Knowledgeable customer service reps have always been the cornerstone of the first call resolution call center metric. If your reps can answer questions quickly and accurately without leaving a customer dangling or having to call back, you’re golden. A lot of call centers excel at this but the world is changing, you’ve got to go a step further.
Your Customers Don’t Always Speak English
The two major types of call centers are sales centers and customer service centers (usually with a soft sell component). First call resolution is critical in both centers. Because of immigration and adherence to language laws, call centers are typically serving customers that speak a variety of languages. In order to achieve an amazing first call resolution rate, you’ll need an interpreting service backing your call center. I’ll explain how this would work in two styles of call centers.
Sales Centers and First Call Resolutions
The objective in a sales call center is, quite obviously, to make sales. In this context, a first call resolution is making a sale on first contact with the consumer.
You have customers (I assume) that want to speak in their own language. They must, if they think that is more important than price. In order to resolve the call on the first instance, you’re going to have to speak their language, explain things in terms they understand, and reply to all of their objections…and you have to do this before they can rationalize not using your service.
In “sales” call centers that deal primarily with Anglophone populations (if there are any left), you would only need to employ English speaking customer service representatives. Since we know that it is unlikely you serve only English speaking consumers and I also know you want a stellar first call resolution rate (why else would you be reading this article?), you would need to deploy a telephone interpreting backend to your call center.
Here is how this would go:
John, a customer service representative at your call center, places his call to the phone number that has been pulled out of the customer database for him. He dials the phone cautiously while trying several different pronunciations of his potential customer’s last name. A man picks up the phone. John stumbles through the customer’s last name only to find out his pronunciation was way off. After a few exchanges, John realizes that unless he gets an interpreter on the phone, this sale will be lost.
John asks the customer to hold for a moment so he can dial in an interpreter. After dialing the 1-800 number, he is connected to an operator who helps him diagnosis which language he needs. He is then transferred to an interpreter.
The exchange goes much smoother from herein out. John makes the sale on first contact, becomes top sales person in the company and is sent on a Hawaiian vacation (note: I added this last part for effect. Vacation destinations may vary from company to company).
Service Centers and First Call Resolutions
Service call centers are a bit different than sales call centers (think over-the-phone banking, CAA or AAA). They are usually inbound, people that call are usually already customers, and a first call resolution isn’t a sale but a solved issue.
I’ll tell yeah, easy issues become major problems when the lines of communication are blurred by an inability to overcome a language barrier. Your customer service rep’s responses may not be exactly what the customer was asking for which will likely result in that customer calling back again to have the same issue resolved (hopefully once and for all).
Of course, this could be avoided if your call center has an interpreting company on the backend. For a first call resolution, as soon as the customer service rep finds that communication is hampered by a language barrier, an interpreter can be brought on to clarify the customer issue and respond with the best possible advice (as dictated by the customer service rep). That’s how you get a first call resolution.
-Both sales and service call centers should deploy an interpreting company on their backend
-This will help raise your first call resolution rate as well as sky-rocket customer satisfaction scores
-Using the interpreting backend is as simple as conference calling your language service provider at a dedicated 1-800 number, requesting the language you need, and then speak to your customer through the interpreter.
Able Translations’ telephone interpretation service can be your call center’s multilingual backend. We will set up your account, hook you with the 1-800 and aid you in training your staff to use the system. We do this for free. No set up fees, no monthly minimums, and low rates. Sign up by calling us at 1-800-840-2253.
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