Should You Have a Bilingual Customer Service Department?

If you do not have bilingual customer service agents working in your customer service department, your customers are definitely missing out. By having agents who can speak two languages, they can speak to a larger number of customers. That means, your company sees improved sales and profit for your company.

As a business, you need to account for French and English-speaking customers. Here are some things you need to know about having a bilingual customer service department in Canada!

Why French?

According to the 2016 census, 7.2 million people speak French in Canada. Most of these French-speaking citizens live in Quebec. In Quebec, 95% of people are francophone. Because of this, the federal government passed the Official Languages Act in 1969. This means that both French and English are the official languages of Canada, The languages are both in equal standing with each other. So, if your calls come from Canada, you may get a customer who is going to speak only French.

The immersion of the French language in culture is not unique to Canada. French is one of the most widely used languages in the world, with 225 million francophones worldwide. As the language becomes more popular, there are predictions that the number will jump to 700 million worldwide by 2050.

French is the official language of 29 countries. The majority of francophones live in Europe. In fact, German is the only language that currently surpasses French. However, French may pass German by 2025. Every continent speaks French, and it is roughly the 7th most used language on the internet.

So, bilingual customer service agents who can speak French are a great idea to increase the success of your business.

Bilingual Customer Service Agents

Due to industry advances, it is more important to utilize french and english-speaking service agents. As your company’s client base grows, you will have more variety in customers. With bilingual service agents, your company will not only service your Canadian customer base,  but also give you access to an international market.

Language barriers between your customer service agents and your customers are quite frustrating for everyone involved. If your CSA’s can’t understand your customers, how can they solve their questions and concerns?

It is easy to see how this can make your customer satisfaction rating go down.

Outsourcing Customer Service

In order to hire bilingual customer service agents, you would likely have to pay them more per hour than standard agents. You would also have to verify their fluency in the language to make sure they can actually speak French well enough to assist your customers. However, if you outsource your customer service calls, you will have access to bilingual customer service agents that the call center has already hired. This is less expensive to your company, it saves you time, and your customer service department will be better equipped to handle your customers’ questions.

All these reasons, and many more, are why you should have a bilingual customer service department or outsource your calls to a customer service call center that features bilingual services. The repeat business from happy non-English-speaking customers will most likely offer big returns, making it worth the effort.

Improve The Efficiency Of Your Customer Service Department

Even if your product or service is great, customers remember their interaction with your company the most. For this reason, a good customer service team and fast responses improve the image of your company and your customer service department.

If your customers experience long hold times, they will hang up. Every lost call is a potential customer lost. However, there are ways to improve the efficiency of your customer service department. Also, you can ensure that your customers have a good experience with your company.

Service Level and Occupancy Rate

There are two important measurements used in call centers to determine their efficiency: Service Level and Occupancy Rate.

There are two different parameters of measurement to determine what the “Service Level” is:

  1. Whether the agents at the call center are able to answer the calls
  2. The quickness of the agent’s ability is to help customers and resolve queries or concerns

Occupancy Rate refers to the total call handling time and total after call work time and subtracts agents’ idle time. High occupancy rates indicate low agent availability and long hold times, which can lead to call drops and low service levels.

If your call volume exceeds the number of customer service agents you have, you are going to have a high occupancy rate. This is very stressful for customer service agents, because they are over-worked. This causes them to be stressed out and can lead to high turnover rates. You may have customer service agents who are well-trained and possess all of the skills and qualities needed to provide good customer service, but if they are over-worked and feeling stressed, they will not be able to empathize as efficiently with customers in order to provide good customer service.

One of the best solutions to this problem is to outsource your customer service calls to a call center. This eases the workload of your employees, so their jobs are easier.

Contrary to popular belief, it does not take jobs away from your employees. Rather, their jobs are easier and they are happier. There are also many other benefits to outsourcing, as well.

Benefits Of Outsourcing Your Customer Service Department

Answer more calls

During peak call times, it is difficult for a handful of in-house employees to answer all of the calls. They may not have the experience needed to get through the calls quickly enough and then answer the next call before the customer hangs up. Also, whenever your office closes, there is no one there to answer calls after-hours.

A call center solves all of these problems. Their customer service agents are trained to handle calls quickly and efficiently. Less calls get dropped due to long hold times because all of the hired agents are very well-trained. Some call centers, like KPI Connect, even offer after-hours operations, answering calls after you have gone home.

Customer Satisfaction

It does not matter why your customers call, they expect someone to answer when they call. If their calls are not answered, or if the hold times are too long, it leads to a very unhappy customer base. However, with outsourcing, none of these problems are present. Not only are the agents trained to portray your company’s image and make your customers happy, they are trained to do it quickly, as well.

Increased Sales and Profits

You might be thinking that outsourcing is going to cost more money than it is worth. However, it can actually increase your profits. Simply by answering all of the calls, your profits will grow. Happy customers are likely to buy more, meaning there is potential for even more growth.

Outsourcing is not a decision you should make without some consideration. Lots of people have reservations about it but, consider the amount of benefits that outweigh the drawbacks and the potential to make your employees and customers happier. It is a great idea to at least consider outsourcing your customer service calls. It would most likely increase the efficiency of your customer service department and increase your profits, which is a good enough perk that most businesses would not pass up on.

The Drawbacks of an In-House Call Center

Regardless of what kind of business you are running, you need a prompt and efficient customer service department. You can foster stronger customer relations, boost your retention rates, and increase your loyalty to your brand with solid customer service.

However, as your business expands, you experience growing pains. For example, there are more questions and feedback from your customer base. If your customer service department is not quite prepared to deal with these demands, your company’s image is at stake.

Sometimes, in-house call enters work. But, the shortcomings of in-house show when a business is growing. Before getting to that point, examine all the potential drawbacks of maintaining a call center in-house.

Time Requirements

Time is a crucial resource in all aspects of business, especially customer service.

Running a call center in-house requires a considerable amount of time from your employees. They answer every call and every question, and hear all the feedback.

With an in-house call center, your employees get tied to the phones. Employees do not have as much time to attend to other vital duties that they have.

A simple solution to this problem is outsourcing the call center duties. Then, your in-house staff can return their attention to more vital tasks to keep the company running in top form. What’s more, when you outsource, all your call center duties get handled by trained professionals. Their primary focus is dealing with everything that customer service entails.

Hiring Call Center Exclusive Staff

Often, businesses are not able to afford to assign current employees to call center duties. In that case, the next step is hiring and training staff for the call center. You require IT experts and HR agents in order to make everything run well. Unfortunately, the choice to hire staff to handle the in-house call center is not easy. It has a big price tag attached, especially if extensive training is needed.

Rather than going through the entire recruitment, hiring, and training process, outsourcing your call center can actually cost you less in the long run. You get access to agents that are already trained in customer service and call center technology. You can save money without paying for training, IT, and HR requirements.

The Cost of Call-Center Infrastructure

Incorporating call center infrastructure into your current business is quite expensive. Consider everything required for essential call center operations: good office space, agent workstations, and all needed technology and hardware. Costs like that are are an intense drain of resources. What is more, the costs will increase over the years due to upgrade necessity and maintenance requirements.

When you outsource your call center, you can spare those costs. In addition, outsourcing is more affordable in the years to come. Your outsourcing company handles all upgrades and maintenance. Yet another thing to remove from your to-do list!

Outsourcing is the Solution

Dealing with customer service in-house is not a small task. Customer service requires real commitment, funding and time that you may not be able to spare.

An argument in favour of in-house call centers is the aspect of control. But, if you choose to partner with a good, trusted company like KPI Connect, that is not an issue. Instead, the company will work together with you in order to ensure that all call center operations are how want them. Call KPI Connect to find out how we can help you.

Professional Call Center Etiquette

With how much modern communication takes place on a screen, proper telephone manners often falls away. Texts, emails, online chats and social media are so popular. Since voice contact still accounts for a large daily part of business, professional call centers value a respectful approach talking to customers on the phone. Good call centers are built from the way they conduct themselves on the phone. You need a unique set of skills and adherence to guidelines.

First Impressions Count

Call center agents are not only ensuring that calls get answered quickly, but also serving as first contact between the brand they represent and the customer. As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. You need to put your best foot forward when the phone rings. Since many people hang up if their call goes unanswered within five or six rings, you need to answer the phone quickly. That way, you will not lose possible clients and give the indication that the company is slow or does not care.

Polite and Friendly Call Centers

Keep in mind that the client’s experience with you will form their first opinion of the company you represent. Adopt a polite and informative disposition and pair it with a helpful, confident tone. Conversing on the phone is different than face-to-face or online communication. There is no visible body language or facial expressions that one can use to help get one’s point across. You also do not get as much time to form a response.

Professional phone conversations hinge on the manner in which you conduct your tone of voice. Remember, what you say is as important as how you say it.

Know Your Stuff

Make sure you know what you plan to say before each call. You will find it useful to take the guesswork out of the equation with standardized greetings. They will feel welcome, appreciated, and reassured. Then, you can pay attention to what the customer says and provide assistance where you can. If they need to be transferred to another department, be certain that you make the right connection and introduce the customer by explaining their concerns so that they do not have to repeat their story to the next person.

Permission to Hold

We have all been there – your call finally gets picked up, only to immediately be banished to “hold purgatory” with nary a word. It is disappointing, confusing, and aggravating. If you answer the phone under less-than-ideal circumstances and absolutely need to put the caller on hold right away, always ask first. As long as you answer politely, thank them for calling, and ask respectfully if they would not mind holding, most people are willing to wait a few extra moments to receive your undivided attention. They will not wait forever though, so try not to leave them on hold for longer than 45 seconds.

The Right Ending

When the call is coming to an end, remain warm and patient and refrain from rushing the customer off the line. Once you have asked if you can provide any further assistance, thank the customer for their call and use their name to firmly establish a personal connection as you wish them all the best for the rest of their day. Finally, do not terminate the call until the customer hangs up. By practicing proper phone etiquette, you can help to create a long-lasting relationship between company and customer.

At KPI Connect we have trained all our staff in proper phone etiquette to be sure that they are representing your brand with the out-most respect to your customers.

Why You Should Outsource Your Overflow

Call volume for any business fluctuates from day to day. Some days you may have little to no calls, however, other days you may have very high call volume. If you are not prepared to deal with the number of calls you are receiving, you may end up missing calls, which is bad for business. Every missed call is potentially money lost, whether they are customer service calls or sales calls. So, it is extremely important to take call volume into account for your business.

 

Here are some of the benefits when you outsource your overflow to a call center like KPI Connect.

 

Customer Satisfaction

 

When a customer calls to make a complaint, ask a question or to make a purchase, they expect someone to answer that call. If your in-house staff gets swamped and does not get to the phone in time to answer, it understandably leads to unhappy customers. Satisfied customers and good customer service lead to returning customers and can even generate new customers due to customers recommending your company to other people.

 

Peak Hours and Extended Hour/After Hours Operation

 

Sometimes peak hours are affected by things like seasonal sales, customers having questions or problems with new products, or your business hours. During peak call hours, it can be extremely hard to answer every call. A call center is better adapted to handle them such times as these. They can also handle your calls after your business is closed for the day because they can have extended hours. This means that even more of your calls will be answered.

 

Lower Training and Equipment Costs for Your Company

 

Training your employees to handle customers’ calls in a polite, professional manner while also solving customers’ problems and complaints can become a large business expense. The equipment and supplies add up, as well. This is entirely avoided by outsourcing your overflow to a call center. They are already established, meaning their staff is already trained and they already have the facility, complete with the necessary equipment.

 

Call Center Employees will be Trained on Your Brand

 

Your company’s values and brand do not have to be compromised if you make the decision to outsource. By telling the outsourcing company what your values are and what you do and do not want, they will have the ability to represent your company fully. Together you can write a script for your company that the representatives will stick to while on the phone with your customers, which also gives them the opportunity to advertise more of your services and products while ensuring no call goes unanswered.

 

Sales and Profits

 

You may assume that outsourcing will cost more money than it will make for your company. On the contrary, it can actually make you more in profits. By simply answering the calls during peak hours and after hours, there is understandably more money to be made on sales because more customers are attended to and fewer calls are missed. The less calls that are missed, the more money there is to be made.

 

Employee Happiness

 

An over-worked employee is often not a productive employee. Managing phone calls can be time consuming and can be hard to manage along with all of the other business operations on a day to day basis, leaving your employees stressed out. You do not have to let the quality of your customer service slide, or other business operations become less effective. Outsourcing your overflow calls will free up workload and cause your in-house staff to be happier and more productive.

 

Making the decision to outsource your overflow calls is nothing to take lightly. Lots of people have reservations about outsourcing, but it can be a very agreeable arrangement for both you and the company you outsource to. By expressing your values and concerns to the company you are considering outsourcing to, you can rest assured that they will be heard and adhered to.

 

Outsourcing can maximize your profits, create a happier and more productive workplace for your employees, and save you money. When you outsource to KPI Connect, you will also be provided with the results of the calls that can tell you what is working and what is not. So, for all these reasons and more, you should consider outsourcing if you are concerned about your call volume, overflow, and your customers.

 

Call Agent Job Description and Duties

woman speaking on headsetWorking in a phone center can be a great opportunity for professional development and personal growth.

The right candidate will have excellent communication skills, good organization, and an eye for detail. We have outlined here some of the different job duties, necessary skills, and qualifications below. As well we discuss what our agency will do to provide support to our call center business services (read more…) specialists.

Job Duties

Your typical day in a call center includes taking phone calls from clients who are looking for some type of customer service. Our extensive training programs will prepare you to gather the required information from the clients, and verify that information in our database. You will then proceed to bring the call to an appropriate resolution, with the goal of providing outstanding service to the caller.

You are expected to gain familiarity with the products and procedures through ongoing educational opportunities. Not only will you need this familiarity to understand the products and procedures yourself, but also to explain them to clients. It is important to have a firm understanding of all concepts before communicating them to our clients so that they feel confident that you are able to assist them properly.


Excellent customer service skills, familiarity with our products, and quick attention to any technical issues you may experience will ensure your success in this area. The goal is to provide the customer with service that will benefit them, so it is important to be able to communicate clearly to meet their needs.

Skills and Qualifications Needed

female call center agentThe perfect candidate for a position in a contact center like https://www.kpiconnect.com will have strong interpersonal communication skills. They will be professional and courteous at all times, and remember to keep themselves customer-focused, putting the customer’s needs first. They will keep in mind that one of their jobs is to provide information and support to customers who may not be familiar with our company’s products or procedures. Previous phone experience is a bonus as it will make your transition that much easier.

Call center specialists are required to have great attention to detail even while multi-tasking. They should be able to obtain information from clients, enter it into the computer, and verify it without losing focus. Strong, accurate data entry skills are a must. Applicants should be comfortable using a computer and a phone simultaneously, and should be quick to learn computer software.

Agent Support

Our goal is for our call center specialists to be as informed and successful as possible. We ensure this by providing regular updates on products, communicating our organization’s mission with you, and offering continual educational opportunities for you to better your skills. We understand that helping our agents to improve themselves will benefit not only them, but the customer as well.

In turn, we ask for our call center specialists to keep the line of communication open at all times. This includes promptly communicating any technical or equipment issues so that they can be addressed, adhering to all standards and guidelines, and recommending any procedural improvements that should be made to streamline the process and provide better customer service.

Overall

Working in a call center is extremely valuable work. Call center specialists provide front-line support between us and our customers, making them highly valued members of our team. Furthermore, call center specialists will never be bored. Between phone calls, data entry, and ongoing training opportunities, there’s always something to do. If you enjoy continual customer interaction in a fast-paced environment, then a position as a call center agent may be right for you. Contact KPI Connect today about joining our team.