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Research Announcement: Overcoming Recruitment Challenges within Multilingual Contact Centers

Research by the Call Centre Management Association (CCMA) in partnership with ChatLingual uncovers the success factors and challenges in setting up and running an effective multilingual contact center operation.

How do you provide multilingual customer support while facing recruitment challenges? And, which tools are needed to strike the perfect balance between multilingual CX and efficient contact center operations?

While many global contact centers continue to struggle with agent attrition, forward-thinking companies have turned towards multilingual messaging solutions to supplement their monolingual agents rather than hiring for language capabilities.

ChatLingual has partnered with the UK’s call and contact center industry leader, the Call Centre Management Association (CCMA), to bring fresh insights into multilingual CX and the various operational approaches contact centers can adopt to provide native-language support to customers and internal teams.

Research Revealed

The latest CCMA research ‘CX and operational fluency for multilingual contact centres’, details the importance of native-language customer support and the success factors and challenges in setting up and running an effective multilingual contact center operation. 

Based on in-depth conversations with multiple contact centers representing a number of leading brands, this research report outlines the key considerations for a multilingual contact center. The report discusses various operating models and strategies to ensure that customers and colleagues working in local languages receive the best possible experience.

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“Most organizations who serve customers in multiple countries have settled on a central hub model with a multilingual workforce,” explains Stephen Yap, Research Director at the CCMA. “This model is more popular than maintaining separate local in-country teams due to the consistency and oversight that centralization offers. However, recruiting people who can both speak and write local languages at a native level is proving difficult in the current environment, particularly for certain Northern European languages such as German, Dutch and Nordic languages.”

“In the past two years, we’ve seen a major increase in customer demand for native-language customer support and a shrinking supply of workers available to meet this growing need,” remarks ChatLingual CEO, Justin Custer. “Fortunately, rapid advancements in translation technology have empowered forward-thinking enterprises to change their hiring practices– focusing on customer service skills rather than limiting hiring options with language requirements. The turn towards multilingual messaging solutions is transforming the contact center space for the better. This research has brought exciting new perspectives into how multilingual contact centers can simplify their operations while providing a highly personalized customer experience.”

The research reveals 10 key considerations for multilingual CX and contact center operations:

  1. The central hub model tends to be more popular for multilingual contact centers due to consistency, insight, cost, and scale.
  2. Operating in multiple languages adds complexity and management overhead.
  3. Consider BPO partners who run multilingual operations centrally.
  4. Target language communities and social networks to recruit expats, students, and other natives based outside of their home country.
  5. It can be difficult to recruit people who are not only native speakers but also have the required level of writing ability to be effective when multiskilled.
  6. Hiring for native language skills requires longer lead time due to the additional need to validate language ability.
  7. Northern European natives such as Dutch, German and Nordics are challenging to hire overseas.
  8. Multilingual chatbots can be used to handle conversations and escalate to a live conversation when necessary.
  9. The use of translation technology can create resource flexibility, lower costs and increase uptime, but like any automation needs care in selection and implementation.
  10. Cultural nuances in different countries can impact your operations and staffing strategies.

Create a Multilingual Contact Center

Discover the strategies you can implement to provide multilingual support in your contact center. The research is available as a free download from the CCMA website.