Global service is a major concept - regardless of whether your organisation is local, regional or international

Jun 23, 2014 • FeaturesManagementGlobalisationBill Pollock

Customer requirements for field service and customer support will never be the same from one country to another, any more than they will be the same from one customer to another. However, one thing remains very clear – the requirements for service are becoming increasingly standardised, even on a global basis. Bill Pollock President of  Strategies For GrowthSM explains more...

The above is particularly true as more and more local services organisations are going regional, regional organisations are going national, and national organisations are going international in terms of their sales, marketing and global services capabilities.

Just a few years ago, only the largest services organisations had credible worldwide global service and support portfolios. However, today, mainly through the proliferation of Cloud-based technologies; Internet, tablet and social media tools; and the increasing use of strategic alliance partners, even the small and medium-sized services organisations are finding themselves empowered to support their customers on a global basis.

Still, the perceptions of what it might take to be a “world class” global services provider remain inconsistent even among some of the most sophisticated vendors. However, regardless of each individual organisation’s approach or perceptions, it can safely be said that services requirements are both every bit the same, and every bit different, in each corner of the globe.

“More and more local services organisations are going regional, regional organisations are going national, and national organisations are going international in terms of their sales, marketing and global services capabilities.”

Further, many services providers in the United States have discovered over the past several years that there is more than one language spoken in global service. This was a lesson learned years earlier by most European and Asian providers trying to break into the U.S. market, as well as by Canadian services organisations that have been dealing with bilingual support (i.e., Canadian English and Canadian French) for decades. However, the globalisation of service and support refers to much more than simply language differences – it must also focus on the cultural, economic and business differences that are manifested in varying forms all over the world.


As most individual businesses continue to grow larger, and larger businesses continue to acquire, merge and consolidate, there will be increasing pressure on global services providers to grow along with their customers’ needs for a broader and more sophisticated range of services – both in terms of breadth and scope (e.g., a full array of professional services in addition to traditional break/fix and help desk support, etc.) and geographic coverage (e.g., cross-border capabilities).

The conventional wisdom is that some of the services providers that presently offer very high levels of service and support, but only among the basic, or “core”, types of services, or only in a limited geographic area, may actually end up losing out to other, less high performing providers that offer a wider array of services over a larger geographic (i.e., global) area.

The general rule of thumb among customers is often, “why settle for varying or erratic levels of service and support over the whole of our enterprise by relying on the use of multiple vendors, when we can ensure a more standardised mode of delivery – all at satisfactory levels – provided across our entire system?”

While the former mode of service delivery may range from “excellent” to “average” depending on the type of service provided, or the location of the end user, the latter mode generally assures that, at least, there will be consistent levels of service provided enterprise-wide – i.e., with no geo-by-geo “surprises”.

In today’s services environment, the true measure of a provider’s ability to adapt to its marketplace is no longer answered strictly in terms of how well it can deliver different types of support to different types of customers, but in how well it can provide desired levels of service and support to each of its customers, regardless of their size, industry segment or geographical location.

As such, the word “global” should no longer simply conjure up images of field technicians trudging through the wilds of the Great Australian Outback, or cross-country skiing to a remote IT site through a harsh Canadian winter terrain (although this may also be the case from time to time), nor should it be interpreted solely as fostering a company mentality of trying to be “all things to all parties”.

Rather, “global” should be defined as “offering the full complement of desired services and support, either directly or through strategic services partnerships, to support the full enterprise-wide needs of the customer.”

It has taken the services industry the last century to get to the point to where it is today. However, it will be around this definition of “global service" and support that the future of the industry will likely be based. Where it will ultimately take us will, as always, be heavily dependent on how the services marketplace believes its providers are responding to its “global” needs.