The Importance of Spanish-Speaking Agents in the Contact Center

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 17% of the U.S. population is Hispanic. There’s a great demand for contact centers that employ bilingual agents, and that demand is only going to grow.

5 Reasons Why You Should Hire Bilingual Agents

1. The public may view a contact center that doesn’t employ Spanish speaking agents as one without cultural sensitivity.

2. Contact centers that have agents who can handle all types of customer inquiries are able to provide guidance immediately. The experience better for the customer and the contact center is able to be more productive and efficient.

3. Bilingual contact centers will have a better chance at long-term success in geographic areas where Spanish is predominantly spoken.

4. By employing agents who can speak both English and Spanish, the number of agents needed is reduced.

5. Think about using translation services if you do not want to employ multi-lingual agents.

Hiring Bilingual Agents for Your Contact Center

According to AnswerNow, contact centers that have bilingual agents perform better than single-language contact centers, both financially and operationally. Unfortunately, many Spanish speaking job candidates can actually only communicate on an informal or colloquial level. This isn’t “business” Spanish and these agents won’t be able to have appropriate or grammatically correct conversations with customers.

When hiring new contact center agents, clarify in the job description that they’ll be tested on their Spanish language abilities. This will help to weed out applicants who only speak a moderate amount of English. Applicants more likely to be honest about their Spanish level when they’re aware that they’ll be tested.

The Need for Bilingual Virtual Agents

According to Arial International, customers are relying more and more on live chat. Companies prefer chat, too, because the cost per interaction is relatively low. When it comes to virtual agents, copying and pasting pre-written Spanish templates into a chat box isn’t enough. Contact center agents have to be able to read and write in Spanish in order to communicate effectively via chat.

While many chat responses can be pre-written and then copied and pasted, it’s still necessary for a live chat agent to understand the specifics of the customer’s request. If the agent must go off-form to respond, they’ll need to know Spanish. Even short responses that are somewhat informal require proper grammar, punctuation, spelling and verb conjugation. Small mistakes can drastically change the meaning of a conversation.

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