Handling Today’s Global
Customer Support Challenges
February 25, 2022
As a company that provides support for global customers, InEight has come across multiple challenges along our growing business journey. Yet while some of these challenges may be familiar to those in our industry, others are new. As we navigate through our rapidly evolving, culturally driven current and post-COVID world, there is much to consider if we want to stay competitive and successful.
This is why understanding how globalization affects not only our businesses but also our customers’ businesses is key to driving a successful global customer support program. Let’s look at some of these challenges and how they may be best handled.
The Geo-Cultural Challenges
Having locations around the globe, our customers often have teams and departments that work from different countries, which in turn all have different time zones. Normally simple tasks such as setting up meetings can become difficult to sync let alone hold. Added to the time zone crunch are language differences, sometimes even within the same companies. And with language comes cultural uniqueness.
Each culture may do business in a variety of ways specific to them. And let’s not forget, there are very different calendars and holidays to consider as well. While holidays might seem minor from one country’s point of view, i.e. “we can just work around it, right?” it is never safe to assume the country in question feels the same way. There are distinct differences in what the word “holiday” means depending on where you are coming from, and these distinctions must be respected to promote a good working relationship.
The Nuances of a Remote Culture
With all of this in mind, there is also the aspect of not just where we work, but now, how. Globally-focused employees tend to already work longer hours, and much more so in our current and post-pandemic world where we have become accustomed to remote work like never before. One pitfall of this culture when it comes to global support? It can often become assumed that because we work with clients all over the world, we must be there for them 24/7. While this is the ideal, it is also important to remember that in reality, healthy support teams need a good work-life balance too as they are often asked to perform tasks that involve a wide variety of skill sets which require adaptability, flexibility, versatility, changeability (and other “-ty” nouns) to properly support their customers.
Understanding and Practicing Real Globalized Support
While we all live in the same world, in my personal journey, I have discovered that this world is not as globalized in its functions as it may at first appear. We all fill our mouths with globalization words, benefits and challenges, but if we are being truthful, do we really live in a globalized world?
For instance, every country has its own immigration laws, restrictions, and regulations for entry when attempting to send support staff. This represents a huge obstacle to whomever intends to embrace a new global market and grow internationally. Add to that new COVID-19 rules and it becomes even harder to do business across countries. And while I acknowledge that we have improved remote communication skills dramatically, there will always remain situations that benefit from face-to-face interaction.
All told, it is a massive yet crucial challenge to provide quality global customer support today. Between known factors and those that are yet to appear, we must evolve organically to succeed in this new world.
At InEight, we are proud to have embraced these challenges as growth opportunities when we talk about supporting clients globally. In this ever-changing world we all live in, the only way to survive is by adapting and evolving. As we continue to apply this flexible attitude to our business processes, new technologies, and the power of social media all in a growing and globalizing world, we are not fearful but excited to have begun a new era of truly globalized customer support.