How businesses engage with customers, and the level of support they provide, can severely impact a brand’s long-term success. For example, research from PwC suggests
that one in three customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience – while 93% of them would completely abandon a company after two or three negative interactions. To retain customers and remain competitive, businesses must invest in technologies that enable the widest range of customers to communicate seamlessly with the brand.
Since nearly 96%of the world’s consumers
live outside of the U.S., according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, businesses are under increased pressure to deliver customer experience (CX) strategies that support a global audience. To accomplish this goal, and create enhanced global CX, businesses need to partner with carriers and communication service providers (CSPs) that can support their growth, secure return on investment (ROI), and help them compete in the global market.
For example, CX and IT decision makers should look to their carriers for international direct inward dialing (DID) numbers. DIDs are virtual numbers that allow carriers to route calls directly to an existing phone number, like an invisible extension. They provide businesses with local presence in new or existing markets by utilizing local numbers, regardless of the originating call or number’s location. By leveraging these numbers, businesses strengthen their global communication strategies and offer more control and flexibility over ways to interact and engage with customers.
Below are three specific benefits businesses can secure by integrating international DIDs into their global CX strategies.
Localization with global scalability
Given that DIDs aren’t dictated by geographical location, they empower global expansion. Businesses that operate in multiple markets across several countries or that want to break into new markets can leverage international DID numbers to give them a local presence in each market. Businesses can even break into these new markets without having physical offices or employees on the ground. Additionally, DIDs are easy to connect to existing numbers, giving businesses the freedom to scale up or down at their own pace – a luxury not often possible with traditional PBX lines.
Furthermore, the key to serving a new market is establishing trust. Research from Edelman suggests that for nearly 81%
, brand trust is a deal-breaker or deciding factor when evaluating purchases. One way to establish trust in foreign markets is to have a local presence, which is achievable through a local number. International DIDs are formatted with local caller IDs that are typically viewed as more trustworthy than 1-800 numbers, which are commonly associated with fraud or spam. By utilizing local labels, businesses can increase the likelihood of customer engagement through building trust within the new market. Lastly, end users aren’t charged with costly international fees when calling a business from a DID number. Instead, they are charged the local rate recognized by the caller ID label.
Personalized customer service and support
Given the importance of customer experience in customer retention, businesses should invest in the contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS) model to deliver personalized experiences to their customers. CCaaS can deliver a cloud-based customer experience solution that allows companies to scale as operational needs change, with the agility to reach customers based on their individual demands. As more companies embrace international expansion, the support of a durable and scalable CCaaS solution will set a company up for success with its communications for an international customer base.
Integrating tools such as international toll-free service (ITFS), international local numbers (ITLs), and DIDs allow customers to connect directly with company employees, rather than making them sit in a queue or navigate a complex calling menu. Internationally equipped CCaaS offerings can help companies deliver omnichannel and harmonious customer communications across platforms, while alleviating common customer service pain points, such as differing business hours or language preferences.
Additionally, companies can use data gathered from DID numbers to establish routing protocols. This would allow them to route incoming calls from a specific region or country automatically to an agent (or team of agents) best equipped to address inquires originating in those locations. These protocols could include local laws, language, time zones, culture, or product offerings. Routing calls to appropriate agents ensures personalized customer care and can play a vital role in customer retention.
Making informed decisions is 101 for businesses that have seen long-term success and brand loyalty from customers. When a customer calls a business through a DID, the DID will collect information about the call. This information can include the number of times they called (call volume), the time they called, where the call originated, and how long the call lasted. Decision-makers can then analyze these data sets and patterns to inform planning and influence changes required to improve service.
For example, if customers regularly call during midday lunch hours, business leaders may decide to staff additional agents during these common hours of high call volumes. Or the data may show that customers from specific countries call more often than others, requiring additional support from employees who can speak their languages. By learning the local preferences and tendencies of the customers calling the business, as illustrated by international DID data, businesses can strategically position themselves to deliver quality customer service.
As business is conducted on an increasingly global scale, decisionmakers must consider all aspects of their enterprise communication capabilities to ensure they are optimizing their services and reach. Businesses should seek out carriers and providers that can implement international DID numbers that enable the delivery of quality and authentic support and service to customers around the world.
Through the continued widespread implementation of DIDs, enterprises will see increased trust from customers, seamless expansion into new markets, personalized customer support, data-informed decision-making, and ROI on IT investments as they offer domestic services at an international scale.