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The benefits of comprehensive language support are more than meets the eye. From aligning with your organizations' key drivers to improving experiences for staff and customers alike, a language support partner can prove to be a valuable extension of your business.
The right partner can enhance your services, but the key to success ultimately lies in being proactive. If you're looking to make the most of your language support offering, keep these tips in mind.
Language support providers often have insights that might not occur to those who don't have direct experience with working with interpreters, such as cultural norms and expectations, ways to build trust and rapport through interpreters, and how to ensure interpreters represent your organization's mission and culture. Ask if they can provide opportunities to meet and discuss with interpreters who service your calls. They're equipped to provide insights into cultural and language intelligence, as well as identify areas where callers in their language might get confused.
Don't miss out on opportunities to consult with your language partner to find out more about what they know and how they can best support your language services needs.
Businesses today must constantly evolve to keep up with changing demographics, technology, and marketplace trends. If you foresee big changes in your business, such as an anticipated shift in the volume of your limited-English speaking clientele, let your language provider know so they can prepare to adequately scale your resources. Other changes to note would be if you plan to open a new location or are anticipating staff changes that will affect how many people you can provide services to. Your language support partner can be a valuable resource in helping you prepare to ensure the needs of your limited-English speaking customers are met.
Your language support partner should provide you with reports regularly. Paying attention to this data is important. With the right reporting in hand, you can track what's working (and what isn't) as well as see where there might be opportunities for improvement or gaps in service. Take the time to carefully read these reports so you can make informed decisions about your language support services.
Leveraging comprehensive reports provides valuable insights into trends. What story is the data telling you? What specifically can you glean from it? The beauty of data is that it can help identify gaps in service, areas of improvement, and even the effectiveness of your language access program. While you may be able to take some guesses, there's a good chance your language support provider can offer insights of their own. If your provider offers to go through the data with you, that's the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the value of their expertise. You may even want to schedule regular meetings with your language support partner just for this purpose.
Each interpreting mode has varying pros and cons, depending on the situation and nature of the information being interpreted, as well as any cultural or social sensitivities that need to be considered. Your language support partner should be able to offer guidance on what type of service to use in specific situations. For example, telephone interpreting may be sufficient in some cases, whereas video interpreting or in-person interpreting services may be beneficial in others. Your language services provider can help guide you.
The value of your language support partnership relies on maintaining a two-way dialog. Just as you're open to their expertise and suggestions, they're be eager to hear your feedback. Providing feedback enables your language support partner to calibrate to your needs and expectations. If your partner offers Quarterly Business Reviews, those can be a great opportunity for facilitating feedback.
In addition to providing your own internal feedback, gathering end-user (the limited English speaker) feedback is another much-needed data point in a suite of quality tools (including interpreter monitoring and coaching, connect time monitoring, and other technical and human metrics). Your language support partner likely has the ability to integrate end-user feedback mechanisms into the interpreting experience, which can provide necessary insights into whether services are meeting both your own expectations and those of your language support partner.
Chances are, your language support partner values your feedback, even if they don't directly ask for it, so don't hesitate to share.
Implementing language support is a huge step toward improving service and demonstrating a commitment to connecting with customers from across all demographics. Being a proactive partner will help ensure that you're getting the most out of these services.
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