Sitel buys Majorel and goes after Teleperformance
Amazon is probably the world leader when it comes to customer experience, but France is the birthplace of Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Gallimard, Amélie Poulain, Edith Piaf, Daniel Julien and Laurent Uberti. Without works of art and a front line (call center agents, developers of recommendations algorithms, speech analytics experts), there is no online sales. The battle of BPO consolidation, a peaceful one, is underway. French companies are in the lead.
After the acquisition of Sykes last year, Sitel, number 3 in call centers and outsourced customer experience, keeps it up and announced yesterday that it has reached an agreement to acquire the shares of the Amsterdam-listed Majorel Group, formerly known as Armato. Majorel's shareholders (Bertelsmann Luxembourg and Saham) will remain partners in the new entity, with 17.3% each. With 44,9% (via Creadev), the Mulliez family will be the most important shareholder of a new entity which will have 240,000 employees in 55 countries to its – new and yet to be announced - name and is expected to generate 5.4 billion euros in revenues.
The world leader in the market remains a French group, Teleperformance, still headed by Daniel Julien. It is likely that the global competition, after the recent various consolidation operations (Konecta recently merged with Comdata), will depend on the ability of those groups to seamlessly integrate the technologies enabling the automation of customer relations. "All those players have consulting entities that select startups or audit new processes in BPO, to improve customer journeys. It is no longer merely a matter of having call center agents available all over the world, which was the essential feature of the last ten years. Meanwhile, it proved useful and allowed Majorel, for example, to recently take over Booking's contact centers, or to provide nearshore customer service solutions like Back Market's," explains Manuel Jacquinet, editor of En-Contact magazine, "but this won’t be nearly enough tomorrow because major brands and institutions ideally want a one-stop shopping service to ensure and fluidify customer, patient and traveler journeys. Dealing successfully with millions of calls during the pandemic or the recent crisis at Kinder, as Sitel did with Zaion's callbots, or using speech-to-text to understand what is being said in the conversations and analyze it in real time is now what makes you special, efficient and competitive. Conversation analysis is probably one of the new frontiers.” And in this field, engineers or customer experience experts are often French: Teleperformance's launch into the CAC 40 was a reminder of this.
Quality monitoring, such as in the solution devised by Callity, also a French company, can be a game changer. Marketshot, a subsidiary of the La Poste group, has successfully incorporated the tools of the company created by Nicolas Panel and Yann Bermond and manages to monitor in real time commercial speech’s conformity. More than fifty percent of the world's Top 8 groups were created by French entrepreneurs (if we add Webhelp, Konecta-Comdata to those mentioned above).
What you should know:
The world’s Top 8 in outsourced customer experience counts more than 50% of companies created by French entrepreneurs (with Webhelp and Konecta-Comdata in addition).
Cold calling is, at international level, more and more regulated and has long ceased to make the bulk of the activity in contact centers. Throughout the world, inbound contacts make the most of interactions – more than 60%, since 2002. Non-voice channels, such as email, SMS or WhatsApp notifications, represent a growing number of the volume handled.
The telecom operator, Manifone, which was created in Vannes by Lounis Goudjil and specializes in the optimization of prospect reachability, is operating 80% of the lines of the European top 10. It is now possible to contact prospects who beforehand accepted solicitations only, detect answering machines efficiently, even reach interested prospects exclusively. The business of qualified leads is blooming, with hotshots such as Tagada Media, Marketshot, Hipto, etc.
Are the size and global presence of service providers guarantees of a better, more efficient service? A question that it would be interesting to ask Rachel Keke, a former cleaning lady at STN (subcontractor of Accor) who was just elected as a member of the parliament. The story of the right balance between a subcontractor’s profitability and the employees’ experience is as old as Marx’s books.
The first Forum dedicated to customer experience was launched in France in 2013. In September, this year, it will hold its 10th edition. We will talk about customer experience in retirement homes, optimized KYC, WISMO (Where Is My Order?), ticketing in stadiums and venues. Gérald Darmanin will be invited to the 10th edition of ECTFF for master class that is likely to deliver!
Webhelp recently gained a foothold in Brazil, via the acquisition of Grupo Services, see our article here.
Photo de une : Sitel Plymouth, crédit © Edouard Jacquinet