How Translating Self-Service Channels Can Improve Contact Center Revenue and Customer Satisfaction

Oct 26, 2017

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Is your contact center equipping non-English speaking customers to help themselves?

The increase in US residents who speak English "less than very well" - nearly one in ten according to the latest census - has led most US contact centers to at least consider taking calls in multiple languages using phone interpretation. That's a great start, but centers who stop there stand to miss out on the customer - or prospective customer - who doesn't call in.

Are your self-service channels available in the non-English languages your customers prefer? Here are a few reasons to consider professional language translation for online resources:

1. Allowing Non-English Speaking Customers to Buy Online Could Increase Your Company’s Revenue 

Ad Week reports that 81% of shoppers for goods and services prefer to research online before committing to a purchase. They’re not calling in to your company’s customer service line to learn what you offer; they want to find the answer themselves. And with 51% of all US shopping occurring online, the majority of purchases no longer involve visiting a store or speaking to a sales or customer service agent by phone

For those who don’t read English, this takes your company out of the running unless your site is available in other languages.

The language barrier will become a larger factor for banks in the future. US demographic trends indicate the US market will continue to diversify linguistically until at least 2050. And with millennials now accounting for 28% of all daily per-person consumer spending, bear in mind that “two-thirds of millennials prefer digital shopping over shopping in physical stores.”

2. Customer Satisfaction Depends on Online Problem-Solving

Fast Company and Survey Sampling International report that “70% of consumers expect a self-service option for handling commercial questions and complaints.” And 90% of respondents answered “Speed” when asked “What is important when you have an issue with a company that needs to be resolved?”

Harvard Business Review found that 57% of all inbound contact center callers had already been to the company web site and failed to find the answer they sought. Many customers would prefer not to call but are forced to by a lack of self-service/online resources.

For non-English speaking customers, self-service channels won’t be useful unless they’re professionally translated. Offering self-service in each of the world’s 6,000 languages may be impractical, but translating versions of your site into the top 10 languages spoken in the US would cover 97% of US residents.

The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) surveyed hundreds of contact center leaders and confirmed that most believe embracing multilingual support has improved customer satisfaction. 80% of these leaders also expected a lack of availability in a customer’s language would negatively impact satisfaction.

 Now that you’re familiar with some of the benefits of translating online resources into multiple languages…

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Topics: Best Practices, Demographics & Culture, cultural competency

Written by Graham Newnum