Featuring Tracy Beard, Vice President of Employee Services at Bright Horizons EdAssist
The Problem: Why Bright Horizons Needed a Multilingual Support Solution
Bright Horizons’ EdAssist program works with enterprises across the United States, some of the country’s largest blue chip organizations.
In the last four or five years, the company received increasing requests to support its employees around the world. The education landscape had shifted toward online education, and increases in remote-work opportunities made it competitive to recruit and retain talent. The result was a boom in demand for education as an employee retention benefit. Bright Horizons saw an opportunity to scale its business globally.
“We were using a language line where people would call in and identify themselves as needing a translator for the call,” said Vice President of Employee Services Tracy Beard. “To do so would mean overcoming language barriers far beyond what the company could hire to accommodate.”
If EdAssist focused on hiring for language in its support centers, the business might not get the expertise it needed from agents to speak to its programs and services.
“Our business tends to be very custom — 250 clients, all of them have very different requirements for their tuition programs, very specific to their business needs and what it is that they want to get out of their benefit,” Beard said. “You have to actually be an expert in that client policy to be able to appropriately support the end user, so if there’s any kind of language barrier, it becomes even a bigger challenge. The people that are answering the live chats are experts in that client policy. They have to be able to explain clearly and concisely and accurately to the person on the other end of the chat, what is required for their policy, how it is they go about getting their reimbursement, how we might pay a school on their behalf.”
Like so many businesses, Bright Horizons initially tried to offer voice support with the aid of a translator.
“We found that it just wasn’t successful for our participants,” Beard said. “It was confusing, clunky, and we weren’t giving them the best experience. In some cases, we weren’t even giving them the right information. The participant would be on the phone, the call center consultant would be on the phone, and then a translator. Things were getting lost in the phone call. Information was not appropriate. And because our benefit tends to be so customized, the translator isn’t an expert, and so when they were trying to handle both sides of that communication, it was just becoming very confusing. It is imperative that the person providing the information can articulate it correctly and appropriately.”
Call centers proved expensive, especially given the complexities and customization required by Bright Horizons’ EdAssist business. Training support staff to become experts in their programs and benefits simply did not scale into international markets via voice support, but the team believed live-chat might increase first-contact resolution, reduce employee touches, and ease hiring challenges.
What Type of Organization Uses ChatLingual and Why?
EdAssist is an organization that offers work/life education benefits for Bright Horizons’ client partners. Beard’s team works with client-employees on an educational journey, providing end-user support.
“We have over 250 clients who are offering tuition assistance to their employees and loan repayment services as an educational benefit,” says Beard. “So, what Bright Horizons does is help those employees through their educational journey. We have a network of schools that we work with, we have a coaching component to our offering, and then ultimately we work with our employees to get them reimbursed for their educational benefit. So, they pay the schools, we reimburse them, and we work closely with the schools. In some instances, we pay the schools directly on behalf of the end user.
“The cost that we would’ve had to incur to do that would not have made it beneficial for us to support these clients. We would’ve had to tell our clients ‘No.’ The idea that we could use our existing staff with their breadth of knowledge and their expertise by partnering with ChatLingual, immediately, became cost-efficient. And again, even better customer service, because we know our experts are answering those questions.”
Birds-Eye View: How does business change when any agent can speak 100 languages?
“The benefit of working with ChatLingual, as opposed to multilingual agents, is that right now at EdAssist, we are serving over 80 countries and about 30 languages,” Beard said. “We would never have been able to staff that.”
“The biggest benefit of working with ChatLingual is our ability to broaden our offering to our largest and most important clients so that we’re able to support all of their learners. No matter where they sit in the world, no matter what schools they’re attending, no matter what their currency is, we are able to support every learner as our clients need us to do.”
In just a few months of partnership with ChatLingual, Beard says EdAssist significantly reduced call volume. Beard says the company saw immediate benefits with instant translation that removed translators from the equation, allowing agents to rely only on their own languages and still deliver comprehensible information to end users accurately.
Prior to using ChatLingual’s Agent Success Platform, Bright Horizons could not market international services as a part of its product suite. Though many clients made requests to be able to support their users across the globe, Beard says they had to decline the business or approach it manually with an ad-hoc approach, which rarely benefitted their end users.
“The return on investment for us working with ChatLingual is that we are going to be able to support any international need that we get a request for,” Beard said. “Prior to our partnership, we were not able to do that. ChatLingual just opened that world up for us. We’re able to communicate in local languages with learners across the globe.”
“Not only are we able to support any requests, but we now offer it as a part of our breadth of services. Additionally, because of our coming integration with Microsoft Dynamics in our case management system, we are going to be able to actually decrease our cost to support our programs, and that doesn’t just include international programming. That’s our current clients, our U.S.-based clients, as well. The integration will be across the chat service, both domestic and international.”
Additional benefits include an ability to fill talent gaps within the organization by educating employees, wherever they are located.
Since launching ChatLingual, EdAssist increased its global program support by 10 times the amount of clients it previously could support. Beard said the company can now accommodate any international support request. This has become part of the company’s business solutions, presented in all marketing materials, instead of a one-off endeavor.
“The immediate benefits have been our ability to support our end users,” Beard said. “We know that they’re getting the correct information. We know that our experts are able to work with them one-on-one in the moment, and so we have full confidence that we are providing best-in-class customer service to any participant who comes our way, no matter where they’re living or what language they’re speaking.”
Conclusion: ChatLingual Empowers International Business
Bright Horizons’ EdAssist global program support capacity multiplied by 10 times in just a few months of partnering with ChatLingual, all because the company’s support agents can now deliver native-language live-chat conversations.
“ChatLingual has been a perfect solution for us in regards to providing accurate information in the participant’s local language,” says Beard. “We have full confidence that the information that we are trying to provide the end user in their language is digestible for them. They are understanding. They are getting accurate information, and they’re able to take the appropriate action that they need to on their side in order to complete their educational journey. We have no concerns. We’ve had no complaints. We’ve had not even an inkling of there being any kind of confusion in regards to the chats.”
“Our business can be complex. It can be custom. Our needs are unique. And I’ve really found that they listen and have really taken the time to understand what we do here at Bright Horizons EdAssist, and how we support our end users. And they’ve gone out of their way to make sure that as they’ve collaborated with us, they’ve kept those components of our business in mind to ensure that we’re creating the best customer service experience that we can.
“I would absolutely recommend ChatLingual to any organization that is looking to support end users, both domestically and across the globe. I really can’t speak enough about our ability to communicate seamlessly and effortlessly with international participants in our program. It has been a complete game changer for us here at EdAssist.”
What does it look like to implement ChatLingual support solutions?
“The onboarding process was very simple,” says Beard. “We were moving from a former live chat vendor who was English only, and we were able to work with the ChatLingual team and figure out a timeline that would work for us and work for them. ChatLingual was able to do all of the heavy lifting when it came to the implementation. And the implementation team here at EdAssist has everything good to say. It was fast. It was easy. The people are wonderful to work with. And really, our business isn’t an easy one. There are complex components to it. And we have found the team at ChatLingual very quick to learn our business, our needs, and they’ve been very creative in ways that they’ve been able to help us.”
“Immediately it was a seamless transition. That includes the internal training of our team. We have over 200 people that work chats, and that training took one training each. It was a piece of cake.”
“When we are able to integrate with Microsoft Dynamics, it’s going to reduce our time to chat by half, which is, I can’t even begin to describe the efficiency gain that we are going to get from that. And it was one of the reasons we chose this partnership, because we know that not only are we going to provide a better user experience for our client employees, but we are going to be able to create significant internal efficiencies here at EdAssist.”
“The user experience is phenomenal with ChatLingual. We have been thrilled with our ability to communicate with our participants and give them a far better experience with EdAssist.”
In the Client’s Words: Why choose ChatLingual?
“We really liked the idea that there were multiple channels of communication. We were most interested in live chat, but the idea that we could support emails and eventually think about supporting texting was really exciting to us. The other thing that was really interesting to us was that it was a relatively fast implementation, that the biggest part of the implementation would be on the vendor. And then additionally, the idea that they could integrate with our case management system is really exciting for us.”