The Impact of Call Center Agent’s Accent to Customer Experience

The Impact of Call Center Agent’s Accent to Customer Experience.jpg

In the call center industry, quality in communication is immensely essential. It is the arc reactor that gives power to Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit. Or we can just simply say that it is the key to a company’s success – the money-generating machine that is. Speaking of the importance of excellent communication, does accent have a positive or negative impact to customer experience or to business in general? A call center’s accent may be critical to many, especially to consumers. And there are some who doesn’t mind as long as they get quality and swift customer service. But if we dig deeper into this issue, does it have a strong influence to consumers and business owners alike?

The main focus of this issue is whether businesses are advised to outsource customer service jobs outside the country. At this time, there are hundreds of businesses from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and EU that ventured in acquiring workforce from renowned business process outsourcing (BPO) hubs particularly in the Philippines, India and other top destinations around the globe.

They say the problem with foreign call centers is their foreign accent. We can agree to that statement since one way or another, a number of foreign call centers lack the competence to take on the genuine American accent or tone that sounds natural to the ears of consumers calling. Moreover, a study shows that local accents increase customer satisfaction, and that leads to the question, “do accents of customer service agents affect customer satisfaction?  Or does outsourced call center agents negatively impact customer trust?

The issue with accent is not just a worldwide problem.  The language barrier takes place on a smaller level too within identical countries. Take a look at the U.S. for example; there are many regional dialects and accents, with each having their own special idioms and pronunciations.  Each and every one of us have an accent – and that is a fact Believe it or not. 

Accents, more frank language difficulties, and vague pronunciation as well, affects the service quality entirely.  A 2008 study carried out a company knows as the CFI Group affirmed that they resolve customer issues 88% of the time when customer service representatives are professed to speak comprehensibly. They resolve customer issues only 45% of the time when they’re not perceived as talking clearly. Obviously, the numbers don’t lie and that is an enormous difference that can have a massive effect on a company’s service quality. That is if a company chooses the wrong outsourcing provider. If we are talking quality service and the perfect speaking tone to achieve these numbers and meet the standards, then it all goes down to choosing the best outsourcing hub.

On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with outsourcing call center activities since there are naturally gifted bunch of call center agents that can pass any corporate standards without sounding like a local from a particular country. It seems that most of these businesses that were confident enough to invest on outsourcing call center activities are now successful and continues to thrive in the industry because they chose to get the very best people to the job.

Does accent matter to your business? Share your thoughts with us today.

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