SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Max Ball
Max Ball is product marketing lead for 8x8, a leader in the fast growing Enterprise Communications-as-a-Service (ECaaS) industry, in which...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Max Ball | September 27, 2016 |

 
   

4 Essentials for Going Global with your Contact Center

4 Essentials for Going Global with your Contact Center Providing support for global operations is a serious endeavor, but with the right contact center technology, it’s doable.

Providing support for global operations is a serious endeavor, but with the right contact center technology, it’s doable.

Globalization presents a wide set of challenges, and approaching it right the first time around is crucial to long-term success. As organizations expand internationally, enabling a global communications system across multiple countries and locations is at the heart of this challenge, even more so if local expertise and knowledge is lacking at each business location.

There are a number of reasons for organizations to expand their contact centers globally. For growing companies, the need to support customers and prospects around the world becomes more apparent, as does the fact that there is a wide availability of highly skilled, lower cost talent in many places abroad. While running a global organization can be exciting, opening a contact center in another part of the world introduces a whole new set of challenges. Here are the top four things to consider when going global with your contact center.

1. Ensure you have access to more than one data center.

The most obvious sign of a successful contact center is the quality of the call. This can often be jeopardized when contact centers take operations abroad, due to latency caused by distance. In many cases, cloud vendors will serve international customers from a single data center in one part of the world. This means calls that take place far away from the data center need to travel around the world and back -- even if they are connecting customers with local agents.

This hair-pinning method creates latency, which causes big lags in the conversation, so people end up talking over each other, apologizing, then setting off another round of attempts to carry on the conversation. This delivers a poor customer experience, but it can be avoided. The most mature cloud vendors provide their customers with a solution to this problem with multiple data centers around the world and by routing calls through the best possible path. This type of access makes it almost impossible to distinguish between domestic and international calls, delivering better customer experience and more satisfied customers.

2. Set up a global tenant so your team across the world can function as a single unit.

One of the biggest benefits of a cloud contact center system is that your agents can work remotely, but this system can be more challenging in a global environment where agents need to connect to different data centers around the world. Most cloud vendors cannot create a system for a company (generally referred to as a tenant) that spans multiple datacenters. This means that each physical location is required to function as a completely independent unit, with separate management tools, reports, and administration. This makes it very hard for global contact centers to function as a single team.

The solution here is to create a global tenant, which separates the media server function from the administration functionality. This means that you can have agents working around the world, connected to their local data center, but managed from a single, central location. You can also manage your distributed contact center as a single team with one set of administrative tools, one set of reports, and a single configuration tool. Additionally, this approach allows you to provide local phone numbers to your customers to make it easy for them to reach you, ensuring high-quality calls by avoiding having to bounce calls around the world.

3. Make security and compliance a priority.

Many countries have compliance or security requirements that can be difficult to satisfy. That's why it's a good idea to ask what standards a contact center solution meets before you sign up for service. Do they comply with PCI-DSS 3.0, a common credit card processing protocol? What about other standards, such as those for data protection and privacy? What about any standards particular to other countries in which you're doing business?

Contact center providers that make compliance a priority can often supply you with expertise to navigate the appropriate standards. Vendors who have dedicated security and compliance officers can better walk you through how their services are set up to facilitate compliance and provide you support in building a secure and reliable contact center. You should also look for third-party verification by respected experts, so that you don't jeopardize your company's compliance. If a provider's references won't talk about its ability to offer security, reliability and compliance, that's almost as big of a red flag as unwillingness to address the issue.

4. Chat across languages.

Customer service is so much more than telephony. In fact, according to a Northridge Group report, 55% of consumers use two or more communication channels to contact a company or brand before an issue is resolved. Customers want to communicate via the channel of their choice, and the ability to meet this growing requirement can make all the difference when closing or losing a sale.

In a global environment there is also the challenge of language support. The ability to find skilled agents is tough enough for one market. Adding customers from different countries, speaking different languages, makes it even harder to ensure your contact center has coverage for all different possible languages, at all times.

Enter chat translation -- What if you could have customers type chats in one language and have the system translate that chat into the agent's native language? Supporting customers in their language of choice, no matter where your agents are in the world, provides flexibility in your contact center and allows you to deliver a follow-the-sun approach.

Providing support for global operations is a serious endeavor, but with the right contact center technology, it's doable -- and definitely easier than juggling -- to grow your customer base far beyond your current boundaries. The key is to focus on and prioritize the facets that make the largest impact from the very beginning. These four essentials are a wise starting point, so be sure to keep them top of mind when going global with your contact center.





COMMENTS



July 12, 2017

Enterprises have been migrating Unified Communications & Collaboration applications to datacenters - private clouds - for the past few years. With this move comes the opportunity to leverage da

May 31, 2017

In the days of old, people in suits used to meet at a boardroom table to update each other on their work. Including a remote colleague meant setting a conference phone on the table for in-person pa

April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.