Key translation statistics to consider in your customer service strategy

Multilingual customer support is a key competitive battleground for contact centres. No matter how great the agents, quick the service, and fancy the technology – contact centres remain inaccessible if they can only speak English. Translation, then, is a key priority in customer support. Without translation services, your contact centre is cut off from millions of people. This exclusivity is damaging for your sales as well as your reputation. The need for multilingual support is backed by numbers. So, to shine a light on its value, here are 10 translation statistics you need to consider in your customer service strategy.
1. 86% of contact centres receive non-English calls
The vast majority of contact centres receive enquiries in languages other than English. Few are able to handle those enquiries effectively. This leads to service bottlenecks, with delays, confusion, and crossed wires.

2. 10% of the population has a primary language other than English
Your customers don’t all have English as their first language. For them, the customer experience can feel exclusory. Cutting customers off from support is not only poor from an accessibility perspective, but damaging to your bottom line to boot.  
3. Close to 25% of the economy is based on exports, with after-sales support increasing in importance
Your products and services may sell globally, but does your after-sales support reflect that? If you’re trading overseas, you need to be able to help those overseas customers. This means, as a minimum, supporting multilingual translations.  
4. 72% of consumers are more likely to buy with help/information in their own language
It’s a no-brainer: we’re all less inclined to buy if services or information are unintelligible to us. Information or help presented in another language is jarring. So, in order to feel catered to (and thus want to buy), customers need to be included in terms of language.  

5. 69% of contact centre leaders believe their non-English contact volume will increase over the next five years
Language differences aren’t going anywhere. In fact, as companies scale and as globalisation gains pace, they are likely to present an increasing problem to contact centres. Becoming multi-lingual as early as possible puts you in a great competitive stead – both now and in the future.

6. Over 40% of UK contact centres already support languages other than English
Multilingual support is fast emerging as a key differentiating factor. So, leading contact centres are already reacting. If customers can get support in their own language from a competitor, but not from you, who do you think they’ll be more inclined to use?  
7. 58% of contact centre leaders say translation increases loyalty to the brand
This links to the next of the translation statistics: customers are more loyal when you can speak their language. It’s clear to see why. They feel better supported, better considered, and simply better compatible with your company.

8. 66% of call centre agents become frustrated with language barriers
Communication problems aren’t only stressful for your customers. Your agents, too, suffer when language barriers get in the way of their job. Without a shared first language, trying to communicate with someone is an uphill struggle full of blockers and frustration.

9. 62% of agents are concerned about information being misinterpreted when a bilingual agent or interpreter is not available
Misunderstanding can abound at the best of times in contact centre conversations. But when language differences arise, mix-ups intensify. When your job depends on giving customers accurate and helpful information, this is a major cause for concern.  
10. More than 1/3 of centre leaders cite bilingual recruiting difficulties as a barrier to multilingual support
Multilingual customer service agents are far from ten a penny. Plus, they can be expensive to recruit – particularly in the volumes needed. Businesses can, and should, consider technological support to alleviate these resource challenges.

Looking beyond the translation statistics
These translation statistics are useful. But by themselves, they don’t add value to your business. Only acting on them can do that. So, how can you do that? One way is through real-time live chat translation, like that offered via WhosOn. WhosOn supports the instant, two-way translation of live chat conversations in over 100 languages. This gives you vast multi-lingual scope, without the hefty price tag of interpreters and translators. Customers can type their message in their own native tongue, and agents can type back in theirs. WhosOn translates the messages back and forth in real-time, creating a fluid conversation for both parties.  

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To benefit from the many upshots of multilingual customer support, start your free trial of WhosOn today: Or, to read more about WhosOn real-time live chat translation, click here:

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