The marketplace has gone global. Everyone is scrambling to get a piece of the international pie. If you want your company to succeed, you’re going to have to do better than the competition when it comes to how and when you offer customer support.
Here are 6 ways you can elevate your customer support to the global standard that everyone expects from the companies they do business with.
1. Keep Time Zones in Mind
When you are offering customer support to someone in Europe, you’re obviously not going to be working in an American time zone anymore. Instead, you are going to have to modify your timing to reflect the fact that the people that you’re assisting are calling from a place where the time zone is different. This is best accomplished by adjusting the shifts that your employees work, so that they can handle people that are calling in at odd hours of the night where you live.
2. Be Aware of Cultural Differences
While your CSRs are obviously going to be very good at handling a lot of situations because they are so well trained, they’re also going to have to keep in mind that the customers that they speak to that are not from where they are. Each customer needs to be dealt with in a slightly different manner.
Cultural differences abound when it comes to things like talking to people from other countries, so when you’re having a conversation with these people you need to ensure that you are doing your best to meet them halfway.
3. Get a Globally-Capable Customer Support Software
Let’s face it, we live in a day and age where the volume of customers that would be coming in and trying to get their complaints addressed is far too high for just a single team of human CSRs to handle. You need a customer support software that’s capable of handling this all-important task as well; something like Kayako, for example, which offers a ticketing system that is very capable of handling a world-wide customer base. It’s a good idea that you check them out if you want to start offering your support to global customers.
If you have limited resources that hinders you from maintaining an in-house customer support team, you may want to consider using virtual services, such as Virtual Reception, Tech Support and/or Customer Care services.
4. Update Your Customer Support Content
When you are a business that has more of a localized focus, your customer support content is obviously going to reflect this a great deal. When the time comes to start looking at your business with a more global perspective, it’s very important that you begin to update your customer support content. This includes things like your knowledge banks, which need to be translated into the languages that are spoken in the countries you wish to expand into.
All content that’s meant to make it easier for your customers to get an understanding of what they have to do in order to get the sort of help they need should be translated.
5. Acknowledge Local Means of Communication
Not everyone around the world communicates the same way. What this basically means is that you can’t just use Facebook as a means to reach your customers. There are going to be countries where you are going to have to use other mediums. China, for example, does not have Facebook at all, they use platforms like WeChat and Weibo, which you are going to have to gain access to if you truly want to be able to make the most of the new global face you are giving your company.
6. Create an Interconnected Network
Instead of having everything happen from one source, it is recommended that you look into setting up a network of people that are in most of the countries that you are thinking of expanding into. They will be able to better understand what each customer is going to want, and this more than anything else is what will end up enabling you to make the most of your new projects and the customers that you could potentially end up getting from them.
Have you recently, or are you soon planning to expand your customer service to a more global level?