Any multilingual service company considering expanding into Europe is likely to encounter a number of barriers – from language issues through to geographical boundaries, workforce availability, and variations in culture, law and tax.

Regardless of the many challenges, when expanding into Europe the core consideration is language, in particular, how best to source native speakers. For a company to successfully expand across Europe, they must be able to deliver a consistently high level of support to customers in their native tongue.

When planning a strategy for a business expanding into Europe, what is the most flexible and effective way to manage the language issue? We look at two options: in-centre and work-at-home.

Business models for expanding into Europe; in-centre and work-at-home

Using the in-centre model to source native speakers

For in-centre-only models, companies requiring multiple languages must take commuting distance into account, hence source native speakers living close to their site, or recruit those candidates willing to relocate.

This can prove challenging depending on the availability of appropriately skilled candidates in the geographical area. So, for example, a city like Edinburgh, with its universities, international students, and diverse demographic, could offer a rich pool of candidates, whereas other locations that lack this attracted talent could struggle to meet the recruitment demand.

Source native speakers using the work-at-home business model

The work-at-home model can be incredibly beneficial for a business expanding into Europe; removing geographical barriers makes the search and hiring process of skilled candidates relatively easy. These native speakers can work from home safely and securely, delivering excellent service to customers, in their own language.

For example, if a company in the UK needed 12 Dutch-speaking agents to support a programme but could only recruit 3 locally, the additional 9 could be recruited as home-based agents, allowing them to support the core team from the Netherlands, or wherever they happen to be located in the world.

In addition, home-based support can help to manage the increased demands of a business expanding into Europe. While only 12 Dutch speakers might be required initially, as your customer base grows work-at-home agents bring flexibility and increasing language capacity in response to increasing volume.

Advanced virtual training methods and technologies ensure maximum optimization, for example agents in one country can be trained by trainers located anywhere in Europe.

The work-at-home business model not only aids a business expanding into Europe, it can also effectively source native speakers and help support customer service growth, plus it can provide the necessary support in a compliant and business-risk mitigating way.

To find out more about how Work At Home can help support expanding into Europe, please get in touch.

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