The Advantages of a Bilingual Answering Service

Image of a Signius call center agent providing bilingual answering service

Partnering with a bilingual answering service has benefits that go beyond the ability to expand your market and effectively communicate with more customers.

If you are debating the advantages of choosing a bilingual answering service or adding internal staff, there is a wealth of information to help you make the one decision that can grow your business through expanded reach and improved customer service.

Start your evaluation by taking steps to know your market, in depth. Massive demographic shifts have taken place all across the country, and their impact is not always immediately visible. At the same time, many businesses are comfortable assuming that their past customer base is stable and will never change.

If you hope to target potential customers in the global marketplace, you need staff to be able to receive calls and reply to emails around the clock, so that international customers can do business on their terms, in their time frame, and in their own language.

Wiser, more competitive businesses understand that nothing stays the same for long. Once you recognize the cultural and language diversity among current and potential customers, clients, or patients, you’ll want to explore the options for providing a smooth, welcoming business answering service to all of them.

Why Does Your Business Need a Bilingual Answering Service?

Turn to the most recent U.S. Census data for the most direct answer to this question. Some metropolitan areas of the U.S. have over 40% Spanish-speaking households. Growth in the Spanish-speaking population is projected to continue, reaching about 39 to 43 million by 2020.

In fact, Spanish is the number one language other than English spoken in U.S. homes by non-Hispanics. Broadcasting statistics show that Spanish language TV networks bested all others in viewership for the major adult demographics. Maybe you expect American-born Hispanics to lose the use of Spanish language over time, as has happened with languages of earlier immigrant generations. According to a Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project report, 95% of all Hispanic adults surveyed state that it is important for coming generations to continue speaking Spanish. Convinced?

Perhaps you’re still evaluating the need for a bilingual answering service. Here are some benefits of improving your customer service capabilities with all customers, and reaching a new, untapped market by leaping over language barriers.

Staffing and Hiring Problems Solved

Businesses of all sizes undergo change, often leading to the need for hiring and training new staff. Given the demands of doing business globally, you would be hard-pressed to staff up with enough well-trained agents to operate effectively, accepting inbound calls 24/7/365, and in multiple languages. Added staffing at nights and on weekends means overtime costs, a surefire way to blow through your carefully planned budget.

A multilingual telephone answering service can be your outsourced solution to quickly adding—or decreasing—staff as needed. You work on many fronts to grow a business, but fast growth can leave the enterprise struggling to provide excellent customer service to those hard-won new customers.

Rely on the right bilingual call center to focus on carefully screening native, fluent Spanish-speakers and training them to reflect cultural sensitivity and professional courtesy. Have confidence in a faster response time and getting customer requests handled efficiently, all without added investment in newer technology, or costly hiring, training, and ongoing supervision of new staff.

Outsourcing for specialized functions, like bilingual answering services, leaves core staff free to focus on essential business activities, and leaves more budget available to further develop the core capabilities.

Client Services Expanded

The right bilingual call center instantly expands your ability to serve customers, with bilingual support for more branches of service, like customer relationship management, dealer locator or technical and help desk functions. A live, Spanish-English customer care call center provides professional hotline coverage, IT support, and even order-taking and payment processing options.

Amp up your web presence and marketing or donor campaign results significantly with a direct response call center service. Achieve prompt response to all calls, orders, and questions.

Businesses should be prepared to cope with disasters and unanticipated emergencies. A disaster backup call center plan, put into place before a problem occurs, can help you recover from the situation faster. Your calls or emails are redirected to the bilingual call center, either in your area or in another state, to keep your business operating seamlessly.

Medical answering services demand a highly specialized level of call response and training to accommodate medical needs. Overflow calls can suddenly back up, just as the doctor’s waiting room does. Healthcare professionals are anxious to assure that all their patients’ needs are met. Serving a bilingual or multilingual population becomes especially challenging in the medical setting, when someone’s health—or life—may be at stake.

Conveying accurate messages and receiving calls with the proper, caring tone depend on choosing the right bilingual answering service provider. Your call center should have staff who understand the particular sensitivities of each language, and know how to appropriately discuss medical information with a caller. Make sure that your service is HIPAA-compliant, meaning that all agents are HIPAA trained and they follow procedures to keep your organization free of potential penalties. Ask about adding services for appointment reminder calls, and extending your hours of appointment scheduling.

Bilingual answering services can include paging to on-call personnel, SMS texting, or call patching warm-transfers, voicemail, and email to cover all your routine communication requirements.

Maintain Quality Control

Many functions, such as help desk services, will need in-house contacts in case of difficulty solving higher-level problems. Ensure the best results when outsourcing by dedicating one or more in-house staffers, as needed, to actively participate in scripting, training, and oversight, as well as review of results data. Customized scripts are a key tool in achieving seamless integration of bilingual call center staff, so that outsourced agents answers calls just as your own staff would.

Once you have a call center service in place, look into adding more features to take some routine tasks off your in-house staff, freeing them up to be more productive on essential functions, or to develop new capabilities. Meanwhile, your call center will be on the job, maintaining and even growing your customer base in an ever-expanding marketplace.

For more information about our bilingual answering and call center services, contact us today.

Sources:

Hispanic Americans by the Numbers. U.S. Census Bureau, Info Please, Sept. 12, 2013.

Record-setting gains for Spanish language radio. Inside Radio.  April 3, 2014.

What is the future of Spanish in the United States? By Mark Hugo Lopez and Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, Pew Research Center, FactTank, Sept. 5, 2013.

More articles you might be interested in:

The Benefits of Having Bilingual Receptionists

5 Top Reasons to Outsource to a Call Center

Infographic – The Importance of Answering Services