3 important reasons why localized customer care is quickly becoming the next customer service trend for global businesses
Consumer shopping habits have shifted heavily towards digital over the last few years. This has made e-commerce the go-to and, oftentimes, preferred shopping method for an ever-growing number of consumers worldwide. It has also created new opportunities for brands to target, reach, engage, and convert global shoppers like never before.
Then, the COVID-19 pandemic happened and, for better or worse, consumers suddenly found themselves relying on e-commerce more than ever. In fact, the novel coronavirus has had such a marked impact on daily life that, according to IBM’s U.S. Retail Index, the pandemic has created a “boom” accelerating the shift to e-commerce about five years ahead of schedule.
Truth be told, this is nothing new for businesses that have traditionally sold digital goods online. They’ve actually seen this trend coming for a long time now and, as a result, know a thing or two about what it takes to scale up an e-commerce business globally.
TODAY'S GLOBAL CONSUMER NEEDS LOCAL SUPPORT
The true benefit of e-commerce is access. For consumers, it’s about having access to goods and services that, in the physical world, they would have most likely never stumbled upon. For businesses, it’s about having access to a larger addressable market of consumers who want and need the kinds of goods and services you offer.
At face value, it seems like a win-win. However, operating an e-commerce business that caters to customers in different countries is not simply a matter of launching a website and sitting back while the sales roll in. When selling goods and services—whether digital or physical—across country lines, you must also take into account the different currencies, languages, regulations, taxes, and other logistics that actually allow you to operate in those markets.
As a brand, you may think of yourself as having, first and foremost, a global footprint. But within each market you operate, you must think locally—not only from an operations standpoint but also in how you support and communicate with your local customers.
Interestingly enough, this nod to localism in the end-to-end customer experience has taken on a whole new level of significance in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. As borders closed and flights were canceled, the world suddenly started to feel a bit smaller. For many, staying close to home during this unprecedented time has also meant not leaving one’s country.
Closing the world’s borders has caused many consumers to turn their attention locally and take steps to support local businesses during this health and economic crisis. This presents a number of opportunities for global businesses with a local footprint: more specifically, around how they can better serve and support their customers in a locally-relevant way.
THE BENEFITS OF LOCALIZED CUSTOMER SERVICE
At Nexway, we’ve always been firm believers in the benefits of localized customer care. It is one of the foundations of our Monetize platform, and it plays a critical role in the services we provide as Merchant of Record (MoR) for e-commerce businesses that sell digital goods in multiple countries around the world.
Aside from simply offering support in the language spoken by your local customers, there are a few benefits related to our unique approach to localized customer service worth calling out:
It reduces costs. Outsourcing customer service can be costly. Because we weave this seamlessly into our MoR services, we’re able to provide this service as a natural extension of setting up your business in any given local market. Therefore, instead of having to search for different partners to help you set up your business and your customer care efforts in various local markets, we provide an all-in-one, end-to-end solution that minimizes these headaches and reduces costs in a big way.
It’s proactive. Customer service should never be an afterthought, even if your primary focus is on the heavy lifting of getting your business up and running in another country. Since this is a part of our service level agreement as an MoR, we think about how to implement high-quality customer service that can and will address the needs of your local customers as of day one. From the look and feel of your email confirmations to the language of your licenses, taking a customer-centric approach at every touchpoint along the customer journey will enhance your customers' experience with your brand.
It acts as a lever of growth. It’s easy to assume that customer service only plays the role of helping customers out when they have a question or a concern. However, when done right, customer service can actually be one of your business’s best levers of growth. Both a touchpoint for upselling to existing customers and a proven way to help potential customers decide whether to follow through on a purchase decision, customer service can be critical in closing key gaps along the customer journey. Plus, when it's all done in the language your local customers speak—and in respect of other local cultural cues—it can drive a greater sense of trust and, in turn, drive long-term brand loyalty.
It supports current e-commerce trends. Amazon and other e-commerce platforms have fundamentally changed the way people shop. They’ve also set new expectations around what those shopping experiences should be like. However, those marketplaces are often seen as big, monolithic global brands that are out-of-touch with local communities. Or even worse, they are seen as “stealing” business away from local communities. Offering truly localized business operations—including customer service—not only gives your customers easy and efficient ways to buy goods and services online, but it also provides the added reassurance that their purchases are supporting their local communities, too.
GO LOCAL WITH NEXWAY
Planting roots in multiple countries isn’t always easy—much less if you try to do it on your own. However, when partnering with Nexway, you can get your online business in front of global consumers faster than ever before, all while being compliant with each country’s specific rules, taxes, and regulations. We take the hassle out of expanding your global online business, without you ever needing a physical presence in the countries you serve.
Nexway Monetize offers localized customer care with world-class Level 1 support—via email, phone, and chat—in 12 different languages, helping you create a positive customer service experience that can boost trust and build long-term brand loyalty.
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has created all sorts of challenges for businesses around the world, it has also created new and unexpected opportunities for online businesses to thrive and grow like never before. If you are ready to infuse your global online business with a more locally-relevant customer service experience, the team at Nexway can help.