English is still the main language of global business, but Mandarin could replace it in a few years’ time. While there are currently more than 330 million English speakers in the world, there are nearly 2 billion Mandarin speakers. Other languages, like Spanish and French, are preferred languages within certain communities whose members feel more comfortable communicating or doing transactions using them.
Diversity is fast gaining recognition among the communities that are being serviced by call centers. The clients’ culture, tradition and language are increasingly being honored, used as common ground to gain trust, win the sale and establish a long-lasting business relationship. This is why it does pay if you know another language besides English and your native tongue if you work in a call center. It could even pay in more ways than one.
1. You can earn an above-average salary
Call center agents who speak a foreign language (aside from English), whether they sell or provide customer service, are paid significantly more than the standard rate. They are paid well because they can communicate fluently and easily with the niche market of Spanish-speaking clients, enabling them to provide the best possible service.
2. You may be assigned more work that will increase your income
Assuming you still have time to spare after your primary duties, your company might ask you to do translation work or answer emails from foreign clients in their native language for which you will receive additional compensation.
3. You may gain greater visibility within your organization by being assigned to communicate with visiting leaders from foreign companies
Normally, it is your boss who wines and dines CEO’s and other VIP’s from the English-speaking countries aside from the USA, like Australia. But what if a visiting top-level executive happens to be proud of his Italian ancestry and therefore only speaks Italian? If you were fluent in the language, your boss might ask you to assist in communicating with the executive during meetings. This is a great opportunity to show your skills and willingness to go the extra mile apart from your linguistic skills.
If Chinese is your first language at home, you ought to use that to enhance your career in the call center industry. If it isn’t but you have a knack for speaking French and would like to develop that skill, invest in a certificate course and dedicate your weekends to becoming fluent in the language. It will be well worth your investment in time and money.