Designing a Strategy to Launch (or Improve) Global Customer Service

March 18, 2022

Thinking about expanding your customer support to serve new regions across the world? Smart idea! Going global with your customer support will open up new markets, increase demand, improve customer satisfaction/retention, and boost revenue potential. 

Organizations are looking for ways to drive value, and customer service departments are on the hot seat. According to Gartner’s Customer Service Trends and Priorities survey, the top two areas of focus for CS leaders are growing the business and improving operational excellence. Is it possible to achieve both of these goals at the same time? 

Below we outline the four crucial elements of an effective global customer service strategy that will help you streamline operations and do more with less. 

Document your most critical customer care processes 

Just because your existing customer support team has been humming along with minimal issues doesn’t mean the quality and consistency of service will stay the same as you scale. It’s easy to forget about the institutional knowledge that your agents possess — the practices, tips, tricks, and instincts gained through years of experience they rely upon every day. 

Process documentation is essential for minimizing disruption and ensuring that new hires are able to start providing A+ customer service from day one. A well-organized onboarding system helps agents learn the skills, policies, workflows, and best practices they need to meet customers’ needs. In addition to facilitating a positive customer experience, process documentation contributes to an enjoyable employee experience: Research shows that 69% of employees who have a great onboarding process are more likely to stay with the company for at least three years.

In a fast-paced environment like customer service, employees often need a way to answer questions and solve unforeseen problems that pop up months, or even years, past their start date. A structured knowledge base maintained by a knowledge manager can be a great way to help employees answer their own questions and document solutions to new challenges that may arise. 

Embrace automation and self-service 

Automation is an essential part of any global customer support strategy. Automating repetitive customer service tasks empowers your team members to focus on higher-value responsibilities that require empathy, creative thinking, conflict resolution, and other interpersonal skills. While some people may be skeptical about this category of technology, automation actually empowers your employees to do more, not less.

As your global customer support team scales, automation goes from a convenient time-saver to a serious needle-mover. Consider a five-person contact center where each agent spends three hours every week answering similar email queries over and over again. 

If you use automation that scans emails for common questions and auto-generates replies, that would save about 150 hours per year per agent, or 750 hours total. But if your headcount increases to a dozen agents, for instance, you would save 1,800 hours — or 225 work days of productivity — per year!

Leverage language translation 

The most vital aspect of growing an organization’s global customer support operations is making sure you provide the same high-quality customer service experience, no matter where your customers are located or what language they speak. In the 2021 Unbabel Global Multilingual CX Report, over two-thirds (69%) of international consumers said it is very or extremely important that brands offer an end-to-end customer experience in their native language.

To connect operations across different areas of the world, recruiting bilingual or multilingual talent may seem like the obvious choice. However, sourcing full-time agents who have customer service and technical support skills, product/industry expertise, and speak multiple languages is very complicated. An Intercom survey found that 85% of support managers find it difficult to find agents who speak more than one language — and outsourcing isn’t always viable. Agent availability and time zone differences can also put a damper on your customer success strategy.

In order to solve this challenge, a rapidly growing number of global businesses are using multilingual translations to provide native-level support with their existing customer service teams. AI-powered, human-refined translation, specifically, is the best way to facilitate multilingual communications that resonate with your target audience and provide an optimal ROI. For example, TomTom used this technology to streamline its global customer service strategy and reduce year-over-year support costs by 20%. 

Test, connect, scale, repeat 

With a well-documented, tech-enabled multilingual customer service strategy in place, the sky’s the limit. You can easily test demand in new markets to determine if you should invest more resources and increase local expansion efforts, such as opening brick-and-mortar stores. Once you have identified regions where there is a genuine connection to your brand and its products/services, you can quickly scale up operations and capture new revenue streams at a rate that could otherwise take years.

That’s exactly what TuneCore did when it used our customer service translation solution to grow support from five to 29 languages while increasing customer satisfaction scores and drastically decreasing ticket response times. 

“Without Unbabel, it would be almost impossible for us to serve a global marketplace, at the scale at which we’ve been expanding into new countries and territories this year. It has been one of the most important parts of our toolkit,” said Sean Daly, Director of Content and Rights Operations at Tunecore. 

Break barriers with Unbabel 

Now you understand the key ingredients to make your customer service department as efficient and productive as possible while still delivering a world-class customer experience. The new era of business and commerce is all about flexibility, adaptability, and being able to reach your customers exactly where they are. 

Interested in learning how a partnership with Unbabel can empower you to navigate the global market with confidence? Schedule a demo today, and see how we can help you scale your customer service for maximum ROI.

About the Author

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Jason Richardson

Jason Richardson is the Vice President of Customer Operations at Unbabel. He leads and manages Unbabel’s customer operations team and works closely with customers to maintain strong relationships and ensure success. With more than two decades of experience in the technology industry, Jason has developed outstanding leadership skills in seeding and growing organizations to scale and deliver and providing vision and direction to services and implementation organizations. Prior to joining Unbabel in 2020, he worked as Senior Director, Global Customer Success for Qlkik – a leading provider of business intelligence software. As a customer first leader he ensures customers consistently receive the expected value and are delighted by the experience.