Language access is more than an amenity; it’s become a necessity for any organization that works closely with the public. Nowadays they need to meet people where they are, and in the language they speak.
Consider these facts:
The right language services provider can mean the difference between closing the language gap for your customers and clients, or adding to their confusion and frustration. There are thousands of providers, so how can you be sure your organization selects the right one?
Albert Einstein once famously remarked that if he had an hour to solve a problem and his life depended on it, he would spend the first 55 minutes determining the right question to ask. Selecting the best language services provider is no different. Once you know what to ask, it’s much easier to evaluate your options.
Here are four critical factors to consider.
Many language services providers are small teams that come and go. Almost every company will say they are stable and reliable. Don’t just take them at their word. Ask them to provide evidence, such as:
Interpreters frequently provide the first impression of your organization. Interpreters should be professionally qualified by relevant language proficiency tests that are validated by third-party experts. They should be trained to manage calls effectively and efficiently, using exceptional customer service skills. In addition to asking your language services provider about the criteria used to qualify interpreters, it’s important to consider:
Given the important role language service providers play, you must be able to reach yours at a moment’s notice. The best language services providers will assist your organization every step of the way, from installing the necessary equipment and training your staff to use it properly, to addressing technical needs or billing questions as they arise. Support needs to be available 24 hours a day.
Before deciding on a provider, ask the company to detail the type of support that is included in the service agreement, as well as any additional charges that may apply.
Nothing ruins customer service faster than a bad connection. Your company’s reputation is on the line each time an interpreter picks up the phone, so you’ll want to ensure your provider is using the most reliable and advanced technology.
Indications of competency in this area include:
For more detailed criteria to help you assess potential providers (including specific questions to ask), please check out this comprehensive Guide to Selecting a Language Services Provider.