Local exceptions?

By Technical Support

Companies with a worldwide presence and large customers that span regions should have consistent offerings worldwide, as discussed here. However, that does not mean that you cannot maintain local variations in the way you present the offerings or even in the availability of the offerings. Here are a few examples.

Question: Most customers in the Americas are large but there’s a number of established and new clients in Europe that are quite small. [The situation could be reversed!] As a result, the Business Day Support offering is popular in Europe but rarely used in the Americas. Is it OK to drop it from customer presentations entirely?

Answer: Certainly! Why present offerings that don’t match customers’ requirements?

Q: Culturally it works better to present the offerings from small to large to European audiences but from large to small in the US. Can we have different approaches in each region?

A: Absolutely. Your goal is to sell, not to be robotically consistent worldwide, right?

Q: The onsite support offerings are popular and practical in Europe where distances are small but ridiculously expensive to deliver in Asia since we only have one office there. What should we do?

A: You have a number of options. One is to offer onsite support only in geographies where delivery is feasible (i.e. affordable.) Another is to price onsite support differently based on the location to reflect the higher cost of doing business there, or to require a minimum purchase. You can offer the same service at different price points around the world as long as there’s a good justification for it. Use different SKUs so no one gets confused.

Q:The heads of the Sales teams in our three regions (Europe, AsiaPac, and Americas) have very different ideas of what we need for support offerings. Should I give in and create completely different support portfolios, one per region?

A: Assuming that your customers themselves have a global presence, you really need to stick with a worldwide portfolio or else you will confuse the customers — never a good thing. However, you can certainly package different regional presentations for the same portfolio that would nicely mesh with each geography’s concerns and still meet the requirement for a unique, worldwide portfolio.

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1 Comment

  • Sunit Prakash

    Local Exceptions – Support Model & Considerations in the Asia Pacific Japan region

    There are pros and cons with every model; but the centralised US centric (or Europe centric) model does not work in APJ.

    In the first instance, for a product to be successful in say Japan, it needs to be translated – so support has to be in Japanese (or Korean, or Mandarin).

    In the second instance, many products need to be localised, like say India – so support needs to come from a center that understands the localised product.

    And then there are the time zone differences.

    A group of local support centers in APJ, working local hours, local language, local product, access to local consultants – supported by a centralised (global) support of development center works best in my view.

    Underpinning the local prsence, consistent global infrastructure, systems & processes are required.

    These include having consistent support offerings, SLAs, call logging systems, escalation processes etc.

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