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How a growing business can handle the challenge of global support

Scaling up overseas can come with challenges, but here's a checklist to ensure you have the right global support.
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Providing consistent and quality customer and client support is a key component of any successful growing business. If you can’t handle your end users’ problems in a fast and efficient manner, they’ll find a company that can.

And that’s a chastening thought when you’re looking to scale-up and start operating on a global basis. It’s hard enough to maintain quality support in one location, let alone multiple sites posing unique localised challenges.

It can seem daunting but with good research, proper planning and a smart use of technology, quality global support can be achieved. It’s something webexpenses knows about, having expanded from a UK base to having international offices in North America and Australia.

Here’s a look at the best ways to tackle global support:

Do your research

Gaining an in-depth understanding of the unique support challenges posed by any new market is essential. While the core services you provide may be the same, there will be a multitude of local practices, attitudes and behaviours that you need to cater for.

These go from basic elements such as language and time zone differences to more subtle elements such as variations in workplace culture and digital behaviours – there are whole swathes of the world where Facebook is not the main social media network.

Have a flexible approach

No matter how much research you do there will inevitably be some localised challenges that will only reveal themselves once you’ve started operations. You need to identify these early and make sure you have a support set-up with the flexibility to react and adapt to each need.

While some improvements are liable to be made during the initial stages of a new support service, the key is learning quickly and continually refining and adapting your support systems to iron out problems for each location.

Provide local support

While digital technology has provided a multitude of different ways in which we can communicate globally, when it comes to quality support, the option to speak to a person remains essential.

By recruiting an element of local support, it provides the end user with the ability to speak to somebody in their time zone, who understands their needs and can provide a level of personalised support that’s hard to match with cross-border communications.

Manage your resources

For most businesses expanding globally, the core support and resources provided will be the same for all territories. The differences in the information and guidance provided to end users may be relatively minor but it’s vital to identify and manage them.

It requires effective filtering of content so that each customer gets access only to information that’s relevant to their location. Creating localised versions of a business website is an effective way to make sure information provided is accurate and relevant.

Timing can be tricky

Don’t underestimate the challenges that a difference between time zones can create. Even the simplest of things, such as organising a team voice call, can become tricky logistic problems when operating across time zones.

Just to add to the complexities there are the UK daylight savings changes to handle as well as those countries which contain multiple different time zones. It’s something that smart planning and effective use of communication tools can easily handle.

So while the move to global support may seem like a big step, it’s not something that any business looking to scale-up needs to be afraid of. Digital technology has given organisations of all sizes the tools they need to operate effective global support services.

Webexpenses has been able to build on its industry leading standards of customer support in the UK to maintain the same quality of service for users of cloud-based expense management system throughout North America and Australia.

The company’s mantra is to “always exceed expectations”, and this has been ensured with a global support set-up that combines local expertise with an online platform providing each location with a rich source of user guides, white papers and training videos.

It’s a global support service which ensures that every client gets the level of assistance they have come to expect from webexpenses – whenever and wherever they need it.

Webexpenses provides a smarter way of managing your global expenses, find out for yourself by requesting a free demo.

This article is part of a wider campaign called the Scale-up Hub, a section of Real Business that provides essential advice and inspiration on taking your business to the next level. It’s produced in association with webexpenses and webonboarding, a fast-growing global organisation that provides cloud-based software services that automate expenses management and streamline the employee onboarding process.

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About Author

Adam Reynolds

Adam Reynolds is CEO of webexpenses, a fast-growing global expenses management software provider. With an extensive background in software and leadership, he joined webexpenses as head of sales in 2013. He became the CEO in 2015 and now oversees all business functions from technical and product development to customer services. Webexpenses software is used in over 70 countries throughout the world and – with offices in Sydney, Brisbane, and Texas – continues to grow internationally.

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