Multilingual Support & Contact Centers: Solutions to the Language Puzzle [Part 1]

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[Click here to read Part 2]
[Click here to read Part 3]
[Click here to read Part 4]

To deliver effective, real-time multilingual interactions across all communication channels, we’ve updated GeoFluent, a real-time translation technology, to include new omni-channel customer care features for contact centers and business process outsourcers (BPOs).

Now you can connect with your customers across channels—and in their preferred language, which is key to ensuring a positive customer experience (CX).

But if language is so important to CX, why isn’t multilingual, omni-channel support more prevalent?

To answer this question—and to offer insight into multilingual customer care—the GeoFluent team is kicking off a four-part blog series entitled “Multilingual Support & Contact Centers: Solutions to the Language Puzzle.” In this series, you’ll learn the four language strategies that brands and BPOs like yours typically depend on, and you’ll understand their pros and cons.

The four strategies most commonly used for multilingual website support are:

  1. Leveraging back-office resources
  2. Using over-the-phone interpretation (OPI) services
  3. Hiring multilingual agents in existing contact center locations
  4. Establishing in-country contact centers

Today, we tackle the first: Leveraging back-office resources.

Ad-hoc, back-office support: A low-cost, but unreliable method

In the contact center industry, a back-office resource is defined as a native or multilingual speaker that isn’t part of the care organization. This resource could work in marketing, finance, or any other department. Wherever they sit, the important thing to note is that they aren’t trained in customer care—or incented by customer satisfaction.

To put this strategy in context, let’s assume that English is your contact center’s primary support language. A chat is initiated in Chinese. In this case, skills-based routing doesn’t apply because there’s no Chinese-speaking agent to manage the query.

However, you have a back-office resource that speaks Chinese. You get in touch with them, and once they become available, they jump online to assist your customer.

The outcome of the ensuing interaction can go one of a few ways.

In a perfect world, your customer’s needs would be met efficiently and professionally. But in reality, with an untrained resource, your customer might not get the information they need, the response time could be too high—or both.

When you use ad-hoc support as a language strategy, your contact center can’t be guaranteed of the outcome. That’s why this isn’t a sustainable solution—nor is it one that can scale as support volumes increase.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using back-office resources for both you and your customers.

Pros for your contact center:

  • There’s no direct expense.

Cons for your contact center:

  • You could miss potential revenue opportunities.
  • Scaling to support all customers is challenging.

Risks for your customers:

  • They could experience a poor CX.
  • The interaction could require high customer effort.
  • They might not get the help they need.

What’s your experience been with back-office resources?

Stay tuned: In Part 2, you’ll learn the pros and cons of using over-the-phone interpretation services.


> For more information, read the new whitepaper, Real-Time Omni-Lingual Care Comes of Age for Contact Centers.

About the author

rsz_headshot_tom_tsekiTom Tseki is a contact center industry veteran. His experience and expertise include helping organizations implement and leverage omni-channel customer care strategies to improve CX, increase revenue, and gain contact center efficiencies.

He has a deep background in contact center technology as it relates to customer communication, analytics, and workforce optimization. Tom works closely with contact center and BPO leaders on strategies to improve care by reducing customer effort—leading to increased CSAT and NPS.

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