Home » Archive by category 'Tips' (Page 2)

How to Establish a Local Presence in Lakshadweep?

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Collaborated with Vasudha K Thinking of expanding your business to South Asia? Consider Lakshadweep’s scenic and promising shores. Situated near international shipping ports like Karnataka, this archipelago beckons with untapped …Read More »

Phone Number Testing: Benefits and How to Do It

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Many of the insights for this article came from a breakout session at Cyara Xchange 2024. Global Call Forwarding also uses the Cyara Voice Assure product. Despite the emergence of …Read More »

How Forex Companies Use Virtual Numbers (5 Use Cases)

how forex uses virtual numbers

The forex market is inherently international as it involves the exchange of global currencies. While the forex market has no central location, most traders are in major financial centers and …Read More »

Nigeria Phone Number Guide: An Explainer

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A Nigeria phone number is a vital asset for businesses looking to make their mark in the heart of West Africa. With a population exceeding 200 million, Nigeria offers a …Read More »

Understanding Telephone Numbering Plans Globally

Understanding global telephone numbering plans.

Telephone numbers typically get assigned according to national telephone numbering plans, such as the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) for the United States and Canada. These plans can be “open” …Read More »

5 Toll-Free FlexDial Use Cases

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Well-run businesses understand the importance of communication and accessibility. Whether communicating with customers, leads, or internally with employees, phone calls remain among the most effective ways to exchange information. While …Read More »

7 Useful Tips for Creating a Call Center Scorecard

Call center scorecards are quality monitoring tools that help you test and analyze call center and agent performance. By doing so, managers can identify areas for improvement and success. Here we look at 7 useful tips for creating a call center scorecard and what you need to focus on. We even include a downloadable evaluation form below!

How to Create a Call Center Scorecard: 7 Tips + Evaluation Form

First, what is a call center scorecard? And why do you need one? Call center scorecards are a great tool used by many call centers when conducting performance analysis. You can track and measure call center metrics, agent responses, and phone interactions, as well as conversions. Here are 7 tips to help you create an ideal scorecard:

1. Define the Purpose of the Scorecard and How it will be Used

First, you must decide and be clear on the purpose of your scorecard. What elements do you want to include? How often will you utilize the scorecards? How will you collect information about agent performance? What parameters and metrics will agents be scored on? Additionally, is every parameter equally important? Defining the purpose and the various elements that the agents will be tested on can help aid in quick and accurate analysis.

2. List Down Parameters that will be Assessed

Part of using a call center scorecard is testing your agents on various parameters that help you and them understand what they are doing well and where they can improve. Some parameters to consider include:

  1. Greetings: Agent greeted customers politely and with a clear introduction of the company and themselves.
  2. Script adherence: With outbound sales calls, agent followed the script naturally and paused for customer questions or concerns.
  3. Account and identity verification: With inbound calls, agent verified the caller’s information and identity to find their account and gather information about the customer’s past interactions.
  4. Customer service quality: Ability to clearly determine the caller’s needs, provide accurate and useful assistance
  5. End-of-call protocol: After resolving the issue, agent must ask if there is anything else they can assist the caller with.

3. Define and Note Different Call Center Metrics

Next, you might consider including certain call center metrics that apply to your particular business. Call center metrics or KPIs assess how a call center is performing. They also help managers understand how individual agents are performing. For example, which agents resolve calls quickly and accurately or which spend too long on calls, and so on. Most call centers use call center software and call analytics to track and measure relevant metrics. You may want to consider including the following on your scorecard:

  1. Average time in queue
  2. Response time
  3. Average speed of answer
  4. Average handle time
  5. First call resolution rate
  6. Customer satisfaction rate
  7. Occupancy rate
  8. Agent absenteeism

4. Include Different Types of Customer Interaction

Often, phone conversations might be the most common communication method for your call center. However, more recently, call centers have been striving to offer multi-channel or omnichannel customer support. If your call center offers more than one channel of customer interaction, then you should measure performance on each different channel. As such, try to include different types of customer interaction (live chat, email, video, etc.) used often in your call center in your scorecard.

5. Focus on Various Skills

Depending on the type of center you run, your agents may need to multitask using multiple skills. For example, you may have agents on both phone and live chat duty simultaneously. Or, agents may need to research solutions while managing the conversation and documenting each part of the conversation.

Different departments require different skills. Customer service will need to look at knowledge bases or support documents to provide help. Reception will need to ensure the customer arrives at the right department quickly. Sales needs to make pitches using customer data and personalization.

6. Monitor, Collect Data, & Refine

Since the purpose of a call center scorecard is to collect data and measure how your business and agents are performing, these scorecards need to be monitored regularly. By monitoring on a regular basis, you will not only gain insight into how well or badly your agents are doing, but also what elements or parameters are worth measuring and which ones are not useful.

Then, you can make the necessary adjustments and refine your scorecard for functionality and accuracy. Additionally, you can make necessary changes to improve agent and call center performance.

7. Treat Your Agents as Humans, Not Robots

Finally, remember that your agents are humans and not customer service robots. As such, set realistic goals and expectations when creating and monitoring your call center scorecard. Be flexible and leave room for error. Provide sufficient training materials so agents can continue to do better.

Evaluate Performance with an Effective Call Center Scorecard

Designing a call center scorecard takes time and refinement. Get started now by developing your own scorecard or using online templates and tailoring them to your needs. There are many resources available for tracking, measuring, and improving productivity. Take steps in the right direction and watch the efficiency grow in your call center.

Downloadable Call Center Scorecard Templates

Ready to get started? Then, grab our call center scorecard templates below, share them with your managers, and start evaluating your call center’s performance! We have scorecard templates for Outbound Sales calls, Inbound Sales calls, Customer and Technical Support calls, and Chat support.

scorecard
Download Your Free Call Center Scorecard Templates

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16 Tips to Ensure Outstanding Call Center Etiquette

Effective and excellent call center etiquette can go a long way in securing valuable customers and leads. However, you may have noticed that the rules are constantly changing. In this post, we detail the dos and don’ts of call center etiquette and how you can offer an outstanding call center experience. Read on to learn more!

Top Tips for Excellent Call Center Etiquette

How call center agents conduct themselves during calls can determine customer satisfaction and retention. Poor etiquette leads to bad customer service and low caller satisfaction. Call center etiquette can be divided into four different phases of the call such as:

  • Answering the call.
  • Speaking to customers and identifying issues.
  • Transferring customers to another agent or supervisor.
  • Ending the call.

In each of these phases, you must demonstrate professionalism, concern, and a desire to genuinely assist your caller. We’ll look at each of these phases individually and the different aspects to keep in mind to ensure you are providing outstanding call center etiquette. Learn more about promising customer service tips here.

When Answering the Call

The speed at which you answer the call as well as your tone can determine how the rest of the call goes. If you take too long or answer the call in a rushed manner, callers will immediately be put off. Keep these tips in mind as well:

1. Answer the Call Promptly
Customers do not like to be kept waiting when they are trying to reach customer support. Always answer the call on the second or third ring. Any longer than that, they may feel frustrated and abandon the call. Additionally, if it is too hard to reach your business time and time again, that customer will likely switch over to a competitor instead.

2. Greet with a Friendly Tone
Always greet callers with a positive attitude. Callers can sense your inflection on the phone. Smiling while you’re on a call is an old trick that conveys a friendly tone through the phone. Starting a call with a positive attitude encourages the same from the caller on the other line.

If someone is distraught about their product and in need of help, your positivity will help ease their frustrations because they will know by your tone that you are eager to help. You do not need to go overboard with this. A simple greeting like “Hello, you’ve reached (name of company) my name is ___, how can I help you today?” will suffice.

Identifying the Issue

Next up is taking the time to listen to your caller and identify the issue. This means you should key into their emotions and being empathetic while clearly understanding what the problem is. After all, if you do not know what is concerning them, you may not be able to help effectively.

3. Adopt Active Listening
Let them explain and describe the issue to you before you repeat it. Nothing frustrates a customer more than an employee that is not paying attention to them and seems in a rush to finish the call. Take time to understand where they are coming from and what the problem is. Reinforce your understanding by showing you have heard their situation and are working on a resolution.

4. Identify the Issue
Once you think you have a good handle over what the issue is, confirm it with them. Reiterate the problem as best as you understand it. Something like, “So, from what you are telling me, I understand that you are having an issue with . . .” or “. . . that you would like to . . .” This will help you ensure you have thoroughly understood the issue and will also demonstrate to the caller that you have been paying attention.

5. Be Patient and Helpful
Always be patient. Whether they are taking too long to explain the problem or are repeating themselves, your patience will determine whether this customer returns or not. When a client calls a company, it is more than likely to resolve an issue. Patiently listen to them. If you are unable to help them, transfer them to the correct department.

Transferring the Call or Placing the Caller on Hold

Most callers do not enjoy being placed on hold or transferred to another employee. Unfortunately, at times, it is necessary to transfer the call to someone who can handle it better or place them on hold so you can find the right information and help them better. Here are rules to observe when transferring a call or placing it on hold:

6. Determine Who to Transfer to
Again, listening intently to what their needs are will help you determine what department to send them to. After all, customers will only get more agitated if they need support but you sent them to sales.

7. Explain Why They Need to be Transferred
Most callers do not like to be bounced around. However, sometimes it is inevitable, especially if they reached the wrong department, to begin with. Explain to your caller why they need to be transferred to another department or employee.

8. During the Transfer
When you transfer a phone call, make sure that there is someone in that department available to take the call. Stay on the phone with your caller until someone answers and then you can introduce the caller to this new department. Do not abandon your caller till they have someone who can take care of them.

9. Ask Before Placing on Hold
Before you put someone on hold, ask them for their permission. Instead of saying “I’m going to put you on hold now” or nothing at all, say “Would it be alright if I put you on hold for a brief moment?” Then wait for an answer.

10. Use The Hold Button Appropriately
Make sure you and your teams know how to use the hold button so there is no confusion. For example, when you place someone on hold while you speak to another customer, the person on hold should not hear you speaking with the other customer or hear employees in the background. Hold music or a custom message can be played when they are on hold, instead.

11. Do Not Place Callers on Hold for Too Long
Do not leave someone on hold for a long time. If they are waiting to speak to someone in particular who is not available, inform them that they will be waiting for a certain period of time. If the wait exceeds 2-5 minutes, check in to let them know you have not forgotten about them but are taking longer to find what they need. If they do not want to stay on hold for long, encourage them to call back later or offer to call them when you have the information or person available.

call center software
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Ending the Call

The last part of maintaining good call center etiquette focuses on how to end a call. This largely depends on how the call went. Were you able to resolve everything or is a follow-up required?

12. End The Call Politely

Always aim to end the call on a “high note.” If something needs your attention right away, offer to call the person back and let them know you will finish the conversation after you have dealt with this urgent matter.

When the conversation has come to a natural end, ask them if there is anything else you can do for them. If yes, proceed to assist. If no, thank them for their call. An example of a good way to end a phone call is, “Thank you so much for calling (company) today, I hope you enjoy your weekend.” Or, “It was a pleasure speaking with you, I’m glad that we could help you out today. Have a wonderful rest of your day.”

Additionally, if your company asks for surveys post calls, ask your caller if they would be interested in participating in a brief survey. And respect their wishes, whichever way they lean.

Do not rush them off the phone, and always wait for the customer to hang up before you hang up.

13. Offer Follow-Up Information
Alternatively, if a follow-up is required, let them know how to expect it. Will you send an email or phone call reminder? Should they call you back instead of your company contacting them? Either way, make sure that you have the information they need when the follow-up occurs.

Additional Call Center Etiquette

In addition to the above points, there are some other aspects of call center etiquette to pay attention to, such as call management and training.

14. Training Employees and Agents
So that agents know what they are supposed to do and how to best help customers, they need to be trained well. This includes:

    • Training new employees, even those that come with experience
    • Offering refresher courses and workshops to current employees periodically
    • Using call recording to record and review interactions
    • Conduct regular performance analysis
    • Provide access to seminars and training programs

15. Making a Call
Employees should be trained to make calls professionally. Be sure to introduce yourself and the reason for your call right away. Provide them with all the necessary details at the beginning of the call.

Leaving a voicemail is similar to making a call. Even with the voicemail, introduce yourself and explain the reason for your call. Also include contact details such as a phone number and, if needed, a time frame for them to call you back.

16. Forward Your Phone To Voicemail
If you are out of your office, send all incoming phone calls immediately to your voicemail so that the caller knows that you are unavailable. Having a caller sit through 20 rings before realizing that you’re not going to answer is impolite and leaves the caller with a negative feeling. Your voicemail should state who you are and when you will be back. An instant and informative voicemail saves the caller time and allows them the option of leaving a message or calling back at a more convenient time.

Offer Better Customer Service with the Right Etiquette

If you don’t try to do the best you can, chances are, you will miss the buck. To gain new customers and convert them into regulars and to treat your regulars like royalty, your call center etiquette needs to be on-point. Make the necessary changes, implement a strategy for continuous education, and watch as your business grows!

Related: 5 Surefire Ways to Improve Virtual Call Center CSAT Scores

Building a Robust Customer-First Strategy for 2024

A customer-first strategy can help your business enhance customer experience, increase customer retention, and boost employee productivity. An effective strategy is designed to focus on the customer and develop strong customer relations. Happy customers lead to happy businesses, after all.

What is a Customer-First Strategy?

A customer-first strategy is a business plan that revolves around the success of your customers. It focuses on the customer and improving the customer experience. Such an approach looks at the situation of your target customer and identifies ways to make their experience with your company and your product better. If customers are unhappy with your service or cannot relate to your product, then there is no reason for them to do business with you. They will take their money elsewhere.

This includes addressing the following points:

  • What are the expectations of your customer?
  • How can you make life easier for your customers?
  • What are the common issues your customers are looking to solve?
  • How is your customer’s team set up?
  • How can you improve your customers’ experiences by leveraging customer stories from the past?

Besides focusing on your customers, an effective customer-first strategy will also focus on employee needs. After all, your employees will be interacting with your customers or creating products and services for them. If your employees feel undervalued, they will not put 100% into satisfying your customers.

Why You Must Put Your Customers First

Any business that relies on recurring revenue must put its customers first. Improved engagement and the quality of customer interactions will drive sales down the line. We all know that happy customers spend more and are more likely to refer your business to others.

A customer-first approach that focuses on solving customers’ problems will improve the longevity of your business.

customer first

 

How Do You Put the Customer First?

So, what do you need to focus on to create a customer-first strategy that will be successful and draw more customers to your business?

  • Customer expectations — What is your target customer expecting from your service? High quality, quick response time, multichannel support, etc.?
  • Customer preferences — Do customers prefer self-service options or assisted customer support? Do they look for product information and reviews on social media? Would they prefer multichannel support and not just voice calls?
  • Customer experience when interacting with your brand — How and where are customers interacting with your business? How can this interaction be improved to their satisfaction?
  • Customer’s situation — How is your customer’s business set up? What essentials do they need? How can your business help?
  • Employee experiences — How can you improve the experience of your employees so that they do their job well and treat customers with care?
  • Common issues customers want solved — What issues are they looking to resolve with your product? How can you market your product to that end?

Related: 7 Types of Customer Complaints & How to Resolve Them

How to Establish an Effective Customer-First Strategy

An effective customer strategy usually consists of two initiatives: customer-focused and employee-focused. You will need to pay attention to the needs and expectations of both your customers and employees so you can put your customers first.

Here are some ways to create a customer-first strategy that boosts business growth:

1. Know Your Target Audience and Customer Base

The most important part of creating a customer-centric strategy includes understanding your target audience and your existing customer base. If you don’t know who you are selling to or have a good idea of their situation and needs, you will not be able to provide them with a useful and helpful product.

Conduct market research for new customers and target audiences to gain insight into their needs, expectations, and preferences. Collect feedback from current customers to understand what you can do to improve their experience.

2. Build a Buyer Persona for Your Product

If you haven’t yet, it is extremely crucial to create personas depending on your customer. This step should occur when you create your business plan.

A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customer or target audience. This persona is created by including your target customer’s demographic, career, job position, personal interests, and so on. Create a buyer persona through market research and collecting data about individuals within your target audience range.

Creating customer personas helps you get into the mindset of your audience, their needs, demands, expectations, preferences, and so on. This can further help you serve them better.

3. Study Customer Behaviors, Preferences, and Needs

To execute a customer-first strategy, your business needs to work closely with its customers. How else will you learn what they need and the best ways to help them? By paying attention to their needs, you can:

  • Offer better, more wholesome products
  • Become more accessible through multichannel support
  • Understand when and where they are interacting with your brand to optimize marketing efforts
  • Customize and personalize customer support and sales efforts

All of these steps can help you develop stronger customer relationships and encourage these customers to continue doing business with your company. This will help you retain more high-quality accounts. It’s essential to study your customers so that you can proactively respond to their needs.

Start by tracking customer metrics such as lifetime value (LTV), customer retention, satisfaction, and net promoter score. Ensure that all departments (especially sales, operations, and support) have access to this data. Your business can then start building an incredible overall customer experience.

By failing to understand the needs of your customer base, you might not be able to guide customers along the right journey. In addition, you might not be able to solve their problems quickly.

4. Focus on Improving Employee Experience

While the term “customer-first strategy” naturally implies a focus on customers, remember that customers interact the most with your employees. Specifically, your customer support and sales teams. Overburdened and stressed-out employees will not make a good impression on customers and sales leads.

Employee experience (EX) must be considered as part of your customer strategy. The value of a great employee experience is immense! As such, your employees need to be treated well and provided with the right business tools so they can do their jobs effectively.

EX means taking key steps towards improving the collective experience of your employees. You may consider popular incentives such as remote work and perks. Additionally, you can provide employees with training materials and courses to continue to better their skills and talents. Above all, you should allow for growth within the company. This helps lower employee turnover rates and ensure productive employees but also save.

Working on your business’ EX means creating a stable and healthy work environment. Happier employees have more pleasant customer interactions, which in turn drives customer success.

5. Make Your Business Easily Reachable

Part of a strong customer-first strategy is being accessible and reachable to your customers no matter where they are. No customer should have to pass through hoops or wait for days to get support. You must have enough customer service and technical support reps to satisfy customer needs. Furthermore, be active on multiple channels such as phone, email, live chat, social media, video. This ensures that you are always reachable.

If you are running an international business, it is important to have strong global communication. Consider subscribing to an international call forwarding service. Such a service will route calls to your team anywhere in the world. This gives your customers a free or inexpensive way to call your business, irrespective of physical distance.

Being reachable and providing quick responses will increase customer trust in your business and improve customer success. Here at Global Call Forwarding, we can help get you set up with a reliable and well-functioning business phone system for round-the-clock support.

6. Collect Feedback & Grow

Finally, collect feedback from customers regularly. You can use surveys to understand where your business is succeeding and what problems you can solve for customers in the future. Then, brainstorm and apply practical solutions to key issues. A strategy that puts your customers first will make your business a better place to be.

Draw in More Customers in 2024 with a Customer-Centric Strategy

How can Global Call Forwarding help? Check out this list of great customer service tips. Implement the above tips to build and execute an effective customer-first strategy that proves helpful for your customers and employees.

Speak with our experts to see what tools and services are available to help your business focus on customer experience. Call us at 1 (888) 908 6171 or chat with us online today!

12 Rules for Winning Emerging Markets in Asia

From expanding your business to the UAE to opening a field office in Russia, you need the right tools and contacts to win in emerging markets in Asian countries. Let’s look at 12 rules to pay attention to if you plan to do business in Asia successfully.

How to Win Emerging Markets in Asia?

Asia is home to many up and coming countries that focus on everything from manufacturing to technology to agriculture and more. Countries in Asia include: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen.

While some of these countries are well-established, they are still open to foreign investment. And the emerging markets have the right conditions for foreign businesses. So, how can your company do business in Asia successfully? Here are 12 rules to be aware of and follow.

1. Establish Virtual Offices & Enter the Local Market

Establish virtual offices in target markets by subscribing to an international call forwarding service like Global Call Forwarding. You can create a virtual local office in any location and it is a simulated presence. Incoming calls are forwarded seamlessly across borders to your headquarters, call centers, mobile phones, or computers using VoIP technology.

And you can use toll free numbers or local numbers so callers have no long-distance fees to pay when they connect with your business. In this manner, callers think your office is local and are less reluctant to do business with you.

2. Get International Toll Free Numbers & Local Numbers

When you choose to do business in Asia, you need to have strong and reliable communication channels. This means that you need to make your business available to locals in target Asian countries.

Global Call Forwarding provides the largest selection of local phone numbers and toll free numbers worldwide. Its international call forwarding service covers over 160 countries, including cities, states, and regions around the world. You can get Asia virtual business numbers such as toll free or local numbers for countries you want to expand to.

Then, offer locals a free or local calling rate when they call your business. This can help your business attract more customers from different parts of the world and build strong customer relations.

3. Stay Reachable with Virtual Communication Tools

Virtual communication tools or virtual call center software can help your business stay connected and reachable no matter where your business or teams are located. Here are some ways virtual communication tools can support international business:

  • Call forwarding — route calls to your headquarters, satellite offices, remote workers, BPOs, home office, smartphone, and more, as needed.
  • Call routing — forward calls to any location based on time, location of the caller, or skills needed.
  • Call recording — record all incoming and outgoing calls to review in the future.
  • Cloud IVR — an automated voice response that assists callers with menu options to resolve their call.
  • Voicemail, Fax, and SMS to email — send voicemails, fax, and text messages to an email inbox.
  • Local ringback tones — make your business “local” using local ringback tones that are heard by customers when they call your business.

4. Conduct Market Research: Understand Your Demographic

Before taking any business to a new market, it is important to conduct market research and test your product. Doing so can help you understand your demographic and prepare for success. Use market research to find underdeveloped or under-served market areas. Find new opportunities in market segments that your competitors do not serve well. And, further identify customer needs in those areas and take steps to satisfy those needs.

5. Learn from Product Testing

Planning and forecasting are necessary, but they may not predict the market impact of product or service changes. Rely on testing, either in-house or in the marketplace, to get insight into the market. Testing allows you to make changes as needed before full market release. You may even conduct pre-service surveys of potential leads and customers to get an idea of what they expect from a business like yours and your products.

6. Study Your Competitors

This is an important part of doing business in any new market: survey and study your competitors. Try to get a complete understanding of the actions, strategies, and tactics used by successful competitors. Buy competitor products to learn their mechanisms, strengths, and weaknesses. Try to visualize how competitors will respond to your business strategies. This will give you insights into what needs to be done to best serve your customers and boost your business.

7. Put Emphasis on Customer Feedback

To know how exactly your business is doing, you need to hear from your customers. Customer feedback will let you know if you are fulfilling your customers’ needs and what their preferences and expectations are. Additionally, outsiders who are familiar with your business can provide valuable advice on market desires. Listening to outsiders can help you become a stronger competitor.

8. Hire Local & Skilled Talent

You can boost your virtual presence by hiring local, remote employees to conduct sales and customer support. Additionally, hiring skilled talent will ensure that your employees are prepared and fit for the job and bring in more customers.

To do this, it is important to consider competitive salaries, benefits and perks, company culture, and opportunities for career growth. Engage prospective employees by looking at career hubs like LinkedIn or Facebook. Advertise openings on your websites. When you make an offer, be willing to negotiate.

9. Pay Attention to Employee Experience (EX)

Besides hiring talented employees, you also want to retain good and valuable employees. For this reason, pay attention to your company’s EX rates. Ensure employees have good working conditions, growth opportunities within the company, and other incentives to stay put. EX determines how your employees treat your business and your customers. Happy employees lead to happy customers, and overall greater business success.

10. Keep Up With Local Trends

As with any market, to do business in Asia successfully, you need to be aware of current trends and expectations. Don’t get buried only within your own business. Follow industry developments, regulatory changes, market trends, and competitors’ new product announcements.

Your business needs to keep evolving so that it can continue to stay relevant and ahead of the competition. When you repeat certain behaviors and patterns, your competition can begin to anticipate your actions. Be less predictable by changing your operational methods. You may find that different approaches can accelerate growth opportunities.

11. Compete on Experience Instead of Price

While the prices for products and services do play a big role in customers choosing a business to invest in, customers are often willing to pay more for high-quality and reputable products and services. Strive to provide unrivaled products and customer service by doing the following:

  1. Make it easy to do business with your company
  2. Make your business customer-centric
  3. Humanize your brand through effective marketing and communications
  4. Provide customer support even when sales are not pending

12. Exercise Care When Cost-Cutting

Lastly, do not allow cost-cutting-steps to degrade your products and services. When that happens, your competition will take advantage of and possibly steal business from you.

Related: 11 Global Expansion Best Practices to Enter New Markets

Ready to Do Business in Asia?

Tap into emerging Asian markets by being prepared and ready to take on whatever comes your way. With the right business plan, advanced technology, and resourceful employees, sit back and watch as your business grows and expands across the world!

5 Ways to Win Back Your Post-Pandemic Customers

It’s true that the COVID-19 pandemic put a wrench in our plans to grow this year. Yet, instead of being disheartened about the current state of your business and future prospects, now is the time to see how you can reinvent your company and keep your customers.

This means: developing a post-pandemic customer support strategy.

In this post, we will look at creative and successful ways to bring your post-pandemic customers back to your business.

How to Provide Excellent Post-Pandemic Customer Support

To ensure that your customer relationships outlast the coronavirus pandemic, it is important to have a customer-first strategy. This includes understanding what your customers need from you and how you can offer that in a safe and secure way. Take time to devise a post-pandemic customer support strategy in a way that elevates your customers and your customer support team. Let’s look at these 5 ways to win back post-pandemic customers.

1. Gather New Customer Insights & Preferences

The first step to implementing a customer-first strategy for your post-pandemic customers is focusing on what they need. Gather information about customer insights and preferences by asking them, conducting social media polls, and getting your marketing team on task. Brainstorm ways in which you can surprise your customers or make them feel valued. Thank you notes or emails, complimentary presents for using your service, etc., are some ways to get their attention and make them feel welcomed.

2. Demonstrate What You Are Doing to Stay Safe

Since individual and collective safety is of utmost importance at this time, you will need to show your customers what your business is doing to stay safe. Social media posts and an email detailing your safety plan can go a long way in gaining their trust. Some ways to display good and safe practices include:

  • Mandating face masks when in your store
  • Maintaining social distancing
  • Ensuring the availability of hand sanitizers
  • Offering flexible return to business policies
  • Keeping your website and online transactions secure from hackers
  • Highlighting employee safety regulations; what employees are doing to stay safe and healthy

All of this information not only educates your customers about the virus and how your business is dealing with it but also helps them trust you and your employees enough to make a purchase.

3. Offer Multichannel Communication & Support

Another key element to include in your post-pandemic customer support strategy is to make your business available via multiple channels. Besides offering phone and email support, you may even consider other channels of communication. For example, instant messaging, social media engagement, live chat, and video conferencing. Video conferencing can go a long way in interacting with a potential customer, doing product demonstrations, and securing their purchases.

4. Prepare for Antsy and Worried Customers

Now this one is important. There is general anxiety all over the world right now. And so, your customers may be angry, worried, or antsy. But be mindful and respectful of this. Treat them with kindness. Be prepared with solutions to their issues and concerns. And you will gain global customers for the long-run.

5. Make it Easy for Customers to Come Back to Your Business

Encourage your post-pandemic customers to come back. It is not going to be easy, which is why your business must attempt to make it convenient for them to return. Shower them with deals and promotions, membership programs, let them know how much you miss them. These actions will reap results in the future when everything opens up again.

Prepare For When the Pandemic is Over

Take time to improve your business’ post-pandemic customer support. Remember that even if customers do not immediately start purchasing from your business, they will remember the above initiatives when the pandemic is over. They will know that your business did everything it could to ensure safety and customer satisfaction, and that will also influence them to come back. Work now so that when COVID-19 is gone, your business is the first thing customers think about!

Global Customer Support: 8 Strategies to Get More Global Customers

Supporting a global customer base may seem overwhelming and unattainable. However, with the right tools and business moves, bringing aboard more global customers can be a piece of cake. Here are 8 proven tactics to appeal to an international customer base and offer excellent global customer support.

What is Global Customer Support and Why is it Important?

Global customer support or global customer service is the process of offering excellent service to your customers across all platforms, channels, and markets. It also means developing key strategies and support systems to assist global customers spread around the world. By taking time to execute a strong global customer support system, you can improve brand awareness and customer support on an international scale. As such, multinational and mid-large-sized businesses invest the necessary resources to be available for their international clientele.

How Can You Support International Customers?

In order to support your global customers, you will need a plan or strategy. This involves identifying ways in which your business will provide global support, investing in tools and technology needed, financial planning, and more. The first step is to create a CX and customer support strategy for your global customers. Once you have a plan in mind, you can start taking steps towards building a robust international customer support system.

global support with call forwarding

Global Customer Support Strategies: 8 Surefire Tips

Bringing on new global customers requires a few different strategies working at the same time. For example, you will need to increase business visibility and awareness through advertising and international marketing. Then, you will have to make your business easily accessible to customers in these global markets. More and more companies are adopting a Follow the Sun model to offer global customer support and stay in touch with their international clients. Read on for specific tactics you can use to entice new customers as you expand globally.

1. Hire Locals

Work with local recruiters to bring locals on board who know how to work within these target markets. Hiring locals means you can offer customer support in that area’s time zone and in regional languages. Furthermore, these employees know what the purchasing and buying culture is like within that country, state, or city. And this information can be used to better appeal to customers and vendors.

2. Work with Remote Teams

Hiring employees for global markets does not always mean opening field offices or relocating your current employees. Your chief client officer can easily hire and manage remote workers and teams by using a virtual phone system that allows users to centralize business communications from any location and any device. This lets you hire locals without needing to worry about getting an office space, equipment, etc. This helps you keep communication costs low as well as save on moving or office costs.

3. Plan to Offer Customer Support in Different Time Zones

To reach maximum global customers, it is important to offer support in current time zones. This means making your agents available in the time zone of the region you are targeting. This can be done by hiring locals from the countries or regions where you want to offer global customer support. Then, you can have incoming calls forwarded to those agents and remote workers during certain times of the day through time-based routing or location-based call routing. This way, global customers can get support quickly.

4. Invest in Multilingual Support Tools

A global expansion best practice is being able to reach global customers in languages and terms they understand and appreciate. More than 29% of businesses in a recent survey conducted by Inside Intercom said that they lost customers by not offering multilingual support. This is why it’s essential to use multilingual support tools to make your business more accessible. Consider investing in:

  • Multilingual agents
  • Language and location targeting
  • Localization services
  • Machine translation features to translate your website
  • Chatbots that support different languages, etc.

This can help you reach a larger audience and improve brand awareness and visibility giving your business an international reputation.

5. Consider Automation

Automation can help offer global customer support, especially when agents are unavailable. For instance, you can develop a cloud IVR system to answer incoming calls, identify the purpose of the call, and take action accordingly. This automated voice response service will interact with callers, ask pre-determined questions, and present callers with pre-recorded menu options. Then, based on caller input, the system will offer support, transfer the caller to the right agent, or send them to voicemail. The same goes for chatbots.

These automation services can help reduce the burden agents feel by taking care of smaller concerns, giving employees the time needed to work on more complicated issues. Automation also helps provide support during off-hours and the weekend, making your business more reachable to global customers when they need you most.

6. Use Multiple Social Media Platforms

If your business is not on social media platforms, then it is lacking in business awareness. Social media has grown into an important and effective global marketing tool. Use your platforms to demonstrate your business’ (geographical) reach, its values and products, customer reviews, events, and more. Engage with followers, respond to queries and concerns, and adopt a neutral, non-political stance.

7. International SEO

Consider search engine optimization or SEO for international marketing. This usually includes boosting your website and increasing your business’ visibility through country targeting and language targeting. Develop content that is original and relevant and use keywords that will draw local as well as international traffic to your website.

8. Display Quality Testimonials and Reviews

Lastly, highlight reviews and testimonials from your global customers. Social proof goes a long way in showing new prospects how your business values its customers and how your business works. You may even choose to publish case studies on successful clients, detailing how your product or service benefits them, and so on.

Need Communication Tools to Reach Global Customers?

Global Call Forwarding can help you get the right communications tools for global expansion. Call us today at 1 (561) 908 6171 to find out how we can help you improve the customer experience for your global customers. Improve business awareness and make your business a reliable one by offering global customer support.

7 Must-Have Global Expansion Tools for Communication

Expanding internationally and entering new markets can be unsuccessful if not planned properly. One of the most important parts of global expansion is preparing to communicate overseas and across borders. To communicate better across borders, your business must invest in global expansion tools. What are some useful communication tools for international businesses?

Global Expansion Tools: Communication Better

The following 7 global expansion tools for international communication can help you maintain good communication with your employees as well as future clientele when you expand internationally.

1. International Business Numbers

First and foremost, consider using international toll free numbers. These are essentially toll free numbers for international countries. Depending on where you want to expand, you can get international toll free numbers for that area. For example, if your US business wants to extend sales to Asia, you can get India or Singapore toll free numbers, and so on. Calls made to these numbers can be forwarded internationally to a number or device of your choice, including your US office.

Individuals calling from these countries will think of your number like any other local number and your business as locally accessible. This allows you to enter new markets and encourage customers to call your business number for free. And since you use a global inbound service, you won’t be paying high international calling rates. Instead, you pay according to your subscription plan.

2. Local Phone Numbers

Virtual local phone numbers are numbers with local area codes. These are useful when you are targeting specific states, cities, or regions in different countries. For instance, you can get a Dubai local number or a Sydney local number. Locals calling a local number are charged regular rates, even if the call is forwarded internationally to your business in the US.

Both ITFS and local phone numbers give your international clientele and business contacts convenient and inexpensive ways to connect with your business, irrespective of its location.

3. Outbound Calling

One of the most popular global expansion tools is an outbound calling service. Outbound calling is a telecom service that supports your outgoing and cold-calling efforts. An outbound calling strategy will help you contact local and international customers through any device or number. You can even display a local or domestic toll free number as your outgoing caller ID to present your business as local. Global Call Forwarding’s outbound calling service comes with a web dialer that is easy to install and use. You can save contacts, update caller history, and more with our dialer.

4. Live Chat and 24/7 Customer Support

Offering live chat on your website with either agents or chatbots can assist web visitors who want to learn about your products and services or need troubleshooting help. You may choose to hire remote agents located in the areas falling under your global expansion strategy. These agents can provide around-the-clock customer support via chat and phone conversations. They will also be able to offer services in regional and local languages and time zones.

With live chat and 24/7 customer support, you can increase customers’ reliability on your service and company.

5. Text Messaging Services

You may also consider getting an SMS plan along with your business number. Doing so will give interested prospects another easy method of contact. While most customers prefer to interact via phone calls, some customers prefer email or text messaging. You can appeal to this target group by making the option available.

6. Ticketing and Problem Tracking Software

Additionally, having a reliable ticket or case tracking system will prove useful when customers need quick support. Consider investing in an online help desk that allows customers to submit a ticket and track the ticket’s progress. Furthermore, train employees to quickly resolve tickets as they come up. This can help increase customer satisfaction and trust in the company.

7. Social Intranet

A social intranet refers to a private hub or network that only certain members of an organization have access to. A social intranet for your business can enable internal communication and collaboration. You can develop your office’s intranet by using a content or project management system. Furthermore, an intranet is a recommended solution for companies executing a Bring Your Own Device or “BYOD” policy.

Prepare Well with Global Expansion Tools

To successfully enter your business in the global market, one must be prepared in many ways. And global or virtual communication becomes an important aspect. To learn more about how Global Call Forwarding can help you build a strong communication system, speak with our global specialists today!

Top 5 Countries for Global Expansion in 2020

Is global expansion on your agenda for 2020? Then it’s time to look at the top 5 countries to consider expanding to this year. Here we highlight countries to consider and resources such as important contacts and business phone numbers.

Global Expansion in 2020: Top Countries to Consider

This list of top countries for global expansion in 2020 is based on:

  • Availability of skills
  • Quality of infrastructure
  • GDP growth
  • Connectivity
  • Complexity of the landscape

What do you need to make your global expansion successful? Here are a few best practices to pay attention to:

  • Before entering new markets:
    • Conduct market research to determine which countries are suitable for your business
    • Plan how to target and enter these markets
    • Test marketing to see how your product may do in new markets
  • While entering new markets:
    • Local authorities to work with
    • Local partnerships to develop
    • Business phone numbers to establish contact
    • International SEO to boost marketing strategies
  • Once you’ve entered and established business in the new market:
    • International toll free service to offer locals a free way to contact your business
    • 24/7 customer support to increase customer satisfaction
    • Regional offices to develop a stronger local presence

Keeping these in mind, let’s now look at the top 5 countries to consider for global expansion:

1. Singapore

Singapore continues to attract international attention with its flexible market, strategic location, and favorable environment for foreign investment. Singapore ranks high for the availability of skills and innovation.

Local Authorities to Pay Attention to:

  • Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA)
  • EntrePass — a work pass for foreign, international business-owners.
  • Economic Development Board (EDB)
  • Ministry of Manpower (MOM)
  • Workforce Singapore (WSG) & Skills Future Singapore (SSG)
  • Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

Local Phone Numbers

2. Ireland

Recently, Ireland’s GDP and inward investment have seen tremendous growth. Along with such growth, the country’s proximity to the UK makes it a new attractive spot for foreign investment.

Local Authorities to Pay Attention to:

  • Companies Registration Office (CRO)
  • Sealmaker
  • Revenue Commissioners
  • IDA Ireland

Local Phone Numbers

  • We offer a variety of Ireland virtual phone numbers for business. You can get:Ireland toll free numbers
    • Ireland national numbers
    • Ireland local numbers
    • Universal toll free numbers (UIFN)

3. Denmark

Denmark has been and continues to be one of the easiest Scandinavian countries to enter and do business with. Additionally, Denmark is also home to much highly-skilled talent across numerous industries.

Local Authorities to Pay Attention to:

  • Register of Foreign Service Providers (RUT)
  • Danish Business Authority
  • Danish Tax Agency’s online service — TastSelvErhverv
  • Labour Market Insurance
  • Danish Working Environment Authority
  • Central Business Register (CVR)

Local Phone Numbers

  • Using Denmark virtual telephone numbers will help you establish a local communication channel. We offer:
    • Denmark toll free numbers
    • Denmark mobile numbers
    • Denmark local numbers
    • Universal toll free numbers (UIFN)

4. Hong Kong

Irrespective of Hong Kong’s current social and political instability, it ranks high in the interest of US and UK tech companies. This is due to its growth and development, dense population, competitive advantages as well as access to premier talent.

Local Authorities to Pay Attention to:

  • Gov.HK
  • Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) System
  • InvestHK
  • Business Facilitation Advisory Committee (BFAC)
  • Economic and Employment Council (EEC) and Business Facilitation Team
  • Business Liaison Groups (BLGs)
  • Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA)
  • Support and Consultation Centre for SMEs (SUCCESS)
  • DATA.GOV.HK

Local Phone Numbers

  • Hong Kong virtual numbers help businesses in and out of Hong Kong develop a local presence. Global Call Forwarding offers:
    • Hong Kong toll free numbers
    • Hong Kong national numbers
    • Universal toll free numbers (UIFN)

5. Mexico

Mexico is among the most developed countries in Latin America. The Mexican dollar currently is favorable to foreign investment and growth.

Local Authorities to Pay Attention to:

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Tax Administration Service
  • Public Registry of Property and Commerce (RPPC)
  • Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS)
  • Mexican Institute for Foreign Investment

Local Phone Numbers

Ready for Your Business’ Global Expansion?

Expanding to these countries is much easier thanks to advancements in technology and telecommunications. You can start by establishing connections through business virtual phone numbers, testing the market, and then gradually moving physically. We here at Global Call Forwarding can help you communicate globally with ease and without dramatically increasing your expenses. Learn how today; call or chat with us now!

The Ultimate List of BYOD Policy Pros and Cons

How do you decide if a Bring Your Own Device or BYOD policy is right for your business? More and more employees are attracted to working remotely or on their own devices. And doing so can positively impact productivity and efficiency. But can your business handle such a policy? Here we list down key BYOD pros and cons to keep in mind when your business decides to implement a BYOD policy.

Pros and Cons of a BYOD Policy

Before we delve into the advantages and disadvantages of a BYOD policy, let’s first have a look at what is a BYOD policy. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) refers to a business practice where employers let employees use their own devices and tools for work-related purposes. A bring your own devices policy can be based on:

  • Employees using their devices with or without IT control
  • Use of devices with limited or no local storage
  • Use of devices for non-sensitive tasks

With growing remote-working trends, the need for a BYOD policy seems more and more prevalent. Such a policy ensures that business continues even in the middle of a pandemic where employees work outside of the office.

However, as with any new policy, one must consider the pros and cons of a BYOD policy before committing. Let’s have a look at why you should implement a Bring Your Own Device work practice.

Pros of a BYOD Policy

So, why are more and more businesses considering adopting a BYOD policy? Here are some major advantages of letting employees bring their own devices to work:

  • Employees get to work with devices they are more comfortable with.
  • Employees can use tools and apps of their choice to improve productivity.
  • No learning or training is required to use devices.
  • Cost-savings for the company; there is less need to purchase or replace technology.
  • Greater remote working opportunities.
  • Flexibility in terms of where, when, and how to work.

Cons of a BYOD Policy

While the advantages of implementing a BYOD policy can seal the deal, there are a few important disadvantages to be aware of:

  • Possibly blurring the line between work and personal lives; who will be responsible for repairs or new purchases?
  • Need for strict control so employees do not use or misuse privileged information and data.
  • Employees may not have their own devices or high-quality devices.
  • Higher security risks.
  • The potential loss of company data and privacy when an employee leaves.
  • Complex and experienced IT team required to integrate devices and operating systems.

Is a Bring Your Own Device Policy Right for Your Business?

So, now that you know the pros and cons for BYOD, how do you decide if this policy is right for you? Such a policy can greatly impact productivity and reduce costs. However, there are risks that cannot be ignored. The solution then is to create a policy that addresses the risks and includes solutions to combat them. For example:

  • Use MDM software to separate data.
  • Define parameters and rules for device use.
  • Monitor device use.
  • Consider using a virtual phone system to stay connected from any location and device.
  • Decide who will be responsible for repair or replacement costs, and so on.

Having these factors decided beforehand will ensure a smooth and successful implementation of the policy.

That aside, a BYOD policy may seem more fit for small businesses than large corporations. Before making a commitment, think of different ways such a policy can impact your business and employee productivity. Also, consider remote-working as a trend and attraction for new employees. If BYOD is right for you, take time to create a solid policy that addresses your primary concerns!