Bilingual customer service is fast becoming the go-to business solution for brands that target multicultural markets. By speaking the customer’s language, companies are able to embrace diversity and build meaningful customer relationships.
Transitioning from a monolingual to a bilingual customer care, however, isn’t that easy. Your new strategy must reflect not just your brand’s ideals but also the needs and wants of your customers. A well thought-out strategy will aid you in establishing a powerful presence, while a poorly conceived plan can drive customers away.
In the process of adopting a new language, there are key elements you can’t afford to miss. These three aspects form the backbone of a bilingual customer support strategy that works.
1. Customer research
The language(s) your bilingual call center will adopt must be exactly what your customers need. If you’re targeting a particular city or country, you should know the most widely spoken languages in those areas. Once you’ve identified the languages you need, you must then decide on the tone of voice that must be used. For this part, consider the channel you’re using and the preferences of the demographic you’re catering to. Some customers may prefer friendly conversations, while others may prefer formal interactions.
To pin down these details, make it a point to research. Ask your customers what they want so you’ll be able to meet their expectations. You can do this in a variety of ways, including in-store interviews or online surveys.
2. Cultural sensitivity training
Being able to speak two or more languages is not enough. To build stronger connections, agents must be familiar with customers’ culture. Therefore, the training programs your bilingual call center implements must focus not just on language but also on cultural sensitivity. When you minimize the risk of offending the caller, you can communicate more clearly and resolve problems faster. Being sensitive to people’s culture also fosters trust, which is a key ingredient of customer relationships that last.
3. Process improvement
For bilingual customer support providers, the quality monitoring process is more complex than that in English-only contact centers. Those who check and monitor transactions must be highly proficient in the language being used. If not, they’ll tend to make inaccurate assessments. Needless to say, the insights they’ll gain will be valueless and thus won’t help the organization make the necessary changes.
Aside from quality monitoring, gathering feedback from customers is another way to generate useful insights. Once these are successfully incorporated in the organization, you’ll be better equipped to provide a customer-focused experience.