Raising your voice

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The crucial role of voice in global enterprise expansion programmes

The trend of American companies going global is ramping up rapidly. A recent survey by Wells Fargo, noted that the majority of US-based companies believe that the international component of their business will become more important to their financial success over the coming years. But while the benefits of global expansion can be compelling, actually setting up a presence in a new country has, in the past, posed some daunting challenges, particularly in the field of IT and telecoms provision. Depending on the business, companies may need to establish a physical office space, hire local staff and then provision essential voice and data connectivity, often from a local provider. This process has been expensive, time consuming and challenging, due to multiple factors including linguistic issues, unfamiliar or complex local regulations and the need to both select and manage relationships with as yet untrusted local suppliers.

In an era of internet-trading and virtual offices, companies may be able to avoid some of the headaches associated with establishing a physical presence. But some things are necessary and unavoidable – such as acquiring local inbound calling numbers.

Establishing local voice connectivity should be seen as an essential priority for companies expanding into new regions and markets. Experts in behavioural science have long held that voice is the second most important form of communication, after body language. Thus it is no surprise that, even in this age of multi-channel communication, voice persists as the most effective way of interacting with customers and maintaining customer satisfaction – especially when making first contact in a new market. Furthermore, the value of voice is especially apparent when dealing with more complex interactions between end customers and enterprises. Issues like account opening/closure, booking multi-stage travel, or explanation of intricate terms and service policies cannot be achieved with automated self-service portals, but must rely on the human touch.

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