Modern brands cannot afford to sit idle with their present customers. If their products or services are doing well among a certain population, then they have to tread towards other markets. The problem for most brands is that US has a large population of non-English speakers too. They might not be completely ignorant about English, but find the language bit difficult to tackle. This means they are facing a problem and would move to another brand that takes time in understanding their worries or communicating in a language they are comfortable with. This is why the brands need to focus on providing technical support in a language of preference of customers. In the last few years multilingual support has found lot of takers among the leading business brands. But starting off and running a multilingual customer support is not as simple as it was thought of before.
One of the biggest errors made prior to running a multilingual process is that the actual managers or team leaders are kept to the sidelines. Call centers are focused on implementing the right translators and other tools that will help the agents get on with their job. Strategies are chalked in terms of the project scopes and technology. Customer support is given only an afterthought. Once everything is ready and the project goes live, it is the agents and their managers who are thrown at the forefront. And they have no idea of what is going around, because:
- The team finds that the plan for multilingual customer support is not realistic and woefully wrong.
- The leader of the process is a person who had spoken little Spanish as a kid, and now has forgotten all of the language.
- However, it is a team game so the team gets on with speedily translating articles in the support language/s.
- At such a great pace, the team members are copying and pasting all the help article translations. There is no one to check for the accuracy in formatting and translations.
It is important to limit these mistakes, if success of the process is craved for. Forbes too agrees that high quality and consistent multilingual customer support is an essential for brands looking to venture into new ethnic markets. It is a very difficult skill and the agents need all the support they can get. So, some of the steps call centers have to take before launching their multilingual support process are mentioned below:
Choose the CRM after deliberation
Large brands use the CRM (Client Relationship Management) software to author and publish their various articles, queue various support emails and appropriately respond to support chats. The CRM has helped you streamline the work process over the years, but this does not mean it will be equally good for multilingual customer support. There is CRM software that is awesome for a single language support. Before using the same CRM you have to ask:
- What are features in the software for retrieval and storage of articles translated into language?
- Are there close associations between the source article and the translated one?
- Does the software have any versioning system?
- Is there are separate language interface for each language?
- Is the software able to decipher the customer language and then search for articles related to the language?
- Are there any features whereby the call can be queued and sent to the agent with language proficiency?
The answers to these questions will dictate whether you continue using the present CRM or purchase a new one. Some companies refrain from purchasing a new CRM (though there is need of it) in fear of transitioning all the present information into a new system. But, just think how much hassle it would be if you have to start the transition after a few months into the 5 or 10 new language processes? It is a huge task. So, take the call now.
CRM Content Solution should be Chosen by the Actual End Users
Companies are run by product development and marketing so these two teams are always very influential within any organization. The product and marketing teams generally use certain translators for their product literature translations. Often the support centers have to use this same software for their processes. The management should understand that translations in both these important tasks are different in nature. The complexity of translations for a live agent is lot higher. So, the scopes of the project should be summarized and likewise the agents should be given a trial run with the existing software. They should have the end say over the choice of CRM content solution. To understand whether your Multilingual Translator is capable of transforming your entire Knowledge Base, ask yourself the following questions:
- When the entire Knowledge Base is exported for translation, is the content preserved in perfect HTML format?
- There has to be an easy process for the content authors to request certain translations and updates which will make the articles updated, does the export process simplify this process?
- Run the HTML files that were exported through the translation memory, are you being charged for parts that had been translated before?
- Is there any process to automate the process of rewriting the links to point towards articles, videos and images in right language?
- Does the CRM have a rapid turnaround time for all translation requests which is a priority in the multilingual support process?
Though the development and marketing teams might strongly oppose the utilization of a new multilingual CRM, but it might be the need of the hour. Use of glossaries and portable translation memory is a common occurrence in organizations. It will allow blending of data from different CRMs into one place.
Make sure you take into account the above factors before starting off a multilingual customer support process.