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The development of multilingual hubs for an improved customer service

Blog
22nd September 2017

Outsourcing has changed dramatically in recent years. A decade ago most companies exploring an outsourcing strategy were looking to reduce their operating costs by locating business processes outside of their core operation. Today there is a far more complex business environment where outsourcing is more often seen as a way to tap into expertise that is unavailable in-house.

When companies are looking for a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) partner there are some even more specific attributes that executives look for today:

  • Talent and quality: no executive would hire a partner that struggles to hire talented people and will reduce the process quality. Finding a partner with great people who can raise the quality of the service delivered is a prerequisite.
  • Volume and cost: cost is no longer the main driver for companies seeking a service partner, but it remains important for all businesses to keep costs under control where possible. Finding a partner that can offer a competitive price because they have a strong and high-volume talent pool is essential.
  • Emotional connection and cultural affinity: nobody does business on a day to day business with a brand, we work with people. When choosing a partner, it’s essential to feel that this is a team we can do business with. If these guys are working on our critical processes then we can feel confident that our customers are going to be happy.
  • The right location: outsourcing doesn’t always mean locating services in another country, but with so many companies now operating internationally it is likely that consolidating services into one place will mean moving processes offshore. Finding the right combination of cultural affinity and language can ensure that changes are productive.

The change in business strategy is even more pronounced when it comes to the nearshoring of customer service processes. Managing the customer experience in a market such as Europe is more complex than ever thanks to the large number of businesses that now operate across borders and therefore require customer service processes in many languages and on many communication channels.

At Webhelp, we have found that the key to making this work is to base customer service team in multilingual hubs – locations where costs are relatively low, but also where a high proportion of the local talent speaks two, or even three, languages. It therefore becomes possible to create a single European customer service operation that can service customers across the entire continent. For example, our multilingual hub in Lisbon, Portugal, currently serves customers across Europe in nine languages and there is the potential to develop further.

Businesses operating across borders today need agile partners with innovative solutions. The concept of a multilingual hub is fairly new, but it presents the opportunity to centralise support services for many languages in a single location – improving the service quality and reducing the cost when compared to operating many centres across the continent.

Please click here for more information on language hubs and location strategies.


David Turner
Article by: David Turner

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