When it comes to serving customers, multiple in-country support centers can be the enemy of consistency and efficiency. And the solution to local support centers? Consolidation.
If you’re not sure that consolidation is right for your business, be on the lookout for these three issues.
1. Customer Service Practices Are Inconsistent Across the Region
If there’s a lack of intra-regional collaboration, you’re probably experiencing typical locally-oriented focus. This happens when each support framework has been built up independently over time and is a reflection of each local team’s preferences. Unfortunately, it’s also an easy way to frustrate customers.
The three main inconsistencies you’ll see are in:
- Availability: Days and hours of operation vary center by center. For example, one opens seven days a week, while another opens Monday through Friday.
- Support Channels: Customers want to use a convenient channel (e.g., phone or email support) and may switch to a competitor if it’s not offered by their local contact center. Companies should ideally offer the same communication channels across all markets.
- Reporting: When each location uses a different customer relationship management (CRM) system and strategy, there’s no guarantee that they will be directly comparable or compatible. This makes it difficult to measure and compare support performance, judge customer satisfaction, isolate quality issues, and identify improvement opportunities .
2. Customers Get an Uneven Experience
The customer experience is based on all interactions with a brand, and the majority of these post-sale will be through call centers. Positive service experiences are vital for customer retention and lifetime value.
Overly localized customer service strategies can create greatly varying customer experiences that affect brand perception. Consolidation is necessary to deliver a customer experience that is consistently high-quality.
Differences in the following factors are a sign that customer experience is uneven:
- Training: When customer service agents learn from different curricula, they’ll provide customers with different levels of competence.
- Experience: Customers prefer to communicate with agents who understand their needs and history with your products. They expect the same customer experience irrespective of language or location.
- Performance: To match ever-evolving customer expectations, customer support needs to use processes conducive to continuous improvements. This requires deliberate cross-collaboration that won’t happen with localised support.
3. Call Centre Budgets Are Sky-High
Using many local support centers leads to inefficiency and redundancy, which in turn leads to inflated costs.
The following factors are what’s driving this issue:
- Workforce Size: Some languages may attract a relatively low call volume, leading to poor agent utilisation. Meanwhile, high volume languages may be experiencing very high demand.
- Technology: When support centers use disparate technologies, additional resources are required to maintain optimal performance.
- Governance: Independently designed processes can lead to top-heavy organisations and duplicated resources.
Making Consolidation a Reality
If you see your businesses reflected in the above, now may be the right time to consolidate customer support operations. Considering change is easier than delivering it — but expertise is available. SYKES has provided major companies with consistent, cost-effective customer support for many years, including major customer support consolidation and transformation programs. If consolidating customer support into a regional showcase, consider SYKES.