Odity, LVMH Client Services, BlueLink, John Paul? The true price of bespoke customer service in the luxury sector
Odity, BlueLink, LVMH Client Services, Parnasse, John Paul, who promises, ensures and delivers bespoke remote customer service in the luxury and premium sectors? According to our research, none of these brands has yet dared or understood how to use AI to personalise the relationship, for example with Speech Analytics.
On 2 February, Odity and its partner Indigo Capital will be celebrating three years since the acquisition of AsM. How is the group doing, discreet, forgotten like many others in the latest E/Y study commissioned by the SP2C. Forgotten or a bad pupil, perhaps. Perhaps Benoit Vorilhon didn't want to share data he considers confidential?
When we ask Camille Canque, manager of LVMH Client Services, the subsidiary of the LVMH group whose chairman since last year is Gonzague Arnoulx de Pirey, the same discretion prevails. The same is true of Fabien Pelous, Director of Customer Experience at Air France and a member of the board of BlueLink, the airline's subsidiary which operates externally for other brands such as Devialet.
Bespoke, how do luxury and fashion brands and a handful of service providers ensure a tailor-made remote omni-channel customer experience? This will be one of the chapters in this month's issue of En-Contact, issue 131. Have they embraced AI more quickly than the others to ensure the expected level of personalisation? Not really, and it's not necessarily because they don't believe in it.
The consolidation movement that began three years ago in the outsourced customer relations market is continuing: a specialist nugget has just sold itself, like Tiffany, to the highest bidder: ODiTY, headed by Benoit Vorilhon, is not the LVMH of the sector, but a dynamic SME that has made a skilful and geographically relevant move with this acquisition.
Lalique, Gucci, Lacoste and many other subsidiaries of the Kering and LVMH groups, as well as retail players such as SMCP, all have one thing in common: they have entrusted part of their multi-channel customer service to a specialist founded by a former Chanel employee, François-Xavier Poels. It is this player, which ended the year with strong growth in its business (turnover of 15 million), that has just been acquired by the ODiTY group, a group diversified across a range of customer service and experience businesses, after a limited 'competition' - with two bidders. Capitalising on sustained growth since its creation in 2011, ODiTY's acquisition will enable it to double in size. It had already acquired Actel in 2015, 118Contact (which became ODiTY South Africa) in 2016 and AreYouNet (which became ODiTY Technology) in 2017. The new ODiTY-AsM group is expected to generate sales of more than €30 million in 2021. ODiTY is acquiring the entire share capital of AsM, together with specialist fund Indigo Capital. The transaction is being carried out exclusively via bank and bond debt.
The investment fund Inter Invest Capital, which acquired a stake in ODiTY in 2017, will retain its stake. Turenne Groupe, which had been supporting AsM since 2014, is selling its shares on this occasion.
Benoît Vorilhon, Founder and Chairman of the ODiTY Group, will remain majority shareholder and head up the new ODiTY AsM entity, while François-Xavier Poels, Founder of AsM, will support the integration and transition with customers for 12 months. ODiTY AsM thus becomes one of the world leaders in customer experience for the premium and luxury sectors and the 5th French player, all sectors combined, in the French-speaking mid-market category (independent players not in the world's TOP 10). It now has over 1,200 employees and a presence in 9 countries (France, Madagascar, South Africa, plus the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, the United States, China, Hong Kong and Japan), giving it the linguistic potential to cover every country in the world. With this new international footprint, ODiTY AsM is strengthening its position as an expert in Customer Relations and Customer Experience, with a Follow the Sun offering capable of supporting its customers, 24 hours a day, wherever they are, in the language of their choice.
Following the sale in recent months of another BPO specialist, Phoneo, to an Indian group in Morocco, this latest deal is a sign of the dynamism of a market in which specialised activities and the geographical expansion of the countries served are two of the accelerators driving growth, but not the only ones: located in North Africa or sub-Saharan Africa, players such as Myopla or Vipp-Interstis ended 2020 with growth of almost 30%. Cosine of COVID 19 + agility + technical integration of tools (such as WhatsAPP or CPaaS) = profitable growth.
It's worth noting that the major players in the market were not invited to the negotiating table that preceded this acquisition: "It's the players who want to make significant growth for themselves or set up in new countries that offer the best price to the seller", says a good market specialist. This year, luxury brands and flagships have discovered the importance of click and collect.
En-Contact editorial team
Photo at the top: bespoke services from Orange subsidiary Parnasse