Why is Having Bilingual Customer Service Representatives Important to Your Business?

Why is Having Bilingual Customer Service Representatives Important to Your Business?

bilingual customer service

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.

Why Is It Important to Establish Rapport with Clients?

Why Is It Important to Establish Rapport with Clients?

build rapport with clients

If you’re in sales, customer service, marketing, consulting, running a small business, or work with an agency, or in any kind of customer/client-facing role, it’s likely you’ve heard of the importance of building rapport with clients. But what exactly does it mean to build rapport and why is this important? In this article, we will explore the importance of building rapport, its benefits, and how to foster this type of symbiotic, trusting relationship with clients.

Establishing rapport with clients boils down to one simple, yet crucial concept: Trust. Building trust with clients is a lengthy process, and no easy feat, yet paramount in any kind of business partnership. Putting in the work to build and maintain trust between you and your client is proven to be rewarding in a myriad of ways. Let’s unpack them.

Benefits of Building Rapport With Clients

Trust is a difficult thing to build, and an easy thing to lose. The world’s most successful businesses focus on building rapport that will allow them to offer a more intuitive product and maintain the trust customers put in them by continuing to invest in the business relationship. Let’s explore a few measurable benefits of building and maintaining excellent rapport with your clients.

1. More Sales

A whopping 89% of customers will make a repeat purchase after a positive customer service experience. Customers are more likely to invest in your product when you’ve invested in your relationship. If you’ve built rapport with your customer, they will enthusiastically reach out to you again and again for help, advice, and new products or solutions, even if you’ve yet to deliver results.

2. Better Reputation

A 2020 Walker study found that a great customer experience will trump price and even product quality, differentiating your brand with an immediate reputation for great and long-lasting relationships. Happy and trusting clients are more likely to provide positive reviews of your business, and recommend you to others, giving you the opportunity to win over even more clients.

3. Stand Out From The Competition

While some companies are forced to focus on simply keeping up with trends and staying current, others are taking advantage of the rapport they’ve built with their clients to work smarter, not harder. Consumers are loyal to both the best products and services, and businesses that value transparency, authenticity, and longevity of customer relationships.

How to Build Rapport With a Client?

Now that we understand a few of the crucial benefits of building excellent rapport with clients, let’s discuss a few easy practices you should be implementing to ensure excellent rapport with a customer.

1. Ask Questions

Ask your client rapport-building questions about their personal view of their company and business goals. Listening carefully will give you a clear idea of client priorities, and unique insight into how to meet their needs. Examples of rapport-building questions include a more personal line of questioning like,” I see you attended X university! What did you like best about your time there?” Asking informed questions to build rapport shows the client you are dedicated to offering a tailor-made product and long-lasting relationship and will take their goals to heart – and to the bank.

2. Listen Empathetically

Practice active listening, and make note of keywords, critical issues, and primary goals. By closing your mouth and opening your ears, you are also opening the door for more trusting future communication and a long-lasting relationship, where your customer feels comfortable seeking you out for advice, or future work.

3. Establish Common Ground

Using small talk to find common ground is a great way of establishing rapport with clients, and showing a genuine interest, which is a tough thing to fake! A rapport-building question about a detail of the client blog or website is a great way to demonstrate a common interest in their business and success. Asking open-ended questions will help your client “open up,” and share personal experiences that you might share, for a firm and trusting foundation to your relationship.

4. Mirror & Match

The “mirror and match” technique draws on the truth that we prefer to interact with people who we perceive to be similar to ourselves. What we say is negligible, when our body language and voice portray disinterest or a lack of understanding. The most successful communicators watch and mimic the body language of others, adopt a similar temperament, use similar language, and attempt to match the tone, tempo, and volume of the other person’s voice. Science says that employing these methods of connection results in stronger intimacy, trust, and client rapport.

Rapport-building questions are an easy way to make a personal, more long-lasting connection with existing and potential customers. If a company culture of excellent customer relationships sounds like it could benefit your business, contact ListenTrust today, or read on to learn more about how establishing rapport with clients through the use of bilingual customer service can future-proof and globalize your business.

Get Started by Contacting ListenTrust Today!

For more information, contact Tom Sheppard, VP of Business Development, at: tsheppard@listentrust.com.

Personalized Customer Service

Personalized Customer Service

Storefront employee delivers personalized customer service.

Customer service is a necessary part of any business, but it is also a way for a brand to set itself apart from the competition. A company that steps up customer service with personalization will enjoy the same benefits as when a regular customer walks into a brick-and-mortar store. Tailored, personalized, and memorable customer service leaves a lasting impression that also offers the highest level of customer service and improves your brand’s overall standing. 

What Is Personalized Customer Service?

It may be easy to assume the personalizing customer service means using a script to add the customer’s name in the opening line or something similar, but there are more nuanced ways to add personalization. Personalized customer care also means adapting to a customer’s needs and expectations. Instead of having customers fit through the business’s service funnel, the business should react to each customer’s needs. However, what one customer prefers might alienate others or be insufficient. No two people are the same, so no two customers should want or need the same things. Keeping everyone as happy as possible with the methods they prefer gives customers a choice of ways to interact and ways to speak up if something isn’t going right. 

Benefits of Personalizing Customer Service

Personalizing customer service may seem like an impossibly detailed task, but there are multiple ways to achieve your goal, some of which are explained below:

Attainable Expectations

Customers today expect personalization and customized experiences, but there is also more worry over data privacy than ever before. Typically, businesses use customer data and feedback to tailor future experiences, but not everyone wants to hand over their data. When done correctly, companies can safely use and store customer data to create personal experiences customers want without data misuse’s shady downsides. When companies track purchase history, service interactions, feedback, and more for the business’s betterment, the company can offer better service exactly how that customer wants.

Faster Customer Service

Personalized service may sound like it takes more time, but personalized experiences help resolve issues faster once the system is up and running. When customer service agents know everything about a customer, they can anticipate or prepare for likely questions. Having the answers and customer preferences at the ready makes each interaction much more efficient and gets the customer to their desired end much faster.

Balance Between Agents and Automation

Automation is a technology we have been dreaming of for years, and AI is now a core part of many business strategies, but we cannot forget the human side of customer support. Each method has the best use situations. Sometimes a customer does not want to talk to a live human agent for a simple issue they can fix with a chatbot or phone tree. Other times, customers want to let out their frustrations with a product to a live human or need help with a more complex issue than automated systems can handle. When it is clear a human response is needed, the transition must be fast. A customer who wants to talk to a person will not suffer through a long winding phone tree for awfully long, nor should they have to. Moving from an automated system to a live agent should be fast and seamless, preferably with only the bush of a button or voice command. Tracing customer preferences over time can help determine which customers want to speak to an agent and which do not so you can provide personalized service without any interruptions.

How to Provide a Personalized Experience

You cannot control your competitors’ prices, size, or any other factors, but you can make your business better in different ways. Providing a personalized experience for your customers is useful for various reasons. Still, it can help customers return to your business rather than move to a competitor, as most people would rather do business with someone who knows your name rather than a faceless company. For many customers, better customer service, including personalization, is enough to keep them loyal to your business over other options. You can get creative with ways you personalize experiences for customers; below are just a few examples of ways you can personalize the customer experience and enjoy the benefits:

  • Reward and recognize loyal customers with over-time programs.
  • Know your customer’s name and proper capitalization.
  • Reward feedback with messages when feedback is considered or implemented.
  • Offer free classes, trials, or demonstrations so customers can see exactly what they are buying, which eliminates doubt or quality concerns.
  • Send a personalized, handwritten note to customers with orders for a pleasant surprise in the box or on their birthday as an inexpensive way to reach out.
  • Recognize or feature customers’ experiences on your website or social media pages to reassure potential customers and encourage other customers to leave testimonials.

Personalized customer experiences and support are a fantastic idea that can be tricky to get right. The line and blend of automation and human intuition can be hard to find, but your customers will appreciate you are trying and eventually succeeding. You may need help along the way, and the experts at ListenTrust are here to help you get personalization precisely right.

Get Started by Contacting ListenTrust Today!

For more information, contact Tom Sheppard, VP Business Development, at: tsheppard@listentrust.com.

The Difference Between BPO And Call Centers

The Difference Between BPO And Call Centers

BPO, or business process outsourcing, and call center are terms that many people use interchangeably, but there are differences between BPO and call centers. While both terms describe similar situations, they are not the same and should not be used as equal definitions. It would be best to understand the differences between the two options before committing your business to one method over the other. Before you decide, read the following sections to learn the definitions of and key differences between BPO and call centers.

 

What is a BPO?

BPO organizations are companies that are responsible for completing outsourced work processes from a different company. The initial company will contract out specific processes that the BPO organization then handles. These work processes can include payroll, marketing support, customer support, data recording, technical or nontechnical processes, and more. The general function of BPOs remains the same, but there are three different categories: offshore, nearshore, and onshore. While all three categories of BPOs can get the job done, there are some critical differences. Offshore BPO services are outside and typically not near the initial company’s country; the distance might not be ideal, but offshore services are typically cheaper to compensate. For example, a US company might use an offshore BPO service or vendor based in the Philippines to get the job done for less. Nearshore vendors are close to the initial company’s country, so a US-based company might use a vendor in Mexico as a nearshore vendor. Onshore vendors are within the same country as the initial company, but maybe in a different state. An onshore BPO vendor could be in Montana while the hiring company is in California.

 

What is a Call Center?

A call center is a subset of a BPO that focuses on phone-based work rather than a wide range of professional services. Call centers, by name and definition, are offices mainly geared for sending/receiving large numbers of phone calls to support a business, though many call centers have added email and chat support to their offered services. The most common call center services include billing and collections, lead generation, customer service, and technical support. However, customer service and technical support are the most common uses for call centers.

 

BPO vs Call Center

While a call center handles specific telecommunications and related tasks for a different business, BPO handles a wide variety of tasks for a company. Even though call centers have expanded their service menus in recent years, BPOs still cover more categories in terms of professional services. A call center can be classed as a type of BPO, but a BPO is not a call center because a call center’s role and capabilities fit within a BPO, but not the other way around.

Another difference between call centers and BPO organizations is the nature of the work. Call centers focus more on customer and agent connection with the call center agent, so customer service skills are a must. Most call centers focus on interactions between callers and agents, while BPO work is primarily behind the scenes. Even though BPO agents interact with customers less, they should still have customer service training. Some front office and back end processes that BPO companies commonly handle, but call centers typically do not, include:

• Market research
• Technical support
• Sales and marketing
• Collections and recovery
• Data entry
• Surveys
• Payroll and finances

 Everyone wants the best for their business, and picking the right support is critical. Opting for a call center over a BPO or vise versa is a significant and nuanced choice. Contact the experts at ListenTrust so we can help you make the best decision for your business. 

 

Get Started by Contacting ListenTrust Today!

For more information, contact Tom Sheppard, VP Business Development, at: tsheppard@listentrust.com.

Types of Call Centers

Types of Call Centers

Whether you are looking to outsource your call center or run one yourself, you should consider the different services offered by call centers. The services you need might affect which types of call centers would work for your needs. There are different types of call centers to suit different situations and goals. A company looking to increase customer solutions, support systems, and market research will need additional services in a call center compared to a company that just wants customer service support. Before you decide on a call center, investigate the different types to ensure your needs will be met.

 

Inbound Call Center

An inbound call center is what most people think of when they imagine a call center. Customers call a phone number and are connected with an agent hired by the company. Support teams will typically monitor calls that are primarily from existing customers with technical questions or support issues. Most inbound calls are quick fixes or first level support for common issues, but more specialized agents can handle more complex calls. In general, inbound calls will consist of the following:

  • Product or tech support
  • Order processing or payment processing
  • Upgrade and renew inquiries
  • Answer business inquiries
  • Customer service

 

Has the Landscape of Direct Response TV Marketing Changed?

An outbound call center is when agents call potential or existing customers rather than have them initiate the call. Outbound call centers are typically used for sales, promotions, market research, and customer surveys. Some companies use outbound call centers for a welcome call where new customers are created and given more information about the company. This process is made faster with the help of predictive dialers so agents can get through large call volumes in one day. While the exact tasks vary by call center, most outbound call centers will handle and provide these services:

  • Proactive announcements like communication delays or order changes
  • Prospective calls to convert potential customers
  • Renewal calls to entice existing customers to repurchase
  • Cross-selling to existing customers to encourage sales of new products
  • Debt collection or owed balance reminders
  • Customer satisfaction surveys after varying periods of time
  • Market research
  • Appointment booking for in-person support or appointments

 

In-House Call Center

An in-house call center is directly responsible for customer loyalty, support, and other services, making in-house call centers ideal for companies with intricate internal workings or support processes. In-house call centers are typically staffed by dedicated and well-trained agents that facilitate all interactions with new, old, and potential clients from within the company. In-house call centers let a company offer the personal touch, control every aspect of support and outreach, and keep their data in-house as well, but it is not a perfect solution for everyone.

Virtual Call Center

Virtual call centers use geographically dispersed agents but use cloud technology to create a unified call center. The cloud technology is relatively simple and does not require special equipment or programming. You only need a phone, computer, and internet connection to get a virtual call center up and running. Once the virtual call center is running, you can manage the system with a CRM tool or sales support system with no expensive or complicated software required. This system lets agents work in groups or from home while not sacrificing the quality of their services. You can even divide virtual call centers into domestic and international groups, so incoming domestic calls are sent to the domestic agents, and international calls are sent to the international group of agents. International call centers often use toll-free or local numbers to minimize fees for customers.

Choosing a call center can be an overwhelming decision, as they are many factors to consider. It can be hard to navigate the choices, but ListenTrust is here to help. Contact ListenTrust to learn why we are the best choice to run your next call center and ensure your business has its needs met by an experience industry partner.

 

 

Get Started by Contacting ListenTrust Today!

For more information, contact Tom Sheppard, VP Business Development, at: tsheppard@listentrust.com.