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Multilingual Service – Are you missing an opportunity to improve customer satisfaction?


I am always baffled when I call a contact centre whose language service is English only. Just as organisations cannot expect customers to tolerate single-channels, nor can they expect customers to be English-speaking-only either. Asking a caller, “Do you speak English?” or requesting that they find an English-speaking family member to continue the conversation, simply isn’t an acceptable level of service anymore.

In general, people will interact in a language other than their mother tongue in order to complete day to day, straightforward tasks – however when it comes to more sensitive topics such as dealing with their bank, making large purchases or booking the annual vacation; speaking in their own language will translate into more sales and a superior customer experience.

Even markets that were traditionally considered English speaking only, such as the United States, Australia and the UK, are experiencing a growing need to diversify to a multilingual support base, to accommodate a growing market of customers from various language demographics.

So what do the stats say?

stats 8 web

Was that an eye opener or what?

The numbers don’t lie! Contact centres need to change with the times and consider the amount of diversity that has taken place over the last decade. Get with the programme or miss out on an opportunity to improve your customer satisfaction and revenue.

So where do you begin?

Your route to a multilingual support system will depend on the level of customer interaction required and your teams’ ability to deal with multiple time zones. However the most critical consideration for providing multilingual support is to find a talent pool of multilingual support agents.

Many global employers find that it can be a challenge to find contact centre agents that speak more than one language. In general, this often means locating your contact centre offshore. If you’re considering this route, you must consider a number of other factors besides finding a multilingual population. You need to ensure that the government is stable and supportive of your business, and that the country offers a solid telecommunications infrastructure.

I know multilingual can be daunting and quite costly. That is why so many businesses outsource their multilingual requirements to specialists. When you outsource your support, it basically means you pay someone to hire support staff, train them, get resources and do everything that goes with it. Outsourcing allows you to upscale as your business grows without the headache (or the risk) of recruiting and training new staff members. If you’re considering this route, you need to do your homework. Multilingual Contact Centre support is a specialist function, with numerous intricacies. Language proficiency is not enough for call centre agents to engage with customers effectively. They need to go beyond the spoken word and understand the cultural context of the issues presented. I cannot stress this point enough.

Need help?

Mindpearl offers a fully customised and flexible solution for Multilingual Contact Centres, with over 16 years’ experience in providing this support. We have been instrumental in numerous clients’ multilingual support systems, including blended solutions with a combination of in-house language support and outsourced. If you’d like to discuss a strategy or solutions to support your company’s multilingual contact centre support or you just need some advice please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Alan Graham | 12 June 2015
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