How to improve your customer service for clients overseas

Whether you’re a start-up business or a well-established company looking to expand overseas, customers should always be your top priority.

Ensuring their satisfaction can help you to build credibility. Plus, research shows that when people receive excellent customer service, they are more likely to recommend you to their friends and family – which ultimately improves your bottom line.

Since word of mouth referrals and online reviews are essential for maintaining a positive reputation, you want to make sure that you provide your customers with fantastic products, backed up with excellent service.

Here we look at four simple – yet effective – strategies to help:

1. Prioritise customer needs

How much do you know about your customers? Although you might not think that it matters too much if you’re based in the UK and the vast majority of your clientele is in Australia – the more you know about them, the more likely you are to understand their needs and expectations.

You can keep a record of such information – either on a simple spreadsheet or full CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system – and use it to help you match their requirements to your products and services.

2. Seek customer feedback

Any business can offer ‘good’ customer service – but to offer exceptional service, you need to understand what your clients like and dislike. Asking them to share their honest feedback (including the good, the bad and the ugly!) is a great idea.

You could encourage them to write reviews and testimonials on your website, complete surveys over the phone or via email. Either way, it will give you an insight into what your strong points are and which areas require improvement.

3. Strengthen your customer service team

When you hire people for your customer service team, you want to be confident that they have the right skills to deal with all customers. After all, some people might be confused about something and have a question, whilst others wish to make a complaint because they haven’t received their order or they’re not satisfied with the service they received.

Ideally, your customer service team should be empathetic and patient, demonstrate good communication skills and have an unrivalled knowledge of the products and services your company provides. You may wish to provide training for your staff as well to ensure that everyone is on the same page and providing first-class customer service.

4. Set up a toll-free number

Some people don’t mind composing an email or sending a message via popular social media platforms – like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – and waiting for a response. But others much prefer to talk to someone over the phone.

If you don’t have a physical location in a foreign country, prospective clients will be less inclined to dial your number as they could be charged international rates. Therefore, if you’re to encourage overseas clients to ring your business, then it’s worth getting a toll-free number.

Toll-free numbers in Australia (1-800 numbers) are widely recognised as being free to call. That means, even if you’re on the other side of the world, calls from Australia can be forwarded to a number of your choice and it won’t cost the caller a thing. What’s more, these numbers are portable so, if you have plans to relocate or wish to change providers, you can take your number with you – providing minimal disruption for your clients.

If you’d like to set up an Australian toll-free number, get in touch with G-Tele – the leading provider of toll-free numbers in more than 100 countries. Available for as little as £20 a month, they guarantee some of the most competitive tariffs. And the best bit? Set up is free of charge.

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