Why Global Businesses Need to Rethink Customer Support

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Imagine, if you will, a UK based businesskinda.com setting up a business that is growing to operate on the global stage. This businesskinda.com achieves success by delivering winning products and services and is rightly commended for the achievement. However, when the businesskinda.com starts doing business internationally, a new problem arises: making sure that customers receive the right support in different time zones.

The company continues to operate as it has since its inception, with its team in London trying to meet the needs of customers on different continents. As you might expect, it doesn’t take long for the sheer magnitude of this task to manifest itself, with team members experiencing burnout after working long hours day and night.

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The importance of a consistent customer experience

Of course, if you run a global business, you have customers in countries in different time zones. As such, everyone should receive the same consistent experience and levels of support. Contacting customer service is never something anyone wants to do – it usually only happens when there is a problem.

No one will just call you to say, “Thank you so much for meeting my needs,” and you are expected to get excellent service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, not just five days a week. Even if you let your staff work 12 hours a day, you still can’t cover everyone around the world. For other regions, such as Asia and America, working from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM in Europe is not enough.

As a global player, you need to think about how you will serve your customers from the outset because failing to do so will adversely affect those who are not near you. To truly operate globally, providing 24-hour support is essential, meaning it should be a central part of your strategy.

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Why You Should Rethink Your Hiring Approach

If you’re trying to meet this need, it might make sense — at least initially — to hire your entire team from one location. For example, you will likely want to recruit your team within the confines of a single city, with some working during the day and others at night. The exact arrangement is largely determined by the size of the customer support budget you have.

Approaching the task in this way may seem logical, but it actually isn’t. Why? Well, because if you’re constantly asking your staff to work through the night, you won’t be keeping them long. People are social creatures with family and friends, and a good work-life balance must be found to make your employees happy.

Even if you have a team member who is a lone wolf, they will not be satisfied with working all night and sleeping all day. Sooner or later, the need to maintain personal relationships and spend quality time outdoors will lead employees to hate their job and move to a new pasture.

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Constant night work just isn’t sustainable

Next, we must take into account the fact that: Working at night is actually bad for the body, causing the person in question to become increasingly tired as time goes by. While it may be possible for someone to consistently work night shifts, it can have a significant impact on mood and even mental health. As such, it shouldn’t be a long-term thing.

Sure, some people like to work until 5 a.m., but these tend to be people on a very flexible schedule – not something you could say about someone whose duties involve supporting work. As a customer service representative, you must adhere to a tight schedule where each person in your company represents a part of the larger machine.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so if your operation fails at one stage, it can have a knock-on effect, bringing the whole thing to a halt. So if you can’t ask your staff to continuously work night shifts to meet the needs of your customers, what do you do? The answer to that conundrum requires global operators to think differently.

International operators need to think locally

To provide high quality 24-hour support in different time zones, all you need to do is recruit support teams in those different regions. This means that no one is ever forced to work at night and their quality of life is reduced. Any company that does business on all continents needs support staff on every continent.

The result is a support team spanning all time zones, capable of meeting all your customers’ needs 24 hours a day. Everyone is also kept happy because working remotely gives them the freedom to lead a normal life, and it’s just a matter of finding specialists in each region – which is relatively easy to achieve.

So if you’re looking for support for a time zone in Asia, you’ll need to hire people from Thailand, Indonesia, or even India. That way, you can significantly expand your reach and provide great, seamless support wherever your customers are in the world.