Footwear, fashion and accessory brand Tamaris is a big name in Europe with an online presence in 25 European countries. The German brand is still growing and has further expansion plans. At the time of this interview Tamaris was expanding its ecommerce into Italy, Poland, Czech Republic and Greece. How do you create the best customer service experience for your customers when you're active in that many markets? We met with Fabian Schreiber, Ecommerce Coordinator at Tamaris, to talk about the importance of adapting international customer care operations to local preferences.
The importance of speaking the local language
The webstore of Tamaris is available in 25 European countries. In most of these countries the website is adapted to the local language. Customer service however, isn’t widely localized yet. Since the launch of its ecommerce business, customer service of Tamaris has been available in three languages: German, English and French. “These languages formed the basis for our international webshops, so at that time it was a no-brainer,” Fabian explains.
With the knowledge and experience of operating in such an international way, Tamaris focuses more and more on providing their customers with a fully localized experience, including payments, logistics and customer service. “Through our customer service we are in direct contact with our customers. This personal experience with the Tamaris brand is important and being able to offer this in the customers local language is vital” says Fabian. Besides the aforementioned languages, the next market where Tamaris fully localized its customers' service experience was Italy.
Native Italian customer care
Last year, Tamaris expanded its online business to Italy, a market with high growth potential for a fashion brand like Tamaris. Italy is also a market where localized customer service is of the highest importance for ecommerce success. In addition to quality and price, for Tamaris two factors were key in the selection of a customer service partner: project launch time and available customer care languages. “We plan to add more local support languages to our offering and we don’t want to complicate our operations by working with several service providers. We were looking for a partner that could offer customer service in multiple languages. That is why we decided to start our partnership with Salesupply and it has proven to be a good decision.”
Outsourcing customer service while remaining in control
“While we outsourced our Italian customer service completely to Salesupply, it never felt like we lost control, on the contrary”, Fabian continues. “Salesupply empowered us to remain in control with a personalized training session, real time insights and reporting”. The training module of Salesupply is custom made in close cooperation with the client. The client decides on the training program and its content. “We started with a four hour training session in which we introduced the agents to the essence of the Tamaris brand, the way we communicate with our customers and how we prefer to solve issues,” Fabian explained. “It is crucial that the agents are able to communicate to the end customers as part of our brand”.
Every two weeks Tamaris meets with the project team of Salesupply to discuss possible issues, improve agent information and identify process improvements based on customer signals. “The communication is clear and uncomplicated, in addition to the meetings, I receive a monthly report and I have full access to the customer service dashboard,” Fabian adds. “The dashboard gives us real time insights into the issues that are affecting our end customers.”
Further localized expansion
Tamaris plans to expand into further European markets in the near future and will do so with localized customer support. They are currently preparing to launch native customer service in Greece, Poland and the Czech Republic, together with Salesupply. “I think that for every online shop that wants to expand cross-border and needs to speak the local languages, Salesupply is the perfect customer service partner”, Fabian says.