Being a Local Company for Global Customers

The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks”.Mark Zuckerberg

Succeeding in business in the world today is not an easy task. Rising customer demands, surge in new and fierce competitors, multi-channel communication networks, social media, shortage of talent – the list seems endless. Companies are therefore expanding their operations like never before and as a result have offices and customers around the globe. It is tough as it is to manage customers in one’s home country but the stress of being a local company for global customers is probably a much more cumbersome and daunting task. The fact is that ensuring a global presence is not something that companies can choose – in order to survive and become successful they must ‘spread their global wings’. The challenges that face a company in being a local company for global customers are many and varied.

For customers to remain happy with a company they must perceive customer service that is suited to them and the marketing strategies of the company aligned to customized service. Companies that manage to integrate both these functions have seen an upwards trend in their revenue – up to 74% (as per a study conducted). In addition, being a local company for global customers is also about content that is best suited to the particular country of operation. This does not only mean creating content, on the website and other portals that is in the local language, but also about being sensitive to the culture and demographics of the region. The content must be useful, relevant and insightful enough to appeal to the people of a region if a company aims to establish itself as a local company for global customers.

Companies that lack vision and structure will find it impossible to present itself as local company for global customers. A lack of vision and ability to manage sensitivities by producing content and offering products that would be relevant to the particular country or region could have devastating results. This would primarily be because the local customer base would interpret this as poor service and lack of empathy for them. Such a perception would not only damage the reputation of the brand in that particular demographic but negative publicity could affect the company’s status in other regions as well. Being a local company for global customers is a key feature for creating memorable and pleasant customer experiences.

Keeping customers happy is in no way an easy task and in a global scenario too, this is true. Serving such customers is also about a company’s ability to remain transparent, honest and be accessible irrespective of time zones and a diverse set of expectations. This would ensure that these customers would provide repeat business, give first preference to the company and become brand ambassadors for it in a foreign land. This in turn benefits the company, as these customers would help them to penetrate other markets and a wider customer base that the company might not even know. Being a local company for global customers is about ensuring that these customers continue to trust and depend on your company translating to loyalty, profitability and establishing a strong hold in a ‘foreign’ market.

With advancements in technology, being local company for global customers is not that hard – doing a good job on it is. A company must focus on providing easy service, localized products and optimize the use of the multi-channels of communication now available in order to have a huge and positive impact on the customer perception and the kind of experiences they have with the company.

In order to come across as a local company for global customers, the company must ensure that it has a clear vision and focused strategy that will help it make that difference and gain a competitive edge over the other players. The marketing strategy cannot be an umbrella one – it must remain focused on the particular market and be able to assess the needs of the local customer base of the country / region. Customized technology and range of products to suit the particular market would also help the company gain preference with the ‘locals’. In order to come across as a local company for global customers, it would be beneficial to use vendors and suppliers from the customer country – this would lend a feeling of comfort and familiarity for the customers. The more comfortable global customers would feel, the easier it would be for a company to become their ‘local company’.

Being a local company for global customers would also translate to the company being part of events, sustainability projects and other projects that the particular country or region deem important and crucial for them. By lending support and helping to affect positive change, a company would gain favour with the customers on a sustainable basis. These methods are extremely potent and the company would be part of them without compromising on revenue, creativity and profits. The global customers would see this as value-added customer service – a winning strategy for any company. Being a local company for global customers is about ensuring that those customers see your company as being true to their culture and social structure. Acts that promote social responsibility and affect positive social changes will put a company in the front -runner position with global companies. Seek to be a partner of the customers – ensure that your company’s policies, strategies and product line come across as being valuable for them and would make a positive difference to their life. The fact is that because your company is not ‘part’ of their culture, beliefs and other such aspects, the onus of making inroads and gaining acceptability would lie with the company – in addition to providing stellar service and the highest quality of products.

In order to succeed and become a local company for global customers ensure that you become a part of their ‘community’. Engage with local communities and like-minded organizations such that your company is able to convey that its values and ideals are similar to them. Use social media platforms to lend your voice to projects and programs that the particular customers favour – this will make them like and trust you more. Even if a particular customer / s do not need your service, they would not think twice before recommending your company to others. The principles of customer service are not very different even when your company is making efforts to be a local company for global customers.

Put your global customers at ease by hiring from within their country. It would be easier for these local employees to build and sustain a culture that the customers can identify with. This also shows the customer community that their comfort and trust is valuable for you and that you are committed to giving the best service and creating products that they would find useful. In order to become and remain a local company for global customers, start on the inside – employees have the ability to make or break a company. ‘Local employees’ would be more proficient in understanding the mind-set and grasping the needs and requirements of ‘their people’. How your company treats these employees would in turn spell success or failure for you.

Being a local company for global customers certainly transcends the boundaries of language – it is about a company adapting to the needs and feelings of the customers, irrespective of country, region and other such boundaries.

 

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