The use of digital technology has exploded in the past decade and the rate of change is increasing. Where would we be now without our smartphone, tablet or wearable technology? Our lives are conducted through the internet and our connections are increasingly virtual. We need only look at the panic and frustration that accompanies a loss of wifi or phone signal to realise how dependant we are on technology that didn’t even exist only a few years ago.
A similarly meteoric shift has taken place in the world of outsourcing and contact centres. From a world view that saw outsourcing as predominantly a means of saving money and cutting costs, with poor customer outcomes more often than not the result, the transformation to a data-driven, customer-centric, insight-led model makes the modern contact centre almost unrecognisable from last century’s version.
And it is companies like Webhelp that are driving the change.
Founded by two young French entreprenuers, Frederic Jousset and Olivier Duha, at the turn of the millennium, Webhelp was established with the specific intention of helping and encouraging brands and customers to engage with each other digitally.
Webhelp invests heavily in the technology and resources needed to explore new ideas and push the boundaries of creativity and excellence in customer experience.
With our appetite for new technology seemingly a long way from being satisfied it is vital that brands keep up with their customers’ digital contact and engagement desires if they are to remain relevant and competitive. Whether by channel or device, brands need to ensure they can communicate with their target audience via the channel of that audience’s choosing.
The ability to pinpoint the right channel and where to focus resources when there is so much choice available can seem overwhelming. This is where Webhelp’s expertise comes into its own. Using data analytics and insight, Webhelp can help companies to navigate the crowded and potentially treacherous digital waters.
This is a service more and more companies are depending on. Partnering with Webhelp is helping them to deliver increased customer loyalty through a better customer experience, which is leading to increased sales; and all at a reduced cost.
From humble beginnings in Paris in 2000, Webhelp now operates in 26 countries, from 90 sites and with 35,000 people. Among the top flight clients who use Webhelp’s services are household names such as Unilever, Valentino and Sky.
With the changing nature of the work of contact centres comes an increase in opportunities for the people who are employed there. Long term careers are now a realistic prospect, with people finding genuine and interesting career progression paths in the business. From project management to team management to data analytics and insight, there are many more options open to an advisor now than ever before. Language skills are also increasingly important. With Webhelp offering a number of multilingual hubs across Europe, there are increasingly options for language graduates to put their skills to good use in a customer experience sector.
These new opportunities are also open to a wide range of people. The potential for flexible working hours opens up the possibilities for part time workers. The training and development on the job, without the requirement for formal qualifications at the outset, means the barriers to entry are low, so long as people have the right soft skills. And the sedentary nature of the work means less physically able people can thrive in this sort of environment.
Over the past four years, Webhelp has seen its revenues grow by 250%. Webhelp’s strategy is to grow geographically and by sector expertise. This has led to the business making a number of key acquisitions in recent times. Expansion into the Russian-speaking market through the opening of a site in Latvia and the addition of social listening expertise and speech recognition capabilities with the acquisitions of leading French and Dutch firms Netino and Telecats are very recent examples.
Since the injection of capital in March 2016 that investment from leading global venture capital firm KKR brought to the business, expansion has been rapid and exciting.
Webhelp is a technology enabler and is expert at transforming its clients’ customer experience solutions. Compared to more traditional and better known names in the business process outsourcing industry, it is clear that the transformation Webhelp is bringing about extends far beyond customer experience.