E.g., 04/05/2020
E.g., 04/05/2020

Telephone Interpreting as a Revenue Boosting Business Solution

By: Kristin Quinlan, CEO - Certified Languages International

04 August 2014

Imagine that you are a visitor, refugee, or recent immigrant in a country where you have a limited ability to speak the local language. You still need access to all of the same services as the local population, but the language barrier is daunting and can be fraught with pitfalls and misunderstandings that are potentially critical to your well-being (or even your life’s savings). As a customer, when it comes to accessing these services, would you be more likely to choose to do business with a company that provides interpreting services so that you can be comfortable in the decisions you make as a consumer? Or one that does not? The answer seems obvious.

Over-the-phone interpreting came into being in the 1990s to help save lives and provide vital language services for emergency and healthcare personnel who needed to communicate with limited English proficient speakers (LEPs). Over the last 20 years or so, the benefits of providing language services to clients has proven to be a catalyst in growing business for this diverse demographic across all markets.

Leading businesses in all industries across the globe have realized that by offering remote interpreting services, they are able to tap into a previously under-serviced demographic, while also building trust and brand loyalty that then converts into return customers and increased sales. The consistent growth of the telephone and remote interpreting annual revenue is proof that this sector of the language service industry will continue to grow and evolve as the demand for it rises and new technological advances expand its accessibility.

As the business economy has continued to move towards ever increasing globalization, there has been speculation about what the emerging language of business will be. Due to the booming economies of the western world over the last century, English has long been regarded as the unofficial language of business, and it does not appear that will be changing any time soon. Although many sectors of international business use English, the local sectors most often do not. If someone is working for an international firm or in telecom, there’s a good chance they are bilingual and/or conducting business in English, but in retail and storefronts around the world, the customer service agents are likely making do with the language barrier, or relying on fellow bilingual employees. These retail environments are just one area in which we potentially see a tremendous opportunity for growth in the telephonic and remote interpreting sectors of the language industry.

With large U.S.-based retailers opening store fronts in Europe, Asia, and around the world, many have begun to take notice that the utilization of telephone and, more recently, video remote interpreting services to serve their non-English speaking clientele can help boost sales and increase customer satisfaction without having to rely on multilingual employees who often don’t have professional interpreting experience.

One thing is certain: Companies need to become multilingual, and they don’t have to create the infrastructure themselves. Thanks to the variety of language service options available, the implementation of telephone interpreting services should require virtually zero monetary investment on behalf of businesses up front. Contracting with a language service company to serve customers with varying language needs is smart business, and the assets far outweigh the costs of companies attempting to service language needs internally. Companies who use a professional language service provider benefit from a more diverse selection of languages, 24/7 availability, and the assurance of a high level of professionalism and quality.

As the language service industry continues to embrace and harness innovative technology that allows companies to serve their clients faster, and in more languages than ever before, we expect to see nothing but the same steady incline of business that we have seen over the past two decades, with more growth in industries that have been untapped or underserved. By embracing language diversity and interpreting services as a profit-based solution, we can be assured that everybody wins.

Want to learn more? Watch Kristin Quinlan’s webinar on “Over-the-Phone Interpreting: Breaking Down Language Barriers and Growing the Global Marketplace” on GALA onDemand!

Kristin Quinlan

Kristin Quinlan serves as CEO of Certified Languages International, a U.S. based on-demand telephone and video remote interpreting company founded in 1996.  Kristin joined the company in 1999, rising to CEO in 2006. A recognized leader known for approaching business with a unique blend of industry-wide collaboration and “bottom up” management style, she’s led CLI to be named eight times to the Fortune 500/5000 list of America’s fastest growing companies and named third among leading telephone interpreting companies worldwide.

Kristin’s commitment to the language industry earned her a position on the Association of Language Companies’ (ALC) Executive Board of Directors (2010-2014) and January 2015 was nominated to serve on the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL) Board of Directors in Washington DC., a national advocacy organization which raises public awareness of language as an enterprise vital to the U.S. She was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for 7000 Languages, a nonprofit that connects endangered language groups with free tools and technology to preserve their languages.

Certified Languages is a proud founding member of the Association of Language Companies (ALC), and is also heavily involved with the National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare (NCIHC), and Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI). Kristin has recently been working to garner support for the Coalition of Practicing Translators & Interpreters in opposition to Assembly Bill 5, which was recently enacted to the detriment of independent contractors working in California.