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Enhance Customer Experience with IVR Multilingual Support for a Diverse or Global Customer Base

In the globalised world, businesses are increasingly planning to expand their market reach. It often includes the diversification of the customer base due to linguistic preferences. But, with this expansion, there comes the challenge of providing multilingual customer support. Providing customer support in multiple languages is a very expensive process. But, it is very crucial to adapt to a multi-linguistic approach to ensure excellent customer service. Companies must adapt and provide effective communication channels when their customer base contains people from all across the world requiring the involvement of more than two languages. So, what is the option? Can a company provide such multilingual customer support at affordable costs? Well, to a considerable extent, yes, it is possible! Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems have emerged as a powerful tool to streamline customer interactions and improve the overall experience. In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of IVR multilingual support and how it can be a game-changer for businesses looking to serve a diverse or global customer base. Let’s get started. 

The Role of IVR in Customer Service

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems are automated telephony systems that interact with callers through voice and touch-tone keypad selections. They are widely used for various purposes, including call routing, information retrieval, and customer support. IVR systems serve as the initial point of contact for many customers, making them a crucial component of a company’s customer service strategy. The following are the most important benefits of IVR Systems in Customer Service.

Automated Interactions: With an IVR application, there is no need to hire live human beings. You don’t need to deploy agents on the other end of the line to attend to incoming calls because IVR will take care of them. IVR systems initiate interactions via pre-defined voice prompts and menus. It helps leverage resources.    

Efficient Call Routing: IVR can guide callers to the right department or agent based on their needs, reducing wait times and improving the customer experience.

Self-Service Options: IVR can offer self-service options for common customer inquiries, such as account balance checks or appointment scheduling, enabling customers to get information or complete tasks without agent assistance.

24/7 Availability: IVR systems operate round the clock, ensuring that customers can access basic information and assistance anytime, even outside regular business hours.

Scalability: IVR can handle a large volume of calls simultaneously, making it suitable for businesses with high call traffic. In other words, suppose your business experiences a hike in incoming calls during the on-season. In that case, IVR can provide high scalability as it can immediately scale up to your fluctuating demands. A user just needs to talk to their service provider.  

These are invaluable advantages. However, there is another one as well. Interactive Voice Response can also help provide customer support in multiple languages.

Understanding the Multilingual Challenge and Its Consequences 

As businesses expand their horizons, they encounter the challenge of serving customers who speak different languages. This diversity can range from different native languages in a single country to serving customers across various countries with distinct linguistic preferences. Overcoming language barriers is vital for delivering quality customer service, as poor communication can result in customer frustration, misunderstandings, and, ultimately, lost business opportunities. Thus, if your company has a very diverse customer base in terms of language, it is a must that you provide quality customer experiences. In other words, you have to facilitate customer interactions in all the preferred languages. Let’s see the possible negative consequences.     

Consequences of not Addressing Language Barriers 

However, if a business finds it difficult to overcome this challenge, this situation can turn itself into other multiple negative consequences as listed below concisely. Suppose your customers want to interact in Spanish but you don’t provide customer support in that language. In that case, you are going to bear certain negative consequences. Some such problems are enumerated below.    

Poor Customer Experience: Inability to provide service in a customer’s preferred language can lead to a subpar customer experience. Customers may feel frustrated or marginalised, and this negative experience can impact their perception of the brand, potentially leading to churn and lost business opportunities.

Misunderstandings: Language barriers can result in misunderstandings between customers and the business. Miscommunication can lead to errors in orders, misinterpretation of customer needs, and dissatisfaction. This can result in increased customer complaints and returns, impacting both time and resources.

Lower First-Call Resolution Rates: When customers cannot effectively communicate their issues or questions due to language barriers, first-call resolution rates may drop. Customers might need to call back or engage in additional interactions, increasing the workload for customer support teams and potentially frustrating customers.

Brand Image Damage: Failing to provide adequate multilingual support can damage a business’s brand image. Customers may perceive the company as unresponsive or uninterested in their needs, which can lead to a negative reputation and potential boycotts or negative social media reviews.

Market Entry Challenges: Expanding into new markets with different languages can be especially challenging if a business doesn’t offer multilingual support. In such cases, the company may struggle to gain a foothold and compete effectively, potentially missing out on significant market opportunities.

Lost Sales Opportunities: When customers cannot obtain the information they need or make purchases due to language barriers, businesses may lose sales opportunities. This is especially relevant in e-commerce, where customers might abandon their shopping carts if they can’t find product information or complete transactions in their preferred language.

Long-Running Negative Consequences: When a company or a firm fails to fulfil its responsibilities towards its customers hailing from diverse cultures, the company finds it very difficult to expand its market in the long run. Talking in one’s mother tongue is a crucial aspect of a client seeking customer support from the company to whom they have been loyal for many years.   

Thus, there are multiple such problems that a business with a culturally diverse customer base has to face when the need for multilingual customer support hasn’t been met properly.

Use IVR to Cater to a Language-Rich Customer Base 

For companies with a diverse or global customer base, communicating in multiple languages becomes a competitive advantage. However, it is not as simple as that. For example, the company has to pay a lot to set up customer support centres where support, in a variety of languages, is provided. The high cost associated with multilingual customer support is something that can be an impediment. But, as stated in the introduction, there is a solution to it. IVR is the solution. 

Use IVR multilingual support. It is an IVR application that speaks to incoming callers in their preferred languages. It is the key to addressing this challenge effectively. When you deploy a Multilingual IVR application, you get the following benefits:

Cost-effectiveness: First of all, it reduces the cost of providing customer help in various languages. The solution becomes cost-effective and the company can thus subsequently move towards the better allocation of its existing resources. With an IVR, catering to the needs of a multilingual customer base becomes much more affordable than otherwise with human agents.     

Increased Efficiency: Multilingual IVR reduces the need for language-specific call centres or multilingual agents for handling calls. This leads to cost savings and greater operational efficiency.

Customer-Centric Approach: Providing multilingual support through IVR demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction and inclusivity. Customers appreciate when they can interact with a company in their preferred language, leading to improved loyalty and brand perception.

Market Expansion: Multilingual IVR support enables businesses to expand into new markets with confidence. It opens doors to regions and demographics that might have otherwise been challenging to penetrate due to language barriers.

Reduced Misunderstandings: Language-related miscommunications can lead to costly errors and misunderstandings. Multilingual IVR minimises these risks, ensuring customers receive accurate information and assistance.

Improved First Call Resolution: By addressing customer needs in their language of choice, multilingual IVR systems contribute to higher first-call resolution rates, resulting in more satisfied customers and shorter call durations.

Implementing IVR Multilingual Support

Integrating multilingual support into your IVR system is a strategic move that requires careful planning and execution. Here’s a step-by-step guide to implementing IVR multilingual support effectively:

Identify Target Languages: Determine which languages are most relevant to your customer base. Consider factors such as geographical location, customer demographics, and market potential.

Create Language Menus: Design an IVR menu that includes options for selecting the desired language. Ensure that this menu is easy to navigate and user-friendly.

Translate and Record Prompts: Translate IVR prompts, messages, and menu options into the chosen languages. Use native speakers for recording to ensure authenticity and clarity.

Implement Language Routing: Set up language routing logic to direct callers to the appropriate language menu based on their language selection.

Training and Testing: Train your IVR system to recognise and respond to different languages accurately. Thoroughly test the system to ensure language selection and routing work as intended.

Regular Updates: Languages, customer preferences, and market dynamics can change over time. Be prepared to update and expand your multilingual IVR support as needed.


In today’s interconnected world, businesses must adapt to the linguistic diversity of their customer base. Multilingual IVR support is a powerful tool, in this regard, that not only enhances the customer experience but also facilitates market expansion and cost-effective operations. By investing in a multilingual IVR system, businesses can bridge language barriers and provide personalised service that fosters loyalty and growth. In an age where customer service plays a pivotal role in brand success, IVR multilingual support is an essential component of a comprehensive customer service strategy. And, it becomes an attractive solution because of its considerable cost-effectiveness. By the way, next2call is a reliable IVR service provider. If you need an IVR application or want to discuss your related-concerns, contact us.