Translation and the Six Trends in Multilingual Customer Support
May 11, 2016
By Ivy Hughes
Many people don’t understand what we do or how what we do impacts their industry. It’s understandable. Translation and localization are complicated. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t have a job.
But translation is important across all industries including health care, technology, education, hospitality, travel, customer service, and entertainment. Supporting customers in their own language matters. Why? Because if you can’t translate your goods and services to the communities where you’d like to sell them (localization), you simply can’t sell them. And if you’re an established name entering a market that speaks a language your support agents don’t speak, as soon as a competitor comes along doing something similar in that language, guess who wins your customers’ favor? The other guy or gal.
Here are six reasons why customer support translation software ours matters to your business.
1. It’s Scalable
Don’t have twenty marketers people to market your product? If you use social media and email services like MailChimp, you can reach more people in an hour than a door-to-door salesperson can reach in a week. This is the beauty of technology. It’s scalable.
The same applies to localization and translation. If you can’t afford to hire call center staff that can speak the language every one of your customers speak, software like ours can serve as a chat translator and email translator for you. We enable your existing, single-language-speaking support staff (who already know your product inside and out) to scale their support services across all the languages you need to support.
2. It’s Personal
What do high school foreign language teachers tell students before they take them abroad? Aside from running through a list of rules and consequences for breaking those rules, they say, “It doesn’t matter how well you speak the language, just speak it.”
Students who heed this advice quickly understand how far a phrase or two will go. Locals respond much better when you speak their language than when you forge ahead in English only.
Personalization is everything. Think about it. Are you more receptive to someone who addresses you by name, or someone who addresses you generally? You’re more receptive—and often times more impressed—by the person who addresses you by name.
Translation/localization software such as ours allow your company to speak to people in their language. It makes everything personal. And when customers feel things are getting personal in a positive way, they react favorably.
3. It’s Everywhere
Your customers are “virtually” everywhere. As a result, they expect multichannel customer support – or support for a product not just on the company’s website but also in their favorite social media channels, email and chat so they can access help wherever they spend their time. Interestingly, they’ll change how they want that help based on what they’re doing. As recently reported by Fonolo, “57 percent of customers have reported switching from web to phone during an interaction.”
This means you need to be ready to help customers in a variety of ways at any time from any digital channel. A consumer may start reading your frequently asked questions (FAQs) and then switch to live chat or send an email. Later, they might tweet a question to @YOURCOMPANY. If your support software is not equipped to funnel all of these channels into the laps of your support agents – who are then equipped with Language I/O to speak the customer’s language - you’re not everywhere your customers are.
4. It’s Consolidation
In the olden days, customer support involved numerous real-world “channels” within which a customer would reach out to a business.
The Front Door Channel – a customer walks into your shop and asks to speak with someone.
The Telephone Channel – a customer picks up a telephone (often connected to a wall) calls your business and aks to speak with someone.
The Snail Mail Channel – a customer writes a letter (on paper!!) addresses it to your business and asks to speak with someone.
Technology has evolved these real-word channels into a company website, chat, email, social media and mobile phones. But the latest trend to promote efficiency within a support organization is to enable agents to respond to queries sent via all these channels inside one, consolidated CRM (Client Relationship Management) platform. There is no reason that your customer service agents should have to launch a separate app for chat and another for email. Further, because Language I/O allows for CRM integration inside the largest CRMs like Salesforce and Oracle, we enable consolidation of the translation process across all of those channels as well.
If you are still managing these channels in separate apps, you know the difficulty of tracking engagements with a single customer across social media, FAQs and email. Or the difficulty of pulling a translated FAQ link into an agent’s email response. When your channel and translation support is consolidated inside the CRM, the cross-channel synergy drastically improves agent efficiency.
5. It’s Marketing
If translation truly were as easy as putting something into Google translate, hitting translate and posting that content on the relevant platform, there wouldn’t be any need for translators. As it is, language is too complicated for such a simple solution. What we think we’re saying and what we actually say can be miles apart.
This is why now, more than ever, marketing departments are getting involved in translation. They want to make sure the fun, flippant communication style you’ve developed for your American customers is not translated literally for your Japanese customers. Those customers might not appreciate the humor. Because messaging and translation is so complicated, working with a reliable, accurate translation service is key. We don’t just perform literal translation of your marketing content, we re-write then translate content for marketing targeted to a specific locale.
6. It’s Self-Service
As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, customers want to help themselves. In fact, Forrester Research showed that in 2010, “72 percent of US online consumers prefer to use a company's web site to get answers to their questions rather than contact companies via telephone or email.”
If you have any questions about how translation and localization can help your business, please contact us.