4 Elements of a bilingual customer service strategy

A growing number of entrepreneurs are beginning to recognize the impacts of delivering customer service in several languages. Many brands have started to partner with bilingual call centers to be able to communicate with diverse markets. Using the language that their customers speak, they’re able to enhance understanding and build meaningful relationships.

diverse business team looking at laptop

However, launching a bilingual or multilingual customer support strategy can be challenging. This is especially true if your brand is formerly monolingual. You must ensure that your services are consistent with your organizational values and branding and that they’re aligned with customers wants and needs.

Often, it can be hard to find a balance among multiple factors you have to consider in adopting a new language. To aid you in the planning process, here are the four elements that form the backbone of a powerful customer care strategy.


1.     Customer research

business executives in meeting holding laptop showing charts reports

Marketing to a foreign area requires rigorous market research. You have to know your target sectors closely: their preferences, shopping habits, lifestyle, and other factors that could affect their purchasing decisions. Aside from these, however, it’s crucial that you understand their culture, the language(s) they speak, and the tone of voice they’re comfortable with.

Knowing these and incorporating them in your strategy will help you build trust among your market. Understanding the background of your customers enhances communication by letting you avoid misunderstandings caused by cultural and lingual differences. This leads to stronger customer relationships.


2.     Cultural sensitivity training

diverse business team in training

The ability to speak multiple languages isn’t enough. What really builds great connections is brands’ willingness to get to know their customers and be familiar with their culture.

As the ones directly interacting with customers, your agents must be able to demonstrate this as well. Therefore, your training programs must focus not only on language and communication skills but also on cultural awareness. This minimizes, if not eliminates, the risk of conflicts caused by cultural gaps. This fosters trust, speeds up problem resolution, and improves the customer experience.


3.     Performance evaluation

call center manager in evaluation meeting with employees

For a bilingual call center, performance evaluation takes a different form compared with that in English-only providers. Quality monitoring processes must be carried out by experts fluent in the language spoken by your customers. If not, they won’t be able to analyze and assess the content of calls or determine whether an issue has been fully resolved.

You must also carefully choose your customer service metrics to reflect the standards that you prioritize. For instance, average handle time may give you an idea about the speed of your services, but it doesn’t ensure that complaints are effectively handled. Another similar example is first call resolution, which may not be applicable to transactions that naturally require follow-ups. As much as possible, take these things into consideration as you design an evaluation system that’s aligned with your definition of good customer support.


4.     Process improvement

business team chatting in busy office

There’s always something new that happens in the world of business. New trends emerge, new processes are created, and new technologies reshape the way we do things. As these changes take place, your brand and bilingual call center must both be ready to adapt. To do this, you must regularly collect insights from your employees and customers and use these as basis to improve your processes. This kind of flexibility and willingness to embrace new methods and ideas is the key to long-term success.



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