Did you know that the percentage of bilinguals in the United States has doubled since 1980? This means second languages are being spoken and learned at home, and that English is often a second language, even to native speakers. Luckily, the availability of bilingual professionals is steadily increasing, leaving no excuses for a lack of bilingual customer service representatives.
Globalization has become a reality in today’s digital world of 24/7 connectivity, opening up lucrative avenues for forward-thinking enterprise, and also presenting new stumbling blocks for the unprepared. It’s critical to build rapport with clients of all countries and cultures, by employing bi or multi-lingual customer service representatives, who can speak the customer’s language and demonstrate the cultural sensitivity that builds true rapport. Let’s explore a few major benefits of offering more inclusive and globally-minded services, through the use of bilingual customer service representatives.
Why is Being Bilingual Important to a Business?
The Spanish-speaking population of the USA stands at 43 million and the Chinese-speaking population at almost 3 million – making it easy to imagine the myriad of other languages relied on in the USA for day-to-day business and communication. With these numbers on the rise, providing bilingual service is becoming increasingly important to establishing and maintaining a successful business. Let’s explore a few examples of how implementing this policy change can keep your business vital and relevant.
Increased Customer Base
There are 6912 living languages in the world, with the largest portion being Chinese speakers, and the honored position of 2nd place going to English. It’s easy to see that by limiting the number of languages spoken by your customer service representatives, you are severely crippling the reach and influence of your business. Also, considering the number of ESL speakers in the USA, it’s important to offer customer service in different languages.
Valuing Your Customers
Great customer service doesn’t include the word “no,” but that’s the first and last thing your Spanish-speaking customer hears when you have no bilingual call center representatives to help them purchase or operate your product or service. 41 million Spanish speakers in the USA might be waiting to engage their massive buying power with your business, but this vast group of customers will have no choice but to seek out a company with more bilingual support options if you don’t offer them.
Why is Having Bilingual Customer Service Representatives Important to your Business?
Communication is the key to offering both the best product and the best customer support. Building a bilingual customer service department or call center provides several immediate and long-lasting benefits to any business. Let’s explore a few of the most impactful byproducts of providing bilingual customer service.
1. An Optimal Customer Experience
The customer experience starts when the customer finds or is attracted to your business, and ends when they’ve successfully used your product or service. Hiring bilingual customer service reps ensures customers can have the full customer experience and have help in the language they are most comfortable using.
2. Encourages Brand Affinity
Brand affinity is the holy grail of business success, and happy and loyal customers are repeat customers. Bilingual citizens in the USA and abroad have rich and bustling communities of like-minded and culturally similar individuals and share great or horrible business or personal experiences with a large number of community members. Don’t underestimate the value of word of mouth in marketing, and encourage customer longevity by offering everyone, regardless of language skills, the opportunity to love your business or product, and all the work you’ve put into it.
3. Gives a Competitive Edge
Simply put, if you are the only company in your market space to offer customer service in Farsi or Tagalog, you have the competitive edge in those communities. If you’ve resigned yourself to only selling or interacting with the English-speaking world, you are simply not in the same league as other businesses that have the ability to communicate with international or non-English speaking customers. You might offer a better product or service, but no one in the bilingual community will ever know.
4. Demonstrates Commitment to Inclusivity
Inclusiveness and diversity are proven to spur business growth and create a more fun, creative and innovative atmosphere around both your office and your company. Inclusive work environments are known to be incubators for great ideas, and attract the best and brightest talent, with a wide array of unique cultural experiences and language skills. Bilingual customer service reps and professionals are proven to be fast, organized, and critical thinkers, with a grasp of cultural nuances that monolingual employees might not have, but will pick up on in an inclusive and diverse work environment.
5. Expansion opportunities to other markets
U.S.-based organizations often find expansion into foreign markets untenable, due to language barriers. There is simply no way to expand into a new, non-English speaking market, without hiring and emphasizing the use of the local language for sales, customer service, and product support. Communication is the key to establishing yourself in a new market, and hiring bilingual customer service representatives is a great start toward creating a more international work environment, and also learning about the needs and preferences of your new potential market.
ListenTrust is in the business of communication, and business is good. We partner with companies to help build a better brand experience, provide solutions, listen to customers and earn their trust. Customer engagement isn’t one-size-fits-all, and the best way to find out what gets your customers excited is to listen – ideally while they speak their language of choice. Contact ListenTrust today for more information on their broad range of solutions for building a bilingual customer service call center, and rapport with a broad range of dedicated customers.