How to Start (and Nail) International Customer Service

Download Now: Free Customer Support Plan Template
Rebecca Riserbato
Rebecca Riserbato



If you're thinking of getting started with international customer service, your company is in a great place.

You're growing, getting bigger, and receiving requests from several countries in many different languages.

In this day and age, communicating globally is pretty easy. However, scaling your customer service to operate on an international level seems daunting.

You're probably aptly concerned because you don't speak the same language as some of your customers, and you aren't in the same time zone.

Yet, you know the customer experience is just as important whether your customers are in Europe, Asia, or North America.

In fact, according to a Common Sense Advisory survey of more than 3,000 global consumers in 10 non-Anglophone countries in Europe, Asia, and South America, 75% prefer to buy products in their native language. Additionally, 60% rarely or never buy from English-only websites.

Below, let's learn how can you deliver an optimal customer experience for a global audience.

Access Now: Customer Support Strategy Template [Free Tool]

1. Localize your content.

When a customer in Germany lands on your English website, is the content in German or English?

The best user experience is to have the content in the native language of the customer. Plus, let's not forget the stats above that show that people usually only buy products or services from sites that are in their native language.

That means localizing your content to different languages is vital for the international customer experience.

To do this, you can either hire a local team to localize your content or use software like Bablic to help.

2. Hire international customer service reps.

A huge hurdle with international customer service is timezones and language. If someone calls support in the middle of the night in your time zone and in a different language, is there someone who will pick up the call and can help?

If not, it's time to find international customer service reps that focus solely on requests coming from other countries. Additionally, you might want to consider hiring international employees so they're awake during the day in different countries.

These international service reps can either focus on requests coming from countries that they speak the language and are in a similar time zone, or they can use Google translate to help provide online help to customers in different languages.

When you hire international customer service reps, you should also make sure to invest in professional development for them as well. Don't forget to provide training that is specific to international customer service.

3. Use Google Analytics to determine your international customer service needs.

Before you get started with an international team of service reps, you can use Google Analytics to see where your audience is. How many website visitors are coming from France, or China, or Thailand?

If you don't have an audience in Brazil, then maybe you don't need to hire an international customer service rep based in Brazil.

It's a good idea to find out where your audience is coming from so you can see what your international customer service needs are.

4. Use translation services.

If you don't want to hire a team of international service reps, you can use translation services from a service like Gengo. If you don't want to localize your entire site, you can use translation services to translate important pages, knowledge base articles, support pages, canned email replies, etc.

By using translation services, you can better support your service reps who need to interact with customers who are speaking a different language.

5. Outsource international customer service.

If it seems like you don't need this much international help yet, you can always outsource your international customer service to a team abroad.

For example, you can use an international call service to pick up phone calls or handle live chat in different countries.

However, if you decide to go the route of hiring your own international customer service reps, you'll want to look for people with a certain set of skills. Let's see what the job description might look like and the skills you'll want to look for from applicants.

So, what will your international customer service representative do on the day-to-day? They'll handle customer inquiries, complaints, and objections as required.

This means answering and monitoring phone calls, emails, and live chats. It will involve working with other departments to get questions answered.

To do this, you'll need to hire reps who are fluent in whatever languages you need and available in whatever timezones you need. Plus, they should have excellent listening and communication skills.

When it comes to getting started with international customer service, it's important to determine your needs, localize your content, and hire a team to respond to international requests.

support plan

Related Articles

We're committed to your privacy. HubSpot uses the information you provide to us to contact you about our relevant content, products, and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For more information, check out our Privacy Policy.

Plan your customer support strategy with this free template.

Service Hub provides everything you need to delight and retain customers while supporting the success of your whole front office