“Excuse me, do you speak English?” is an opening sentence customer service agents often start their conversations with. And while English has been the global language in business for a long time, chances are some of your customers will not speak it.
Be it English or any other language, if you fail to provide help to your customers in a language they understand, your business can easily lose opportunities worth a lifetime of value to your company.
In today’s globalized world, businesses are constantly expanding into new territories, as well as increasingly focusing on creating a solid online presence. As a result, call center operations have changed considerably in the last decade, with multilingual call center services – providing customer service in several languages – gaining significant ground.
Providing customer service in the native languages of your customers will definitely improve your business’ overall customer experience. But how do you do it exactly? Find out below!
Determine the Languages
Although it’s the best to offer support in your customers’ native language, depending on the size of your business you may need to narrow down the list of languages your company has the resources to offer customer support in.
So, which languages should you support? In order to decide, as cliché as it sounds, you’ll need to find out what the primary languages your customers speak are. Looking at your data, in particular, will help you see the bigger picture in terms of the languages you’ll need to cover.
The languages you choose will also depend greatly on which countries you have the most customers from. In some countries, such as in Scandinavian countries, English is so commonly used as a second language that it may not be worth investing in providing customer service in local languages. In other countries, however, for example in China, there will probably be a greater need for offering customer support in the local language.
Checking language trends can also be useful: according to this article, by offering the 16 languages mentioned in it, you’ll be able to reach up to 90% of your potential business market.
Leverage Remote Agents
Did you know that 80% of customers prefer to be offered customer support in their own language, while 72% of them are more likely to buy a product or service when support is available in their native language?
Once you work out the languages you need to offer customer support in, it’s time to find agents who can speak those languages.
Recruiting agents with specialist language skills is no small feat, and even if you find them, they are likely to not come cheap. That is why utilizing a remote workforce is a great way to provide multilingual call center services and employ highly-skilled multilingual agents from anywhere in the world, without being limited by geographic factors.
Let’s say, for example, that your company needs to operate a call center in Hungary, but needs to provide customer service in German, Portuguese and Spanish. In such cases, by relying on remote agents, you can easily hire a native workforce, instead of struggling to find the right agents in Hungary and having to pay extra for their specialist language skills.
Provide information and self-service options online
These days, people prefer to solve their own problems by checking a company’s website before calling customer service lines. This is especially true for customers who do not speak the language you mainly use for communication.
So, a great way to improve your customer experience with multilingual call center services is to provide as much information online as possible, in at least one globally-common language. And an even better way is to provide that information in multiple languages.
After determining your core languages, you can help keep your customer service lines less burdened by translating your FAQ page and knowledge bases into the relevant languages.
And, although it’s a bit more costly, it’s definitely worth localizing your self-service tools, such as your IVR or chatbot solutions, into several languages as well.
Creating multilingual call center services is not easy, but at the end of the day, they offer a unique chance to be able to provide a smooth customer journey to your customers, wherever they are in the world.