In the spirit of keeping things strangely simple, Voxbone has written this Pocket Guide to keep on your smartphone or tablet, to read in line at the supermarket or while squeezed into the subway. Pretty much whenever you have a few minutes to spare. In that time, we’ll show how your electronics manufacturing services (EMS) company’s communications tools can be as technologically advanced as the products you sell.

Introduction

Everyone loves the latest tech, and in ways we could never have imagined decades ago. Who would have thought you’d see people poring over unboxing videos, or standing in line for hours for a chance to own the latest gadgets before anyone else?

While modern devices can certainly capture the public’s imagination, electronics can also be a little more tricky than your average goods when it comes to maintenance or troubleshooting. That’s why offering local customer service is an important part of a global electronics brand. Another challenging aspect of the EMS industry is the need to coordinate between a diverse range of distributors and manufacturing sites around the world. Sounds complicated? It doesn’t have to be.

We’re looking at how EMS businesses can use enterprise communications to establish a local presence to establish new connections and strengthen teams around the world. From personal smartphones to industrial printers that keep businesses looking good on paper, there’s a strong chance that the customers who use these products, or the businesses that sell them, will need to reach you at some point. So why not set up a powerful communications infrastructure to make sales, support and other processes as smooth as possible?

Global growth for electronics companies means acting local

As trends for things like wearable tech, smart speakers and other IoT (internet of things) consumer devices are on the rise, the electronics manufacturing industry is seeing serious growth. A study by Research and Markets shows that despite slowing sales in laptops and other PCs in 2016, when the total assembly value was $1.4 trillion, the numbers will grow to about $1.7 trillion by 2021. That’s a lot of opportunity for the global EMS industry.

In order to capitalize on this predicted industry-wide growth, electronics companies should increase their global coverage while delivering localized support to customers and distributors alike. Here’s where international voice calls come into play, and the trick is to stay lean and cost-effective while delivering local support and collaboration.

Pressing the right buttons with customers and distributors

In a survey of 1,000 US-based consumers, Electronics was found to form the highest emotional connections with purchasers, beating out industries like fashion, shoes, and food. If something like headphones have more of a personal connection than the clothes you wear or even the food you eat, then a more one-on-one approach would be appropriate for offering support–and presents an opportunity to collect consumer data within the call (see more on Capabilities with Speech Analytics, below).

What’s more personal than a voice call? This is an opportunity to let your agents do what they do best, to solve problems or create opportunities on the spot. This means fewer complaints on social media, shorter delays and closer relationships between global teams as well as international distributors. With traditional telephony, long-distance calls and long support calls mean huge costs. This is why it’s time to disrupt the way your business communicates.

Using a VoIP or hybrid infrastructure with virtual phone numbers, your company can offer callers a local way to get in touch, at a far lower cost and with greater flexibility than the alternative. Do you want to sign contracts with local carriers in every country where your products are manufactured or sold? The bigger your EMS company is, the more likely the answer is no.

Here are some areas where voice calls will come especially handy:

  • Sales – You may get calls from the more phone-friendly customers who want to speak directly with your associates to get more information or order a product they’ve seen on the website or in store.
  • Customer service – Electronics are often sophisticated and tricky to fix. If your EMS business doesn’t offer a maintenance program you can refer the customer or offer troubleshooting. The more time spent working through a customer’s issues, the less likely they will take their frustrations to social media. So get talking!
  • Keeping in touch with distributors – You’ll need to fulfill orders and coordinate around product launches in order to ensure sales go smoothly.
  • Staying in line with suppliers – Different electronics parts will come from different parts of the world. For example, the iPhone has traditionally been made from parts manufactured in almost a dozen different countries including China, the US and Japan. With an in-house telephony system, you can control and monitor interactions across providers.

Here are some options that Voxbone can offer your EMS company, in the cloud, allocated either  by using an online portal or via API:

1) Toll-free calling

Voxbone’s DIDs let you provide channels for your customers, distributors and suppliers to reach you “locally” from more than 9,000 area codes across the globe. You can also activate outbound calling on your Voxbone numbers. That means if you’re looking for total or partial PSTN replacement for international calling, you’ve come to the right place.

2) Two-way SMS and mobile numbers

Whether you want to use them for marketing your electronics products, delivering customer support or offering the best of what modern UX has to offer, implementing two-way SMS is the way to go. This capability allows your business to send messages to mobile phones worldwide and give customers, distributors and suppliers the ability to call you back on the same number. This is a great way to use communications to differentiate your company advantage in a highly-competitive EMS market.

3) Burst capacity

When inbound calls start coming in at high volumes, whether during a gift-giving holiday, a successful marketing campaign, or leading up to or following an anticipated product launch, you’ll want to be prepared. Voxbone offers the flexibility to go from receiving a standard amount of call traffic to peak months when usage skyrockets with calls from customers, distributors and global manufacturing sites.

What to consider when setting up voice communications (The 5 C’s)

Are phone calls old-fashioned? We don’t think so. But setting up voice capabilities with a traditional provider is often costly and cumbersome. We’re talking about long-distance rates and a web of contracts that tangle across borders. With the magic of VoIP and a strong provider, however, these can all be done with far fewer costs and complications.

Here are the five C’s of how Voxbone simplifies business communications:

  • Coverage: A global company needs a truly global communications solution. Voxbone has local numbers in more than 60 countries and 9,000 are codes. Want to see which cities we cover? Check out our coverage.
  • Compliance: As with electronics, telecoms is a highly regulated industry. That means you’ll either need to be an expert in each country you set up communications service in, or you could sign one contract with Voxbone and know that you’re covered by experts in international communications.  
  • Consolidation: Variety may be the spice of life, but it can also be the bane of a growing business. EMS businesses have enough juggling to do with suppliers, distributors or in the case of the larger companies, huge product ranges. So it would make sense to simplify your communications infrastructure with a single provider of high-quality voice, SMS and analytics services, all in one place.
  • Costs: Inbound voice calls are charged at a flat-rate, which means that the more time you spend on the phone with customers/distributors/suppliers, the more your business saves. And to continue the consolidation conversation, you’ll get one straightforward bill even if you are operating in dozens of countries. So easy! Visit our pricing page to learn more.
  • Capabilities: You might think that carriers are the only providers that can give you everything you need. Think again. Voxbone offers services including mobile numbers with voice and 2-way SMS capabilities, sure. But don’t forget about Speech Analytics, a business intelligence tool that can extract valuable data insights from your spoken interactions. For an EMS company, this could mean:
    1. Monitoring customer sentiment for better agent support, or logging their feelings about a product or service entirely based on their speech–no surveys required.
    2. Ensuring compliance across your distributors or suppliers with keyword monitoring and data redaction.
    3. Streamlining phone processes by monitoring calls for silence or multiple touch points to ensure customer service goes smoothly and most importantly for you, efficiently.

So, you’re ready to boost communication between you and your customers on a local level. This must mean you’ll need to set up offices or phone lines in each country where customers are calling from, right?

Before you waste a massive amount of resources doing this the old-fashioned way, take a look at the benefits of a web-based communications infrastructure. You can operate on a global level without having to invest in complicated and expensive telephony.

As an electronics manufacturer, you are well aware that there are myriad regulations and nuances to navigating an international business. Global communications is no exception. Voxbone simplifies global communications so your business can be available to customers–wherever in the world they may be–without spending a huge amount of resources to get there.