Whether running a small business or an enterprise-level organization, office administration is critical to your long-term business success. As your business grows, emails, inbound calls, order fulfillment, and requests for appointments also increase. Likewise, your client base expands, as will their diversity, and your need for a bilingual answering service.
With stiff competition facing businesses of all sizes, you need every potential client to stay ahead. That’s why it’s important to integrate a 24/7 bilingual answering service into your daily business operations to create substantial advantages. However, depending on your business reach, just a bilingual service won’t cut it anymore. America is often called the melting pot of nationalities and cultures. According to the U.S. Census Bureau report in 2015, there are over 350 languages spoken in the country, you’ll need a multilingual answering service to reach all potential clients.
In this guide, we will look at the benefits of having a multilingual answering service and the top languages for the service.
Why JUST a Bilingual Answering Service Won't Cut It Anymore
According to a 2018 survey conducted among U.S. customers, 44% of the respondents stopped doing business with companies due to poor client support, which costs companies around $75 billion per year. As a result, smart businesses are innovating and adjusting to customer expectations by ensuring they provide exceptional customer experience across all channels.
One of the best ways for business owners to respond to client needs, especially those in international markets, is by providing multilingual customer service. Below are the top benefits of having a multilingual answering service.
Improved Customer Service
Providing your customers with the option to speak in a language they’re most comfortable with helps them better express their concerns. With multilingual representatives who can communicate with them in their native language, your customers can speak fluently, ask their most pressing questions, and get the answers they seek. At the end of the call, your customers will feel heard, understood, and valued by your business.
A multilingual answering service helps boost the quality and efficiency of your customer service because offering or support in the customer’s native tongue helps minimize misinterpretations. This also reduces the time spent with every customer, so the team can move onto handling the next ticket (minimizing wait times) or closing the next sale (maximizing revenue).
Greater Trust and Credibility
If operating in a saturated marketplace, standing out from the crowd can be a challenge. You’ll need to go above and beyond to show your prospective customers that you’re different and convince your existing ones that the grass isn’t greener elsewhere. Partnering with a bilingual answering service or, better yet, a multilingual answering service is a great touch to show that you care about your customers’ needs.
Your customers want to feel valued, and the best way your business can demonstrate this is by allowing them to communicate with you in their native language, which significantly increases customer support and brand loyalty. When you make purchases and inquiries easier for your non-native English speakers, you can convert them from prospects or occasional customers to long-term customers and raving fans.
Increased Sales and Revenue
Offering customer support in multiple languages doesn’t just increase customer loyalty. It also gives your international clients a reason to work with you. In an Intercom survey among non-native English-speaking SaaS clients, 35% of customers said that they are open to switching products and services to ones available in their native language.
Providing company information, product details, and customer support in multiple languages, therefore, helps improve your conversion rate, especially in areas in the world where most customers cannot speak fluent English.
The service also helps strengthen your position in the global market, as non-native clients could struggle to express themselves clearly or explain certain technical requirements in English. This is especially important if you plan to expand your products and services and increase your market share. You should assess your prospects and current clients’ demographic information and identify their preferred languages.
Instead of forcing your customers to adjust to you, offer to reach out to them in a language closer to their hearts. This helps them feel prioritized and makes the decision about whether or not to spend their money with you much easier. All this will translate to increased sales and revenue.
Challenges That Arise When Only Using a Bilingual Answering Service
If you serve a large range of customers and you only use a bilingual answering service (or a service with no language capabilities at all!) you risk limiting customer access, decreasing customer satisfaction, and missed opportunities.
Limiting Customer Access
Regardless of the industry you’re in, clear communication is an invaluable aspect of creating a positive customer experience. In a country such as the US, where there are over 350 languages, investing in a multilingual answering service is crucial. And, as mentioned, if you seek to expand into international markets, this becomes even more important.
In the early stages of customer acquisition, top-notch communication allows your business to clearly relay what your products or services do and explain why it matters. For clients who cannot understand the English language clearly, this limits their access and leads to lost customers. It is also important for customer retention; therefore, allowing customers to communicate in a language they clearly understand helps non-native English speakers access your products and services and consequently builds up your business brand.
Decreased Customer Satisfaction
Investing in multilingual answering services helps eliminate language barriers and ensures all your clients feel respected and valued. If you’ve ever tried communicating with someone in a foreign language you don’t know well, you probably know how frustrating it can be to feel understood. This is especially true when trying to communicate with someone over the phone.
When you don’t include multilingual services in your business structure, you tend to have decreased customer satisfaction. They feel you are not interested in providing top-quality customer service, and that you do not care about their business.
By hiring bilingual answering service agents who are fluent in your customers’ native language, you can be sure that your message is passed loud and clear and without any misinterpretations or misunderstandings. The service helps increase customer satisfaction as it shows you’re willing to go the extra mile and accommodate your non-native English-speaking clients. This also gives you a competitive edge against your customers.
When your customers cannot understand your business or express themselves clearly, they will move onto the next business that values and understands them. With millions of businesses out there who are competing for attention, you can’t afford to deliver sub-par service. Offering bilingual or a single language customer service also limits your exposure to a wider or international market. This implies lost opportunities in the market.
Top Languages for a Multilingual Answering Service
For your business to thrive and stand out from the competition, you need the services of multilingual answering services to reach more clients. The most spoken languages in the U.S. include the following:
- English – 254 million native speakers with 24 distinct dialects
- Spanish – 43.2 million native speakers, with more Spanish speakers in the US than in Spain
- Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin & other varieties) – 2.9 million native speakers
- Tagalog (Filipino)- 1.6 million native speakers
- Vietnamese – 1.4 million native speakers
- French & French Creole (Cajun)- nearly 1.3 million native speakers
- Russian – 941,000
- German – 895,000
- Arabic – 1,260,000
While these are the top spoken languages in the United States, different business owners may have various target audiences, so it’s important you research your audience to find out their needs and their preferred languages.
Final Thoughts on Choosing a Multilingual Asnwering Service
In the competitive business world, your business needs to do everything in its power to stand out, provide exceptional customer service, and improve sales, trust, and credibility. One of the best ways to achieve this is by hiring a live answering service with multilingual capabilities. Failure to do so can result in reduced customer satisfaction and limiting customer access, leading to lost business opportunities.
Consider going beyond a bilingual answering service by investing in one with multilingual capabilities. Please contact us to learn more about how we can help you. Click the following link if you want to learn more about multilingual answering services.