Reaching customers wherever they are is a common business objective. Successfully meeting that objective requires a communications strategy that allows for customer messaging across borders, but messaging on an international scale comes with considerable complexity. I spoke with Nexmo Director of Strategic Carrier Relations David Vigar and VP of Wholesale & Procurement Dan Richards about what businesses should know as they delve into international customer messaging.
To read the full transcript, scroll below the video.
Customer Messaging Across Borders (Full Transcript)
Glen Kunene, Editor-in-Chief at Nexmo: If an enterprise is sort of aware of these trends now, and even as you said, you know, a lot of what’s the value that’s provided by a partner like Nexmo is sort of allowing them to not really to think about it and just focus on their business.
Let’s talk about, you know, a smaller enterprise that’s maybe just beginning to think about going global, going across borders. What are some of the things that they should be thinking about? Or maybe it’d be good for them just to know because that, you know, that can also validate the decision to partner with somebody about the complexity of what it means to actually have messaging on an international scale.
David Vigar, Director of Strategic Carrier Relations at Nexmo: Yeah. I think, I mean I’ve already mentioned a couple of things. So in terms of ease of access of the service, you know, how easy is it to integrate? How easy is to use? Particularly if you’re starting out, you’re gonna be a small team and, you know, we’ve been through this at Nexmo when we were a startup. But you never have enough time to do everything you want and you need to focus on your core business.
And the latest app that’s coming out wants to focus on being the latest cool app that’s coming out, and not focus on how the hell do you send an SMS. So I think that’s one thing is ease of access.
With companies that are starting to go across border, and we’ve seen this for a number of customers we’ve worked with is that they just don’t know where that growth is gonna come from. It could be they go viral one day in one country because a celebrity picks it up and tweets about it. Or it gets, you know, it might get reviewed by surprise on some tech show on TV. And an enterprise can’t plan for that, and it could be that, all of a sudden, they wake up one day and they have 300,000 downloads in Germany in the space of two hours, all of which need a text message.
“we’ve seen this for a number of customers we’ve worked with is that they just don’t know where that growth is gonna come from. It could be they go viral one day in one country because a celebrity picks it up and tweets about it.”
And you need to have a provider of your communication service that can scale very quickly with you wherever you end up going. And certainly, that’s one of the things we saw that when we started Nexmo, one of the reasons we started was that was one of the things we wanted to address. So having a cloud network allows us to deploy in new places; it’s very elastic. We also have the connectivity downstream that can handle unexpected bursts of business.
You also want, I think, you also, as a company starting out, you want the flexibility, the, it might not work out, you might decide that there’s a better way to communicate. You know, we certainly think and feel that, for example, SMS is the right channel to do your user authentication.
But you might find, you know, as a startup, you might find there are other, you know, ways to communicate with your customers, and you also want to have the flexibility that you can change your communications partner. And obviously, that can mean that you just, you can pull away, you’re not tied into contract.
It could be that you can very quickly move to another channel and that’s something we’ve touched on earlier is, a lot of these communication providers today provide you with a very similar API for multiple channels. Messaging and chat app or messaging and voice call can be a very, very similar line of code, just for the few key bits changed. So I think those are very important things for a company that’s starting out or starting to go overseas to consider.
Dan Richards, VP of Wholesale & Procurement at Nexmo: Yeah. Just to add on to something David said there. I think looking for a partner is going to help you understand the complexities of going abroad, we’ve put an awful lot of effort. The world of dealing with mobile operators is incredibly complex and every different operator, every different country has its own set of requirements.
I still don’t understand all of it. We’ve put an awful lot of effort into trying to make that information available for our customers in a transparent way. And so that they’re empowered to make the right decisions and to be able to reach their users in a correct manner.