Despite some recent backfires on globalisation, reaching out to international customers continues to bring great opportunities for businesses to grow. The advancement in online service technology also makes serving foreign customers much easier. This blog will offer everything you need to know to ensure high-quality customer service as you expand globally.
According to a survey by Intercom, while 88% of support teams offer customer support in more than one language, just 28% of end users say they actually see support offered in their native language. Hence, there is a huge opportunity to differentiate yourself by providing multilingual customer service, especially in underserved languages. If your business is planning to operate in foreign markets, well-rounded multilingual customer service will be for your success, because it ensures:
A survey conducted by CSA Research suggested that on average, 40% of customers will not buy products or services with customer support in other languages. Hence, it is necessary to build expertise and capability in multilingual customer service if you want to take full advantage of growth opportunities in lucrative foreign markets. Without multilingual customer service, it will be extremely difficult for you to stand out from competitors.
Offering customer service in the native languages of customers will immediately make them feel respected and valued. 62% of customers are more likely to tolerate problems with products if they can interact with support in their native languages. Multilingual customer service ensures smooth and efficient interactions with customers. They will be encouraged to engage more with the business. The feedback from more interactions will then form the virtuous cycle of continuously improving customer satisfaction.
Speaking with customers in their native languages creates a cultural connection that can make them feel welcome and more ‘at home’ with your brand. With multilingual customer service, miscommunication will be less likely to happen. This makes your business appear more professional and trustworthy. The more confident customers use your product or service, the more likely they are to build long-term customer loyalty. As customers feel more assured of using your products and services, they are more likely to develop long-term customer loyalty. 70% of end users say they feel more loyal to companies that provide support in their native language.
More than 80% of customers claim to have tried searching online or refer to a knowledge base before reaching out to the support team. This means your customers’ experience with self-service will affect their first impression of your customer service which matters a lot if you aim to develop long-term relationships with the customers.
Offering multilingual self-service will play an important role in solving more basic concerns of all customers, enhancing the efficiency of customer service. Outside of standard business working hours, when your customer service team is not available for answering calls or chats, self-service allows customers to find answers easily for common but urgent queries. Language should not be a barrier at this very first stage of customer service.
According to a report by ICMI, 74% of consumers are more likely to repurchase a product if after-sales care is offered in their language. Making your live chat accessible in as many languages as possible will be one of the most direct and effective ways in improving your multilingual customer service.
Multilingual chatbots like Algomo help you to expand your outreach by providing online customer service in up to 109 languages. The integration of machine learning allows the chatbot to collect feedback and analytics which are then used to constantly improve the accuracy and relevance of the automated replies.
However, it is inevitable that under certain circumstances live chat will require the involvement of human agents. Hence, your customer service team should be equipped with translation tools that allow them to transit seamlessly from the multilingual chatbot.
Localisation of your customer service goes beyond simply translating the user guide of your products and services or being able to communicate with customers in their native languages.
To provide personalized customer service, you should first have a thorough study of the demographic features of your customers in various regions, such as cultural practices, income levels and lifestyles. These features drive customer spending behaviour and allow you to shape expectations around the common types of concerns and questions customers have in various markets.
Next, you start to work on differentiating customer service. You should adapt the customer service channels by using platforms that are most commonly used in different countries. For example, in mainland China, almost every business uses Wechat for their customer service whereas in India most businesses use email.
There are also opportunities for localisation in your FAQs. Customers in different countries have different consumption patterns. Thus, their common queries will vary from country to country depending on the products or services that are most popular there. Your FAQs should allow every customer to find answers to simple issues easily.
In general, you should definitely localize your customer service in terms of languages and the type of information you are ready to provide. To set your business apart from competitors in foreign markets, it is always a good idea to start with a plan on how to ensure excellent multilingual customer service.