What Can Multilingual Customer Support Services Do For Your Business?
If your business engages with the public, providing either products or services, then delivering customer support is no doubt a core part of your operations. For companies that sell to people Multilingual speak different languages, providing customer support takes on a whole new dimension. Delivered poorly, it can do serious harm to a company’s reputation. Done well, it can enhance customer loyalty and have a major impact on purchase decisions.
Translating customer support into income
What is meant by customer support services? Customer support services provide help to customers. That help can come during the sales process, as part of ongoing service or up until a predetermined date after the customer has made a purchase.
The multilingual customer support operates in much the same way as a regular support service, only it does so in multiple languages. The business in question may run its own multilingual customer support team, or else contract the work out to a translation company. In both scenarios, the goal of the multilingual customer service team is to help customers.
Particularly in this day and age, when companies are already having to cope with the financial impact of the coronavirus outbreak, customer service is immensely important.
multilingual customer support services
And why is it important to have a good relationship with customers? Well, providing customers with a positive experience of your company is immensely valuable. In the US, for example, 75% of respondents report that customer experience is important when making purchase decisions. In the UK, the figure stands at 65%, while in Brazil it rises as high as 89%.
Positive customer experience can deliver a range of benefits. It can encourage a customer to buy more products from a company. It can encourage them to make more frequent purchases. And it can keep the customer loyal to that particular brand, making them less inclined to ‘shop around’ and take their business elsewhere.
Good customer service can also be a powerful marketing tool. Some 83% of people report that word-of-mouth recommendations influence what they buy. A company that can impress enough to generate such personal recommendations – whether face-to-face or via social media – is thus in a strong position. Customers who become fans of the brand can provide a major boost to marketing activities and, consequentially, to the company’s bottom line.
Translation, localization and interpretation considerations
When it comes to building customer loyalty in multiple languages, companies can use translation, localization and interpretation services as part of their customer support strategy.
Using translation services means that companies can engage with people in their native languages. The company itself doesn’t employ people who speak that language. Many language translators specialize in business translation, marketing translation. It allows companies to focus their multilingual efforts appropriately.
Localization also plays an important role here. What does content localization mean? It refers to the reshaping of materials during the translation process to ensure that they meet the cultural needs and expectations of the intended audience.
Different cultures communicate in different ways. Even within the same country, different communities can take a very different approach to communication. Understanding these differences plays an important role in localizing your multilingual customer support.
It is unlikely to be sufficient simply to translate materials once and then use them for all customers who speak that language. Let’s imagine your company speaks Spanish but that you’re building up an English-speaking customer base and so need to provide customer support services in that language.
Firstly, English differs from country to country in terms of spelling conventions, idioms. the certain words and phrases are used. This needs to be taken into account. But there is also domestic variation in the way that language is used, which translation and localization professionals need to account for when supporting companies to engage appropriately with their customers.
When it comes to direct communication with customers through email or telephone interactions, for example, it’s important to know how direct to be. Some cultures value directness; others would associate such blunt use of language with rudeness. Clearly, when it comes to providing customer support, the right kind of language can have a major impact on how satisfied (or otherwise) the customer ends up feeling.
We mentioned the interpretation services above. What are the types of interpretation? There are two main kinds: simultaneous interpretation and consecutive interpretation. The former is the kind of language translation service .you might expect at an international conference. The interpreter works in a booth to deliver the speaker’s words to the audience in real-time. Consecutive interpretation, meanwhile, is where speakers take it in turns to talk. The interpreter translating each person’s comment after they have spoken.
It is this kind of interpretation that is most likely to be useful when providing multilingual customer support. The translation of each person’s words is required in order for the conversation to proceed. Of course, that’s assuming that the conversation is taking place between the company and the customer with an interpreter facilitating it.
There is another way…
Outsourced multilingual customer support teams
Given the widespread availability of everything from fast WiFi to video conferencing software. It’s easier than ever to outsource your entire customer service department. This is an ideal solution for companies that want to be dedicated to customer service. The staff who learn their business inside out and can speak multiple languages.
Generally, such outsourced services can handle all translation and localization needs as part of their work. They can also meet customer demand across a range of channels.The important part of providing effective customer support. Preferred channels vary from country to country. In the US, for example, 61% of customers prefer to resolve customer service issues over the phone, while 15% turn to live chat, 12% to email and 12% to digital channels.
However, your business chooses to tackle its multilingual customer support. The solution has to be one that prioritizes customer experience. Whether that’s employing multilingual staff in-house, using a translation and localization agency. Outsourcing customer support entirely, the company stands to gain a huge amount. Loyal customers who praise your brand to their friends are out there waiting. It’s up to you how you recruit and retain them!