By Sascha Mehlhase, Flowroute, now part of Intrado
In today’s global economy, businesses face the challenge of competing domestically and internationally. According to the Small Business Administration, 96 percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the U.S., indicating a huge opportunity for businesses that want to expand internationally. Companies hoping to thrive internationally should invest in technologies that create more pathways for global customer communication and enhance collaboration among their global remote workforce.
To do so, managed service providers (MSPs) will need to work closely with cloud-based carriers and communication service providers (CSPs) that can help them implement tools to support their customers’ growth and ultimately help them compete in the global market.
One critical communications capability that MSPs can offer is international direct inward dialing (DID) numbers. DIDs are virtual numbers that allow calls to be routed directly to an existing phone number. CSPs can offer DIDs through VoIP and cloud-based PBX systems so that businesses can use local numbers no matter where they’re based. DIDs will not only help companies tap into the global market, but they also will give end users more options for connecting and interacting with a company.
Regardless of their location, businesses need to ensure call centers are set up to communicate with customers through a reliable and secure network—in a way that makes it simple and easy for customers to contact the company anywhere in the world. With this in mind, MSPs leveraging solutions from cloud-based carriers and CSPs are well positioned to help make sure their customers’ support centers function at a global level providing quality service and ultimately helping the business attract and retain customers.
By adopting cloud-based customer experience solutions like Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) model, companies gain more opportunities to deliver seamless communications across multiple regions and channels. CCaaS also integrates with international toll free (ITFS) and international local numbers (ITL) to help enterprises reduce customer service challenges by offering modern and efficient communications channels for end users.
Further, and with the integration of DIDs, MSPs ensure their enterprise customers are equipped to handle complex support situations by being able to directly connect customers to a representative instead of waiting on hold or stumbling through complicated routing systems. Additionally, DIDs strengthen CCaaS applications by providing a comprehensive solution that can thrive on an international scale and drive customer satisfaction.
MSPs and their customers that use international DIDs as part of their global expansion strategies are often able to secure increased trust from customers. DIDs create a way for companies to use local numbers with local caller IDs, so customers are more likely to engage with the company and view the number as trustworthy instead of a fraud or spam risk. In addition, even though the call may be directed to an international location, customers who place calls through a DID will pay a local rate, which also can help build trust between parties because they will not be subject to hidden fees.
With DIDs come valuable insights into customer behavior, which can be used to improve and tailor customer experience even further. DIDs provide real-time data on key measurements like call volume, caller demographics, peak calling hours, calls missed and call duration. Companies can review these metrics to arrange their operations to cater to their customers’ needs.
Decision makers also can monitor call patterns and demographics to have the right support team available. For example, if a call center receives a high volume of complex calls from a specific country during a specific time frame, they will make sure that the representatives online during that time speak the right languages and possess the appropriate technical skills to solve the associated problems. With DIDs, contact centers can direct incoming calls from a given location to a representative who is best positioned to take the call. Calls also can be routed based on criteria such as local laws, time zones, cultures or product offerings.
Improving customer experience is a clear reason for an MSP to ensure its carrier partners offer DIDs. Beyond the benefits to end users, DIDs are location independent, which means they can help the MSP and its customers stay connected to their global remote workforce—an increasing trend in the business economy—and link different branches of the business across borders.
Maintaining strong connections to the moving parts of a business by way of cloud-based local and international DIDs ultimately adds value to the bottom line by strengthening business operations.
International DIDs benefit enterprises and customers by providing an opportunity for companies to streamline operations while improving the quality of global communication and driving increased collaboration for internal and external stakeholders. Companies that utilize tools such as DIDs, ITFS and ITL can see increased profitability and return on their IT investments as they strengthen their ability to collaborate and compete in the global market.
About The Author
Sascha Mehlhase is the senior director of product management for West Telecom Services and Flowroute, now part of Intrado. He has more than 15 years of product management experience in software engineering and B2B SaaS platform development. Prior to joining the company, Mehlhase was the director of product management at Motorola Solutions, where he was the strategic lead as the company developed software solutions for mobile broadband work-group communications.