How Vodafone stays at the front of the pack when it comes to providing multilingual digital service and connectivity to their customers.
Featuring Jonathan Blake, Group Head of Customer Operations at Vodafone.
Vodafone’s Challenge: Guaranteeing Consistent Customer Experience Excellence Across Multiple Markets
Vodafone is a multinational telecommunications company with over 300 million customers worldwide. One of Vodafone’s largest multilingual customer operations hubs is located in Cairo, Egypt. Delivering excellent customer service consistently at a global scale is often challenging in non-English speaking locations. While Cairo continues to provide an excellent talent pool of skilled staff for Vodafone, creating more flexibility and speed to respond to unplanned multilingual demand and smaller markets was needed to maintain Vodafone’s high performance to the level delivered in other markets.
Jonathan Blake, Group Head of Customer Operations at Vodafone further explained, “For example, we don’t have many people in Cairo speaking fluent Portuguese, same with Greek. The complexities we have are in the locations where we operate our service centres. Specifically, can we find enough talent, and enough capability to be able to serve our global customers in their native language from our existing service hub locations?”
“Prior to working with ChatLingual, some of the key pain points that we were facing was around language availability at our site locations and being handcuffed to needing per market teams. That was a real pain point for us because it meant that we had to have minimum team sizes to support any single service line in each given language.”
Blake continued, “For example, due to shift coverage and days of the week, we had to have at least 11 people in any single team to support that specific country. So, we had to have 11 Spanish speakers, 11 Italian speakers, 11 German speakers, and so forth. It’s inefficient to have a team of people per market per language when launching new services because those teams are waiting for the customer base to grow and contacts to come through.”
Companies of any size know that inefficiency in customer operations can lead to a plethora of problems when it comes to providing a superb customer experience. Inefficient staffing strategies can lead to high agent handle time, poor support due to lack of technical knowledge, reduced agent productivity, and a rise in unhappy customers.
How Does ChatLingual Help Vodafone Improve Their Multilingual CX?
Since 2018, ChatLingual has been partnering with Vodafone to remove the language barrier through ChatLingual’s multilingual contact center platform. The platform gives Vodafone flexibility around language when it comes to their staffing strategies, enabling them to move faster and do more with less.
“By partnering with ChatLingual, we leveraged translation to create a global care team of experts that could serve multiple countries as dedicated experts in that service line regardless of respective customer volumes in each country,” said Blake.
ChatLingual replaces the frustration of hiring, training, and retaining bilingual support staff with its multilingual contact center software, enabling a single agent to communicate with customers in over 100 languages, across digital channels. This innovative approach to language provided Vodafone with the real-time flexibility they required to be efficient, yet incredibly responsive, to customers in smaller markets as well as reducing the overall resource needed to do so, and the hire and training time as a direct result.
Regarding their current staffing strategies since launching ChatLingual, Blake said, “Now we look at our staffing strategy more on the availability of talent for that particular service line. So if it’s sales experts we need, we look at where we can source those people, not who can speak the language in the market that we’re trying to sell to. It’s enabled us to be creative with our staffing strategy and hire where the talent is rather than hire where the language is.”
With ChatLingual, Vodafone has seen remarkable improvements in their customer service metrics across markets. “We’ve seen our handling time reduced by 13%,” Blake said. “We’ve seen our tNPS increase by an average of 15 points versus the prior local benchmark. And we’ve seen our first contact resolution at an 80% average since we’ve launched. So, including that first month of a new service launching, 8 out of 10 customers who contact us have that contact resolved in that first interaction.”
With built-in text translations, Vodafone now spends less time and resources on hiring for bilingual agents, using technology to help diversify into existing markets or scale quickly into new ones. Blake commented, “We’ve saved money on professional translations and we’re 75% faster in deploying our care services to a new market than we were without translation. So for us, it’s a paradigm shift.”
“What we’ve been able to achieve with ChatLingual is a combination of customer experience improvements, operational efficiencies, and the ability to move at pace, deploying customer care faster to new markets and for new products in existing markets,” says Blake.
How to Communicate in Over 100 Languages in 30 Minutes
On average, customer service representatives receive on-the-job training lasting two to three weeks, sometimes longer. For Vodafone, speed to ramp during unexpected peaks means better response and resolution for their customers and, by upskilling staff with Chatlingual, they unlocked greater flexibility to provide responsive quality support across all markets in just 30 mins. Rather than extended time spent training new agents, more time could now be spent resolving inquiries with customers.
ChatLingual’s agent-centric Agent Success Platform allows users to communicate in over 100 languages and is designed with user-friendliness in mind–resulting in agents using the platform effectively in as little as 30 minutes. The UX thus enables companies to experience shortened agent ramp time, decreased handle time, and helps agents deliver a seamless customer experience across digital channels to improve their CSATs.
“When we deployed ChatLingual, the agent training was at their desk going through a video tutorial for 30 minutes, and then they’re able to use the tools,” says Blake.
The modern training approach was unheard of for Blake, “I didn’t believe it when the ChatLingual team told me it’s going to be an at-the-desk training for 30 minutes, then they’ll be good to go live. I really didn’t believe it. Then sure enough, directly after the training, we put the agents on queue and they started talking to customers. We were able to give a really good customer experience from day one.”
Blake wasn’t the only one pleasantly surprised with the smooth onboarding and agent interface, “The agents love it because it’s a really simple tool. It’s an intuitive tool. They were able to get grips with it really quickly.”
Rethinking Language Can Be the Difference Between Good and Great CX
Innovation is more than new technology, successful innovation allows you to add value to your business so that you can increase your profits, enables you to stay relevant in a changing global environment, and can give you a competitive advantage to help differentiate from competitors.
With ChatLingual’s multilingual cloud contact center, companies like Vodafone can leverage increased agent productivity and harness the benefits of localization in a unified platform.
Blake said, “ChatLingual’s innovative approach to language translation has really helped us improve both our customer and our agent experience from a customer experience perspective, we’re able to connect customers in any country in the world to a team of experts.”
“We can see the material benefit that it brings to our customers, and it’s helping us improve and continue to stay at the front of the pack when it comes to providing digital service and connectivity to our customers all over the world. ”
In the Client’s Words: Why Choose ChatLingual?
“My advice to large multinationals that are looking to provide customer support in a flexible way is to think creatively around language; hire where the talent is rather than hire where the language is.”