Customer experience, BPO: Concentrix acquires Webhelp
A top-level marriage in BPO and outsourced customer experience has just been announced: Concentrix Corporation (Nasdaq CNXC) has entered into exclusive discussions to acquire Webhelp, one of Europe's leading companies.
The acquisition would value Webhelp at $4.4 billion and create a new global leader in customer experience, with €9.1 billion in revenue and an estimated EBITDA of €1.5 billion. The new company, which will be led by Chris Caldwell, will become market-leader, overtaking Teleperformance. Olivier Duha (photo) will become Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors, while GBL and Frédéric Jousset remain significant shareholders of the new entity, which remains listed on Nasdaq. Webhelp, which has long sought to gain a foothold in the world's largest market, the United States, has made a good marriage.
Staying agile and responsive as you grow.
The BPO and outsourced customer experience market is becoming increasingly concentrated and is facing two exciting issues: the reasoned and rapid integration of new conversational AI and RPA technologies, and above all, the need to remain close to customers who want to work with agile and responsive partners. In the aisles of the Stratégie Clients trade show, we heard a lot of frustration during the first two days: "I pay my service provider 9 million euros a year to provide my customer service, but I can't even choose my contact centre, or its location. It's a bit of an upside-down world. However, the place and the teams where a service provider takes care of its client's customers is not insignificant.
Once upon a time in Benin ("I had a call-center in Cotonou")
A good example of this capacity for innovation, for playing one step ahead and ideally winning, has been given for some years by the troublemaker of contact centres: Vipp-Interstis. As described yesterday by Claire Garnier, in an article in Les Echos, Charles-Emmanuel Berc, the founder, chose twelve years ago to go and produce customer service and telesales in Cameroon, Benin, Togo etc. David Desouches, Carglass' customer relations manager, makes part of his appointments there an essential part of his job: “The quality of service and performance of Vipp-Interstis, which I measure every day, is amazing.” The unchanging, tightly-knit and very female team of managers accompanies the company's founder. However, the major BPO players did not believe in sub-Saharan Africa until much later. Samsung has only just entrusted part of its customer service operations to Webhelp.
The same Charles-Emmanuel Berc will host the first edition of the Africa BPO Forum in Cotonou on November 14, organized by Malpaso-RCM, publisher of En Contact magazine.
So, is Chris Caldwell, future boss of the world's number one company, as innovative as a certain Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records? Just as in music, where technology and voice modulators can make records and make you think you're a great artist, in the customer experience, the emotion you try to install often comes down to a few winning moves and genius visions. The winning team is one that plays together and stays together, even after the success has come. To be continued.
NB: Island Records discovered and produced Bob Marley, Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, King Crimson, Charlélie Couture, Cat Stevens etc.