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Handling Sensitive Calls with Limited English Proficient Consumers

How Lionbridge ensures successful conversations and outcomes

In a world that remains profoundly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns and stresses within Limited English Proficient (LEP) communities may be particularly heightened. Individuals who do not speak English fluently—and therefore may lack access to much of the world’s dialogue in predominantly English-speaking areas—may feel even more isolated and alone than others during this unprecedented time. Translators are more important than ever in providing LEP individuals with crucial information and conversation support during a crisis. Learn more about how Lionbridge Over-the-Phone Interpretation Services can help your company improve retention of your Limited English Proficient customers.

How COVID Impacts Limited English Proficient Individuals  

Over 50 million Americans speak a language other than English at home—over 350 languages in total. In addition to the disproportionate impacts of COVID on some communities, LEP individuals may be experiencing increased financial stress and financial burdens, along with frequent needs to care for relatives during the current crisis. To effectively support and respond to the needs of LEP individuals, service providers, businesses, governments and non-profit organizations need both great empathy for LEP individuals and a strong and fact-based understanding of how best to communicate with them when engaged in customer service conversations or other dialogues.

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How Lionbridge Interpreters Handle Sensitive Topics

Lionbridge can help service providers ensure the most successful conversations and outcomes from their conversations with LEP individuals. We have extensive experience across industries, including telecommunications, technology, financial services, insurance and utilities, along with government and education. With over 20 years providing live, on-demand telephonic interpreting services to businesses, governments and non-profits—and across tens of millions of calls—Lionbridge has frequently handled interpretation needs in which a wide variety of highly-sensitive topics arose, including domestic abuse, medical and personal healthcare issues, unemployment claims, inability to pay bills, concerns about service being shut off and lost insurance benefits, among others.

If it has happened on a call with a limited English-speaking consumer, we have seen it, heard it and helped our customers to manage it effectively, supporting both our customers’ needs and their consumers’ or users’ needs. Our Lionbridge interpreters know how to handle these calls with sensitivity and care, focusing both on the LEP individual and the challenges they may be facing, along with the business and other organizational needs of our customers and their agents, who are aiming to serve and support the callers.

To that end, Lionbridge has developed and codified a range of best practices for supporting our customers in their efforts to support their LEP consumers and end-users when sensitive topics arise. Our specialized interpreter training for sensitive topics and situations includes training on:

  • Maintaining a supportive demeanor
  • Ensuring neutrality and perceived fairness
  • Customer and consumer-focused tone
  • Maintaining focus during challenging calls
  • Dealing with crisis situations
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As your business or organization seeks and strives to maximize customer satisfaction, retention and Net Promoter Score during these challenging times, it is critical to have a language services partner who is able to provide effective, reliable and highest-quality interpretation services, including through the many types of challenging and sensitive call types that are occurring with greater frequency during COVID. Contact us or visit our website to find out more.

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Jerry Wish
Jerry Wish