Call centre outsourcing vs using translation services

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The world is full of languages, and so is your customer base. So, you need to offer multilingual support — a feat that’s often easier said than done. There are only a few ways to add the multilingual feather to your service cap.

Two such methods are call centre outsourcing and real-time translation services. (Such as live chat translation, for instance.) Each comes with its own benefits and shortfalls. But which is the better choice for you?

Language capacity

Live chat translation offers a much wider language scope than call centre outsourcing. It lets any agent support customers in over 100 different languages.  There is a small setback: the accuracy of live chat translation relies on the accuracy of translation technology. It’s still pretty accurate, but it may not be as reliable as a human.

Call centre outsourcing is unlikely to enable the same language scope as chat translation. Rather, only a few select languages are on offer. So, the more languages you need to support, the less viable call centre outsourcing becomes. But, for those few languages, your multilingual service will come from human knowledge. This means that its accuracy stands to be more reliable.

Language peripherals

Language is more than the words we speak. It’s also the tone, emotion and cultural understanding behind them.

With call centre outsourcing, agents have up-to-date, expert training in customer service. They can pick up on tonal cues, and they’re more likely to have cultural sensitivity knowledge. This can be an important factor in multilingual support.

With live chat software, agents may not be able to pick up on tone as easily. However, a real-time chat mood indicator makes this issue moot. It allows your team to see the sentiment behind the messages, no matter the language.

Quality of service

The quality of your multilingual service also needs consideration. With call centre outsourcing, you have less control over the service quality provided. You can’t watch the agents and have less sway over the protocols and guidelines the agents follow. So, it’s harder to ensure high-quality support.

With live chat translation, on the other hand, you’re in control. You can track your agents with a real-time overview of their activity. So, you can ensure service quality. You also get a full view of customer satisfaction after the fact, with sentiment analysis reports.

Agent focus

With call centre outsourcing, agent focus may be divided between your customers and other businesses. They’ll also have less intimate knowledge of your product and company brand. As a result, your customer service quality may suffer. Advice may be less helpful than an agent that knows your products and policies inside out.

Using live chat translation, meanwhile, also means using your own in-house agents. This means your representatives’ focus is on your customers and your business alone. They’re also more familiar with your brand and your products. So, you offer a higher level of knowledge to customers.

Channel restrictions

Then, there’s the flexibility of channels. Call centre outsourcing can mean fewer channel restrictions for your translations.  In theory, an outsourced call centre could allow your foreign language customers to connect via any channel they choose. (Provided, that is, that you and the third-party offer it.)

With translation technology, however, there’s less channel flexibility. Your team are subject to channel restrictions when it comes to multilingual support. They can only offer multilingual support via the supported channel.

Making a choice

Choosing between call centre outsourcing and live chat translation is akin to striking the balance between technological ability and human insight. The right choice for you varies on your needs and current customer service set up. 

If you think live chat translation could be the right choice for your needs, why not give it a try? Just request a translation account when you sign up for a 30-day free trial of WhosOn.

Useful links

You need to offer multilingual customer support. Here’s why.

The bilingual agent vs live chat translation

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