Contributed by: Tom Tseki, Vice President & General Manager, GeoFluent & Customer Care Solutions, Lionbridge
The modern consumer is now more influential than ever. Empowered by newfound digital technologies, consumers are now able to dictate how and when they interact with financial services organisations. Additionally, they come with increasingly high expectations of a great experience whenever, wherever, and however they engage.
In line with these evolving consumer demands, we are now seeing a global trend of brands proritising providing a great customer experience (CX). Gartner predicts that 89% of companies will compete mostly on the basis of customer experience – this figure was 36% in 2010.
As a result, banks, insurance companies and other industries alike are pouring significant resources into developing omni-channel capabilities that cover a broad spectrum of channels while providing a low effort engagement. This is the preferred model for today’s connected consumer as it provides them with a choice, and ultimately the flexibility and efficiency that they desire. Yet for organisations with global ambitions, that are looking to provide a seamless and consistent CX across borders and time zones, language must also be at the forefront of the design.
Naturally, consumers will always favour using their preferred language in all aspects of their daily lives. A brand’s customer engagement platform may well address every want and need of the consumer, but if it doesn’t enable these interactions to take place using their desired language, then all that is being achieved is a high-effort, poor customer experience. Ultimately, brands that speak to customers in their preferred language will find themselves at a significant advantage.
Below are three consumer trends that are fueling the growing importance of an omni-lingual service model:
- The demand for self-service. Voice only interactions are now regarded as a less preferred means for consumers to utilise. They are resourceful enough to identify the answers that they are looking for themselves. Subsequently, they more often turn to self-service channels such as websites, forums, FAQ’s, virtual assistants and chatbots vs voice. Yet language is a potential barrier to the success of these channels due to their nature. It is therefore crucial that self-service options are available across languages, so that customers can easily locate and decipher the answers they are looking for.
- Real-time expectations. Time is a priceless commodity, and because of that consumers require a level of engagement that is instantaneous, and is available whenever they may require it. From the customer’s perspective, the ideal online CX is one that provides them with their answers with as little effort and as quick as possible, therefore brands that can communicate across channels in real-time 24/7, are held in higher regard. This factor of time heightens the value of deploying areal-time translation and interpretation solution that can instantly eliminate language barriers.
- A global market. From a broader perspective, globalisation has made markets far more accessible for brands, whilst also diversifying the ones that their previous successes have been built upon. As a result of this, all brands must plan to provide multilingual support to their customers.
Multilingual support across the omni-channel is the standard that brands should be setting in order to meet the evolving CX demands of the digital consumer. Given the emergence of new and evolving communications channels, traditional language strategies no longer suffice. With brands now able to equip themselves with newly developed language solutions that operate in real-time across all channels, there is little excuse for brands to not support their global customers in their preferred language.
Multilingual omni-channel support enables more effective interactions and heightens the CX on a global basis. Both parties are able to benefit from such communications, as consumers have a platform through which they can reveal their desires, and brands are then able to listen to such demands and develop the customer journey accordingly. Having the capability to ensure that this occurs across markets, via a globally consistent CX platform, is essential for brands in today’s highly competitive market.
With disruptive new players continually entering the marketplace, and with brand loyalty a diminishing factor, customer experience is proving to be the ultimate differentiator. If these expectations are not realised, then the consumer will simply turn to a competitor that places a greater emphasis on multilingual customer care.
Supporting the language preferences of consumers across all channels should be viewed by brands as a priority to ensure that they attract and retain customers. By investing in this level of CX, brands will see themselves differentiate from competitors, leaving them in the best possible position to progress and adapt.
*As seen in Issue 10