Why implementing the right multilingual contact centre strategy pays for itself
David Taylor, Partner Success Manager, Contact Centre Panel
It’s plain to see that we live in a fully connected world. We can access most things instantly at the touch of a button, including connecting to businesses globally, no matter their location.
This increased customer connectivity brings its own challenges for businesses, one being able to communicate with your customers in their own language. However, there is unfortunately a sizeable gap between customer demand and capabilities when it comes to businesses serving their non-English speaking customers. According to ICMI research, 79% of contact centres acknowledge that they have customers who do not speak the primary language that they offer, but only 66% have formal customer support options in a language other than English.
So what can be done to support your multilingual requirements? Let’s take a look at some options:
1. In-house Support – if you want to maintain an in-house support function, then one option is to recruit your own multilingual speakers. There are many specialised recruitment agencies that can help find you the best matched candidates for your requirements, which is made easier if you offer a work-from-home model. With that said, both the recruitment and retention of multilingual speakers can be difficult and costly. A single absence may have a noticeable impact on service.
2. Outsourced Support – a logical route is to outsource your language requirements to a third-party call centre. Not only is this a cost-effective solution versus recruiting in-house, but you can scale up or down as and when needed with minimal to no impact on the delivery of service. One challenge is not being able to quality check the partner yourself as you don’t speak the language – you need to be sure you have selected a partner who can not only deliver your contact metrics but can also align with your values and company culture.
3. Technology – this space has exploded over recent years, with much more advanced technology available to service your language requirements without speaking the language in question. This includes software that can be integrated into the agent desktop, which makes it simple and straightforward for your English speaking agents to address your international customers. This is not always the most popular option, mainly due to the lack of understanding of the technology available. Make sure you take your time in studying the available technology and what benefits it will bring to your business and customer.
No matter the strategy you look to adopt, it’s important to implement it correctly. If done right, you can put yourself ahead of your competitors. However, if done badly, you can easily alienate a portion of your customer base.
Looking for support on your next multilingual project? Then get in touch below.