Customer Service: Communicate More Effectively With Your International Customers

Purchased ImageAbout the Author  Chris Dowling has worked in a direct, customer facing environment for over 13 years now, with four of those years with SmartDraw Software. A zealous customer service advocate who understands how a happy customer base can grow any business, and have won numerous awards for the level of service I provide to the customer. When not at work, I enjoy my time in San Diego at the beach, the local watering hole as well as on my PlayStation 4.

The Useful Clichés

We have all heard about, and more than likely experienced, the horror that is poor customer service; from inattentive customer service representatives who force you to repeat yourself, to representatives who are just plain rude or obnoxious. I have worked in a customer facing environment for years, and have seen poor service in all forms, and the dwindling customer base that comes as a result.  What follows is knowledge I have acquired over the years on how to offer the service your customers deserve. I’ll try to spare you some of the information that can be had via a quick Google search, as most of us know that being polite, attentive, courteous and respectful are all a must.

The Useful Information

However, knowing who you are talking to is also huge plus. What may be polite and courteous to one customer, may be offensive or off-putting to another customer. Knowing something about your typical customer base can reap huge benefits when it comes to making happy customers.

For example, if you work in a concierge environment for a golf resort, knowing a thing or two about the game of golf and current golf events, can go a long way when building rapport with your customers. Likewise, if you work for an enterprise level software company, knowing the industry jargon and how software interacts with hardware will convey competence to the customers.  It will also make them more comfortable throughout the interaction.

This is especially important if you commonly find yourself engaging with international customers.  What is considered appropriate customer service can differ greatly around the world. Understanding what is considered appropriate for each culture you are communicating with shows that your company cares about its target market and is working to build a superb customer facing organization.

How Can SmartDraw Help?

Using SmartDraw’s maps can be a great way to keep track of your customer locations as well as important info for each customer. For multi-national companies, this can go a long way to help your customer service representatives better understand the people they communicate with every day, and how to best approach each unique customer interaction. SmartDraw’s maps can also be used for customer account management, for accounts both small and large. You open a map of the world in SmartDraw, or particular regions of the world, and add notes such as various locations showing customer contact information and their role in their organization.  In addition, it would be beneficial to document anything that might be useful in building rapport, such as customer’s birthday or employment anniversary.



SmartDraw Tip: In the Left Panel, select Maps.  In the Template Preview, select Europe.  Navigate to the appropriate country then right-click.  In the menu, select Add Note.  A new window will open and you can then begin typing in any needed information for the customer. When done, you will then see a yellow note. Anytime you hover over the yellow note, the relevant customer information will appear in a separate window.

Furthermore, SmartDraw’s Mind Maps are also a great way to track relevant information by customer location. As seen below, the mind map is a great way to categorize information by topic. Here we can connect important pieces of each culture to the location the customer is in, giving your representatives the information to properly conduct business throughout the world.