Language is No Barrier to Improving Call Center KPIs

六月 28, 2017


This week, we decided to interview Language I/O co-founder Kaarina Kvaavik about the power of multilingual customer service. Learn about how Language I/O's products improve call center KPIs while still saving on support costs. 

Please introduce yourself.

I’m a Scandinavian Mediterranean mutt, grew up in Sweden with a Norwegian father and Finnish mother, and I’m married to a Greek man. Our household is tri-lingual and completely multicultural.  Professionally, I’ve been working with language related issues for over 25 years, helping companies to figure out how to sell, market and support their products and services all over the world. I love solving problems by finding innovative and efficient solutions, exactly like what we’re providing here at Language I/O, for complex business situations.  

Can you describe Language I/O’s product suite? What channels of communication do you serve?

The way I like to explain what we have built is by comparing it to something everyone already knows – PayPal. Without being an actual bank, PayPal brokers very complex financial transactions that allows consumers to buy from companies all over the world. In a similar way, we broker complex translation requests between a company and its customers without having to hire costly multilingual support agents.

We’ve created a product that integrates right into the CRM platform where the agents work, so that our translation solution is right at the fingertips of whoever needs it, when they need it. Our customers can translate knowledgebase content, emails (cases/tickets) and live chat with a simple click of a button directly in the CRM system. It’s a true omnichannel solution where we uniquely combine human professional translation with machine translation dependent on quality, turnaround and budget requirements. And it’s all done with a simple click of a button.

How can Language I/O increase the number of tickets resolved?

With Language I/O, any agent can respond to a ticket, no matter which language the customer communicates in. If you have peaks in certain languages, just route the tickets to any agent available and use our products to translate the communication back and forth. Basically, our products make your agents fluent in over 150 languages which means they can respond to tickets and chats in any language, even when they don’t speak it themselves. Your occupancy rates will definitely increase!

How can Language I/O decrease the average time in queue?

As anyone of your agents can respond to incoming tickets in any language, your customers will not have to wait for someone that speaks their language to get answers to their questions. The ticket can simply be routed to the next available agent and responded to by using our products to translate both incoming tickets and outgoing responses.

How does Language I/O improve customer satisfaction?

It is well documented that 1. People buy what they can read and 2. People prefer support in their own language. By enabling companies to communicate with customers in the language they prefer, they not only increase CSAT scores but they also increase revenue while lowering support costs. Many companies today know self-help is essential and an amazing low cost solution compared to more costly channels like email and phone. Our customers see their CSAT scores greatly improve while simultaneously lowering their support costs when they use Language I/O to provide translated self-help articles.   

How else does multilingual customer support benefit call centers in measurable ways?

Providing multilingual customer support is expensive. You have to hire multilingual resources, or outsource, and have more infrastructure and managers. It’s not enough to only have one resource per language as you’d still end up with 2/3 of the day without coverage. Not to mention vacations, or sick time. Granted, this does depend on your SLA’s but most companies want to provide the same level of service to all of their customers. Because of this, companies often end up only providing service in one language, which hugely impacts their CSAT scores as well as their competitiveness in local markets. If there is a competitor in a particular market that provides local language support – guess who wins?

Our products are used to increase occupancy rates, reduce handling time, remove email backlogs, reduce wait times etc. but also to provide the single thing that matters most to the customer – someone to talk to in their own language when they need help. Imagine buying a product from China. If something broke or you just needed some help, you would have to communicate in Chinese…  Given the choice between two products, one with support in both English and Chinese and the other in Chinese only, which would you choose to buy? These are the choices consumers make and 74% prefer to buy what they can read! So, we’ve made it simple for you to get those new customers and to keep them happy!