Claims management looks very different than it did 20 years ago, and the industry will continue to change dramatically over the next decade. That's because the number of Americans who speak a language other than English at home is on a hard climb – more than doubling since the 1980s, and currently coming in at over 60 million. That’s one in five Americans. And according to the 2010 U.S. Census, about 41% of this group is considered Limited English Proficient (LEP) – i.e., 25 million people who speak English “less than very well.”
And we’re not talking just Spanish here, although that’s certainly at the top of the list. There’s also Chinese, Tagalog, French, Vietnamese, German, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Italian and Portuguese, with additional languages continuing to show up on the radar.
You have to be smart if you want to beat the language barrier. Here are three tips to manage claims in this continuously changing multilingual environment:
Know your customer.
There’s just no substitute for authentically knowing your customer. What languages, other than English, do they speak? What languages are already popular and which languages are emerging? Remember, the non-English-speaking population often varies greatly from city to city.
Make sure your business offering matches up with these demographics, and your language services are undeniably keeping up with your current and potential customers’ needs. You may think you’re up for the challenge, and that’s great, but just know that it is only going to get more difficult with your customers increasingly requiring (and expecting) more intricate language support.
Support your support.
Once you’ve identified your need for language support, you need to make sure that this support 1.) has what it takes and 2.) has what it needs to move your business forward. Their interpreters must have a firm grasp on your specific industry – your industry language and methodologies. In the case of a catastrophic event or surge in non-English claims, you may need your internal and external teams to work together closely. So make sure you’ve laid down a foundation for this collaboration to happen.
Support your language support (both internal and external teams) with a glossary of company - and industry - specific terminology to ensure consistency, process efficiency and stellar customer experience.
Stay ahead of your game.
You may be thinking, “I’m not seeing this language trend with my company,” or “I’ve got a multilingual client base, but I don’t need to worry about it just yet.” For both assertions, the same response applies:
"If the language barrier isn’t knocking on your
company’s door today, it will be tomorrow."
Don’t limit your business growth because you’re planning for today. Remember: It’s not just about “meeting” the language challenge. It’s about surpassing it – never settling for “just okay,” and making your customers feel awesome about your services in a way you can sustain in this dynamic environment.
Start the conversation with GLOBO about optimizing your current multilingual model or implementing more robust language support for claims management. Click below to contact GLOBO today.