When a company makes the decision to sell its products in other countries, the most time-consuming, persistent and resource-intensive part is probably finding and maintaining contact with international customers.
Perhaps the easiest way to be close to them would be to have a physical location in each place where we operate. But this is not always possible, as it is costly. In this case, communication becomes a key issue.
Fortunately, new technologies provide alternatives to mere physical presence. These systems allow us to be closer to our customers, offering them more convenient, immediate, free and, above all, manageable means from anywhere in the world.
In this article we offer you 6 ways to communicate with your international customers without having a physical establishment in each country.
The first alternative we present is perhaps the most convenient and complete. Although, as we will see below, there are other ways of contact that are becoming favourites among users, many people still prefer to make a phone call, especially if they are dealing with an international company. With this form of contact we will be sure to reach them effectively.
Precisely because it is a very popular way for international customers to know the company better, with a telephone number from each country we will be increasing their trust in us. In most cases, a foreign number is not only unknown to them, but also involves a cost. With this, the problem disappears, as for them, the price will be the same as a local call.
However, to manage these calls efficiently, you need the right system in place. With a cloud telephony solution, customers will call any international number and your team will answer them from a single interface. And for outbound calls, they can decide which number propagates at any given time.
But how do we know which country each call comes from? The service has all the necessary functionalities for this, such as, for example, the possibility of adding main greetings that indicate their origin before answering them. In addition, we can set the system so that calls are distributed among the agents according to a series of established criteria, so that international customers are always attended by the person best qualified to do so.
2. E-mail address
Another common form of communication between companies and customers is email. However, as customers prefer more immediate means such as telephone, instant messaging applications or web chats, it has become an add-on for many international companies.
The reason is that, although a large amount of information can be transmitted through this channel, responses in most cases are not immediate. Thus, because the interaction does not take place in real time, customers often leave messages unread.
Therefore, if we want to communicate effectively with our international customers and give the proper message, email may not be the best option.
3. WhatsApp / Telegram
Today’s consumers prefer to interact through more convenient, closer and more direct channels. That is why instant messaging applications have been gaining popularity in recent years and have become a preferred communication channel in many countries.
As well as being accessible and easy for anyone to use, it is a free form of communication for customers, no matter where they are. That’s why having an application like WhatsApp API or Telegram as a way of contacting international customers can bring us great benefits.
In this context, the question arises: are companies prepared to manage this channel efficiently? When we operate in several countries and therefore offer other means of communication in addition to calls and email, we must ensure that we have the tools to bring them all together in one place.
A virtual PBX allows us to handle voice, chat and video interactions with our customers from the same interface. This way, agents will not have to switch from one screen to another to answer them and we will reduce waiting times.
4. Web button
Nowadays, we could say that what is not seen on the Internet, does not exist. Websites act as a kind of virtual shop through which we can open our company to the world, especially in a moment when e-commerce has become a trend.
Although online shops bring many benefits to companies, they also have a major disadvantage: the customer cannot physically see the product. How else can international customers solve their doubts about a product?
However, when the user is browsing the company’s website, picking up another device or switching screens to contact the company is not convenient, so it is likely that they will not do so. With online communication channels such as web call, video call or web chat buttons, this problem disappears.
To implement them, we will need a widget that we can insert in as many places as we want. This way, customers will simply click on it to launch a completely free call or video call, or even to have a conversation with an agent in real time.
It is a form of communication that, after Covid-19 and the subsequent teleworking situation, has become a perfect option for maintaining proximity with consumers and the rest of the team.
Although a video conferencing system offers great advantages for our international customer service, some providers’ solutions require installation. In addition, they lack functionalities such as recording or transcription of conversations, which can be a disadvantage.
The ideal, therefore, is that they work with technologies that do not require any installation and that offer everything to develop video conferences in a suitable way. In Fonvirtual, we offer you a WebRTC video conferencing system. You will be able to enjoy the most complete service from anywhere, through any device and without downloading any software.
6. Social Networking
The latter alternative is widely used by businesses to market their products and services. This is why customers increasingly tend to contact businesses through them, either by replying to a post or by sending a message.
However, managing social media communication can be somewhat complex, especially as users’ social media preferences change, integrating social media with other channels also becomes complicated.
So… What is the best form of international communication?
Of all the possible channels, there is none that is better than another. Each has a number of advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to choose the one that suits your business and the market in which you operate. As a minimum, it is important to have a local telephone number and a web button.
Once we have decided which forms of contact we want to offer, it is essential that all these solutions are integrated into a single platform. Agents will then be able to manage these interactions through the channel chosen by the customer but using a single system.
With our virtual PBX you will be able to attend to your customers, regardless of the contact method they use, from anywhere and on any device. In addition to all the functionalities to which you will access, you will have a powerful Artificial Intelligence system that allows you to manage your communications in any language and at any time, thus multiplying the possibilities of your customer service.
If you want to boost your international communications, do not hesitate to contact us. We will advise you on the channels that best suit your needs.