Retail Language Services: Improving Multicultural Customer Experience

Retail Language Services: Improving Multicultural Customer Experience | Telelanguage

The retail services industry provides competition that fosters strong business operations and spurs innovations to increase efficiency and reliability and values customer experience. Customer support is the backbone of retail, and offering retail language services (professional interpretation and translation) has become increasingly important for moving retail businesses forward.

Take grocery stores for example. Grocery store sales have grown dramatically since the 1990s. Since 1992, sales have nearly doubled. The total sales generated by grocery stores in the United States in 2019 amounted to 682.86 billion US dollars. There are an estimated 40,000 grocery stores in the United States, of which supermarkets account for 70%, and warehouses, supercenters, club stores, natural/gourmet stores, and military commissaries account for 30%. Research shows that consumers prefer to do business in their native language. In order for retail establishments to thrive, they must be able to serve the needs of diverse populations.

Retail language services are imperative to providing positive customer experiences and earning the trust of your non-English speaking customers. Important to note for businesses that operate domestically, there are  61.6 million individuals in the U.S. who speak a language other than English at home – that’s 1 in 5 United States residents.

When multicultural consumers need assistance in their native language, services like video remote interpreting and telephonic interpreting allow staff to reach a professional interpreter in seconds, building trust and encouraging consumers to return.

Who Benefits from Retail Language Services

  • Grocery Stores and Supermarkets
  • General Merchandise Stores
  • Health & Personal Care Stores
  • Drug Stores and Pharmacies
  • Warehouse Stores/Clubs
  • Specialty Stores
  • Non-Store Retail (mail/catalog)
  • Online Retail
  • Call Centers and Help Desks
  • Restaurants and Dining Establishments
  • Retail Related to Hospitality and Travel

Did you know? Americans spend more than $60 billion per month eating out at restaurants, including fast food, midscale, casual and fine dining establishments. According to a 2019 survey, just over 30% of U.S. citizens dine out a few times per month, and 24% of respondents reported eating out several times a week.


7 Benefits of Offering Retail Language Services

  1. Increased sales from Limited-English Proficient (LEP) markets
  2. Enhances customer experience
  3. Builds strong customer relationships and encourages brand loyalty
  4. Helps establish brand authority and community reputation
  5. Increases productivity of operations and reduces time spent on miscommunications errors
  6. Increased brand awareness
  7. Extends the overall reach of brand messaging to connect with more potential customers


5 Trends that Highlight the Importance of Retail Language Services

1. People Prefer to Do Business in Their Native Language

Research has shown that people prefer to do business in their native language, especially when they have limited-English proficiency. This gives businesses and organizations an opportunity to speak directly to these markets in the language they prefer, giving them a leg up on the competition that does not offer effective retail language services.

  • Common Sense Advisory report on Global Consumer Online Buying Preferences revealed that 75% of people prefer to buy products in their native language.
  • In a 2014 report, ICMI found that 71.5% of customer service leaders interviewed said that support in a customer’s native language increased their satisfaction with customer support.
  • According to a 2016 report by Common Sense Advisory, 74% of consumers are more likely to repurchase if after-sales care is offered in their language.
  • Poor customer service causes U.S. businesses to lose more than $62 billion a year, according to NewVoiceMedia.


2. Spanish Language Market Growth

50% of U.S. population growth from 2010 to 2015 has come from Hispanics, and the U.S. Census expects the U.S. Latino population to more than double within the next two generations. In 2020, the U.S. Hispanic market is expected to reach $1.7 trillion.

While younger generations of Hispanics are becoming more English-dominant and predominantly bilingual, Spanish is the most spoken non-English language in the United States, and providing translation and interpreter services for the Spanish language market is increasingly important for visibility and potential growth.


3. Asian Languages Market Growth

The Asian languages market is important for U.S.businesses. After English and Spanish, Chinese is the next most commonly spoken language in the United States, and the most commonly spoken language in the world, outnumbering English speakers 2:1.

Whether doing business globally or providing interpretation and translation to better serve your customers and clients, Asian consumers have buying power. According to Selig Center Director, Jeff Humphreys, Hispanic and Asian consumers are driving the U.S. economy forward. The Asian market, roughly 18.3 million Americans, was $825 billion in 2015 and is projected to grow to $1.1 trillion in 2020. UGA


4. Population/Language Trends

Between 1990 and 2013, the LEP population grew 80% from nearly 14 million to 25.1 million. That’s over  8% of the U.S. population. Migration Policy Institute

Businesses must recognize the incredible opportunity to speak directly to those with limited-English proficiency.  LEP consumer buying power is to show considerable growth in the coming years. Hispanic and Asian-American populations alone represent 70% of LEP consumers in the United States, and providing excellent language services means not missing out on the opportunity to connect with and serve new markets who are willing to buy.


5. Language Service Trends

Language services are not a luxury, but a necessity for all organizations serving multicultural customers. The North America Interpretation Services Market was valued at USD 4.67 Billion in 2018 and is expected to witness a growth of 5.26% from 2019-2026 and reach USD 6.99 Billion by 2026, according to Verified Market Research.


How Telelanguage Can Help

Telelanguage offers complete language services to fit the needs of the Retail Industry, including on-demand interpreter services, in-person interpreter services, and written translation services.

Telephonic Interpretation: Connect with over 6,000 professional interpreters in 300+ languages. Telephonic customer service interpreters can improve the support offered to Limited-English speaking customers quickly and effectively at a low per minute rate that’s available when you need it with no long-term contract…24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!

Video Remote Interpretation (VRI): Video Interpreting is a cost-effective on-demand solution that can fill the gap between over-the-phone and on-site interpretation services, making it possible to gain visual support with enhanced accuracy, see facial expressions and confirm the meaning of non-verbal communication and help the conversation for you, your interpreter and your non-English speaking customers.

Translation Services: Written translation can be very valuable for providing non-English speaking customers with your written materials. In order to help you better serve your customers, Telelanguage has the capacity to professionally translate materials from English to over 150 target languages and vice versa. Our translators are subject-matter experts to ensure that you get the most qualified translator for your project.

On-Site Interpretation: Have a meeting be planned in advance at your physical location? Telelanguage provides On-site Interpreters that can be at your location to help you communicate with non-English speaking clients.


Retail Language Services Information | Telelanguage

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In summary, it pays for retail organizations to invest in retail language services and to focus on the experience of multicultural and LEP consumers. Short-term gains can include sales, but the long-term benefits of providing quality interpretation and translation services include building real consumer relationships, brand authority, brand loyalty, and increased awareness and overall reach of brand messaging. When language barriers arise, you need a language services provider that can respond quickly and professionally to the needs of your organization. Retail Language Services provide the solutions you need to improve communication with limited-English proficient customers and provide the highest levels of customer satisfaction.


Additional COVID-19 Language Resources

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, Telelanguage is offering all new accounts our language interpretation and translation services with no contract required. 

Communication is vital, especially in urgent situations. Being able to provide service and care to Limited-English Speaking, and Deaf or Hard of Hearing individuals ensures you’re supporting your missions at the highest levels. Telelanguage is committed to providing you with the highest quality language services, with fast connections to certified interpreters. You will pay ONLY for the minutes you use, and there are no minimum requirements.

Learn more about COVID-19 Language Support with No Contract Required Language Services!


Quick and Easy Account Set-up

Account set-up can be done remotely and completed in minutes. You can begin offering your communities over-the-phone, or video interpretation and translation services the same day you call – with the equipment you likely already own!

Free Support Materials and Staff Training

Telelanguage can also provide free customized electronic, and printed, reference material for you to distribute to your communities, customers, and workforce. Unlimited staff training can be conducted via webinar or conference call to ensure efficient use of services.

Call 1-(877) 389-7370, or email [email protected] to begin services today!
Telelanguage has been providing customers with the highest quality of language service since 1991. We support over 350 languages, 24x7x365 utilizing 6,000+ U.S.-based interpreters. Telelanguage currently supports over 8,000 accounts around the world – in all industries. Services include over-the-phone, on-site and video remote interpretation, as well as document translations, interpreter management and scheduling, reporting, invoicing, language assessment evaluations, and much more. Contact us for more information about language support for your organization.

Learn about No Contract Required Language Services!


Certified interpreters ready to speak in 300+ languages!

Call Telelanguage today at (888) 983-5352

Video Remote and Telephonic Interpretation Available 24/7, 365 days a year