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The CX Challenge When Expanding Across Borders

In this blog post, we explore the challenges of expanding customer service across diverse European markets. The yoummday approach offers a flexible and efficient solution, allowing businesses to connect with customers in their native language without the need for traditional multilingual hubs.

Chris Hague
7 December 2023
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Expansion and growth. New markets and new customers. Every business desires this, and social media makes it easier than ever to let customers outside your home market know about your products and services. But even if you have figured out how to supply customers in new markets, how does this expansion complicate your customer service strategy?

In Europe, many different cultures and languages are close, so a French company that wants to expand across Europe will find that even if they can export easily - thanks to the single EU market - they will need to start supporting new customers in their local language.

Some startups use English as a “default” language, but this will not work for long. A French fashion brand expanding into Germany, Italy, and Spain will need to interact with those local customers in their local language - they cannot expect customers in a new market to only use French or English. This makes expansion to multiple regions more complex.

Some customer service brands have created multilingual hubs to manage this situation. They build a contact centre in an attractive location - by the beach in Greece or a beautiful part of Portugal. Then, they hire people from across Europe to come and work in the contact centre using their own language. So you can find young people in a contact centre in Athens supporting Swedish customers who have a problem with their car rental.

But this is a slow and inflexible process. If you want to ramp up sales in a new market, then there will be a lead time of several months as the customer service team prepares itself to support the new languages - or to increase support for any specific language.

Another option is to hire a different customer service partner in each region where you plan to operate - or, at the very least, a customer service specialist with contact centres in all these regions.

The flexible yoummday approach to designing a cross-border customer service solution bypasses all of the problems faced by a traditional contact centre and multilingual hubs.

Using a virtual contact centre platform allows customers from multiple countries to all contact the same virtual contact centre - which can divert the calls out to experts who can help the customer in their own language. The experts are recruited from the country where they need to offer support.

This means that a French company expanding into Italy, Spain, and Germany can build a team of people who can support customers in English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian by recruiting home-based experts in all these locations. There is no need to open a new contact centre or fly people with language skills to a multilingual hub.

Just hire local support in the region where you need it. You have one tool and partner to manage your team across all the markets - not relationships with multiple service providers.

This flexible approach also means you can ramp up quickly. If sales are taking off in Italy, you can quickly onboard more support team members to support Italian customers. There is no delay. Customer service can help your sales effort.

This flexibility also allows for experimentation. If you want to test out the market in Portugal before making a solid commitment to sell there, you can bring some Portuguese customer support on board. If it works out, then you can ramp up quickly. If it doesn’t work, then you can just stop.

Using a platform to connect customer service experts with customers is not only a more efficient way to support international expansion but also costs less, is more flexible, and facilitates innovation and experimentation with new markets.

If your customer service adviser is talking to you about multilingual hubs or contact centres in different locations, think again. Think flexibly and explore how customer service can be designed to work more flexibly for the experts and the brand is supported.

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