Single Regional vs. In-Country Support Centres: Which Works Best for European Customer Service?
April 06, 2017
April 06, 2017
Many large companies believe in-country customer support centres are best for serving local customers. But the truth is getting too local can hurt the overall customer experience for international brands. Local operations established individually by local leadership don’t always fit how things are run in the company at large. Consolidated customer support can resolve this issue.
Customer support centre consolidation is a natural part of maturing within a company servicing a wide geographic area, such as Europe or the EMEA region. Basically, it’s bringing together customer support operations and working to consistent processes and standards, rather than keeping multiple discrete organisations in play. Consolidation in European markets creates consistency while delivering on local cultural and language expectations of customers.
The most common justification for in-country support delivery is the value of local customer service agents fluent in the language and cultural nuances. As a brand develops, however, there’s a point where this approach provides minimal benefits.
These add redundancy, inconsistencies, and costs to your customer support operations. And inconsistencies can negatively impact your local brand reputation among both customers and potential talent.
Operating locally can also result in isolated, we-know-best behaviour where regional collaboration is discouraged and specialists hoard information. In contrast, positive customer experience is built on effective communication and transparency within the organisation.
Some countries may have very low call volumes, requiring few customer service agents, but they still need to be available when customers call. Consolidation taps into skilled multilingual agents to address needs while nearshoring provides a talented agent pool to serve many customers at lower cost.
Consolidation also improves quality assurance through process standardisation. When all of your support centres are on the same page, it’s much easier to objectively analyse workflow and make necessary improvements .
Consistency is an important driver for positive customer interactions. Through local customer support, customers may be receiving completely different experiences depending on where they may be. Ensuring a seamless customer experience is a great way to improve satisfaction and ultimately brand loyalty.
Consolidation initiatives are likely to see some pushback from local operations teams, even though they bring many business benefits. In every case, managing the change associated with customer support consolidation requires experience and skill, and SYKES has many successfully completed projects that prove we have delivered. Having an experienced partner ensures your transition team is equipped to handle this challenging task.