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 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.