7 ways to offer multilingual call centre support

22nd Jun 2017

In a world where borders merely exist on maps, global business centers and supportive multilingual contact centers are the new normal for businesses that want to cater to the needs of their customers across the world. Though businesses have started to take advantage of multilingual contact centers effectively, majority of them still struggle to support customers wanting to talk in their native languages.

Multilingual customer support

Hence, the most important question; how can you help effective multilingual support?

In order to provide you with all the required details about various call center outsourcing trends and approaches that can be made to provide multilingual support, the following details are furnished;

Informal Language Support

This type of support is most common in contact centers restricted by budget and characterized by the absence of a formal bilingual customer support or multilingual support. This involves seeking the help of native speakers—who are mostly non-customer-support folks—when a customer makes the contact with the center requiring support.

The good

  • It is cheap for contact centers

The bad

  • Only a temporary solution
  • No great customer experiences for the customer
  • Non-scalable services

Over-the-Phone Interpretation or OPI

This approach uses an interpreter who interacts with the customer and speaks to the native-speaking agent. The customer service executive only speaks to the interpreter and the customer, only to the interpreter. It is the interpreter who speaks with both the customer and the contact center agent. There are certain aspects on which multilingual contact center must focus and consider before fixing this option for your business.

The good

  • It is a viable option for contact centers with limited call-volume.
  • It is affordable as the service is either monthly billed or has a pay-per-minute option.

The bad

  • It negates the significance of omni channel support.
  • Customers who prefer digital channels or self-service may not be comfortable with this support.
  • Increased cost when call-volume is high.
  • Resolution time is always higher.

Using Online Translation Tools

There are many online tools available to help contact centers automatically translate different types of written content from emails, website or forum posts and live chats along with content from many other sources to the native language of the agent.

The good

  • The additional features that come with the translation tools mostly have a huge collection of jargons related to specific business areas making the translation more accurate—close to even 100 percent—than expected.
  • It improves the productivity of the agents as the queries and correspondences would have already been translated to the native language.
  • It saves the center from hiring costly translators.

The bad

  • The use of this method is limited, as it cannot be used across multiple channels.
  • It is not applicable for voice interactions, which form a bigger part of customer support operations.

 In-House Multilingual Advisors

This method drives the business to employ agents who can speak multiple languages in the same center to work as a team.

The good

  • It improves efficiency of the contact center as there is no lag in service deliverance even when the customers require speaking in a different language as the agents are proficient in multiple languages.
  • It gives the center more flexibility to move the advisor around specific queues and queue timings, to cover calls from countries that require multilingual support, across multiple channels.

The bad

  • Hiring and retention of multilingual agents for availing customer care solutions are very difficult.
  • Their absence at work can directly impact business.
  • It may not be viable to cover the entire support timeframe especially when the support is round the clock and customers are spread across various time zones.

In-Country Contact Centers

It revolves around a business model that lets the business establish a contact center in every country where the business has set up operations. This effectively removes the concept of multilingual support from the equation.

The good

  • This can address all the issues that come along with a multilingual contact center.
  • It can bring better productivity and ease of operations.
  • It will drive better user experience and improved customer satisfaction which is good for business expansion.
  • It can also help you recruit your trainers from various centers across the world to train your agents so as to improve the quality and uniformity of the customer service delivered.

The bad

  • Establishing contact centers in all the operating countries is very expensive.
  • Countries that speak multiple languages, like India, can pose bigger issues.
  • The scale of operation and customer base may not be as big as to justify the investment.
  • This works against the trend of centralizing the customer support that focuses in reducing the operational costs, increasing advisor efficiencies and improving consistency of service deliverance

BPO Outsourcing

This involves transferring the entire responsibility of customer support and other related activities to an offshore, third-party business whose primary operation is providing outsource support to the clients.

The good

  • Ease of operation and flexibility is possible, as the contact center services provider takes care of everything related with the service deliverance.
  • It is possible to improve efficiency of operations as the management can attend to more important business activities such as expansion and growth strategies.
  • Provides improved customer satisfaction as the service providers are usually experts in providing outsource services.

The bad

  • Quality of the support may suffer if the service deliverance of the provider is not up to the mark.
  • It may pose a threat to the security of the data shared with the provider.
  • Direct interventions are not possible.

Business Units Networking

It is an approach where a call is routed to a country or contact center that has an agent or a language specialist who speaks the same language as the caller’s. Obviously this too has several multilingual call center benefits.

The good

  • Multilanguage calls can be easily attended to by agents effectively by routing the calls.
  • Quality can be maintained as direct influence can be exerted at the centers to bring about any change.
  • It also provides an option to transfer the calls between the centers if the call volume rises above the manageable levels at one center.
  • There will be consistency of services provided to the customers.

The bad

  • This is not a very economical mode of customer service operation.
  • It cannot be adopted until your business has reached multiple countries across the world and hence, this is not viable for businesses that are growing.

Before finally selecting a model, enough study, research and considerations must go into the same. Only then can you have the benefits you expect to enjoy. It has to be kept in mind that you should rely only on a trusted and reputed call center outsourcing company. 

Replies (1)

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By Siddharth Sharma
04th Jul 2017 12:36

Thanks for the informative article. Multilingual call center support is increasingly becoming an integral business necessity. Providing multilingual customer support not only ensures that a business extends tailored customer care but also enhances brand perception. With over 12 years of experience, GizmoSupport is a trusted outsourcing partner for many renowned brands. We offer multilingual call center outsourcing services, customer service, technical support, back office support, and more to fulfill your entire customer support requirements. Get in touch with us to know more http://gizmosupport.com/blog/crucial-role-multilingual-customer-support-...

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