Thought leadership

SDL has released a report commissioned with Forrester Consulting that explores the six disciplines that companies should follow to overcome the challenges faced when managing customer experience on a global scale.

As technology enables more companies to sell to more markets more quickly, the individual customer experience becomes harder to manage. Getting the customer experience right, when product differentiation is not always clear, will be the next big challenge for global organisations.

The digital revolution, driven by the internet has permanently altered the global economy. Customers are better connected, more informed and have higher expectations from the companies they choose to buy from. In order to remain competitive in the global landscape, big businesses are beginning to understand the requirement to fulfill consumer expectations at an individual level in each of the countries in which they operate, with emerging markets now contributing about 50% of global GDP growth.

Global expansion efforts are therefore focused on getting into new markets quickly and effectively in order to maximise returns. Applying localisation to global processes is not a new idea; however the Forrester research demonstrates just how challenging organisations find putting the theory into practice.

According to the research, successful global businesses use a framework approach to manage how they deliver locally relevant experiences. The framework is based around six key disciplines: customer understanding, measurement, governance, strategy, design and culture. Successful organizations that have achieved this have done so by:

  • Translating global brands into a local customer experience strategy

  • Developing a clear understanding of each local customer base

  • Designing locally relevant customer experiences

  • Implementing global customer experience governance

  • Tracking both global and local metrics in order to measure success

  • Building a global customer-centric culture

The report demonstrates that companies need to rethink their approach. In order to successfully expand into multiple markets, big businesses should look to deliver experiences that resonate with local communities through the standardisation of processes, rather than output.

To operate efficiently on a global scale, when 73% of internet traffic derives from non-English speaking populations, companies need to put together a set of repeatable processes. These can then be adopted by local operations, with an understanding of the customer base, culture, and language, to present a tailored solution for their local customers.

The research also highlights that, whilst executives understand the requirement to develop high-quality customer experiences in each new market, there is a misconception that customer experience is a one-off project rather than an on-going initiative. However, companies need only look to the leading global players to realize the revenue benefits that come from treating your customers with locally relevant experiences.

John Hunter, CEO SDL, commented: “Today, more than ever before, we see companies struggling to adapt to the challenge of scaling and building their global customer experience management practices, whilst remaining relevant at the local and individual level. In the modern global economy, driving the global customer experience through the web and deploying analytics and social media-based intelligence to understand customer behaviour are crucial.

"Additionally, in order to be relevant and communicate on an individual level, companies need to run effective campaigns across multiple channels. Language also plays an important role in driving brand identity and product recognition in local markets. Global customer experience has truly become a joined up process of closed loop engagement with the customer over multiple channels and at an individual level.

"This report shows that to effectively expand into emerging markets and focus on a consistent experience delivery across multiple markets, companies must translate the global brand and product into a local customer experience.”

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