Today we live in a world of technology. We make purchases online, pay for them using a smartphone and pick them up by mail or by courier. Everything can be done using computer technology: completing university courses, chatting with friends from around the world. Most things can be ordered online. But is it that simple? Yes, you can see the product on the website, read the characteristics, take measurements. But it is likely that you will still have some questions. And a multilingual call center specialist can answer them.
In a world where e-commerce has grown by 20.7% over the past year, the importance of a call center is only increasing. It is the call center that helps the customer sort out questions about the products’ details, delivery, terms of return or exchange. Every day, millions of people call multilingual customer support to clarify their requests or solve problems with the product. And everyone wants to be heard and understood.
What Is the Job of Multilingual Customer Service?
The list of services may include answers to standard customer questions, as well as questionnaires, a survey of the potential customer base, cold calls to offer new services or inform about promotions. It all depends on the tasks that the company sets for itself and for the contact center.
For example, a company provides debt collecting services. In this case, the contact center will not only be dealing with the processing of incoming and outgoing calls. Its responsibilities will include working with a database of debtors, setting up schedules for repeat calls, status processing, transferring complex cases to another department.
The contact center of an online store has different functionality. Usually, customers are interested in getting information about an order or product. Buyers call to clarify the price, availability, measurements, terms of delivery and payment. Often, a customer needs help with choosing a product. Standard templates will not work here. The agent needs to know the vendor’s products with all their properties and features, to be able to advise options taking into account the individual needs of the client. This is a very different segment of the market.
But today, in the context of globalization, there are more and more new opportunities for a contact center. Large trading companies are actively embracing a new trend: communicating with global customers in their language. This is how multilingual support came to be.
What Is a Multilingual Call Center?
This is an entire department that receives and processes calls. This is the face and voice of the company. It is no secret that both the image of the company and its income can depend on how the call is received and how well the specialist will answer customer requests. If the business is international or associated with global sales, then multilingual call center services must be consistent. Interestingly, the contact center market is only growing. Experts say that in the coming years, the market for outsourcing contact centers will be developing steadily with an annual increase of about 13%.
Which Companies Need a Multilingual Call Center?
A support service that speaks several languages is a necessity for online stores, large IT corporations, electronics manufacturers, airlines that offer international flights, delivery services, as well as outsourcing businesses.
Customers of such companies are constantly interested in information about the product itself or about the status of their order. Often questions arise about the delivery time, payment method, technical specifications, promotional offers, discount opportunities. A good call center is always ready to answer all these questions in the preferred language of the client. It is much easier to resolve a controversial situation when you understand the client well. After all, understanding the client’s request is the main task of any contact center.
How to Start the Launch of a Multilingual Contact Center
There are actually two ways to launch your multilingual call center. The first one is to do everything on your own, which is a rather long and laborious way, and the second way is to outsource.
Let's consider the first option in more detail. First of all, your company needs to determine the goals that you set for the call center and the results it needs to achieve daily and on a long-term scale. If all the above points have already been taken into account, you can proceed to more specific tasks for building a high-quality contact center.
- Place. You need a spacious room where you will place an open-space office or put up special walls for sound insulation. You will also need to connect phone lines and electrical equipment.
- Freephone number. It is best if it’s short and easy to remember. This is the number that your customers will be calling, so take the time to ensure a good connection. To work with global customers, you certainly need an international line capable of withstanding a load of calls from different countries.
- Special software. These are programs designed to receive and make calls, as well as collect statistical data, record conversations and evaluate staff performance.
- Equipped workplaces. Your employees should feel comfortable in order to serve the client efficiently and quickly navigate the office space. An employee often needs to quickly find some technical data, or clarify something with colleagues or management during a conversation.
- Qualified staff. This is one of the most difficult tasks when launching a call center. Since a call center agent is the face of the company, the first person your client is introduced to, you need to approach this issue very responsibly.
You will also need to account for regular maintenance so that one program crashing or freezing does not halt the call center’s work.
A separate critical point that needs to be considered in detail is working with the personnel. First of all, the selection of specialists. To work with global clients, you need more than just qualified people. You need people who can grasp the essence of the matter, and all this in different languages. You will have to look for experienced professionals who know how to communicate with the client correctly and speak one or several foreign languages fluently
However, working with personnel is not limited to search and selection. It is also a whole range of tasks designed to track individual productivity. And in the case of a multilingual contact center, the issue of staff training deserves special attention. In addition to the usual courses on customer service, you need to organize language courses.
Technical maintenance requires special attention. Most companies today prefer to work with calls over an IP network rather than using outdated telephony. This option is not only cheaper, but also scales well in the long run.
There is also an option running on the CTI platform (Computer Telephony Integration). This is another type of computer telephony. It works on the basis of Interactive Voice Response. This platform can create special applications that will implement the tasks of the contact center.
Thus, the technology of making calls needs to be studied at the earliest stages of planning a call center. You need to consider the development perspective and the functions that your technical base should have.
So how do you launch a multilingual contact center without a specific algorithm of actions? When you have an office, equipment and excellent specialists, what’s left is to organize the process. You will need to collect an information base for call center employees. Access to this information should be provided to all team members in such a format that the search for the necessary data takes as little time as possible. It is very important to carefully compose conversation scripts. And do not forget about emergency situations, which also need to have a separate action plan and script. A detailed guide to action in any given situation, both for a contact center agent and for managers, will be a great advantage in further work.
How to Organize a Call Center with the Help of Multilingual Call Center Companies?
As we can see, building a contact center from scratch is not an easy task. It requires serious preparation, as well as organizational and financial investments. And, as we discussed earlier, not every company is ready for such expenses. That's why we need to discuss the second option for launching a call center: outsourcing.
Outsourcing is the process of transferring certain functions of a company to a third-party organization in order to optimize the business. We know that any project is implemented much better if the implementation mechanism is already well developed. Therefore, the experience and well-honed skills of a specialized multilingual call center company are very useful for large corporations. This also applies to multilingual contact centers.
Multilingual call center outsourcing can take on almost all stages of the unit's implementation. Such a service is paid at an established rate. Most often, this rate is measured in minutes of conversation with the operator. That is, the payment depends on the number of calls. This is quite a beneficial option.
Multilingual call center companies typically provide a wide range of services. This may include working with incoming and outgoing calls, consulting clients on certain issues, a virtual assistant, maintaining a customer database, telephone sales, order accounting, telemarketing, surveys and questionnaires. You can also order a hotline service. This service is implemented through an uninterrupted connection of the client with the operator.
An outsourcing company assumes most of the risks, as well as all the responsibilities for the selection and training of personnel. This is very convenient if you have an offshore business and need to constantly engage in linguistic support of staff. Together with the call center managers, you develop a program that the agents will learn before starting work. This program includes a list of customer activities, conversation scripts, as well as an action plan in the event of a non-standard request.
An outsourced call center has a number of undeniable advantages. This includes both low cost and quick organization of all technical processes. A lot depends on the company that provides outsourcing services, but it is likely that such cooperation will simplify many accounting processes as well.
More precisely, the profitability can be calculated using the following factors:
- Type of calls (duration, post-processing, average waiting time).
- The salary of a multilingual contact center agent.
- The average number of planned calls per agent.
- The number of calls per hour.
- The number of agents required to process calls.
- The number of managers who organize the work of the call center.
- Taxes related to contact center management.
- Rental of premises and repair work.
- The cost of special software.
- The cost of special technical equipment.
- The cost of provider services.
- The work of the specialist responsible for the maintenance of the site.
Most of these expenses can be avoided by outsourcing. This is a more cost-effective solution. But there are always moments when your own contact center is the best option. There are too many factors that influence this decision. Therefore, you should spend some time on calculations and estimations. Discuss in detail all the pros and cons with the partner company.
Organizing a multilingual call center is not an easy task, it requires an integrated approach. Solving it can take a lot of time, effort and resources. If the effort can cost the company too much, you may want to consider buying a ready package of services. Such services are provided by multilingual call center outsourcing companies that have been organizing the work of such centers for years and have vast experience in this field. As with any major project, the organization of a call center should be well-reasoned and the costs of this process should be justified. Needless to say, a lot depends on the right approach to customer service. After all, the contact center agent will be the first representative of your company your client's faces.