For a business wanting to expand its operations to global markets, it is important to develop multilingual customer support infrastructure. Language barriers have known to slow down the process of quality service provision, since most interactions are plagued with incomplete, incorrect or misinterpreted information. A report published by Forbes titled, “Reducing the Impact of Language Barriers” revealed that language barrier is one of the biggest hurdle in the provision of effective customer service. Facilitating customers to communicate in a language they prefer is seen as an ad-on from their perspective. Eliminating the language barrier opens up immeasurable potential for businesses and multilingual customer service across all communication channels translates into enhanced experience.
Developing and maintaining multilingual customer support can be a laborious task that requires discussion, extensive planning, investment and patience. Some of the aspects that need to be considered when offering multilingual support are as follows:
Before any company begins to implement multilingual customer support, it is important to fully understand the needs and pain points that customers face every day. The level of support required should be determined after analyzing the target market and customer demographics. Naturally, companies would not want to spend unnecessary time on developing multilingual service if there is no need and demand for it. Most companies expand support gradually, offering one language at a time and observing the response. This helps managers to keep track of the results in terms of number of customers interacting in different languages.
For a business to offer efficient multilingual customer service, one of the most important factors is the competency of CSRs. In order to ensure that a business has skilled, experienced and motivated employees, it is imperative to organize the process of recruitment. Ideally, human resource department should be well-funded with ample resources to find the employees who fit the organizational needs and culture and can deliver effective support. Personality assessment tests can be part of the interview process where candidates are evaluated on necessary skills required to deliver effective support to people from different cultural backgrounds.
Organizations offering multilingual support need to implement a program for regular staff training. All staff needs to be trained in a way that customers receive seamless service no matter what language is being used. For many companies who have a multilingual workforce, internal communication can also be a challenge. Therefore, a comprehensive plan for training staff for external and internal communication must be developed. Cross-cultural communication is an important area to focus on when developing customer service training programs. Also, all training material should be translated in multiple languages. These steps will help improve the overall quality of support delivered to clients.
Multilingual support should ideally be offered on all communication channels of the business. Moreover, in order to ensure Omni-channel customer experience, it is important to roll-out multilingual support across all channels at the same time. Customers these days also expect businesses to be proactive and offer support to them round the clock. For instance, they will not want to wait an entire day to get a reply from your business on a query made on social media. Additionally, multiple pages in different languages can be created on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Similarly, on websites the support offered needs to be multilingual and this can efficiently be done through live chat. With the help of multilingual live chat, businesses can ensure higher customer satisfaction levels.
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