Digital technologies are transforming the way consumers live their lives and interact with brands, putting them in the driver’s seat with the ability to control their experiences more than ever before. Brands have responded by focusing on customer experience (CX) as their ultimate differentiator in the global marketplace. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2016, 89 percent of companies will compete primarily on the basis of customer experience—an astonishing jump from 36 percent back in 2010.
So how can brands ensure they’re providing a seamless, relevant, and efficient experience to their customers no matter what channel they choose to engage? It all starts with language.
Alignment on language is the critical first step in providing a stellar customer experience. But the rise of the omni-channel service model has created challenges for organizations striving to provide stand-out customer service.
Consumers overwhelmingly prefer to learn, shop, and buy in their native language. In many cases, language can become a barrier to engagement and customer experience. When customers can’t communicate quickly with comfort and confidence, customer satisfaction decreases—reflected through CSAT, Net Promoter Score, customer effort, and other metrics.
The positive impacts of adding multilingual capabilities
For example, leading vacation exchange provider RCI needed to provide real-time translation to its global customers in an efficient way. With many of its call center agents being native English speakers, the company was able to leverage a software-based solution that enabled agents to conduct real-time chat sessions with customers in Spanish (using RCI’s existing chat platform). The impacts have been significant, including increased customer satisfaction and reduced customer effort, coupled with increased call deflection and not having to hire as many multilingual agents.
Companies can use language services to unlock the global customer experience. You don’t need to offer all languages at all times to be effective. Adding just the top 10 unlocks access to 80 percent of the world’s digital shoppers. And once reached, multilingual capability enables personalized service that builds engagement and brand loyalty.
Savvy companies focused on customer care recognize the value of multilingual support. We’ve come a long way since the days of relying only on straight machine translation (MT)—which, for customer care, often lacks context and meaning and can adversely affect customer satisfaction.
Now, companies have the ability to support real-time translation across all channels with significantly improved translation quality. Advanced linguistic rules-based engines enhance traditional MT. With the inclusion of context as well as branded industry, company, and product names and terms, second-generation solutions deliver better language quality for brands and their customers—and enable more effective multilingual interactions. Contact centers in particular are implementing this multi-layer approach and are transforming their communication channels from mono or multilingual to full omni-lingual.
The bottom line is simple. Companies need to support their customers’ languages across the omni-channel. It’s a low-risk, high-return path to transforming customer care and differentiating your brand.
How will you use language to transform your business in 2016?
> To learn more about how to enhance CX with multilingual, omni-channel communication, read the new whitepaper, Real-Time Omni-Lingual Care Comes of Age for Contact Centers.
About the author
Tom 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.