Why Contact Centers Should Offer Self-Service in Multiple Languages

Nov 9, 2017


We recently wrote about the ways in which contact centers that commit to making online resources and self-service channels available to non-English speaking customers may reap both increased revenue and improved customer satisfaction.

In this post, we'll focus on how professionally translating this content can also benefit center metrics and company reputation:

1. Multilingual Resources Position Contact Centers as True Proponents of Diversity

Most contact centers handle customer support for companies that publicly espouse a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism. That message is unlikely to reach the diverse, non-English speaking populations most likely to appreciate it if it’s written exclusively in English. Making online resources available in multiple languages sends a clear message that diversity is something you act on, rather than just talk about.

2. Reducing Non-English Call Volume with In-Language Self-Service Options May Improve Center Metrics

Non-English calls tend toward higher Average Handle Time (AHT) than their English counterparts, so any action contact centers can take to reduce non-English call volume should reduce AHT. Harvard Business Review has confirmed that companies experience a reduction in overall call volume after implementing streamlined, easy-to-use self-service channels, so opening up online forms, FAQ pages, and your web site as a whole to non-English speakers will likely have a similar effect on their call volume.

Remember that 57% of inbound call volume comes from customers who have already tried to help themselves online. Cutting call volume generally, and the volume of (more time-consuming) non-English call volume specifically, should lead to improved agent availability, since they’re taking fewer and shorter calls on average. Boosting availability should reduce hold/wait times for those customers whose concerns do require a phone call to resolve.

Reducing the number of calls from customers who didn’t want to call in but had to because self-service channels weren’t available in their language may also improve customer satisfaction scores, as discussed in our last post.

3. Increasing Web Traffic to Online Resources Boosts Search Rankings 

Google doesn’t release the specifics of how they rank search results, but it’s generally understood that the more visits your web pages receive, and the more time searchers spend there, the better your results will rank in future searches.

Since nearly 10% of US residents speak English “less than very well,” making your web page available in other languages increases your potential audience by that 10%. More visits to your site by non-English speakers, and more time on page - because they can now read the information - should improve the likelihood that your pages are found in future searches. And with many customers searching for information online prior to calling in for help, ranking higher than your competition in search results may provide a competitive advantage.

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, Translation

Written by Graham Newnum

Digital Marketing Specialist experienced in researching and writing about language access-related topics for healthcare, business, and government.
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