Make sure your support is global-ready
8 min read
04 September 2017
Becoming global-ready means making sure you have the right support services to back you. Here's how one business made it happen.
Over the last 18 months, UK-based but global-ready webexpenses has opened international offices in Sydney, Brisbane and as of May 2017, Austin, Texas. The fast-growing cloud-based expense management provider recognised that although there maybe currency, tax, terminology and regional differences ultimately, every business requires a system to manage their expense process.
With webexpenses being founded out of a desire to relieve businesses from the strenuous task of wading through paper receipts, it is clear from day one the organisation has specialised in providing the highest level of support for customers.
With the success of a global-ready solution that tackles expenses in all corners of the world, it was essential the business had a level of customer service and support that matched this. Global office hours has enabled the customer service team to be on hand to answer queries and provide guidance for 24 hours of the working day.
Webexpenses’ company mantra is to “always exceed expectations”, they made sure this rung true with their support with a variety of contactable platforms and fast response time. Globalising their online platform with the latest whitepapers, quick guides and training videos to ensure whenever and wherever you are, you have assistance.
Business analyst at webexpenses Maria Gatt discussed the global-ready business support:
Since opening offices in Australia and North America how has it impacted on webexpenses support?
With our growing international client base we have worked hard to deliver a high level of support consistently across all channels. This however, has sometimes been difficult with different time zones, constraining clients to email support only.
The opening of our offices in Australia and North America has allowed us to provide a more personalised support, with clients now able to speak with someone in their own time zone and at a time convenient to them. From webexpenses’ side, we have had to recruit local support for the offices and the local teams have had to collaborate with each other in order to best serve the client.
What was the overall goal of what you wanted to achieve with globalising support?
For us it was allowing all customers to be treated the same regardless of where they were in the world. One of the most important components for us was having localised and Customer Service teams for all regions, providing our customers with the ability to choose how they contact us as a lot of people still want to speak with someone whereas others are happy with email and live chat.
For our support hub we felt it was imperative to provide one centralised platform that was free and covered all basis in a simplistic way.
How did you select the content to go live on the global support hub?
We made sure we thoroughly reviewed and analysed analytics and data of the most popular content, downloads and video views. This enabled us to create a clear picture of what people really engaged with, so we could build upon existing or create entirely new material.
Ultimately the goal was to produce a clear and concise platform that contains content that adds value to the broader finance function as well as best practice and support materials for using the system. We made sure this was possible by having a mixture of content for admin and end users with the quick guides, training videos and FAQs and for finance teams and accounts, there are white papers, blogs and articles.
What were the most integral elements to include within the global platform to ensure you were catering for everyone?
Ultimately the expense process is the same across all regions so it was important to include staple content that explained the software and how to use it in a simplistic way.
We found through research that often people are unsure on a lot of expense management and financial jargon so we built a glossary to put within the support hub.
Lastly it was a way for us to cover all bases and make sure our customers were always being looked after.
Are there many regional differences in support requests?
Not really in the nature of the request, but there are in the ways the requests are made i.e. email, phone, chat. For us, it was really important to present the element of choice to our customers.
How many people were involved and how was the project managed?
Overall the entire business has played a big part in ensuring global support can happen as quickly and efficiently as possible.
What were the biggest challenges?
Initially, we had to hold meetings at suitable times with our Project team across the timezones. We also needed to recruit suitable Support staff for the Australia and North American offices and train them on our systems and so found it better to bring them to the UK to do this.
How do you see webexpenses support developing further?
As our business continues to grow then our support teams will also grow to accommodate our clients. However, as technology advances, it’s important to be agile and use it to further enhance your offering to support clients more efficiently.
What one piece of advice would you give companies globally expanding to help them prepare their support accordingly?
When deciding what kind of Support you want to provide, think carefully about the timezones and don’t forget about Daylight Saving as this occurs at different dates across different continents. It’s also pivotal to check that your Helpdesk system can cater for regional teams. We have a helpdesk system that is set up so that any client can call any of the support numbers and will be redirected to any support executive that is online.