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Thread: Hiring network staff - ABW opinions please

  1. #1
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    Hiring network staff - ABW opinions please
    Hi Folks

    Just looking to counsel some of the ABW'ers wisdom on recruitment of staff for buy.at in the future.

    How important do you think it is to have mainly US staff as we build an on the ground presence next year?

    Obviously we are going to have some UK people myself included but we want to grow a US company and have US staff - I just wondered how important people felt this might be to our growth and acceptance next year.

    Thanks in advance

    Mal
    Malcolm Cowley
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  2. #2
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    If you are asking about having US residents staffing the US office as opposed to having a mixed UK-US staff. I doubt that it will make any diff to affiliates.

    The best thing about online marketing is, it's multi-cultural and multi-national.

  3. #3
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FairFieldGetaway-EricEwe
    The best thing about online marketing is, it's multi-cultural and multi-national.
    Which might be a good reason to use the services of an individual or two working outside the office, but 1) in a time zone not covered by staff in the UK or US, and 2) with language skills to cover queries from some of the non-English-speaking applicants or affiliates that are sure to apply.

  4. #4
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    What Herb said, but I'd also check that the UK folks you hire can understand the accents of Americans. There's a lot of variation in that department.

  5. #5
    Affiliate Manager cbsturg's Avatar
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    I don't care where people live as long as they understand what I'm saying and are able to quickly resolve my problems. Both under-trained Americans and citizens of other countries that haven't mastered the English language fail that test. What I'm saying is, I want qualified people to talk to me, that understand me in my language (and accent) and that I can understand in return. If the European accent is too thick, that might cause some problems in general understanding.

    I have had some good experiences with outsourced call centers, but the majority of my experiences with them have been negative (to say the least). And it all came down to two things: either we couldn't understand each other (basic word and accent problems), or they had no idea what the technical jargon I was using was supposed to mean (at one point, I was telling a person an error code their web server had given me to tell customer service - she was clueless and kept insisting that I was a victim of a phishing scam. It was unnerving to say the least..."and you're handling all my money?...hmm.....").
    Chris Sturgill
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  6. #6
    The slot machine that IS paid! Billy Kay's Avatar
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    I hope this doesn't sound too bad Mal, but hiring an American staff is VERY important.

    I actually dropped an entire UK-based network because even though the interface was in English, it sure wasn't the English I understood. Little things - we say MAIL, you say POST. To me, POST is what I'm doing right now

    And I delete emails from SpreadshirtDesigner and Swarosvki Crystal for the same reasons - it's too much work trying to "translate" mate

  7. #7
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    I just wondered how important people felt this might be to our growth and acceptance next year.
    Very. If you are going to be recruiting big brand US-based merchants.

  8. #8
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    I quite agree with Billy Kay. At least an affiliate will be able to adjust and will make some effort to understand your UK staff, not a large US merchant.
    The most important for you, right now, is to convince some large corporations to work with buy.at. You need to build an American image and you need an US staff to support these merchants.

  9. #9
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I think it's very important, too. There's still a lot of work that needs to be done in "Americanizing" the US part of the buy.at interface, too.

    Most US affiliates will only be looking for US merchants, so you need the ability to either show just US merchants or show all merchants. For those affiliates who opt to work with just US merchants, your network newsletters (announcing new merchants, etc.) need to take that into consideration.

    I know I received a "tax" email after I signed up that was oriented towards UK affiliates. US affiliates need to fill out a 1099.
    Michael Coley
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  10. #10
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    Yep, you started in the UK but if you want to be a U.S. network, be a straight up U.S. network. And that's with the merchants too. As in the cd-wow thread where I was talking about getting the confusing dvd regions removed and spelling issues. Little things like making favourite -->into favorite, that's how it's spelled over here. I see this with the Affililate Future U.S. network where it still has a UK "skin" on it. It's just going to be easier all the way around. For recruiting purposes, both merchants and affiliates and for actual use.

  11. #11
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    Hey all

    Thanks for the great feedback so far :-)

    I want to hear raw opinion on this Billy so dont water anything down - you can only grow if you really know what people want.

    -


    Michael on the interface front its set to only show US merchants ( are you seeing something different? - the email was an oversight which should be corrected now

    The Tax thing is something we got advice on before launching hence no tax id's needing to be requested from affiliates in the US for us.

    I can get someone to post the exact feedback here if you think it would help - you recieving an email from us on UK tax was again an oversight which ill check into now

    Thanks

    Mal
    Malcolm Cowley
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  12. #12
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    One word answer -> Crucial and I ain't talking about the memory chip manufacturer ([hey Jared ] BTW, that would be a good prospect).
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
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  13. #13
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    Yeah I get where your coming from Trust - we spent a good while combing through things to get it right but you always miss on or two things like that and its good to get them spotted and changed.

    I want us to be as US as possible its only common courtesy when coming to a new market imo.

    On the CD WOW! front I set up a separate thread so CD WOW! US can let people know when they make site changes for the better as I know Kevin wants it to be stand alone killer proposition for US affs and he is listening and acting on all feedback.

    Keep on with the opinions guys and girls its whats going to make the difference for buy.at

    Thanks

    Mal
    Malcolm Cowley
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  14. #14
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I should also point out: Most of this stuff won't matter to your biggest fans here, but it will to US based affiliates who aren't familiar with you.
    Michael Coley
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  15. #15
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    I hear ya Michael - getting it right takes listening and action and I'm on a mission to have those two things top of our list always so if you spot something that doesnt look quite right you let me know mate as ill be all over it.


    Mal
    Malcolm Cowley
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  16. #16
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    We had a work exchange program and I was teamed with a counterpart from Russia. She spoke perfect English, better than most Americans, but it was British English. To help her I bought her an American dictionary and a dictionary of American slang.

    The regular dictionary had 800 pages. The American slang dictionary had 1200 pages.

    During meetings and conference calls she constantly had to ask for clarification on many things. I had to translate for her, from English to English. I never realized how much slang Americans used and how confusing it could be.

    I may get flamed for this but it's an unfortunate truth. Many Americans don't realize that there is a world outside the borders of the US, and that geography ends there. They stereotype anyone who doesn't speak perfect American English as stupid. What they don't appreciate is that in their native language, that person is well educated and very intelligent. Just the fact that they can communicate in multiple languages, (something many Americans can't do) is a testament to that. Once someone starts to speak in broken English, many Americans will immediately classify them as ignorant. Note I said many, not all.

    If you are going to be dealing with American companies you'll need an American to interact with them.

  17. #17
    Affiliate Network Rep sarafina's Avatar
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    I think as a marketer, it goes without say that when you expand your business into a new market, you need to understand the people, culture, language and general business "modus operandi" of the market you seek to conquer.

    It is also important to team up with a local partner that understands the market.

    That said, I have had to learn to spell organise with a "z" and stop referring to cigarettes as "***s". No wise cracks there Billy!

    Hope this helps.
    Sarafina
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  18. #18
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    This is the US of A, the big melting pot. Their accent and vernacular is less important than their grasp of the American Marketplace and US Consumers. The Atlantic is no longer the great cultural divide that it once was, and besides, I'm pretty sure hiring based on Nation of Origin is illegal over here.

  19. #19
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    As long as we can communicate with your account reps I am fine. I see a much more important role for your help to be American in the recruiting of merchants.
    Mostly...get some good merchants, run it clean and keep the slimeballs out is the most important thing. You do that and you can speak however you want, we will adjust.


  20. #20
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    Great feedback everyone - I am sure people will put up with a cheeky Geordie or two but I always wanted this to be an expansive project with US based US staff - its in the roadmap .

    In the meantime the work we are doing with Andy and team means we have well known US guys in the frontline.

    Seems like the feedback supports the thinking we have so thats reassuring too .

    Thanks again for taking the time to give me your insights everyone its much appreciated .

    Mal
    Malcolm Cowley
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  21. #21
    ABW Ambassador purplebear's Avatar
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    Doesn't make a bit of difference to me. I love having affiliate managers from different countries and getting the opportunity to learn some about their cultures and the different words. Definitely agree with what Mack said. I have an enormous amount of respect for someone from a foreign country that is able to speak any English at all. Our English (US version. lol ) must be extremely difficult to learn and don't envy anybody attempting to learn it. My ability to speak any other language is pretty pathetic. lol

    Agree with what I think Herb was saying. Definitely nice having another time zone available to speak with somebody and I'm sure there will be plenty of affiliates joining that may speak other languages, too.

    As long as the people do their job well, speak well enough that people can understand them, are nice and respectful....they can be from Mars as far as I'm concerned. Love learning all the different words....Martian included lol

  22. #22
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  23. #23
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    I think it's critical to have a U.S presence with U.S. merchants, if you are going after U.S. consumers. I have some English and European merchants that I love, but I've had a difficult time getting them to convert. I've had to drop some.

    Maybe it's just me and I don't have the international marketing knack.

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