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Lost in translation?

By Retail Technology | Monday July 11 2022 | UPDATED 11.07.22

Justin Custer, CEO at ChatLingual, addresses the issue of dealing with customers with multiple languages online

Global ecommerce sales reached $4.9 trillion in 2021 and are expected to increase to $7.4 trillion in 2025. 

With this already massive and increasing spend by consumers, brands will need (and want) to support even more customers in many more languages. So, how do most companies today provide support to their customers? And, how do most customers want to be supported?

Today, most companies are still communicating with their customers using traditional tools and processes from 20 years ago, by investing in complex contact centre operations focused on voice calls.

Not only is that approach expensive and operationally challenging, but it is also not what customers want. Customers want to engage with brands in the same way they engage with family and friends, through the messaging platforms they use every day in their native language.

Because of customers’ desire and lower total costs of ownership, Gartner predicts by 2025 we will see 80 percent of customer service operations embracing messaging channels.

And, other industry analysts agree with Gartner. The Verint 2022 State of Digital Customer Experience Report shows a growing preference for interacting with companies through social and private messaging channels.

Fortunately, supporting your customers through digital channels will benefit both your top and bottom lines:

• Seasonal fluctuations are more manageable: we all know the challenges of Black Friday, cash is often left on the table due to poor customer service. Brands that offer chat and messaging will ensure their customers feel supported quickly in these important moments, driving loyalty and encouraging future purchases.

• Your team will be more efficient: experienced support experts can effectively handle multiple conversations at the same time. By leveraging AI in the right ways, your teams will be able to delight more customers at the same time. Let’s face it, it is virtually impossible to successfully manage separate voice conversations at once (much less in multiple languages).

• Customers prefer it: no one wants to “wait on hold”, so why make your customers suffer through it? Asynchronous messaging channels allow your customers to post a question and then divert their attention to more important tasks than anxiously waiting for the on-hold music to stop.

Digital channels not only improve CX, they help companies achieve accretive business goals. According to a 2022 Gartner report, the top two objectives for executives this year are business growth and improving operational excellence. I believe both of these can be achieved through integrating multilingual support into digital channels.

Companies that have already made the move are already seeing these benefits:

• Reduced costs: every agent can deliver high-quality, technical customer experiences in your customers’ preferred languages. Design your recruiting strategy with a focus on superior service skills rather than more expensive language skills, and re-invest the savings in delivering higher-quality engagement. Optimising your recruiting strategy is particularly meaningful when handling seasonal spikes in business.

• Greater reach to potential customers: customers are drawn to companies that offer products, services, and support in their native language. Multilingual technology provides businesses with the opportunities to reach customers in markets that were not possible before.

• Improved customer experience: drive loyalty and repeat business by offering your customers the ability to get support in their native language while simplifying language operations. Offering native language support is proven to increase NPS and reduce agent handle time, it is a win-win for everyone!

The bottom line: companies risk losing $1.6 trillion yearly due to poor customer service. Do not be a part of that statistic. Consider the use of digital channels to introduce greater flexibility into your customer service operations strategy. This flexibility allows you to quickly offer multilingual support resulting in a remarkable customer experience, increased operational efficiency, and business growth.


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