Which Gate? Solving Language Issues in Airline Customer Support

Disculpe, por favor me puede decir de que puerta sale mi vuelo?”

 The agent behind the counter sighed. She wanted to help, but her knowledge of Spanish was limited to what she could recall from a few high school classes – twenty years ago.

She glanced around hopefully. Several of her colleagues did speak the language, and maybe…no, the one bilingual agent on shift was deep in conversation with another customer. She’d just have to do her best.

For large airlines carrying thousands of people across the country on hundreds of flights every day, scenarios like this one can happen any time. Luckily this situation is easy to solve with CyraCom’s telephone interpreting service.

Airport multilingual customer serviceOne client – a top 10 airline in the US offering flights to over 100 destinations across North America – found themselves working to help non-English speaking customers more and more often.

Bilingual staff members were somewhat helpful, especially for more common languages, but couldn’t cover the diverse spectrum of customers the airline was experiencing. And being unable to help a customer due to a language barrier was bad for business; not only did it delay and inconvenience the limited-English passengers, but it caused bottlenecks and delays for everyone else while agents who didn’t speak the language did their best to make themselves understood.

The airline came to CyraCom seeking a solution. Their call centre alone was receiving between 400 and 700 calls per month in Spanish, as well as an additional 100 calls in other non-English languages. They wanted to make sure quality didn’t suffer on these calls either, specifying that their language services vendor would need to provide an interpreter in 30 seconds or less, and that interpreter calls be monitored for quality.

Fortunately, CyraCom’s quick answer time and regular monitoring of employee interpreter calls were able to meet the airline’s expectations. Today, the service supplements multilingual customer service agents in the airline’s call centre, and front line personnel stationed at their terminals and gates across the US. Agents are just a quick phone call from providing service in hundreds of languages to their customers in need.

Click here to read about companies in each of these scenarios who solved the language barrier problem with over the phone interpretation. To learn more about how over the phone interpretation works, click here.

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