Going Global: How to Conquer Customer Support Across Continents

Chris Savio.

Chris Savio

January 22, 2019


Supporting customers is hard enough, but what's it like supporting global customers?

Even harder. Language barriers, time-zones, and the inevitable range in customer's technical acumen and communication preferences make it a delicate balancing act.

For global cloud communications provider Mitel, engaging a diverse customer base on its own varied terms is a high priority challenge: How can you deliver quality support to all customers effectively and efficiently? Here's what they had to say on our recent webinar, Mitel + Rescue: Answering the Call for Global Support

Think outside of the box

Conventional wisdom holds that the customer is always right but if your team can't replicate the problem, it doesn't matter, because they can't resolve it. Over time, these unsolved issues cascade into larger problems. Your development team never learns about glitches or bugs which continue to resurface for other customers and agents and become a known phenomena. It also suggests to customers that you aren't taking their feedback seriously and gives the impression that you don't care.

To ensure they discover, replicate, and resolve all mysterious issues, Mitel records all support sessions. These sessions are shared with their engineering team, so that those tasked with fixing the product can easily see the issue and quickly determine how to fix it.

Meet your customers where they are

Whether you're a global enterprise supporting millions or a local cafe with a trickle of foot traffic, it's always a great idea to personalize your interactions.

Pay close attention to the needs of customer personas at either extreme: the tech-savvy tinkerers who have already tried troubleshooting their own problem and the technophobic users who are too freaked out to even try.

For either, Mitel launches virtual handholding as soon as the customer needs it. If someone can't find serial numbers or other verifiers, the Mitel team uses Rescue Lens to fetch it for them (Yup, there's an app for that).

For folks who know little about technology, the Mitel support team offers empathy and reassurances before taking remote control of their devices. And the customer, who now feels that they are in caring, capable hands, is impressed with the team's ability to balance being both humane and technical.

Make the most of your team

When support needs are high, structuring your team to be flexible and giving them additional foresight will have the greatest impact on your ability to turn things around for customers.

For some support organizations, this starts and ends at skills-based routing and well-defined escalation paths. For Mitel, it goes beyond that and includes arming their engineers with technology that allows them to be virtually present for any customer at a moment's notice.

When a client of Mitel—a hospital—lost phone service during a power outage, Mitel moved swiftly to diagnose the issue. On backup power, Mitel engineers remotely accessed the hospital's phone system and worked out a fix when it was truly a matter of life and death.

Be everywhere for global customers

Whether your challenge is a diverse set of customers, a wide variety of products to support, or a mixture of both, Mitel's approach offers support teams of all shapes and sizes one very valuable lesson: Arm your agents with the technology they need to be virtually everywhere at once.

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