Language Without Borders: The Impact of Multilingual Support in Customer Service

April 30, 2024

With the help of digital technology, today’s businesses stretch across country boundaries, meaning your next customer could come from just about anywhere. And this possibility can present your business with a multitude of challenges. One of the most significant among these is language barriers. In this blog, we explore the importance of multilingual support in customer service and how it can help you overcome these barriers while creating a satisfied, loyal customer base.

Multilingual customer service

The Customer Experience: Navigating Through Language

Imagine the typical journey of a customer seeking support. They’re likely already somewhat frustrated; perhaps a product didn’t work as expected, or a service fell short of their expectations. Now, compound that frustration with a language barrier. The result? – A customer experience that leaves much to be desired. These situations are where multilingual support in customer service comes into its own.

Why Multilingual Matters in Customer Service

Firstly, offering support in multiple languages can dramatically improve customer satisfaction. It’s about respect—acknowledging the diverse linguistic backgrounds of your customers and valuing their comfort. When customers interact in their native language, they are more at ease, can express their concerns more clearly, and are more likely to feel understood. On the other hand, you risk your customers looking elsewhere if this option is not provided. Research by Intercom revealed that 29% of businesses say they’ve lost customers because they don’t offer multilingual support.

Secondly, multilingual support in customer service can significantly enhance customer retention. Consider this: a customer who feels respected and valued is far more likely to return. Intercom’s research backs up this concept, with 70% of the end users surveyed saying they feel more loyal to companies that provide support in their native language. Moreover, loyal customers are more likely to spread the word within their own communities, serving as grassroots ambassadors for your brand.

Additionally, embedding multilingual capabilities into your customer service strategy can sharpen your competitive edge. In a market where many players might still be pondering the leap to multilingual support in customer service, being ahead can make your business stand out as a customer-centric leader.

Global customer service

Implementing Multilingual Support in Customer Service

So, how can you implement an effective multilingual support system in customer service? The first step is to understand your customer base thoroughly. Which languages do they speak and where are they based? Data analytics plays a crucial role here, helping you prioritise your resources to meet actual needs. By identifying your customers’ most commonly used languages, you can tailor your translation and support services to be as impactful as possible.

Once you have this insight, sourcing high-quality, reliable translation services is the next critical step. By collaborating with native, sector-specialist interpreters and translators, your business can create seamless bridges between languages.

While automated solutions like multilingual chatbots are a practical first point of contact for straightforward queries, live remote interpreting services offer personalised support for more complex queries, ensuring that no customer query goes unanswered due to language barriers. Supplementing automated technology with human interaction elevates the customer experience. Therefore, building a team of diverse, multilingual team members and partners will enrich communication, offering not just translations but a deeper cultural empathy that can significantly resonate with your customers.

Technology in multilingual customer service

Challenges and Considerations of Multilingual Support in Customer Service

Adopting a multilingual approach isn’t without its challenges. It requires investment in skilled personnel and possibly advanced digital and AI tools.

Training is crucial, especially if working with an in-house team. However, if you outsource your multilingual requirement to a professional translation partner, you can rely on their translators being fully trained and experienced, not just in language and cultural understanding but also in the sector in which your business operates.

Furthermore, consistency is essential. Your service quality must remain high across all languages. This requirement means regular quality checks and feedback loops to ensure your team and external partners continue to perform at a high level that nurtures your customer relationships.

customer service

The Bottom Line

Incorporating multilingual support in customer service is more than just an upgrade; it’s a strategic enhancement to your business model. It breaks down barriers, builds lasting relationships, and broadcasts a powerful message: your business respects and values every customer’s voice, no matter what language they speak.

As we move towards a more globally connected world, the question isn’t whether you can afford to invest in multilingual customer service. The question is, can you afford not to?

Discover how Mission Translate can elevate your customer service with high-quality translation solutions; contact our team to learn more about our multilingual support options.

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