The Six-Step Framework For Successfully Expanding Your Technology Offering in a New Country
Looking to expand your tech offering globally? Well, now’s the time to do it. With tech spend rising, you’re in a great position to move into new territories. Before you do, make sure your communications system is up to the task and can support your new endeavors. You don’t want to compromise your new venture (and customer service) on an old phone system.
Technology...it’s become an ubiquitous way to do, well, anything: order food, purchase items or services, discover new and historic information, optimize legacy processes and technologies, to name a few. The need for technology is growing all over the world, and global businesses are looking to expand their product offerings, including mobile apps, in new markets.
During the midst of the pandemic, consumer technology spending was down and business technology spending was up. While not completely out of the pandemic woods yet, 53% of companies intend to increase their spending into 2022. Consumer service spending is expected to grow too, especially in the travel and hospitality space as countries begin to open up borders and accept visitors.
As B2B and B2C software companies expand into new markets, these promising trends put them in a great position. But before you expand your tech’s reach, it’s a good idea to take into account the processes and communication tools you’ll need before taking on a new market. For example:
- What’s your plan to break through language barriers?
- What communication systems will support your expansion and support new markets?
- How do you plan to capture cultural intelligence as you interact with new target audiences?
If you’re researching ways to expand your tech’s reach on an international stage, you’re in the right place! Here’s your plan for successfully expanding your tech offering in a new country.
Step 1: Upgrade Your Virtual Communications
If you haven’t switched your phone communications from a local public switched telephone network (PSTN) to a cloud-based VoIP platform, now is definitely the time to upgrade. As you expand your offering to other countries, you’re going to have new users calling your company for support. You need your phone system to be able to handle an increased call volume. You also need the infrastructure to route support and sales calls to the best available agent as quickly as possible, so your teams can offer the best customer service.
VoIP providers offer many essential services for software companies needing to keep up with international customers that on-prem PBX systems just can’t match:
- Scalability: Instantly add virtual numbers or agent licenses to your platform and scale up or down as needed.
- Mobility: Remote teams are equipped with the tools and functionality to handle calls anywhere in the world with a reliable Internet connection.
- Flexible Terms & Contracts: No term contracts, coupled with pay-as-you-go plans, empower businesses to control their spend, on their own terms.
- Cloud Agility: Unlike traditional PBX providers, cloud-based communication platforms remove the need for bulky equipment and unnecessary infrastructure costs.
- Global Redundancy: A fully resilient network supports end-to-end global voice coverage, exceptional voice quality, and enterprise-grade security protection to shield your business from malicious activity.
- Integrated Communications: Seamlessly integrate legacy platforms, number inventory, and popular business applications to enhance international connectivity.
You may be thinking you can simply cobble together a patchwork of local phone carriers in each country where you plan to expand. But why rely upon local carriers who don’t always offer the most stable phone networks or offer the easiest implementation and reconfiguration that VoIP networks do? VoIPs offer crystal clear voice quality and foolproof data backups - often for a lower overall cost than local carriers.
Don’t risk first-time customer impressions with unstable connectivity and spotty call quality. Opt for the seamless, interconnected network of a global VoIP provider like AVOXI.
Step 2: Secure Robust Voice Coverage
When it comes to your voice provider, it’s important to ensure they not only support you where you want to go now but where your product will take you in the future. A provider that can offer real-time inventory for instantaneous number purchases in varying regions is most effective for a global software company. Enter AVOXI.
With coverage in 170+ hard-to-reach countries, we offer instant-activation virtual numbers so you can access thousands of destinations around the world when you need them.
Local Presence Dialing
You don’t have to be local to a country or region to look local. You can use local presence phone services to establish the same local area code as a caller. Local presence dialing is a 2-way voice technology that assists sales and support reps to make and receive calls while appearing from the same location as the caller or call recipient.
This type of voice plan helps international brands build trust and engagement among their customers. People naturally trust businesses that share a geographic or cultural connection and are 4X more likely to answer the call. Having a local number reduces their cost to call your company, but greater than that, it subtly reassures the caller that your technology and company are legitimate. This can mean big revenue opportunities for your business.
If you don’t need local presence dialing, toll free virtual numbers are another solution to connect with customers in your new markets. It’s a free way for them to call in with their inquiry. When setting up your business’s toll free number, make sure to set up forwarding rules to ensure your customers are routed to the right agents each time.
Use automatic call routing to direct calls for support, sales, job inquiries, or other calls. If you have teams for different languages, set up forwarding rules that automatically direct calls from certain countries to the right language team. With the right mix of local numbers, country-specific caller ID, forwarding rules, and in-app messaging, your product users will think your company is native just like them!
In addition to two-way local dialing and toll free numbers, AVOXI also offers a robust inventory of other virtual phone numbers for your business needs:
- Local DID. Local numbers that help businesses establish a local presence, making the company more accessible to individuals in local communities.
- Non-Geographic. Non-geographic numbers are represented on a country level, not by a locality.
- UIFN. A universal international freephone number (UIFN) is a global toll free number that can be dialed from multiple countries.
- Vanity. Vanity phone numbers use digits that spell out a brand name or memorable word associated with the company.
Step 3: Get to Know the Culture
Organizing your communications technologies is important. But, so is brushing up on the local culture where you plan to expand services. Knowing the culture of your customers and prospects impacts your ability to succeed in that region. An Accenture study estimated that becoming culturally competent in your business interactions and strategic decisions through regular training can increase your employee’s productivity by 30 percent. That’s huge!
Teach your employees local customs with respect to speech and formalities so they know how to talk with the locals. Call monitoring tools like whisper and barge can assist, ensuring your agents are hitting the mark when it comes to aligning your brand successfully with cultural norms. Get familiar with accepted customs and principles that go along with doing business in a foreign land, and that includes learning the ways of how your prospects shop around. It all starts with a positive brand image.
You can do so by monitoring and engaging with reviews and taking action based on the feedback. 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, with 52% believing that companies need to act based on the feedback left by their customers. This is an easy way to support your customers and business in a new region, even for an international company. If you’d rather focus on core business functions, utilizing a BPO that has local industry expertise can help ease your global expansion.
Step 4: Localize Your Tech Product
Even though many people across the world speak multiple languages, they often feel most comfortable communicating in their native language. When introducing your product to a new country, make every effort to translate the text into the local language. Include dialects, if possible. For example, there are some significant differences between American English and British English.
Another prime area to localize is the support/resource section for your business and mobile app. If someone’s having issues with the technology, you want them to contact a rep at your company that not only speaks their language but who’s familiar with the culture and how to best interact with them professionally. You can optimize your call center phone system by doing the following:
- Get a local number
- Ensure your IVR is set up to support different languages and regions
- Leverage advanced routing to prioritize the customer experience
As previously mentioned, a local number helps boost engagement and builds trust with your brand. Include local service numbers that direct callers to a local call center agent. In doing so, you can improve your first-call resolution rate and customer experience through the establishment of a local and cultural connection to your brand.
IVR, or interactive voice response, is an approach to route callers to the right departments that can handle their inquiries. IVR is a business phone feature that gives callers choice from a spoken menu. The caller speaks their choice into the phone receiver (or selects the associated digit on the dial pad), and the IVR software routes them based on their response. You’ve probably experienced IVR when calling a large company like your Internet provider. But IVR services are available for companies of all sizes when using a VoIP platform!
Setting up advanced routing can also direct callers to the right agents with common skill sets (like language or product expertise) to quickly resolve the issue. Intelligent call distribution like skills-based routing helps reduce wait times by matching the caller with the best agent for the task.
Step 5: Unify Your Communications
Expanding your operations globally means that you’ll have a lot more data to organize. Having the ability to easily connect your communications platform to other critical business tools will be important. Support your current - and future - market expansion by connecting your phone system with your customer relationship management (CRM) or ticketing system, or other business tools that drive your business.
Having a cloud communications platform like AVOXI will enable you to seamlessly track customer conversations in every country, improve customer satisfaction and team collaboration, and reduce resolution time from within your preferred cloud platform environment!
If you’re looking to integrate voice into your PBX or contact center, deploy SIP trunking (SIP interconnect) to bridge together your legacy infrastructure to the cloud. SIP connects your voice services to your software and allows you to better manage your phone numbers through one platform instead of juggling dozens of local carriers. You can also help employees be more productive through integrated technologies and automated workflows while your company eliminates hardware costs and accesses better international call rates.
Step 6: Track Your Analytics
Once you’ve set up your phone communications to handle international calls, you’ll want to monitor performance in real-time across your number portfolio and team. By tracking your calls and how your agents are performing you’ll have a wealth of information that will inform your future business expansion. Capture it through:
- Call Tracking: See where you’re getting the most calls from and when.
- Call Monitoring: Ensure your team is delivering an exceptional customer experience every time with call monitoring, especially as you’re launching new markets.
- Call Queueing: Monitor call volume trends and customize ring strategies so you can ensure efficient call distribution among teams and agents.
- Performance Reports. Easily view, schedule, and share key metric reports - by team or agent - to more efficiently communicate call center performance across your organization.
- Service-Level KPIs. Measure how your team is doing against your service-level agreement and performance goals.
- Live Analytics Dashboard. Get visibility into your team’s historical and real-time performance.
- Live Monitoring & Agent Coaching. Better coach your team with call monitoring tools + live call coaching dashboard to assist in interactions where necessary.
Accelerate Your Market Expansion with Modern Cloud Communications
Stay connected with your local and international customers with a modern communications platform that expands as you move to new markets. With AVOXI’s award-winning platform, tech and software business leaders can easily launch their offerings into new geographies with the help of broad voice coverage, advanced routing, and communications tools that drive sales and top-notch service.