what they considered to be core competencies. But this has changed, and B2B sales is a fine example.

You citing Amazon is apt. Just look at the IT world over the past ten years or so, and what has happened with sales teams that are expected to drive revenues. Instead of just having field sales, many of these types of companies started to institute an inside sales model – people working remotely rather than conducting face-to-face sales meetings. And this shift is ongoing.

At the same time, roughly two-thirds of the global outsourcing market is in the United States. It’s a huge market, and Webhelp Enterprise Sales would like to access more of that. In pursuit of that, we recently added nearshore capabilities in Mexico. We now have 1,500 people dedicated to the U.S. market.

In effect, we’re working to help pioneer the shift to a new sales model that today’s emerging B2B sales paradigm demands. The U.S. is the perfect setting to do that.

Stephen Loynd, Principal Analyst, TrendzOwl:

But that shift seems to be accompanied by a specific set of very real challenges.

For instance, it seems as if the B2B sales process has become relatively complex and often unpredictable. Large order values are not unusual. And long sales cycles are common. It seems as if buyers are doing more and more of their own research on products and services, tapping into an array of information via diverse channels and devices, thinking hard before making purchasing decisions.

In fact, I saw one survey from Hubspot from a couple of years ago that suggested a full 60% of buyers weren’t ready to speak with a salesperson until they’ve completed their own research internally. More recently, the Corporate Executive Board reported that 68% of the buying journey is done before the first contact with sales. It seems like digital self-service has real momentum in B2B sales.

Etienne Turion, CEO, Webhelp Enterprise Sales:

The momentum is definitely there!

Meanwhile, you’ve sketched out some important reasons why we’re seeing such robust growth for outsourced inside sales, especially in the SMB market (field sales is declining even as it remains essential for some very specific corporate accounts). In terms of return on investment (ROI), inside sales wins the day. Addressing every step on a winding, oftentimes confusing, purchasing journey is not necessarily easy.

Just think about the sheer amount of information and data that is available to potential buyers. It continues to expand. At the same time, more people have become embedded in an increasingly complicated purchasing decision-making process.

But while it’s true that many buyers aren’t ready to speak with a salesperson until they’ve done their own research, according to a recent survey from CSO Insights, over 45% of B2B buyers are still ready to hear new ideas at the beginning of a sales conversation. That might sound contradictory, but it’s why we look to influence the sale by bringing quality input to the table as soon as possible.

This is where Webhelp Enterprise Sales looks to add real value. I’d say that, more than ever, effective B2B sales means establishing a meaningful and authentic conversation with potential buyers in order to help them through the information maze as early as possible in the sales process – which is not always easy due to the point you bring up.

Stephen Loynd, Principal Analyst, TrendzOwl:

Still, the considerable amount of internal research being done within today’s firms also means that many of those firms are evaluating options on their own long before even engaging in the sales process.

To dig even deeper on this point – it seems like any intelligent B2B sales strategy has to recognize the growing influence of millennials on the buying process at target organizations. If you think about it, the first step members of this cohort might naturally take is to reach out to friends and acquaintances over social media for feedback, recommendations, and ideas. They ask questions of each other – what has their experience been with a particular company and its product or solution, for example.

In fact, one recent survey by Merit reports that 73% of millennial workers are involved in the decision to purchase products or services for their companies.

Etienne Turion, CEO, Webhelp Enterprise Sales:

This is very true. And as so many tech-savvy employees conduct their own research online, digging in search of more details and revealing reviews of a specific product or service, they are sure to come across additional information on competitive offerings. Target companies are educating themselves on all available options, perusing competitive content, accessing free trials.

As that educational journey progresses, buyers become increasingly intelligent and formidable, and as we discussed already, pursue much of the decision-making journey alone, without consistently engaging a salesperson. CSO Insights reports that 70% of buyers fully define their needs on their own before engaging with a sales representative, and 44% identify specific solutions before reaching out to a seller.

It’s a revolution in the purchasing process!

Stephen Loynd, Principal Analyst, TrendzOwl:

It sounds like what you mean is that while it’s somewhat vexing that companies are so independent in doing their research, that in itself also produces a set of new opportunities for strategically savvy providers of B2B sales. A paradox, perhaps? After all, while today’s organizations can access reams of information, they also should wonder about the quality of that information, or if it is the most relevant information to whatever specific set of challenges that might be under consideration.

According to Propeller CRM, 95% of buyers are looking for businesses to provide relevant, informative content. Probably for just this type of reason.

Etienne Turion, CEO, Webhelp Enterprise Sales:

This is precisely why Webhelp has developed powerful digital sales capabilities – to support the B2B sales frontline with just such material in order to never miss an opportunity. It’s a concrete way to address a buyer’s particular and oftentimes unique set of pain-points, helping them navigate every phase of a purchasing journey that’s sometimes crowded with extraneous information and misleading data.

The B2B “path to purchase” is a long and winding road that must be viewed strategically. According to Biznology, today’s sales process takes 22% longer than five years ago!

Stephen Loynd, Principal Analyst, TrendzOwl:

Could you be specific about your capabilities?

Etienne Turion, CEO, Webhelp Enterprise Sales:

Yes. The trends we’re discussing mean real opportunity for our Webhelp ProductFinder and Mobile App, which allow our partners to access information immediately, without having to reach out to us. We use these tools all the time because they help engage our partners and guide them on best process while pointing them to relevant articles of interest, white papers, case studies, original and thought-provoking insights in any form.

This is quickly becoming table stakes in B2B sales. Think about the value we are adding –

The Webhelp ProductFinder is a web-based integrated search tool with information from the current and former portfolio as well as information from relevant competitors. It also provides opportunities for instant upselling with key selling points.

And as for the Webhelp Mobile App, it offers an array of features, including: an extended catalogue of products and resources; recommendations based on browsing history; offline access to products; search capabilities with facet refinement; personalized lists of favorite products; push notifications; a contact form for support; gamification (badges, challenges, and leader boards);… and it’s multilingual.

Summary: Webhelp’s End-to-End Approach

At the end of the conversation, Etienne Turion shared an outline of the Webhelp B2B sales model, based on six specific realms that are designed to effectively navigate a changing B2B landscape in the United States:

  1. Data and Business Intelligence (BI) experts address audience and database optimization, segmentation, and potential scoring through a propensity model.
  2. Demand Marketing. Comprised of marketing campaign managers focused on lead scoring, qualification, enrichment, and predictive sales.
  3. Covers both inside sales, field sales, and digital sales (including direct end-user and channel management), as well as sales support and enablement.
  4. Customer Success. This encompasses customer/partner success, with managers focused on delivering velocity in adoption of the “as a service” model.
  5. Renewal & Retention. Data marketing client specialists work to ensure a proactive approach based on analytics for predictive actions as well as dedicated loyalty sales agents.
  6. Customer Care. A group dedicated to supporting complex sales-tech.

Next – Webhelp Enterprise Sales in the United States: Innovating B2B Sales by Innovating People


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Etienne Turion
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Using emotion to connect in online retail

Webhelp’s latest Disruptor Series Whitepaper, highlights why, in 2020, it will be absolutely crucial that brands create deep and lasting emotional connections with customers. For the launch of our latest Whitepaper, ‘Emotion’, Kellyann McCafferty, Webhelp Account Director, looks at how emotion can strongly influence customers’ ability to bond with brands, especially in the retail and ecommerce sectors.

Preface: 27/04/20

Since publishing this blog, the world has changed dramatically, with entire countries entering strict lockdown periods and many regions operating under shelter in place instructions. The coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to have an unprecedented impact on business and society across the globe and as a result the emotional component of CX is more vital now than ever before. Click here to find out more on our people first response to this crisis. 

So, how do you succeed in online retail?

The focus of a successful sales strategy, for many companies, will be firmly on brand reputation and visibility, price comparison, search engine optimization and streamlining the customer journey. With the overriding goal of getting the customer to the ecommerce purchase point.

It’s hard to deny that these are all fundamental steps, which we do very well at Webhelp. However, our experience tells us that, often brands do not concentrate enough on how their customers feel, through-out the whole cycle, and especially at the end of the journey.

This failure is the online equivalent of chauffeuring your customer to a grand restaurant, with a stunning red carpet entrance but ignoring their needs and giving sloppy service, once you’ve got them inside!

Marketing author Lindsay Kwan hits the nail right on the head, for industry blog platform Widerfunnel, saying:

“An emotionally resonant customer experience involves more than an e-commerce strategy that solves a problem or incorporates a marketing funnel that is easy to navigate… …are your customers landing on your e-commerce site and thinking this brand really gets me?”

I would agree that this is a huge (but avoidable!) pitfall for brands, especially those who rely on one time metrics like conversion rates and click through numbers, and then find their customers leaving hastily through the virtual back door!

Instead, we help our clients to use their data and insight to create predictive models, establishing the right touch-points for emotionally enriched customer relationships.

To stay with the restaurant analogy, we look after their customers from start to finish, we remember their birthdays (with a discount voucher), we take their coats, hand them that complementary glass of prosecco and ask if they’d like their favorite dish or to look at the new menu… and wave them off at the door, with the incentive to come back for a free dessert next time!

Good service at all levels is everything – and forms the emotional connection that can make the difference in your customer experience.

As Webhelp’s YouGov backed research from our new Whitepaper shows - when taken overall, customer experience was the top source of emotional connection with brands.

The paper shares expert industry insight on how emotion can have a huge impact on customer loyalty, share of wallet and recommendations, which is so important for retail - as David Turner, CEO, Webhelp UK India & South Africa explains:

“If we look specifically at research from the retail sector, it has been shown that customers who feel an emotional connection to a brand are far more valuable. To thrive in today’s competitive landscape, it is obvious that brands must cultivate an emotional connection with their customers.”

Emotion has the possibility to dramatically increase a customer’s lifetime value, as connected customers are more loyal, satisfied, and ready to buy more!

The Harvard Business Review states that emotionally engaged customers are at least three times more likely to recommend your product or service. They are three times more likely to re-purchase, and that (as their diagram shows) fully connected customers are up to 52% more valuable!

And, when we look closely at the market sectors that that UK customers are most likely to form emotional connections with, Webhelp data (as illustrated below) shows that ecommerce leads the way, with online sectors like Clothing, Grocery, Technology and Beauty coming out on top.

Ecommerce is booming with a growth forecast of 16% of all global sales in 2020, and brands that don’t strongly connect with consumers in this area, risk being rapidly left behind.

But the good news is, Webhelp has the right people, experience and insight to leverage emotion to create positive behavioural change and human connections with your customers, to insure they stay loyally connected to your brand. Read on to find out more.

In case you haven’t registered yet, sign up to receive fresh insights and invitations to exec events with our Webhelp Disruptor Series campaign