A global map with multilingual call center agents connected to various countries, each speaking different languages.

Multilingual Call Center: Everything You Need to Know

With the emerging globalization, more and more businesses, both big and small, are now operating in multiple countries across the globe. But no matter how far we’ve progressed with technologies that enable businesses to operate internationally, language barriers still persist, standing in the way of efficient customer communication. This is where multilingual call centers come in.

Drawing on our 15 years of experience in the call center industry, VoiceSpin has gained comprehensive insights into the operational and technological demands of multilingual call centers. Our deep expertise includes overcoming language barriers and optimizing customer communication.

Since we’ve already talked about how to start a call center company and how to manage remote call center agents effectively in some of the previous articles – in this blog, we will share our knowledge and practical insights on establishing and managing multilingual call centers effectively, including the benefits of offering multilingual call center services and essential technologies required for running a successful multilingual call center. Let’s get straight to it!

What are Multilingual Call Centers?

In a multilingual call center, agents handle communications with customers or prospects in multiple languages. It allows businesses to expand operations to new markets and serve a diverse customer base by delivering efficient support regardless of the customers’ native language. Multilingual call centers either employ agents fluent in various languages in-house or completely outsource their call center operations to BPO call centers (Business Process Outsourcing) that offer multilingual contact center services.

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Benefits of Offering Multilingual Call Center Services:

1. Better CX and customer satisfaction

No matter where your customers are from, they will certainly appreciate being able to communicate with your business in their preferred language. It ensures more efficient communication and issue resolution.

A happy customer speaking in their native language to an multilingual agent.

Beyond that, since multilingual call centers often employ agents who are not only fluent in multiple languages but are also familiar with the associated cultures – it helps create a better cultural understanding and enables agents to build rapport faster and provide more personalized and empathetic support.

Here are the outcomes:

  • Better First Call Resolution (FCR) rates.
  • Improved overall customer experience.
  • Increased Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT).

2. Improved brand image and reputation

When you provide multilingual customer service, catering to the needs of your customers from different countries and cultural backgrounds, it naturally makes your business more accessible and builds a more positive perception of your brand. Customers feel more comfortable communicating in their native languages – while you demonstrate your company’s commitment to diversity, customer-centricity, and willingness to go the extra mile for your customers. Not only does it help you improve your brand image and reputation, but it can ultimately build stronger brand trust, foster positive customer-company relationships, and increase customer loyalty.

3. Broader access to new markets

Offering multilingual customer support also enables you to expand your global reach and target new markets that would otherwise be inaccessible. Imagine selling your products or offering services globally but providing customer service and support in a single language. Even if you’re able to attract global customers, failing to communicate with them effectively and deliver support in a language they understand would make it extremely challenging to retain them.

4. Increased sales and revenue

Having multilingual call center agents isn’t only beneficial from the customer service perspective. It can also help you increase sales and revenue by reaching out to your global prospects proactively and running outbound calling campaigns to generate call center leads and new sales opportunities on international markets. When your sales reps speak the same language as your prospects, it obviously increases the likelihood of converting them into customers and closing more deals successfully.

Do You Need a Multilingual Call Center?

Now that you know the benefits of running a multilingual call center and how it can help you deliver a better customer service experience and leverage new sales opportunities, how do you decide if it’s the right move for your company? If one of the following scenarios relates to your business, you might want to go multilingual with your call center operations:

  • Diverse customer base: If you have a diverse customer base with people from different countries who speak different languages, offering multilingual support would definitely give your business a competitive advantage while also ensuring greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Anticipated business expansion: If you are planning to expand your operations into different countries (e.g., non-English speaking regions), it would also make sense to hire multilingual call center agents and provide support in the languages your foreign customers speak.

How to Implement Multilingual Call Center Support

In-house multilingual support

According to the stats published by ICMI, 79% of contact centers have customers who aren’t native speakers of the primary language(s) that they serve, and 60% of those customers expect service in their native language. One of the two ways to address the needs of your international customers is to simply hire in-house agents who speak their languages.

A team of agents located in different countries, connected via a virtual multilingual call center software.

Luckily, with virtual call center software, you can hire remote call center reps from anywhere in the world and support your customers in any language they prefer.

Outsourced multilingual call center services

While hiring, training, and managing your own in-house team of multilingual call center agents might be a challenging and time-consuming process, outsourcing your operations to a BPO multilingual customer service provider might be a worthwhile alternative.

Outsourcing does come with certain drawbacks (e.g., agents might lack industry knowledge, but you won’t have any control over the hiring process). The key is to find a reliable multilingual call center service provider with expertise in your specific industry.

Read more on How to Outsource Call Center Services in our guide.

Essential and Next-gen Technologies for Running a Successful Multilingual Call Center

Multilingual IVR and call routing

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and call routing are key technologies for multilingual call centers. By setting IVR menus and call routing rules, you can route incoming callers to the appropriate departments and agents based on each caller’s language preferences. You can also set up multilingual IVR self-service menus and enable callers to get information or resolve basic issues independently without having to speak to live customer service representatives.

Tip: By incorporating AI and NLP (Natural Language Processing) technologies into IVR systems, you can route callers even more efficiently, improving your CSAT scores, reducing handle times, and increasing FCR rates.

In fact, according to McKinsey research, AI-driven IVR systems can improve customer satisfaction scores by 5%.

AI chatbots with multilingual capabilities

With AI chatbots, you can extend your support options beyond voice and empower your customers to get 24/7 self-service support without needing to speak to a live agent. Chatbots that employ various AI technologies like machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), and natural language understanding (NLU) can automatically detect the language a customer is using, switch, and respond in that language, allowing you to deliver round-the-clock multilingual support. Gartner even predicts that by 2027, chatbots will become the primary customer service channel for roughly a quarter of organizations.

Real-time speech translation

Real-time speech translation tools are next-gen solutions that can be integrated with call center platforms. These tools use Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology to detect the language spoken by callers in real time. By processing the audio input, these solutions automatically identify the spoken language, convert speech to text, translate it to the desired language, and generate a text-to-speech output at the other end of the call. The same process repeats when the receiver of the call answers. That enables the customer and the agent to interact in real time even though they both speak different languages.

AI Speech Analytics

AI speech analytics solutions can transcribe calls in real time and translate transcriptions into multiple languages. E.g., with VoiceSpin AI speech analytics software for call centers, you can transcribe and translate calls in real time and generate AI call summaries of every interaction based on your specific requirements. 

By reviewing call summaries, you can analyze customer interactions to assess agent performance, monitor how your team members adhere to compliance regulations, specific guidelines, and scripts, and identify improvement opportunities. In addition, you can track customer sentiment through sentiment analysis capabilities to better understand how your customers or prospects feel about your brand, products, or services.

Local Caller ID

Local caller ID is essential technology for multilingual call centers involved in outbound calling activities. With local caller ID, your agents can call prospects or customers across different countries using local phone numbers, increasing your call pick-up rates and improving the efficiency of your outbound calling campaigns. 

Based on a survey conducted by Software Advicepeople are nearly four times more likely to answer calls from local numbers. Using local numbers is an excellent way of making outbound calls and appearing local to your international audience whether or not you have a physical in-country presence.

Run Your Multilingual Call Center with a Reliable Call Center Software Provider

Being able to interact with your customers and prospects in their native languages can give your business a competitive edge and help you attract and retain international clients. Choosing the right call center software provider builds a solid foundation for that and enables you to run your multilingual call center operations in-house.

call center software
VoiceSpin empowers your team to:
  • Handle inbound calls effectively by routing callers to the right destination based on language preferences with IVR and custom call routing rules.
  • Use local DID numbers from 160+ countries across the globe and expand your global coverage while maintaining a local presence.
  • Run efficient outbound calling campaigns with an AI Dialer and leverage local caller ID to boost your call answer rates.
  • Support your international customers across digital communication channels, including live chat, social media, and instant messaging apps through one omnichannel messaging platform.
  • Stay on top of your call center performance and team’s efficiency with real-time and historical reporting and AI speech analytics tools.
  • Integrate your call center software with your CRM and sync call activities and customer data across the two systems, giving your reps a 360-degree customer view.

Book a demo call now to see what makes VoiceSpin one of the best platforms for running your multilingual call center.

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Share this article:

  • Multilingual Call Center: Everything You Need to Know
    1. What are Multilingual Call Centers?
    2. Benefits of Offering Multilingual Call Center Services:
    3. 1. Better CX and customer satisfaction
    4. 2. Improved brand image and reputation
    5. 3. Broader access to new markets
    6. 4. Increased sales and revenue
    7. Do You Need a Multilingual Call Center?
    8. How to Implement Multilingual Call Center Support
    9. In-house multilingual support
    10. Outsourced multilingual call center services
    11. Essential and Next-gen Technologies for Running a Successful Multilingual Call Center
    12. Multilingual IVR and call routing
    13. AI chatbots with multilingual capabilities
    14. Real-time speech translation
    15. AI Speech Analytics
    16. Local Caller ID
    17. Run Your Multilingual Call Center with a Reliable Call Center Software Provider
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