Top Five Multilingual Customer Service Trends for 2017

December 26, 2016


We love an end of the year round up about as much as we do a top trends list for the coming year! For translation and multilingual support, the wrap up and trends report are one in the same. 

Everything that happened in our industry in 2016, will only accelerate in 2017. Businesses will continue to pursue international clients; support teams will continue looking for ways to manage clients in a quality, cost effective manner; and consumers will continue to demand immediate access to multilingual support. Basically, the demand for multichannel, multilingual customer support will only increase. 

Let’s take a look at some of the trends for multilingual support that occurred in 2016 and see where they’re headed in 2017.

1. Chat

Companies not only need to speak to customers in their customer’s language, they need to speak to them wherever they are. This means that going into 2017, the demand for chat support services will only increase. 

Even though our chat software, Language I/O® Chat, has only been on the market for a few months, we’ve already seen a HUGE increase in demand for it from our clients. Why? Because customers are on their phones all the time. But it’s not because they’re talking to customer service agents — they’re chatting with them. Chat is the hot up-and-coming platform for customer service and having a chat translator lets your business speak with customers in any language.  

2. Omni Channel Support

Even though customers have access to email, chat and phone customer service, that doesn’t mean they want to explain their problem to an agent using each channel. They want to explain themselves once. They want the channels talking to each other so if they chat about one problem, they don’t have to answer redundant questions on the phone about the same problem. 

In 2017, customer service departments will work even harder to manage multiple channels within the same app. 2017 will be the year of omni channel or no channel. 

3. Cost Savings

If there’s a future time when cost savings don’t rank top among annual company goals, we’re not there yet. 

Throughout 2017, businesses will continue looking for ways to cut costs for everything from overhead to personnel to customer service. Finding a way to provide customer support in multiple languages without hiring bilingual customer service agents, is one way to cut those costs

4. Adding Value

Whether adding a new product, more qualified team members, or better customer services practices, customers love added value. It’s what lures them out of your competitor’s door and into yours. 

One of the most obvious ways to add value with globalization is through localization. After all, it’s pretty hard to attract and keep customers if you can’t talk to them in their language. 

While machine translations are helpful in some instances, we’ve found that a combo of human and machine translations provide the most high quality communications between customers and businesses. If it’s high value you’re after, when you go global, look for translations that bring the best of machine and human understandings. 

5. Adding Self-Help Resources

Now more than ever customers have enough savvy to solve problems they previously needed help with on their own. One Google search and they can figure out how to change their oil, reset their iPhone, or deliver a baby.  

Companies that are staying on top of customer service give customers every opportunity to help themselves, which is why great article translation is imperative to modern customer support. 

Of course, in our top five trends list, we’ve missed one thing—the debate about chat bots and their role in customer service. This debate is sure to continue however, regardless of where you sit on that fence, providing quality multilingual, multi channel will prepare you for great human or chat bot support. For more information on how to get ahead of these trends by using our multilingual support software, contact us here.