One in five U.S. residents speaks a language other than English at home. Working with a language services provider offers an easy-to-implement opportunity to expand an addressable market.
Considering that one in five Americans speaks a language other than English at home, it is inevitable that your call center will have customers who would like to converse in their preferred language.
You may already have in-house bilingual call-center agents (or at least bilingual employees) on staff to meet your language-support needs. Whether or not this is the case, perhaps you’ve considered working with a language services provider (LSP). If you don’t already have one, you could be missing opportunities to make stronger connections with multicultural customers.
The great news is you can establish a partnership with an LSP that can provide you access to on-demand language support that is available when you need it, 24 hours a day. Think of it as an in-language customer-support insurance policy.
Here are just a few ways a language services provider can add value to your call center.
Easily Expanding Your Portfolio of Supported Languages
Scalability always looms over call-center managers. They can’t predict when a non-English call will come in; conversely, they may have difficulty hiring multilingual agents when volumes surge. Even if your organization has access to qualified bilingual agents, it may not make make financial sense to hire them on a full-time basis (at a premium) to accommodate every language.
But even if the few calls you receive in Swahili each month aren’t enough to justify the cost of a full-time agent, the cost of turning those customers away could be even higher.
Partnering with a large language services provider gives you access to interpretation in hundreds of languages on demand. The right provider can connect you to an interpreter in just seconds.
Growing Your Customer Base
All organizations should expect their non-English speaking customer base to grow exponentially in coming years. Multilingual customer support will be a competitive differentiator for attracting and retaining these new customers, increasing customer satisfaction, and building customer loyalty. Partnering with a language services agency can help supplement your in-house capabilities and cover unexpected language needs as the customer base grows.
Accommodating Customers 24/7
The multilingual employees you do have, whether fluent in common or rare languages, can’t work all day and night to meet growing consumer demand for service whenever it is needed. A language service provider has interpreters available 24/7, allowing you to add capacity during peak hours of demand and continue to serve all your customers, no matter what their language, on evenings and weekends.
Testing and Training Bilingual Call Agents
Even if you currently have bilingual staff to support some languages spoken by your clients, it is hard to assess their language skills if others in your organization don’t speak that language. This is especially true in the fields of financial services, insurance, and law. Unless those responsible for hiring and evaluating your staff are multilingual themselves, it can be difficult to know whether agents are providing effective customer service and to ensure you are providing a standard across all languages you support.
This is where a language services provider can help. For instance, LanguageLine offers language proficiency testing for bilingual employees and job candidates. And for high-volume needs, the testing platform can be incorporated into an organization’s onboarding platform.