KYC remediation

The 4 key indicators of a successful KYC remediation campaign

KYC remediation

Knowing Your Customer (KYC) is at the heart of the challenges faced by regulated companies and financial institutions. In fact, they are subject to the European legislation to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) and are obliged to carry out KYC checks. This involves collecting and checking information and associated supporting documents from the beginning of the relationship (identity, domicile, activity, etc.). These KYC operations also occur throughout the commercial relationship in the form of periodic reviews.

In the event of a breach discovered during an audit by a regulator, such as the ACPR (the French Prudential Supervisory Authority), companies face serious consequences such as criminal sanctions. They also risk damaging their brand image in the event of indirect involvement with a case of money laundering or fraud. Some organizations are also required to launch extensive KYC remediation campaigns aimed at making a substantial stock of existing customer records compliant, often before an imminent deadline. In such cases customers are asked and invited to update their file as soon as possible. These operations require special attention in order to maximise the remediation rate of these customers, while managing the associated investments and customer satisfaction.

In order to optimise the performance of a KYC remediation campaign, Guillaume Bru, Project Director at Webhelp KYC Services, recommends paying particular attention to 4 key indicators:

1/ After taking an inventory of the customers targeted by the campaign, ensure a maximum deliverability rate of the invitations in order to reach the largest number of customers.

The essential point is identifying which contact channels to prioritise according to the type of customer (email, post, SMS, telephone, etc.) and confirming having the means of contact used by each customer (email address, telephone numbers, postal address, secure messaging in the customer’s account, etc.). By having the option of using a variety of channels, you will increase your chances of reaching the customer with one of these methods. On the other hand, in order to control costs, prioritise mail only when necessary – for example, to customers less comfortable with digital channels or in the case of a final reminder.

2/ Once the customer is aware of the update request, the second indicator to be optimised is the take-up rate corresponding to the customers’ consent to the update of their file.

In fact, some customers complain about the constraints associated with these administrative formalities. Above all, it is necessary to prepare and use reasoned and personalised arguments, given by expert, trained members of staff. We have seen that 95% of customers agree to carry out the remediation following a well-reasoned call with one of our advisors. Also, rely on the official communication channels used by your company in its relationship with your customers (corporate website, customer support, etc.) in order to rule out any suspicion of phishing, for example.

3/ Customers must then be able to take action and provide whatever is required in order to obtain a maximum collection rate.

To do so, make it easier for them to cooperate and favour user-friendly digital channels, while leaving the door open to traditional channels such as post. You can also directly ask the customer what their preferred method is. Anticipate their questions and answer them if necessary. Offering support through a hotline or a chatbot is a good way to overcome any final obstacles they may face. Finally, in the event of a lack of response, send reminders with prompts, progressively and sufficiently spaced out to both control costs and preserve the customer relationship.

4/ Finally, the last key indicator to optimise is the compliance rate of the files collected.

Some files may be rejected due to incompleteness, illegible supporting documents or still being out of date. Raising the customer’s awareness beforehand of the required quality of the documents to be provided will help to avoid many rejections. Also, it is important to be pragmatic andadapt the level of the requests based on the assessed degree of AML/CFT risk. Analysing pre-existing information will also potentially reduce the number of items to be collected. Finally, in the event of a non-compliant file being received, set up a specific follow-up process to make the file compliant.

Define and prepare the campaign in advance by implementing a process that combines technology for automated tasks and people for high-value tasks. Throughout the remediation campaign, set goals, particularly for remediation rates that you will manage each week by optimizing these 4 key indicators. It is also wise to demonstrate flexibility by testing and adapting each element of the process in order to continuously improve results. This is the key to a successful KYC remediation campaign.

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[Banking, Insurance, FinTech] KYC Remediation: how to outsource without sacrificing customer experience

KYC remediation

The purpose of KYC remediation procedures, which regulated establishments may be required to carry out, is to upgrade client data and to ensure that it is compliant. Faced with large amounts of data to process under tight deadlines, many companies choose outsourcing. But you need to be careful. KYC operations are delicate. They can have an unpleasant impact on end customers and thereby lead to the closure of customers’ accounts! However, as Nicolas Dambrine, Managing Director of Webhelp KYC Services explains, they are also an opportunity to get to know your customers better and even to boost their level of satisfaction.

KYC remediation refers to compliance operations that concern existing clients, in the context of KYC (Know Your Customer) regulations. It involves collecting, updating and checking customer data and the supporting documents, in particular, for identity, address and activity, as well as for tax. As a rule, with a regulated company (such as a bank, an insurance company, a payment institution or with FinTech), it follows:

  • Pressure from the Regulator (the Prudential Supervision Resolution Authority, or ACPR in France), requiring a particular group of customers to be brought into compliance, sometimes with the threat of a fine
  • The entry into force of new regulations which, to be complied with, require the database of existing customers to be updated
  • Receipt of a banking licence or the acquisition of a banking institution, meaning that the database of existing customers needs to be updated so as to ensure uniform adherence to regulatory procedures

For many financial institutions, these remediation obligations pose several challenges: how can you implement a large number of operations in a short time and in a reliable and traceable way? How can you maximise the data collection rate so as to avoid closing the accounts of customers that did not respond? Finally, how can you minimise the impact on customer experience and avoid tarnishing the image of your brand?
After all, we should remember that a remediation initiative is rarely a happy experience for the end customers. It may appear intrusive or be viewed as a form of phishing that could compromise the confidentiality of their personal data.

While outsourcing KYC remediation is a very suitable solution to address these issues, it is not something you can improvise! For Nicolas Dambrine, there are a few golden rules to follow when it comes to outsourcing a KYC remediation initiative:

  • Work out a methodology with accurate planning and topic-focused workshops, so you can prepare each stage of the project in advance and prevent technical, operational or human errors before the project gets under way.
  • Get the help of a project team with both the right size and experience over the whole course of the initiative. It is easy to underestimate the workload, so it is better to invest a little more at the outset to ensure the project is well managed.
  • Prioritise operational efficiency and process optimisation with an end-to-end solution combining technological and human elements. The truth is that although technology is transforming and accelerating the process of remote identification, no platform can claim to automate 100% of operations. Some complex procedures will require the involvement of teams of expert operators focused on value-added tasks and interaction with customers.
  • Set up a dedicated telephone helpline right at the start of the initiative, allowing the end customers to ask questions and to check if the operation is legitimate, or to get help with completing the remediation process. We found out that 95% per cent of customers who contact this hotline agree to carry out the remediation, which is thanks to the quality of the advice from our expert agents. So for your initiative, this is a great way to increase the rate of compliance! This communication channel is also an opportunity to improve your customer relations and to strengthen the bond with your end customer: by getting updates on their situation or on their contact details, or hearing them express their needs and their problems …
  • Establish accurate reporting and metrics beforehand, as they are essential for managing the project and achieving your objectives. They will enable you to monitor its progress and take decisions at the right time in the event of a change of course.

These five factors, if they are properly taken into account, are the keys to the success of an outsourced KYC remediation initiative.

When you make customer relations central to the whole operation, KYC remediation campaigns can give you an opportunity to improve the relationship with the end customer and to boost customer loyalty over the long-term, thanks to reassuring advice provided by experts.

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B-Case – How does a bank manage KYC in a B2C marketplace… by using a non-dissuasive process?

Webhelp KYC bank

Webhelp supported a major international bank to manage all financial flows for its B2C marketplace customers through its specialised internal electronic money institution. Webhelp KYC Services carried out the entire vendor identification and onboarding process : a solution that means it was able to validate more than 10,000 vendors worldwide in just a few months.

This bank’s B2C marketplace customers offer their platform to thousands of vendors from around the world.

  • This sector of activity is regulated by the Sapin II law, which targets money laundering and financing of terrorism. Non-compliance fines are on the rise and are expected to exceed $400 billion by 2020 in Europe and the US.
  • This regulation requires that sellers and beneficiaries must have been formally identified by a KYC procedure (Know Your Customer) before they can operate in the marketplace.


The bank
 does not have an international task force to manage the KYC vendor registration process in the marketplace.

  • Legal constraint: where the vendor is a legal entity, beneficiaries must be personally identified when registering and then periodically as soon as they hold more than 25% of the capital.
  • The specific language and administrative requirements of each vendor’s country of origin must be taken into consideration.
  • Each country has its own specific requirements regarding connections to administrative databases.
  • Procedures for identifying and onboarding vendors must be fast and efficient enough not to be dissuasive, and reliable enough to comply with regulations.


In order to manage
 complex, multilingual and multi-country KYC procedures, Webhelp KYC Services has developed a project methodology that was rolled out in seven weeks. The organisation is based on five simultaneously processed areas: data collection (HMI), exchange security, APIs, acceptance rules, and management of reminders. Using our multilingual KYC hub, KYC identification operations can be managed in over 40 countries and in 15 languages. This takes into account each country’s specific administrative requirements and the KYC validation practices particular to the ordering parties. Generally speaking, only 55% of onboarding files are complete the first time around: Webhelp KYC Services uses a reminder program to optimise file completion.

The +: Onboarding a new vendor takes just a few minutes. Additional human verification, when necessary, is carried out in under twenty four hours.

“Unique in the market, our People & Solution procedure combines two components: a dedicated technical platform and multilingual operators trained in KYC verifications. It makes it possible to operate a multilingual, multi-country KYC service with a file rejection rate of less than five per cent.”

Hervé de Kermadec, president of Webhelp KYC Services


KYC know your customer

Whitepaper: Using KYC to deliver competitive differentiation

KYC know your customer

Revealing why KYC is no longer just a regulatory requirement but a matter of competitive survival

The process of knowing your customer, commonly shortened to KYC, describes the actions that organisations undertake to verify the identity of their customers. Regulatory compliance is fundamental to an effective KYC operation, but it is only the start.

As brands undergo rapid and necessary digital transformation in response to COVID-19, the importance of the experience created during the KYC process must not be overlooked. From regulation to differentiation, the customer must still be at the heart of the KYC journey.

KYC processes are increasingly viewed as competitive differentiators, for both clients and consumers alike across multiple industries. KYC can be flexed to provide differentiation linked to an organisation’s broader strategy, whether that is delivering a seamless journey for customers, rapid response times or reduced cost.

In this paper, authored by Senior Account Directors Ali Fry and Virginie Raux at Gobeyond Partners, part of the Webhelp group, we review the impact of new technologies, lessons learnt from other digital industries, and two key focus areas for KYC improvement activity.


Identity verification meets our KYC proven strategies

Fraud and economic crime rates remain on record highs, negatively impacting many companies than ever before. And if you thought the pandemic would slow down the online fraudsters, it has in fact created an opportunity for them. Criminals are now capitalizing on the current situation to further commit financial scams. With surgical masks and other medical amenities in high demand, fake shops, email addresses, social media accounts and websites allegedly offering these items, have surged online.

blog KYC
Common fraud scenarios in business…

  • Business identity theft – when perpetrators open business accounts under the names of legitime existing companies.
  • Phishing – when hackers impersonate a trusted vendor to convience you to authorize a financial transaction.
  • Shell companies – firms that are purposefully set up with the objective of commiting fraud. Such companies never provide a product or service, but rather use their companies to launder money.
  • Voicemail message scam – is a more recent means of businesses fraud which involves a voicemail that is delivered via e-mail. While at first glance the e-mail appears to be official, it normally has malware attached to it.
  • Invoice fraud – from false invoices that lack a corresponding product or service to inflated invoices where the reported expenses are higher than the actual costs, companies face a myriad of wrong invoicing fraud schemes.

And because many global organizations often handle numerous monthly supplier payments, cybercriminals continue to take advantage of the susceptibility that exists. The damage is estimated at $63,000 in 87% of companies who earn an annual revenue of more than $1 Billion. (Source: KPMG – nsknox.net).

With over 10 years of experience since our founding, our team is made up of 450 KYC experts who are spread around five EU countries. Until now, we have served over 100 customers in various sectors such as Banking & Insurance, Gaming, Marketplaces, Real Estate and verified millions of documents.

Why us?...

Our solutions
Using our KYC solutions, we provide instant customer verification through enriching technology with a human touch.Our wide-ranging portfolio is designed and customized to match your business and industry needs. Our solution entails a mix of manual and digitalized processes which provides instant online customer identification and ID verification for B2C businesses.

Our approach
And just like we mentioned in our previous blog about the importance of using AI and humans in content moderation, combining the human touch with technology is equally important in the verification procedure. The innovative technology that KYC uses, accelerates activation, enhances customer experience and decreases fraud. Our best-in-class Application Programing Interfaces (APIs) are enriched with teams of experts who focus on value-adding customer interactions.

Our process
From complex to simple documents, our systems scan and verify all types of files such as, IDs, driving licenses, proof of address, pay slips, legal status bank details etc. The automatic extraction and authentication of data is enhanced with manual intervention from our Subject matter Experts.

Our risk mitigation
In order to stay compliant with the Anti Money Laundering (AML) and CTF rules, part of our obligation is to certify that customers are the people they claim to be. And for us to mitigate the risks, we use Realtime Name Check against sanction lists, Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) and Interpol. Project implementation is also backed up with compliance expert advises.

Our technology
The best-in-class deployment of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technologies ensures that the verification process is steadfast. We collect E-signatures as well as enable video streaming capabilities. Additionally, our API is connected to multiple external databases.

Our services
Apart from our Know Your Customer services, we also offer Know Your Business (KYB) where we offer a full range of services that help you better identify your B2B partners during their digital onboarding process. Our KYB service is compliant with international regulations and ensures higher transformation rates, increased performance and stronger security.

Moreover, with our Know Your Employee (KYE) system we have developed an innovative candidate onboarding platform enabling faster, more secured, and more efficient recruitment process. Finally, we design bespoke Remediation processes helping our customers to comply with regulation by collecting, updating, and verifying end user data. We are able to process very large data basis and thanks to our inbound and outbound calling capacity, we manage to drastically improve positive Remediation rates.

What is the main challenge and how does KYC overcome it

Main issue is to be able to externalize the end to end KYC process and not only part of it. Many software providers propose automatic identification processes leaving customers to manually carry out fallback tasks in order to complement the technology when automatic ID verification fails. This creates complexity and hinders a seamless customer journey.

Webhelp unique combination of technology and manual fallback ensures 100% accurate and definitive decision on identification process, leaving high value added tasks and business decision to the customers. Low value added tasks and upfront verifications are done on Webhelp side, providing an end to end verification process. Our clients can thus concentrate on their core business relying on our proven dual verification approach.

Would you like to also benefit from our expertise in this field? Get in touch with our expert via LinkedIn - Hervé De kermadec President Webhelp KYC, or via E-mail on herve.dekermadec@webhelp.com.


Whitepaper launch: Reimagining service for the new world

As the urgency for change and transformation intensifies in the post COVID landscape, Craig Gibson CCO for Webhelp UK, shares his thoughts on the launch of a new Whitepaper, a collaboration with Gobeyond Partners, part of the Webhelp Group. 

At Webhelp, we have a commitment to use customer experience management to create positive and emotionally significant consumer/client relationships. Many of our previous blogs have discussed the importance of brand humanity and the how the multitude of emotions consumers experience can influence the customer journey and change attitudes towards companies and brands.

And whilst this remains a clear focus, we can’t ignore the impact that COVID-19 has had on both service delivery and development of the Customer Experience industry.

It is rapidly evolving, and as interactions have by necessity changed, customers’ expectations have shifted and priorities have become significantly different to those that were drafted onto strategic plans at the close of 2019.

We have shared some of the ways we met the immediate challenge of COVID-19, including looking at our strong partnerships with brands like Yodel, but the business world is still adapting to this new way of working, and the way customers have traditionally acted and regarded customer service is changing.

As an industry, brands must understand that the rules have changed, for good.

And I am not alone in believing that customer experience will be pivotal in this future landscape, as Feefo’s CEO, Matt West, agrees saying:

 “I think the ‘new normal’ will be more CX focused than ever. It will be all about fine-tuning right the way through the journey. Before all of this happened, evaluating the customer experience may not have been at the top of many businesses’ to-do lists, whereas this situation has brought the real value of a brand right to the forefront of the consumer’s minds. A refined CX is no longer a ‘nice to have’, it’s an essential.”[1]

It is time to tear up outdated plans and explore new and evolving needs which will drive future service development and innovation.

To this end, I have joined forces with Mark Palmer, Chief Executive Officer at Gobeyond Partners, part of the Webhelp Group, as we firmly believe that together we are able to provide a unique perspective.

There is no doubt that the need for transformation will only continue to intensify post COVID, and Mark hits the nail on the head, when he concludes that:

“COVID-19 is having a profound impact globally. Not only is it affecting our health, but it is fundamentally challenging and altering our political, social, and economic norms.”

And as our normal shifts, some key questions must be answered:

  • 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?

Our new Whitepaper, combining Webhelp’s expertise in global customer management with Gobeyond Partners’ Customer journey design and transformation experience is called Reimagining service for the new world. It provides a clear framework, or roadmap, for tomorrow’s successful customer-focused operating models and is backed by the latest exclusive research from over 500 business leaders.

There is something wonderful about looking at the right map to explore the road ahead, as:

“Maps are like campfires – everyone gathers around them, because they allow people to understand complex issues at a glance, and find agreement.”[2]

We hope that launch of this Whitepaper will provide the stimulus for many further blogs and events, and I would like to personally invite you to keep the campfire of innovation burning and join the Reimagining service for the new world mailing list, by connecting on LinkedIn and by becoming part of our future conversation. We’d love to hear what you think the future holds.

[1] www.dma.org.uk

[2] www.sonomaecologycenter.org


How the Yodel and Webhelp partnership faced the challenge of COVID-19

Partnership is a huge part of the way we deliver services at Webhelp, and one of our four cultural pillars is to put the client at the heart. Here we explore the strong collaborative approach that was undertaken during the COVID crisis with Yodel, a key logistics client for Webhelp. Joining the discussion were Michaela Simpson, Head of Customer Experience at Yodel, Kellyann McCafferty, Account Director at Webhelp and Cobus Crous, Head of Operations for Webhelp in India and SA.

Yodel is one of the UK’s largest delivery companies for B2C orders, serving many of the country’s leading retailers. Webhelp and Yodel have been working together since 2015, and have built up a strong alliance providing outstanding customer service management, which is delivered from Webhelp’s offshore locations in South Africa and India.

What was the starting position of the logistics industry, and Yodel’s outlook before COVID?

Michaela Simpson (Yodel):

We were just coming out of a very successful peak period, the six weeks over Christmas, is traditionally one of the highest delivery periods for the consumer market. Logistics is a highly competitive sector and as an innovative carrier, our efforts were focused on continuing to build a forward-thinking technology roadmap. We were in the enviable position of having well-established, technical and highly skilled operational and management teams in place, and an exceptionally in depth understanding of the day to day working of the business.

Do you have any feedback on what Webhelp were doing well before COVID hit?

Michaela Simpson (Yodel):

Everything.

Together we had had a run of at least three, if not four really strong quarters. And, this success can be measured by the fact that Yodel have been awarding Webhelp service credits for great delivery at the end of each quarter.

Like any partnership, you can drill down into detail to find areas to challenge, which is simply good practice. But, in my opinion, we had the strongest people we’ve ever had  and overall we were very pleased.

Do you have anything to share on the operational approach during COVID, for example how and when our partnership reacted – any stand out examples, or challenges?

Michaela Simpson (Yodel)

One stand out during the COVID crisis would be, just as we approached Easter, Yodel were awarded a UK government contract to collect COVID tests for the NHS, seven days a week. Webhelp delivered an eight person team specifically trained to support this essential service. We went from concept to go live in less than a week! They did an absolutely fantastic job delivering the first campaign and we now have two more on the horizon.

Kellyann McCafferty (Webhelp):

But there were challenges, and they were different depending on the country in question. In India, a curfew was announced on the 14th of March, and then the lockdown was announced on Mothers Day on Sunday the 22nd of March, one of Yodel’s busiest trading days of the year! We then had four hours to deliver desktops & laptops to our employees who were without access to technology. Working swiftly, our teams successfully managed to complete all actions on time and in line with the Indian Government regulations.

In South Africa, shortly before the formal lockdown announcement on the 23rd of March, we conducted an initial employee survey to understand the potential challenge of the home situation for our advisors in terms of WIFI, hardware, infrastructure and so on.

A staggered approach was then used to move our people to either supported homeworking, or for the small group where this was not suitable due to not having an appropriate home environment, supported working from a hotel venue.

The hotel solution was an industry first, which showed not only the strength in our partnership to act quickly and decisively around commercials and logistics, but also highlighted the commitment and dedication our people have towards Webhelp and Yodel.

Our advisors left their families and loved ones for 21 days, without hesitation, to support customers and clients from a hotel room during a very uncertain period. This is testament to our values and how our wonderful employees live the Yodel brand.

Michaela Simpson (Yodel):

Yes, the Indian lockdown happened incredibly quickly. And then South Africa was hot on its heels. One of the strengths we shared collaboratively was the ability to make some very decisive and quick decisions on how we were going to operate. This allowed Webhelp to deploy a robust plan at speed, which has been really successful, particularly in India, and remains so now.

Understandably, there were technical challenges to overcome, early in the process but, I think if you were a Yodel customer you probably wouldn't have noticed a significant difference.

We made the pragmatic, but firm decision to move away from phone services to Web chat until early August, and to manage that message to our consumers. Clear joint action gave us the freedom to plan our campaigns together, knowing the road ahead and the expected timeline.

Kellyann McCafferty (Webhelp):

This helped make sure that in a short space of time all our people, in both locations, were up and running from home, or hotel based – and while we appreciate the sacrifices our advisors made, the feedback was that they were delighted to carry on representing the Yodel brand during a difficult period, and maintained high enthusiasm in delivering great service.

Cobus Crous (Webhelp):

Absolutely. Taken together across the Webhelp estate, in both India and South Africa, Yodel was one of the accounts that were 100% operational within a 72-hour window.

And I think that's quite an achievement on its own.

Personally, I'm exceptionally proud of how my team reacted, to what was a very scary and unsettling scenario. Their attitude was: “OK, we're going for it, we're going to solve it!” From the moment they got their PC’s, they unpacked, connected and were ready to work the next morning! And I think that was remarkable, just how well they moved with the change. Our people are such a big part of this story.

Kellyann McCafferty (Webhelp):

In fact, this shows great resilience, as they were quickly functioning above normal business levels, when COVID actually brought much larger parcel volumes than usual.

Michaela Simpson (Yodel):  

Yes, interestingly, at Yodel we were initially concerned about the negative impact COVID could have on online retail, which forms a substantial part of our business.

However, the reality was completely different. China came out of lockdown just as Europe went into it, and the expected disruption to the global manufacturing industry didn’t impact us. Suddenly home shopping habits changed completely, so we have been effectively running at peak operation, which we usually spend a significant part of the year planning and laying out logistics for.

And we managed to switch this on in a just a few hours. And since then we have maintained very, very high numbers, well above our plan!

Webhelp is a people first organisation with a commitment to make business more human, did this approach effect delivery?  

Michaela Simpson (Yodel)

In the logistics industry, it's easy for us to think in operational terms, but despite the fact that we had to make some very critical business decisions, together we have considered and prioritised the people side of our partnership. This went above the usual checks and balance for any business and has come through very strongly from the Webhelp operational teams at a grass roots level.

Thoughts for the future?   

Kellyann McCafferty (Webhelp):

With Yodel, we are building a highly proactive approach to contact and delivery, which benefits from the joint operational traits of flexibility, clarity of decision making and the right balance between people and technology.

Our partnership will continue to change the way that brands look at outsourced customer service for the logistics sector, both during this crisis and as we move towards a more stable future.


Five key questions for CEOs, a response to McKinsey Digital

In a recent article from McKinsey Digital, several experts posed a number of key questions focusing on a digital-led recovery from COVID-19 aimed at CEOs, a total of five in fact, and never being one to ignore a challenge, David Turner, CEO for the UK Region shares his insight.

I’m responding not only in my role as CEO for Webhelp’s UK region, but as a passionate advocate of digital transformation – something that drives our service structure and is deeply embedded in the innovative partnerships we create with our clients. I hope that my answers illustrate both the resilience shown by our teams during COVID-19 and our desire for our clients not just to recover – but to thrive.

  1. Do you have a clear view of where the value is going to be and a road map that will get you there?

Here at Webhelp, conversations with our clients on the topic of digital transformation are built in to our processes. The impact of increasingly sophisticated technology in the hands of consumers driving changes in their behaviours and expectations, combined with market disruption from new, online business models has been apparent for some time.

However, Dave Pattman, Managing Director CX Services for Gobeyond Partners, part of the Webhelp Group, highlights that:

“What COVID-19 has changed is the pace at which organisations have found themselves having to respond and adapt. For many this pandemic has resulted not only in the virtualisation of their workforce as offices closed but also the virtualisation of their customers as the shutters came down on physical outlets as well.”

In our view, it is very likely that the increasingly digital consumer behaviours arising from the lockdown experience will stick, forcing many organisations to radically rethink the fundamentals of their business and how they reach and serve their customers.

I firmly believe that Webhelp has the right resources, expertise and more importantly the flexibility to create and sustain digital strategy and online growth for our clients.

The insight driving every stage of this strategy should come from deeply understanding and tracking customer behaviours, something that is built into all our client solutions and forms the backbone of agile customer experience.

The digital landscape is also highly dependent on regulation, so the roadmap to success must be achieved in a compliant manner. For many organisations, this will create an added complication in the digital transformation journey. Our well-established risk function with expertise across regulation, cyber and compliance enables us to confidently navigate these challenges on behalf of our clients.

  1. What role should business building have in helping you accelerate your entrance into new markets or access new customers?

Here, McKinsey concludes that many businesses can only match the pace of both the crisis and the change in customer behaviour by building something outside of the core company.

This is true in our experience, we have worked swiftly with our clients, increasing their business building capacity in digital.

This has taken a range of forms, from re-engineering blocked and over-subscribed customer management routes, to creating blended services that move seamlessly between on site, voice, virtual hubs, digital messaging and homeworking.

They also highlight the potential for growth in remote service providers, which I can certainly confirm, and that data visionaries are finding ways through analytics and automation to use new types and sources of data to generate value. We have been a long-term proponent of this, with several blogs and whitepapers creating conversation and tracking innovation in this field.

  1. How can you lock in the benefits of a more agile operating model to increase the metabolic rate of your business?

McKinsey asserts that the very nature of the crisis has required teams to act quickly amidst uncertainty and react to changing situations. This was certainly true for us, and we immediately established a high-level rapid response unit to handle the major crisis decisions, while creating an agile and cascading level of responsibility to prevent our senior teams from becoming overwhelmed.  This allowed us to react across countries with one voice, while adapting to what was a rapidly changing set of international parameters and regulations.

Our senior leaders create flexible strategies based on current research and highly probable outcomes, always keeping real-time customer data at the top of the decision tree.

An incredible amount of momentum was reached and we have certainly benefited from clarity of focus, something which I will endeavour to sustain, and I have a renewed depth of confidence in the commitment and flexibility of all our people.

In the post-COVID digital world, Webhelp’s Think Human positioning has never been more relevant. Digital technology has been an enabler rather than a barrier to human connection during the lockdown. Separated families and friends of all generations have kept in touch over video calls and communities have mobilised over social media to support the vulnerable and key workers on the frontline.

As Dave Pattman also points out:

“It would be a mistake for organisations to assume that they can or should seek to remove all human interaction with customers. The value for Webhelp is going to be found in helping our clients to simultaneously digitise the human and humanise the digital.”

How should you rethink your talent strategy so that you have the people you need when the recovery starts?

Recruiting and retaining the right people is absolutely key to the successful growth of any campaign or company.  Our commitment to make business more human drives us to deliver an exemplary people strategy – something that we genuinely pride ourselves on – this will no doubt continue to evolve in the recovery stage, post-COVID.

Melanie Buckley, Director of Employee Value Proposition & Engagement Programmes UK, India and South Africa, points out that flexibility is again the key here saying:

“We have moved from being reliant on our people reading key business messaging in work hours on the company intranet, to posting on closed Facebook groups that they can access any time of the day or night from the comfort of their own home. After all; good communication between the company and your people works both ways.

Being highly visible ‘where they live’ online (like social networks) also helps us to bond with our people as a brand, by sharing their successes and recognising their hard work.”

This topic deserves a blog – or a series - in its own right. And, as a people first company this is something that we will be bringing to you in the near future. In the meantime I will leave you some insight from Gillian Campbell, Chief People Officer UK Region & Director Global Engagement for Webhelp:

 “When developing our employer value proposition over the past year, we took the time to understand what is attractive to employees from different backgrounds and levels of experience. This endeavour is a cycle of continuous engagement, feedback and improvement, through which we identify areas for growth in the existing employee experience. Moreover, our investment in our employer brand is paying off – it’s helped us to attract and to retain the right people.”

  1. What investments are the most necessary to create the technology environment that will allow your company to thrive in the next normal?

Investment in technology infrastructure is absolutely critical.

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.

As we became aware of the impact of COVID-19, we took steps on the logistical front to reinforce our strong digital framework, and this continued as the crisis progressed. We did this both practically: improving, increasing and securing our network capacity, and with rapid digital innovation, creating bespoke solutions for our clients – which were delivered alongside the substantial task of moving 40,000 colleagues to homeworking.

The result has been the provision of a truly responsive range of solutions, a journey which hasn’t been without challenges, some of which Helen Murray, Chief Customer Solutions Officer, for the Webhelp UK region, reveals in her recent blog.

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.

It’s becoming very clear that success for any organisation will only be achieved through combining the right technology with a human mindset and strong digital strategy.

Digital strategy now has an almost universal impact on maintaining business continuity, and CEO’s need to both invest in and maintain their digital ecosystems across the board, making sure that data service providers and all respective technologies create a streamlined experience.

However, many businesses are not yet ready as Mark Palmer, CEO at Gobeyond Partners explains:

“Prior to COVID-19, there was a misperception of digital maturity across many sectors. As the crisis took hold, the world turned wholly digital, almost overnight. The varied level of response has exposed the lack of capability and flexibility inherent in many organisations. For brands to survive, leaders can no longer pay lip service to digital transformation. Digital needs to be fully integrated into their overall operating model”

Shockingly, before COVID 79% of businesses reported that they were still in the early stages of digital transformation, and this crisis will have been a huge wakeup call.

The world has moved online, and it looks like it will stay there indefinitely.
Business need to act fast – or risk becoming obsolete.

Click here to discover more about our transformative range of services or read more from Mark at gobeyondpartners.com

 


Customer engagement insight for 2020 and beyond

In recent months digital communication has become much more prevalent and is now essential to many global sectors, so Andrew Hall, Managing Director Customer Solutions, Webhelp UK region, takes a look at how this is having an impact on the evolving customer engagement landscape.

Customer engagement insight

The onset of COVID-19 has made it imperative for many of us to live and breathe on digital platforms. As this switch has become firmly embedded in our behaviour patterns, four distinct themes have emerged in the customer engagement arena, which are likely to become even more relevant over the next 12 months.

Exceptional Delivery

There are two golden rules for creating customer engagement: Make it easy. Make it exceptional. The need for exceptionality across sectors is driven by twin imperatives; to create added value and provide positive differentiation.

In short, making the experience exceptional can set you apart from competitors and increase business. Achieving exceptional quality experience across all channels will pay dividends, as David Turner UK regional CEO for Webhelp UK region remarks:

“Thinking carefully about your customer journey is becoming far more important than just designing how to deliver great service – it may in fact be essential for the survival of your business.”

The power of transformation

Harnessing the power of digital transformation is, arguably, the best pivot point on which to leverage changes in customer behaviour and embed positive relationships with consumers. Times have changed radically from the fixed model of voice delivered after-sales customer service. Customers now have a wealth of choices in the ways they can interact with brands. Companies that fail to embrace transformation and don’t work hard to maintain the right content and context right across the entire customer journey, will put themselves at serious disadvantage.

Flexibility in channels and operations

The customer engagement layer - the point at which your consumers have contact with the business, can now take multiple forms. This can be purely automated contact, like chatbots and online ecommerce or via blended human and AI platforms like messaging or social media, or with the traditional telephone advisor - who will always be needed for cases that require human insight and empathy.

However, customers now expect 24/7 contact, and an omni-channel model is now considered the norm, along with the latest mobile messaging services! And of course it is more effective to seek out and speak to your customers on their digital home ground – rather than wait for them to find you!

Results focused

It’s becoming very clear that customer engagement benefits from increased focus on long-term customer value, retention and engagement measures. Good future planning, the adoption of digital technologies and customer design thinking, can help to realise vision and deliver strategies to accelerate innovation and improve customer experience.

Webhelp Chief Customer Solutions Officer, Helen Murray, considers the best way to use engagement measures to drive performance:

“Evidence, no matter how well researched, cannot create engaged and loyal customers on its own – instead, it must inspire digital transformation and top-down strategies. Which in turn must then be embraced at every part of the customer journey. I know from experience, this is not something which can happen overnight, it takes investment, passion and the right insight.”

Together these four pillars can support customer loyalty and advocacy, creating a substantial competitive advantage. There is a huge benefit to be found in designing and embedding the right experience for your customers.

Find out more about how the game is changing for customer experience markets and channels here, delve into our service catalogue here, or look me up on LinkedIn, where I would be delighted to read your thoughts and questions.

 

 

 


Sectors impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown

The business landscape is rapidly changing due to the influence of COVID-19. Here we take an at-a-glance look at which sectors have been positively and negatively impacted over the past few months.

Read our blog from Marketing Manager Ewan McKay for more in depth insight and look out for a new Whitepaper exploring the operating models of the future.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE