European Customer Services
Besides business development and sales & marketing to attract clients, it will be important to service the European customers well to retain them. In order to be successful, the vendor should offer localized product information (web site, brochures, web shop), localized product and packaging, localized localized customer services (FAQ’s and help desk).
Localizing website, web shop, brochures, product and packaging is a one-time investment that can be outsourced easily.
Business development, sales & marketing can be done inhouse through the Internet, via your own sales people in Europe, or you can outsource it.
But for many organizations, supporting their European customers is a nightmare. Although many people nowadays learn English at schools, many customers still do not have sufficient knowledge of the English language to communicate effectively to the English speaking customer service agents of the vendor. To offer proper customer service to customers from the main European economies requires a team of customer service agents that speak English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Swedish.
The quickest and easiest way to service customer is self-service, with an up-to-date localized FAQ. Localizing the FAQ is not a one-time activity but an ongoing activity. When new issues appear, new FAQ’s should be added immediately in local language.
The rest of the customers can be serviced with a 24-hour (or 48-hour) response through Internet & e-mail. Depending on the existing infrastructure, our customer service agents can log-on to your (web-based) help desk application, log-on to the central e-mail support queue, or act as experts on your support forums.
Telephone support is a rather expensive type of customer service when the volume is relatively low. At least one customer service agent per language needs to be available full-time during the agreed hours, to accept incoming calls. When the volume is sufficient, this is not an issue. But without the volume, most agents will be sitting idle for a part of the time. And setting up a European telephone support system with local numbers that are rerouted to the central organization could be quite challenging.
We will choose the most pragmatic implementation in co-operation with the vendor. We will use the same support system as the vendor, for example: a web-based customer service system, a central e-mail queue system, a customer forum.
We can help with localizing your customer service activities. And instead of fixed retainers and complex SLA’s, the costs will be based upon the number of transactions executed so the costs are more in synch with your revenue.