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Webhelp Award Write Up


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Webhelp Receives Frost & Sullivan's 2018 European Contact Center Outsourcing Market Leadership Award

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Webhelp Award Write Up

  1. 1. 2018 European Contact Center Outsourcing Market Leadership Award 2018 EUROPEAN CONTACT CENTER OUTSOURCING MARKET LEADERSHIP AWARD 2018
  2. 2. BEST PRACTICES RESEARCH © Frost & Sullivan 2018 2 "We Accelerate Growth" Contents Background and Company Performance ...................................................................................... 3 Industry Challenges........................................................................................................... 3 Market Leadership............................................................................................................. 3 Conclusion........................................................................................................................ 8 Significance of Market Leadership .............................................................................................. 9 Understanding Market Leadership .............................................................................................. 9 Key Performance Criteria .........................................................................................................10 Best Practices Recognition: 10 Steps to Researching, Identifying, and Recognizing Best Practices .....11 The Intersection between 360-Degree Research and Best Practices Awards....................................12 Research Methodology ......................................................................................................12 About Frost & Sullivan .............................................................................................................12
  3. 3. BEST PRACTICES RESEARCH © Frost & Sullivan 2018 3 "We Accelerate Growth" Background and Company Performance Industry Challenges An Era of Rapid Technological Change Exponential technological change, characterized by trends such as digitization and deep learning, are fundamentally changing how businesses gain and retain customers. Companies that don’t embrace the digital revolution that is gaining speed will pay a heavy price. Consider what has happened in the retail space of late. Over the course of just two months back in 2016, the consequences of not keeping pace with the pace of today’s change became particularly clear. Back in March, 2016, buckling under pressure from mobile and online competition, retail giant Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy. Weeks later, in May, 2016, Aeropostale also filed for bankruptcy, and according to analysts, the primary reason was that it couldn’t keep up with fast-changing consumer behaviors and the speed of emerging fashion trends at the same rate as its online competitors. And then that same month, UK-based BHS also filed for bankruptcy. According to reports, the company had fallen far behind its digital competitors and fast- changing consumer trends. The consensus among retail analysts was that all three of these companies failed to digitally transform quickly enough, which resulted in lost ground to more tech-savvy competitors. Clearly, understanding which digital technologies are required today, and which will be important tomorrow, is critical for developing an agile and digitally transformed enterprise capable of acting and reacting to all the perpetually changing data, all the digital flux that is out there, fast enough to matter. This is no less true in the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) space, as the highly competitive contact center outsourcing market in Europe faces an array of challenges. The need for new models and processes is clear. After all, according to authors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee in their 2012 book, Race Against the Machine, we’re in the early throes of a “Great Restructuring,” a time when “our technologies are racing ahead, but our skills and organizations are lagging behind.” In 2018, this new reality is manifesting itself through customer engagements that are becoming automated through web/mobile self-service, chatbots/virtual assistants, automated SMS, proactive outbound customer contact, and finally IVR and speech. These applications both divert contacts from agents but they also shorten conversations. Automation is also occurring within the contact center through voice biometrics screening, desktop automation (including logins and call dispositions), guided assistance, knowledge management, and robotic process automation (RPA).
  4. 4. BEST PRACTICES RESEARCH © Frost & Sullivan 2018 4 "We Accelerate Growth" While consumers might enjoy superior experiences while agent productivity improves and costs go down, these changes can also pose challenges to the business models of BPOs that remain trapped in the past. But the challenges don’t end there. Amidst all the technological disruption affecting the industry, the BPO landscape across Europe also remains highly competitive, with an array of both pan-European and regional providers vying for business. From the United Kingdom in the north, to Italy in the south, the economy has had no mercy for some providers of customer management, from Serco BPO in the UK to AlmavivA Contact in Italy. Consider that at the same time that retail giant BHS was struggling in the retail sector in the UK, BPOs faced challenges across Europe as a whole. For example, in the fall of 2016, AlmavivA Contact CEO Andrea Antonelli noted that his company was among those “plagued by an industry crisis that has forced at least fifteen companies to close down over the last one and a half years.” For Antonelli, “the only alternative is to introduce new models and processes capable of implementing stable solutions for the future. He then called on all stakeholders – businesses, trade unions, and government – to “accept their responsibilities.” Otherwise, Antonelli warned, things would only get worse. Still, it's not all downhill in the BPO industry. Webhelp is a provider that has distinguished itself in this highly competitive market, managing to sustain growth and expansion, evolving into a market leader in Europe by anticipating and adapting these fast-paced changes. Market Leadership Founded in 2000 by Frédéric Jousset and Olivier Duha, Webhelp is headquartered in Paris. The company started out by offering real-time online assistance for Internet neophytes. It then integrated call center operations, providing hotline, telemarketing, letter processing, email solutions, chat services and social media services. In this highly competitive context, Webhelp on the other hand, has managed to sustain its growth and expansion, growing into a top market leader in Europe. Growth Strategy Excellence KKR private equity partners has contributed significant capital to almost double the size of Webhelp’s business and extend the company’s footprint across Europe over these past few years. All told, the company has seen 18 years of uninterrupted growth in BPO and CX services across Europe (almost 18 acquisitions in 18 years). Recent acquisitions will only add to this trend. 1). Acquisition of SellByTel, June, 2018.
  5. 5. BEST PRACTICES RESEARCH © Frost & Sullivan 2018 5 "We Accelerate Growth" SellByTel Group was founded in 1988 as a provider of outsourced sales, service, and support. It has 8,500 employees, with operations in 28 centers across Spain, Germany, Portugal, Puerto Rico and Malaysia. While the acquisition will bring a complementary geographical footprint and multilingual expertise to Webhelp, Sellbytel also enhances Webhelp’s service portfolio in several strategic areas such as end-to-end solutions in B2B sales and support activities, as well as a work-from-home model, through its subsidiary INVIRES, which currently employs over 500 people working for various clients. The acquisition also adds capabilities (such as lead generation) that are helping create a more holistic offering as marketing, services and sales continue to overlap and converge. 2). Acquisition of Runway BPO, May, 2018. Runway, which is headquartered in Riga, Latvia, brings Webhelp an additional 1,000 people and nine multilingual centers across Latvia and other new countries (Estonia, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Spain), as well as additional expertise in sectors such as travel and consumer goods. It also brings capabilities in accounting, IT, and HR outsourcing, complementing Webhelp’s existing portfolio. Webhelp will now have multi-lingual hubs in Prague, Athens, Lisbon, and Barcelona and a presence in 35 countries. All told, there could be a total of about 50,000 employees bringing in revenues of close to US $1.5 billion. Product Differentiation Webhelp has added real differentiation to its offerings. The best example of this would be the introduction of Gobeyond to its set of offerings. Gobeyond provides CX advisory services to current Webhelp clients and non-clients alike (typically, non-clients are those companies that have not yet made a decision to outsource their customer management process). This kind of practitioner-led advisory support has been established as an alternative to the Accentures and McKinseys of the world. This new kind of offering signals a very real opportunity for larger BPOs to move into the advisory/consulting space, and that this opportunity could be significant. Gobeyond offers outcome-based/performance-based practical solutions to the challenges associated with the contact center and the CX more generally. The scope of solutions is large from Target Operating Model design, Service Improvement, Process re-engineering, Revenue Generation, Customer Analytics, CX Measurement and Voice of the Customer (VoC), and Contact Centre Technology up to Automation Services. While consulting firms such as McKinsey thrive on high-priced strategy-related work, Gobeyond will be more focused on helping clients solve real challenges that can impede the CX journey and deploy a hand-to-hand approach to design and develop transformational customer experience programmes. Finally, working with Gobeyond is not dependent on outsourcing seats to Webhelp. All the while, it’s the non-outsource enterprise market that may be most intriguing as an
  6. 6. BEST PRACTICES RESEARCH © Frost & Sullivan 2018 6 "We Accelerate Growth" opportunity for Webhelp (indeed, Webhelp reports that it is currently beating expectations when it comes to working with such firms). Brand Strength The founders of Webhelp have long embraced an entrepreneurial philosophy. The company continues to articulate its belief in how important it is to think like a start-up. This kind of approach has helped differentiate it in a highly competitive space. Webhelp also prides itself on being particularly close to its clients, exceptionally easy to work with, and agile. In other words, it will tailor solutions to work well with specific clients when necessary (e.g., as a rule, it does not pen clients into any particular technology system and adapts its business model to the needs of the client). In effect, Webhelp has established a reputation as a Customer Experience provider that acts as an authentic business partner to clients, which in turn helps enterprises push the limits of the CX through multichannel solutions. Consider what it terms “value management.” Webhelp notes that it works strategically with clients around issues of data and data augmentation to create a simplified, single view of the customer, with a focus on the Customer Experience. In other words, “value management” means communicating with the client about what’s happening with their customers, as well as what can been done in tandem to improve those customer relationships. It’s therefore fair to say that the company is focused on value-based business process outsourcing, channel expansion, and the use of cross-channel analytics to create optimal customer journeys. As such, Webhelp sees itself as a provider that excels at “delivering actionable insight to drive lasting transformation.” Webhelp’s brand strength derives from the way it has skillfully negotiated a fast-changing BPO landscape and stayed focused on the essentials of the CX at a time of exponential change. Customer Ownership Experience Webhelp’s particular focus on Customer Effort Score (CES) strikes this Frost & Sullivan analyst as somewhat unique and adds to its effectiveness as a provider in a highly competitive industry. As the company has said, “Studies indicate CES is a core driver of customer behavior and that loyalty derives from how well and efficiently their basic service is provided.” When it comes to customer effort, Webhelp considers how it can best improve speed to resolve and first time resolution, both of which boost satisfaction and retention. Reducing customer effort encourages loyalty, preventing the frictions that can lead to discontent and defection. It also reduces operational effort for clients. CES also is a metric that has particular applicability to root cause analytics and advisor level analysis. And Webhelp has
  7. 7. BEST PRACTICES RESEARCH © Frost & Sullivan 2018 7 "We Accelerate Growth" also long emphasized that analyzing customer journeys across any medium is essential in being able to offer an effective multichannel customer management solution. The company reports that it recommends the calculation of both CES and Net Promoter Score (NPS) on every client program. From Frost & Sullivan’s perspective, this kind of approach is what helps make the typical Webhelp client customer ownership experience exemplary. Customer Service Experience As a Customer Experience provider, Webhelp makes clear that its mission is to act as a business partner to clients, helping them push the limits of the CX at a time of quickening techno-consumerism. Working strategically with clients, especially in the realm of data analytics, helps improve the Customer Experience by producing a simplified single customer view. Webhelp has pointed out that it regularly reviews its initiatives for their commercial viability as well as the impact they have on the overall Customer Experience. The company works strategically with clients, regularly communicating what’s happening with client customers, as well as communicating what can been done in tandem to improve those customer relationships. In pursuit of that goal, the company utilises analytical methodologies including:  Customer journey mapping  Demand management  Predicting Customer Experience outcomes  Customer segmentation  Employee satisfaction (well being, retention, career promotion) Technology Leverage As Webhelp scales the core business and invests in expanding core offerings, it is also focused on how technology is changing the way consumers interact with brands. And its partnership with Recast.AI is perhaps the best example of this phenomenon. In December, 2016, Webhelp announced a partnership with Recast.AI to further develop Chatbot and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. The aim is to enable Webhelp’s clients to easily implement highly personalized Chatbots, software that simulates human-like conversations through either voice or text based interactions. Chatbots can be deployed into multiple channels such as Messenger, SMS, In-App, Skype, or Slack in order to improve convenience as well as the Customer Experience. Webhelp’s existing Chatbot offering has accelerated as a result of the partnership.
  8. 8. BEST PRACTICES RESEARCH © Frost & Sullivan 2018 8 "We Accelerate Growth" Meanwhile, the company clearly realizes that to keep up with the pace of today’s techno- consumerism, its IT team has to be on top of issues related to availability, business continuity, and data integrity. As a result, Webhelp’s IT infrastructure and technology ecosystem are focused on business consistency across all operations. The company’s IT infrastructure is spread over several data centers, interconnected via a fully redundant wide area network, operating as one scalable virtual contact center. The information system is connected to a BI environment that enables delivery of 360° analysis and ensures operational consistency. And the company’s application landscape has been designed to ensure consistency and interactivity across all platforms. Webhelp is seen by the market as an agile provider that designs off-the-shelf algorithms, APIs, and development and training toolkits for its clients. As well as software is selected on a “best of breed” basis. All areas of the company are covered by the application landscape. Security, governance, risk and compliance are a priority. Three complementary pillars are in place to achieve success in all of these areas:  A governance team in charge of defining, deploying and auditing policies surrounding security and data privacy.  A Code of Conduct guide on values and principles of the Group, applied for the entire business.  A 24/7 Security Operation Centre (SOC) in charge of information systems monitoring and defending, and forensic investigations.  Local correspondents are responsible for monitoring the implementation of security and data protection policies. Conclusion As a business partner, Webhelp helps clients push the possibilities associated with an excellent Customer Experience. It mainly relies on CX Advisory, advanced analytics and omni-channel technology, as well as dedicated employees, to do so. Since the year 2000, Webhelp has pursued a growth strategy that continues to pay dividends and has diversified its industry focus (particularly in Healthcare, Travel, and B2B over the last two years) and its geography coverage (Eastern Europe, Southern Europe and now the US), but particularly in the vast and diverse markets that characterize Europe. Frost & Sullivan is impressed with the company’s progress. Therefore, with its strong overall current performance, Webhelp has earned Frost & Sullivan’s 2018 Europe Market Leadership Award.
  9. 9. BEST PRACTICES RESEARCH © Frost & Sullivan 2018 9 "We Accelerate Growth" Significance of Market Leadership Ultimately, growth in any organization depends upon customers purchasing from a company, and then making the decision to return time and again. Loyal customers become brand advocates; brand advocates recruit new customers; the company grows; and then it attains market leadership. To achieve and maintain market leadership, an organization must strive to be best-in-class in three key areas: understanding demand, nurturing the brand, and differentiating from the competition. Understanding Market Leadership Driving demand, strengthening the brand, and differentiating from the competition all play a critical role in a company’s path to market leadership. This three-fold focus, however, is only the beginning of the journey and must be complemented by an equally rigorous focus on the customer experience. Best-practice organizations, therefore, commit to the customer at each stage of the buying cycle and continue to nurture the relationship once the customer has made a purchase. In this way, they build a loyal, ever-growing customer base and methodically add to their market share over time.
  10. 10. BEST PRACTICES RESEARCH © Frost & Sullivan 2018 10 "We Accelerate Growth" Key Performance Criteria For the Market Leadership Award, Frost & Sullivan Analysts focused on specific criteria to determine the areas of performance excellence that led to the company’s leadership position. The criteria considered include (although not limited to) the following: Criterion Requirement Growth Strategy Excellence Demonstrated ability to consistently identify, prioritize, and pursue emerging growth opportunities Implementation Excellence Processes support the efficient and consistent implementation of tactics designed to support the strategy Brand Strength The possession of a brand that is respected, recognized, and remembered Product Quality The product or service receives high marks for performance, functionality, and reliability at every stage of the life cycle Product Differentiation The product or service has carved out a market niche, whether based on price, quality, or uniqueness of offering (or some combination of the three) that another company cannot easily duplicate Technology Leverage Demonstrated commitment to incorporating leading-edge technologies into product offerings, for greater product performance and value Price/Performance Value Products or services offer the best value for the price, compared to similar offerings in the market Customer Purchase Experience Customers feel they are buying the most optimal solution that addresses both their unique needs and their unique constraints Customer Ownership Experience Customers are proud to own the company’s product or service, and have a positive experience throughout the life of the product or service Customer Service Experience Customer service is accessible, fast, stress-free, and of high quality
  11. 11. BEST PRACTICES RESEARCH © Frost & Sullivan 2018 11 "We Accelerate Growth" Best Practices Recognition: 10 Steps to Researching, Identifying, and Recognizing Best Practices Frost & Sullivan analysts follow a 10-step process to evaluate Award candidates and assess their fit with best practice criteria. The reputation and integrity of the Awards are based on close adherence to this process. STEP OBJECTIVE KEY ACTIVITIES OUTPUT 1 Monitor, target, and screen Identify Award recipient candidates from around the globe  Conduct in-depth industry research  Identify emerging sectors  Scan multiple geographies Pipeline of candidates who potentially meet all best- practice criteria 2 Perform 360-degree research Perform comprehensive, 360-degree research on all candidates in the pipeline  Interview thought leaders and industry practitioners  Assess candidates’ fit with best-practice criteria  Rank all candidates Matrix positioning of all candidates’ performance relative to one another 3 Invite thought leadership in best practices Perform in-depth examination of all candidates  Confirm best-practice criteria  Examine eligibility of all candidates  Identify any information gaps Detailed profiles of all ranked candidates 4 Initiate research director review Conduct an unbiased evaluation of all candidate profiles  Brainstorm ranking options  Invite multiple perspectives on candidates’ performance  Update candidate profiles Final prioritization of all eligible candidates and companion best-practice positioning paper 5 Assemble panel of industry experts Present findings to an expert panel of industry thought leaders  Share findings  Strengthen cases for candidate eligibility  Prioritize candidates Refined list of prioritized Award candidates 6 Conduct global industry review Build consensus on Award candidates’ eligibility  Hold global team meeting to review all candidates  Pressure-test fit with criteria  Confirm inclusion of all eligible candidates Final list of eligible Award candidates, representing success stories worldwide 7 Perform quality check Develop official Award consideration materials  Perform final performance benchmarking activities  Write nominations  Perform quality review High-quality, accurate, and creative presentation of nominees’ successes 8 Reconnect with panel of industry experts Finalize the selection of the best-practice Award recipient  Review analysis with panel  Build consensus  Select recipient Decision on which company performs best against all best-practice criteria 9 Communicate recognition Inform Award recipient of Award recognition  Present Award to the CEO  Inspire the organization for continued success  Celebrate the recipient’s performance Announcement of Award and plan for how recipient can use the Award to enhance the brand 10 Take strategic action Upon licensing, company is able to share Award news with stakeholders and customers  Coordinate media outreach  Design a marketing plan  Assess Award’s role in future strategic planning Widespread awareness of recipient’s Award status among investors, media personnel, and employees
  12. 12. BEST PRACTICES RESEARCH © Frost & Sullivan 2018 12 "We Accelerate Growth" The Intersection between 360-Degree Research and Best Practices Awards Research Methodology Frost & Sullivan’s 360-degree research methodology represents the analytical rigor of our research process. It offers a 360-degree-view of industry challenges, trends, and issues by integrating all 7 of Frost & Sullivan's research methodologies. Too often companies make important growth decisions based on a narrow understanding of their environment, leading to errors of both omission and commission. Successful growth strategies are founded on a thorough understanding of market, technical, economic, financial, customer, best practices, and demographic analyses. The integration of these research disciplines into the 360-degree research methodology provides an evaluation platform for benchmarking industry participants and for identifying those performing at best-in-class levels. About Frost & Sullivan Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best-in-class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company's Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO's Growth Team with disciplined research and best practice models to drive the generation, evaluation and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages more than 50 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses, and the investment community from 45 offices on six continents. To join our Growth Partnership, please visit 360-DEGREE RESEARCH: SEEING ORDER IN THE CHAOS