In today's global economy, expanding your business doesn't mean opening a new office across town. Many growing businesses have customers around the world. And to serve those customers, they need to be able to communicate with customers anywhere, anytime.
No matter how carefully you prepare, your business will run into roadblocks along the path to global expansion - that's a given. But with a clear strategy and the right technology in hand, you can better serve your international clients and grow your customer base.
Use our essential call center checklist for global expansion as a tool to gauge your company's readiness and identify key steps to growing your business worldwide.
Research Country-Specific Rules and Regulations
Let's say that you're planning to open a new call center location in India, because you know that 25% of your customer base lives there. This new call center will allow your business to provide those customers with better service, and help you create a local brand presence.
But, every country has different rules when it comes to employment requirements, benefits, taxes, and even business registration. Before you make the leap and start investing in your new call center, do your research. Take the time to find out exactly what your business needs to do in order to operate successfully overseas, and evaluate how much these steps will cost you.
Set a Budget for Minimum and Maximum Expenditures
We've all heard this old business adage: "You have to spend money to make money." But, there are limitations on what any business can afford - especially in the case of global expansion. As your business scales, you must budget for new expenditures, particularly when it comes to hiring and equipment costs.
Re-evaluate Your Hiring Process
As your business expands globally, you're faced with a choice: continue hiring local employees to staff your call center during international hours, or start hiring agents in the countries that your business serves. There is no right or wrong answer - but each path comes with its own set of factors to consider.
If you choose to hire remote agents in the countries that your business serves, you'll want to make sure that your call center managers have the tools they need to evaluate, monitor, and coach these employees. If you choose to open a physical location, you will also need to consider whether you need to hire in-country managers, or recruit domestic employees to take on the new international positions.
With cloud-based technology, your remote agents can work from anywhere; so, you don't need to spend the time and money on a physical, in-country branch. And most virtual call center software solutions offer remote live call monitoring, which means that your managers can listen in on calls anywhere, too.
Consider Cloud Technology
Expanding your business worldwide is no small feat. If you choose to open a new location, there's the matter of hiring local employees (or paying for domestic employees to move abroad), researching new rules and regulations, and of course, the cost of a new office space and equipment. If your business uses proprietary, on-site call center software, you'll have to budget for thousands of dollars in hardware.
With a cloud-based call center solution, all your agents really need is a laptop, a phone, and a reliable Internet connection. If you choose to use softphones, you don't even need a separate phone; your agents can answer and make calls directly from the softphone client on their laptops.
Cloud technology allows your business to save money on hardware costs, which is a huge benefit. But, it also offers ultimate flexibility. The cloud is everywhere - and that means that your agents can be everywhere, too. So whether you choose to open a new international call center, or decide to cater to your international customers' needs from your domestic location, cloud call center software is your go-to tool.
Preparing Your Business for Global Expansion
Scaling a business is hard work. But, it's not an option in today's global economy. Use the steps listed in the call center checklist for global expansion as a guide for helping your business achieve success at home and around the world.
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