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Failing at Multi-language Customer Support? How Outsourcing Can Help
Published: August 22, 2023
To thrive in today’s interconnected global economy, it’s crucial to expand your market reach beyond borders. As you venture into international markets, multilingual customer service becomes a top priority. Serving customers in their native languages not only fosters stronger relationships, it also gives you a competitive edge on the global stage.
While multilingual customer support is indeed critical, there’s no denying the daunting challenges that come with its implementation. Language barriers, miscommunication, and cultural nuances can all hinder seamless interactions with international customers, leading to a drop in customer satisfaction and loyalty.
This article dives deep into the pressing concerns surrounding multi-language customer support.
We will also discover effective ways to overcome these challenges with strategic back-office service solutions that drive customer satisfaction, improve brand perception, and bolster your position in a cutthroat international market.
Let’s look at an insightful infographic highlighting the benefits of outsourcing for multilingual support.
The Growing Need for Multilingual Customer Support: Facts and Statistics
The growing need for multilingual customer support has become critical for businesses aiming to thrive in the global marketplace. Here are some facts and statistics highlighting this trend:
Customers would switch to another brand 68% of the time if it offered customer support in their language. (BusinessWire)
Language barriers can result in negative reviews and complaints that will tarnish your reputation. Moreover, dissatisfied customers will likely switch to competitors with better multilingual support, fuelling customer churn and reduced revenue.
Invest in providing support in customers’ native languages, establish a robust rapport with customers, and gain a competitive edge with a broader customer base.
70% of customers are more loyal to businesses that provide customer support in their native language. (Intercom)
Loyalty is a critical success factor in customer satisfaction. Not only does it foster growth for your business, but it also establishes a robust relationship between you and your market.
Studies have long proven that communicating in a customer’s native language creates a unique bond, making them feel safe, heard, and represented by your business. As such, the lack of multi-language customer representatives often leads to negative reviews and complaints about language barriers.
Around 7.8 billion people live on the planet, but only 1.35 billion speak English. (Babbel)
While English serves as a universal language for global communication, it’s evident that a significant majority still do not consider it their primary language, emphasizing the critical importance of multi-language customer support.
With around 7,100 languages spoken worldwide, focusing on just one limits your ability to connect with a broader audience and stifles your potential for growth and expansion. To effectively engage and serve a more extensive customer base, you must cater to all linguistic needs of the diverse population for improved inclusivity and customer satisfaction.
In 2023, the Philippines’ business process outsourcing market is anticipated to generate $620 million in revenue. (Statista)
As the BPO market expands, catering to diverse linguistic needs becomes even more critical for growth. Failing to capitalize on this potential and neglecting to offer multi-language customer support can lead to missed opportunities and hinder revenue growth amid the flourishing outsourcing industry in the Philippines.
Businesses claim they have lost 29% of their consumers due to not providing multilingual service. (Intercom)
As a driving point of the above statistics, there are dire consequences should you fail to incorporate more languages into your customer support. Customers facing language barriers may become frustrated and switch to competitors offering better multilingual support.
As such, embracing multilingual customer support is crucial for retaining and attracting customers and sustaining growth in a diverse, globalized marketplace.
Challenges in Achieving Effective Multilingual Customer Support
While effective multilingual customer support is critical for success, achieving it comes with many challenges. Let’s dive into some of the main hurdles businesses face:
Finding qualified bilingual staff
Finding qualified multilingual staff poses a multifaceted challenge that demands extensive recruitment efforts to identify individuals proficient in multiple languages. These customer support agents also need to have a deep understanding of the culture associated with each language. From screening to training and retaining such talent, the process involves offering competitive compensation and opportunities for career growth.
Maintaining consistent quality across languages
Customer support outsourcing of multilinguistic agents demands meticulous translation and localization processes to ensure accurate and culturally appropriate communication. As such, investing in technology and expert language specialists is crucial for seamless multilingual support.
Having unique communication styles and expectations
Different communication styles necessitate cultural training and ongoing education for support teams to understand and adapt to diverse customer expectations. To provide empathetic and contextually appropriate solutions, businesses need to empower their agents with cultural sensitivity training.
Providing customer support across multiple time zones
Strategic planning ensures 24/7 support coverage across various regions. Leveraging a follow-the-sun approach, outsourcing partners in different time zones optimize customer service availability.
Continuously training and developing bilingual staff
Training and development are vital in equipping bilingual staff with product knowledge, industry-specific expertise, and customer service skills. Regular training of your agents fosters a skilled and knowledgeable support team that will raise your brand reputation and strengthen customer loyalty.
Needing to scale multilingual support teams
Scalability and flexibility are vital as you grow, but rapid expansion requires extensive investments in hiring and training bilingual staff. Enter outsourcing.
Outsourcing to a call center in the Philippines grants businesses access to a diverse talent pool of skilled multilingual agents who can quickly adapt to fluctuating customer needs across various languages and regions.
This agility allows companies to optimize support efficiency without overextending internal resources, empowering them to succeed in a global marketplace.
Advantages of Outsourcing Multilingual Customer Support
Outsourcing multilingual customer support offers several advantages that can significantly benefit businesses:
Outsourcing multilingual customer support involves partnering with external service providers to handle customer interactions in various languages. This approach provides access to skilled multilingual agents without the high overhead costs of maintaining an in-house team which includes salary, training, additional equipment, and statutory benefits.
As a result, businesses can efficiently meet the diverse linguistic needs of their customers while optimizing cost-effectiveness and overall operational efficiency.
Access to skilled multilingual agents
Multilingual agents act as specialized interpreters, enabling businesses to target specific audiences effectively. Outsourced companies excel in recruiting and training agents proficient in various languages, ensuring seamless communication with customers in their native tongues. Ultimately, building trust and rapport through customer support in preferred languages improves overall experiences.
Expanded market reach
By catering to diverse linguistic preferences, multilingual customer support opens doors to a wider global audience. For instance, providing customer support in Spanish and other regional languages allows you to penetrate and capitalize on Spain’s rapidly growing e-commerce market, which boasts around 30 million users.
Breaking language barriers also enables you to effectively enhance your market presence and increase opportunities for growth and success in Spain’s e-commerce sector.
Improved customer loyalty
Customers who feel like a brand “gets them” and respects their preferences are more likely to remain loyal. Offering support in customers’ native languages fosters a sense of trust and comfort, strengthening the bond between the customer and the brand.
It’s particularly significant in markets like Spain, the 16th largest e-commerce market worldwide, where consumers are concerned about unemployment, price hikes, and the invasion of Ukraine.
Providing support in their native language engages Spanish-speaking customers, fostering positive brand perception and loyalty among this substantial market audience, including high-level decision-makers and C-suite executives.
5 Strategies for Successful Multilingual Support Outsourcing
Successful multilingual support outsourcing requires careful planning and execution. Here are key strategies to ensure its effectiveness:
Open lines of communication promptly address any issues, clarify expectations, and ensure alignment of both parties in delivering exceptional multilingual customer support.
2. Assess the language capabilities of the outsourcing team
Thoroughly assess your outsourced team’s language proficiency. In addition to their fluency in multiple languages, they also evaluate their ability to accurately convey complex ideas, handle cultural nuances, and provide empathetic customer service.
3. Choose a BPO partner with access to strategic locations
Strategic partnerships with BPO companies in key regions or countries are advantageous as they allow effective market-specific support. Access to a rich pool of multilingual talents in these locations ensures prompt responses to customer inquiries, facilitating smooth and efficient support delivery.
4. Adopt cultural training and sensitivity programs
Cultural training enhances understanding of diverse norms and communication styles, enabling agents to provide personalized support that resonates with customers. It creates positive experiences and builds lasting relationships, making customers feel closer to your brand.
5. Implement robust quality assurance
Regularly monitor and evaluate nearshore call centers’ performance through customer feedback, call monitoring, and performance metrics to ensure service standards adherence, identify improvement areas, and guarantee that customers consistently receive top-notch support.
Incorporating these strategies can lead to improved customer experiences, increased customer loyalty, and a strengthened brand reputation, all propelling your business performance forward.
Achieve Multilingual Customer Support Success with Superstaff
Breaking down language barriers and navigating cultural nuances are essential to delivering exceptional customer support to a diverse clientele. Customers from different regions and language backgrounds have distinct expectations and communication styles, making it vital for businesses to address these unique needs effectively.
At Superstaff, we offer a transformative outsourcing solution to unleash the true potential of your customer support efforts. With strategic locations in the Philippines,the US, and Colombia, our multilingual team can bridge language gaps and enhance your brand reputation globally.
Don’t miss out on this game-changing strategy! Experience unparalleled customer support excellence with us. Contact us today and take your customer service to the next level.
Ann Gelli is largely responsible for SuperStaff’s successful B2B marketing that drives sales and grows our client base. While her primary expertise is in outreach marketing and sales, she has diversified her skills and honed her competencies in data analysis, market research, and international trade shows networking.