Case Studies : Xacti
Expanding beyond local markets and across international boundaries can be a daunting prospect, but when a company is already very strong in their own region, it is the logical way to maintain the momentum the business has built up in recent years.
There are many challenges to face for aspiring international players, but one of the most important considerations is for a business to build a reputation as a trusted local brand in every market it enters. To have any chance of achieving successful international expansion when you first enter a market, such entry must be done without the huge CAPEX outlay and ongoing costs associated with maintaining facilities in every individual country.
One of the most effective methods of appearing to be physically present in every market is by deploying local phone numbers and toll-free phone numbers that can be routed to call centres anywhere in the world. This saves on the cost of having offices physically located in a specific country being reached with a local number and can take as little as 15 minutes to set up once the initial request for telephone lines has been made.
Thomas Salzman, Manager of Business Support at the infrastructure company Xacti, used managed number porting company City Numbers to expand Xacti’s business, away from the saturated US market, and to launch across 15 new countries. City Numbers deployed 100 local or toll-free numbers across these territories, giving customers the option to call either local or toll-free numbers to address their support queries. This not only provides customers with peace of mind to pick up the phone and call without fear of incurring charges, but also positions Xacti as a truly international company with truly local presence in the markets it has chosen to actively target.
The perception that a business has local availability in a given location gives customers confidence that they are dealing with a robust organisation and the faith that their query is being dealt with by local experts. Salzman commented, "Xacti is in a very strong position here in the US, but with our home market already saturated, to reach our growth targets we needed to look overseas.
"It is vital for our business to be international, but given the industry we operate in and scale of Xacti’s business, opening multiple offices in target countries was completely unfeasible, so we began researching the possibility of establishing local phone lines with local operators."
However, Salzman found that establishing local phones lines with local operators was not only prohibitively expensive but the process was also extremely lengthy, saying, "The first overseas market launch, through an established local operator, took two months to set up a number and required a 50 page contract before the first call could be taken." Following this arduous process Xacti turned to City Numbers to launch services initially in Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. These numbers were activated within 15 minutes and represented significant cost savings compared to launching similar toll-free and local services with individual operators.
Salzman added, "Using City Numbers, we have been able to route calls from over 100 local and toll-free numbers to call centre partners around the world. We are able to provide first class support to customers on a truly global scale, while keeping costs to a minimum for both Xacti and its customers. Given the mobile phone costs of ‘toll-free’ numbers in some markets, deploying the local alternative was a must for us and gives customers complete flexibility to call from a fixed line or a mobile."
Xacti’s business model relies on call centre staff being able to talk through problems with customers, and its brand of tech support simply does not work through other modes of communication. Customers are often unable to accurately describe the problem in written correspondence, and, if connectivity is the issue in the first place IM or email correspondence would be impossible. Salzman concluded, "Having a friendly voice on the end of a local phone number is vital to Xacti’s customer relations and business."
Xacti now supports customers in over 15 countries from its offices in the Czech Republic, Finland, Canada, the US, and partner call centres around the world. Following the company’s successful launch of virtual numbers in English speaking markets, the company is now looking to achieve further growth by launching similar services in other European and Asia Pacific markets, routing calls to native Spanish, French, German and Japanese speakers depending on which local number is called.
Today's Tip of the Day - Answering Customers’ Questions
About City Numbers:
City Numbers provides businesses with UK phone numbers, Virtual telephone numbers, Virtual International Phone Numbers, International Toll Free Numbers, Fax to Email, Audio Conferencing and Call Answering services.Based in Birmingham in the UK, they cover the entire UK and have recently expanded service delivery to companies in the USA, Europe and the Far East.
Published: Tuesday, August 5, 2014