Going Global Overnight With On-Demand Customer Service


Posted by Directly

You’re growing fast. You're gaining new customers all around the world. How do you scale customer service fast without a massive investment?

Traditional methods involve hiring specialists in each language you support and staffing up to serve during business hours in many time zones. But inquiry volumes are inconsistent in given languages at given times. Spikes happen and specialists fall behind, leaving customers hanging. Troughs occur, leaving specialists on the clock with nothing to do. Neither situation is optimal.

Hablas español?

Parlez-vous français?

你會說中國人嗎?

It’s a perfect time to consider an on-demand model for scaling customer service globally. You invite your expert users who speak different languages — like Spanish, French or Chinese — to answer questions in those languages on their smartphones and reward them for quickly resolving tickets. Using this model, Directly customers are servicing roughly 50 percent of their foreign-language questions during all hours of the day with crazy fast response times. To date in 2015, response times across the Directly platform average 3 minutes in Spanish and Italian, 5 minutes in German, 7 minutes in Russian, 10 minutes in Portuguese and 45 minutes in French. (Even the 45-minute French average beats the global benchmark for first response of 24.2 hours by a considerable margin.)

Two technologies make this work at scale. The first is automated language skills tests to ensure proficiency. The second is an automated language-based routing engine to detect a question’s language and match it to the right experts. [See Feature Spotlight: Language Tests & Routing]

Using a global, on-demand customer service model, you add local experts to the community to handle surges, and you compensate for resolved tickets, not hours. You also save the overhead costs of supporting a call center - rent, electricity, computers - or the related higher costs of outsourcing to firms that do the same.

More Important Than Price

This model has several advantages beyond scale and efficiency. Customers expect to be served in their native languages — in one survey 56.2 percent of respondents said using their own language is more important than price when dealing with companies. And language alone isn’t enough. Regional accents and local knowledge play in to the satisfaction levels. With an on-demand approach, customers not only get native language support fast, they hear from people they can relate to, namely other passionate users of your product. Finally, you’re rewarding your most reliable expert users for their help, investing further in the satisfaction cycle.

In addition to serving high-volume languages, the on-demand model also lets you service areas and languages you might not have considered before because of low volume and staffing difficulty.

We’ve seen Directly customers roll out native language support in as little as four days by batch-inviting pre-selected expert users or using a drip recruiting method. [See Find Experts Using Drip Recruiting in 2 Steps.]

Need more convincing? Give me a shout at david@directly.com. I'll walk you through a fit test to see if an on-demand approach to global customer service is right for you.