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New Research from ICMI and Lionbridge: Contact Centers Need to Adopt Omni-Lingual Strategies To Support Growing Language Diversity & Heightened Consumer Expectations

Findings to be revealed and discussed during the ICMI Contact Center Expo & Conference May 10-13 in Long Beach, CA

Winners of Global Contact Center Awards will be honored at a ceremony held during the 2016 Contact Center Expo & Conference.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 9, 2016  /PRNewswire/ -- The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) in partnership with Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. today released, "Lost in Translation: Leveraging Language to Deliver an Exceptional Customer Experience." The new research report is the largest study ever conducted around how contact centers support languages. The report reveals that non-primary language volume will increase and that contact centers are not currently prepared to accommodate such transition.

For more information and to download the report, please visit: bit.ly/23jzKON

As organizations aim to increase their global footprint and/or serve customers of all languages, they are struggling to provide omni-lingual support for voice much less self-service and digital channels. ICMI and Lionbridge's report dives into how language is affecting the productivity and success of contact centers, and provides actionable insight into how they can deploy a more strategic and scalable approach to omni-lingual support.

Contact centers continue to experience rapid change as emerging technologies have opened new communication channel offerings. While these strides have pushed the contact center into executive level conversations, language has yet to be brought to the forefront. As a result, customer experience (CX) is suffering.

When providing customer support, language is perhaps the most important component to have control over – the ability to properly and effectively communicate with the customer is crucial. However, currently 79 percent of contact centers have customers who are not native speakers of the primary language(s) that they serve. This is a large concern, since the importance of language will see an increase over the next three years – where 52 percent of contact centers expect their volume of non-primary language communications to increase over this time.

"As our world grows closer and more connected, the importance of delivering service that is personal, comprehensive and easy for a customer to understand could not be greater. What is more essential to a great customer service experience than the language in which we deliver it?" said Justin Robbins, ICMI Community Director and report author. "This research reveals the robust opportunities for organizations to provide better service across any contact channel with more comprehensive language resources. The customer experience is the key differentiator in today's service economy, and it is essential for companies to move on this opportunity to stand apart from their competition."

"This landmark research shows that omni-lingual support is the new battleground for contact centers," said Tom Tseki, VP & GM, GeoFluent and Customer Care Solutions, Lionbridge. "With voice giving way to self-service and agent-assisted digital channels, contact centers should evolve their language support. Providing over-the-phone interpretation as the primary multilingual support option is no longer effective and positions brands as laggards in terms of CX."

ICMI and Lionbridge's report is comprised of responses from 526 professionals from every role and level in contact centers and customer service organizations. This research also explains what information contact center leaders need, as well as what steps must be taken to reverse the stagnant position on omni-channel multilingual support. The report explores the following:

Language Support Expectations
A majority of contact center leaders recognized that customers have the expectation that they will receive service in their native language when contacting a brand - however 79 percent of contact centers have customers who are not native speakers of the primary language(s) that they serve.

Language Support Challenges
The single biggest challenge in providing support beyond a contact center's primary language is finding and retaining in-house bi/multilingual agents. Nearly 20 percent of those surveyed said they provide a scripted response and make no further attempt to support customers who do not speak the contact center's primary language. Contact centers need to look at solutions that include but are not limited to in-house agents.

Language Support Strategies
The most common approach to support non-primary language contacts is to utilize in-house Bi- and/or Multilingual agents. 32 percent only informally find someone in the department that can translate or speak the language.

The Impact of Language Support on Metrics
If we don't measure quality, it is impossible to manage effectively it. 20 percent of contact centers do not even measure the quality of their non-primary language contacts.

Media can obtain a copy of the report by contacting the ICMI PR team at [email protected].

ICMI Community Director Justin Robbins detailed the findings at the Contact Center Expo & Conference in Lionbridge's booth #815 on Thursday, May 12 at 11:15 am. The conference offers a robust conference program equipped with keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops training & more. To learn more and to register, visit: icmi.com/Contact-Center-Expo-Conference.

About ICMI
The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) is the leading global provider of comprehensive resources for customer management professionals -- from frontline agents to executives -- who wish to improve customer experiences and increase efficiencies at every level of the contact center. Since 1985, ICMI has helped more than 50,000 organizations in 167 countries through training, events, consulting, and informational resources. ICMI's experienced and dedicated team of industry insiders, trainers, and consultants are committed to helping you raise the strategic value of your contact center, optimize your operations and improve your customer service. ICMI is a part of UBM plc (www.ubm.com), a global events-led marketing services and communications company.

About GeoFluent
GeoFluent, a SaaS offering from Lionbridge, eliminates language as a barrier between contact centers and consumers. By providing omni-lingual support across the omni-channel, brands improve CX, increase revenue and decrease cost and risk.  GeoFluent integrates with leading contact center communications platforms to maximize customers' existing investments, enabling them to support 95% of the world's GDP languages.

About Lionbridge
Lionbridge enables more than 800 world-leading brands to increase international market share, speed adoption of products and effectively engage their customers in local markets worldwide. Using our innovative cloud technology platforms and our global crowd of more than 100,000 professional cloud workers, we provide translation, online marketing, global content management and application testing solutions that ensure global brand consistency, local relevancy and technical usability across all touch points of the customer lifecycle. Based in Waltham, Mass., Lionbridge maintains solution centers in 28 countries. To learn more, visit http://www.lionbridge.com.

SOURCE The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI)


Media Contact:
Kimberly Samra
[email protected]