If you think you’ve been noticing more signs in Spanish or hearing more Spanish phrases around you, you’re correct. The Spanish-speaking population of the whole U.S. is on the rise. This number, which includes Hispanics and non-Hispanics, now represents 17 percent of total population and continues to grow. This trend is excellent news to our business community, which now has a growing customer base as more people either move to the U.S. or grow up here but still speak Spanish.
Businesses can make the experience even easier by offering Spanish-speaking answering services, and not requiring customers to speak English, a language that many find difficult to master.
However, many businesses many not be able to offer this to their customers. The perfect solution is a bilingual call center – you can access employees with excellent Spanish and English communication skills. These call center representatives will be able to streamline processes and ensure nothing gets lost in translation.
Here’s why this type of call center is a smart move:
In 2013, the Pew Research Center announced that Spanish is the most spoken non-English language in the U.S. with 37.6 million Spanish speakers.
By 2015, the number grew to about 51 million, which means there are now more Spanish speakers in the U.S. than in Spain, Colombia and Argentina. Only Mexico has a higher population of Spanish speakers than the U.S., with more than 105 million.
Population watchers also expect this number to keep growing as more people relocate to the U.S. from Spanish-speaking countries, and the U.S. population of Spanish speakers continues to grow.
If you’re a Spanish speaker and have had communication problems in the past trying to place orders in English or asking for help with a problem over the phone, you may be reluctant to go through this process over and over again.
Likewise, if you find a business that speaks your native language and who can assist you in a way that you can understand, it makes you feel appreciative. You feel loyalty towards that company as they went out of their way to serve you in Spanish. They still have to provide good service and help resolve your situation, but the communication and opportunities for a positive outcome will be much higher. Plus, there is a greater likelihood of repeat business and referring people as well.
No matter what language or languages they speak, call center employees also receive additional training in customer service; ensuring customers feel welcome and confident in the assistance they provide.
Come explore our infographic on the benefits of bilingual call centers
Finding customer service employees who speak English well usually isn’t terribly hard, and finding customers who speak Spanish isn’t necessarily hard either (and it is only getting easier). But hiring additional staff could be a poor use of resources and can be difficult to find, especially since you would also need additional trainers and managers who speak both languages too.
Likewise, going with a person who knows one language well and is so-so in another could be a bad combination. Customers can get excited at first about hearing a welcoming a familiar language, but then start to lose confidence when they realize the person only knows the very basics and isn’t able to fully assist them. While problematic in a retail/financial setting, a breakdown in effective communications and poor language skills can cause even more challenges in the medical field.
Instead, a more efficient move is to utilize bilingual call center where everyone is able to communicate in both languages well. Members of AnswerNow’s bilingual team also must undergo proficiency testing before they begin taking customer calls in Spanish in order to make sure their language skills are up to par.
Even if a company has bilingual employees, this is good but still not as effective as an outside call center as they may not have the manpower to handle the high call volume while also handling their other workload.
By 2045, Spanish-speaking numbers in the U.S. are expected to exceed 145 million, or 30 percent of the population. According to QZ, by 2050, the U.S. is projected to have the most Spanish speakers of any country.
This projected growth makes it even more vital that call center representatives be able to help customers in English and Spanish.
Those who invest now will be ahead of the curve, years before other businesses are forced to do the same.
This trend has some other positives – by 2017, the increasing Hispanic population is expected to reach a buying power of $1.7 trillion, a 544 percent increase since 1990. A larger population with more money to spend and invest can lead to success for companies willing to utilize the services of bilingual call center.
At AnswerNow, we can assist customers or patients in English or Spanish and help them receive quality support and can also help your callers at any time- day or night. This could be useful for companies needing answering services, help desk support, or after-hour services.
We also offer interpretation services, which could also be helpful for people who need to communicate in Spanish or English but don’t know the language well enough to do so. For instance, a doctor or nurse who speaks English may need to talk to a patient who doesn’t speak the language. If the office works with AnswerNow, a bilingual representative could be an effective go-between over the phone.