Beyond Borders: The Importance of Staff Language Proficiency in International BPO Operations

Imagine you called a company’s customer support, and a friendly voice greeted you. Like you, the customer support speaks English, but it’s clear they’re not as proficient as you expected. 

You can still understand the person on the other end of the line for the most part, but linguistic and cultural barriers still make it inconvenient for you to communicate your concerns.  

In turn, your difficulties make it hard for the customer service representative to address your needs in the best way possible. The call ends with them being unable to deliver an excellent service experience, leaving you dissatisfied. 

Such scenarios are common when dealing with customer concerns, especially for cross-border BPOs. Wouldn’t you want a better communication exchange? 

These challenges are why staff language proficiency is essential for international BPO operations. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance and benefits of English language proficiency in customer support. 

Let’s begin!

US Language and Culture  

To understand the importance of English proficiency in international BPO operations, we need to start with context. 

The US is a melting pot of many cultural backgrounds and ethnicities, resulting in a massive and culturally diverse consumer market. As the net immigration rate increases, the US will become even more diverse.

Regardless, English remains the most spoken and understood language nationwide. 78.37% of the US population speaks English at home, and over 41 million minority language speakers can also speak English.

A BPO partnering with a US company will naturally serve American customers whose primary language is likely English. Therefore, the BPO’s customer support personnel must be proficient in the language. 

Why English Language Proficiency Matters

English language proficiency 

Language is more than words we learn as part of our culture and upbringing. It also has a way of shaping the way we think and how we interact with the world. 

For instance, one group interprets the time of the day differently from how you learned to tell time growing up. Another example is how cultures perceive the world based on their different ways of describing colors or narrating events.

Simply put, language significantly affects how well you communicate with the people around you. 

Outsourcing Solutions for Renewable Energy Companies: A Comprehensive Guide

The Case for BPO Language Proficiency 

Staff language proficiency is non-negotiable in any customer support service, especially for BPOs with offshore teams based in multiple countries outside the US.  

Customers don’t get to interact with your businesses as directly as they do when they contact your customer support, so you must make it as worthwhile and convenient for them as possible.  

A significant part of customer convenience is communicating effectively with them. Besides learning the language, your customer support teams must communicate in English like a native speaker.  

Here are a few reasons why a high level of English fluency is essential: 

  • Accuracy. Clear communication is critical to providing accurate, concise solutions to customer issues. 
  • Professionalism. English is the universal language of business. Team members need to know the language well and exhibit professionalism. 
  • Efficiency. Having a good grasp of the English language also means being able to deliver exceptional and efficient service.   
  • Improved Customer Satisfaction. Understanding customer needs and providing accurate solutions results in higher customer satisfaction.

Leveling with your customers through language also helps you build deeper connections, paving the way for your business’s long-term success. A 2023 study showed that 70% of end users are more likely to remain loyal and advocate for companies that offer support in their language.

As the demand for renewable energy increases, businesses must be flexible enough to adapt to the industry’s complex demands and maintain operational efficiency. 

Technical skills will help you thrive in the industry, but so will acquiring a solid set of soft skills in collaboration, problem-solving, adaptability, and communication.

5 Benefits of Staff Language Proficiency in Customer Support 

Here are five benefits of having an English-proficient customer support team: 

1. Improved Customer Response

Understanding the customers’ language makes your CX team respond to issues more appropriately. 

2. Increased Agent Confidence

Fluency in English helps boost an agent’s confidence in their work, leading to more efficient problem-solving and better quality of service. 

3. Enhance Workforce Productivity

Call handling times decrease when a team’s productivity increases, which means your team handles customer concerns more quickly. 

4. Better Customer Satisfaction

Understanding your customers’ language makes empathizing with them easier. Customers who feel understood and valued will be more satisfied with your service. 

5. Professional Development

Mastering English empowers team members to deliver their best, honing their skills and propelling them for continuous growth in the outsourcing industry. 

A Highly Trained Support Team for Renewable Energy Businesses 

ClearSource is a top outsourcing partner with operations worldwide, including the US, Philippines, India, and Costa Rica.  

We provide exceptional support solutions tailor-made to several industries, including the renewable energy sector. For example, we have the expertise and solutions to help you navigate the complexities of solar industry regulations. 

We’ve partnered with many of the leading clean energy companies in the US with the help of top engineering talent across our global operations.   

We deliver exceptional experiences, and we do so by ensuring that our teams are well-equipped and have the language proficiency to communicate with every customer.  

Want to know more about our renewable energy outsourcing services? We’d love to hear from you! 

Learn more about ClearSource BPO

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