Tips For Supporting Non-English Speaking Insurance Customers
Obtaining insurance coverage offers people a sense of assurance and protection. You never know what can happen…However, when someone that might not speak English needs help to communicate effectively with their insurance provider or learn more about their services, navigating the process can become problematic.
Language barriers in insurance have become a prevalent issue for a significant and expanding demographic of individuals who don’t speak English or are learning it in America.
These policyholders require the same level of coverage and security, yet language obstacles can complicate acquiring and utilizing insurance. Implementing a comprehensive language support solution can aid insurance companies in providing improved service to all policyholders and expanding their customer base.
In this guide we’ll break down some key tips for supporting non-English speaking insurance customers.
So why is it important?
Insurance is a vital tool for protecting individuals from the financial burden or unexpected medical expenses.
However, for those who might not speak the English language in America, the process of acquiring and utilizing insurance can be a significant obstacle.
Studies have shown that individuals with limited English proficiency are disproportionately uninsured, often due to a lack of accessible resources and information in their preferred language. To address this issue, insurance companies can implement language support solutions to better serve all policyholders, including those with limited proficiency in English.
This can include offering translation services for insurance documentation & customer support and interpreters for in-person interactions.
By providing these resources, insurance companies can increase customer satisfaction, improve the quality of care for policyholders, and tap into a growing market of potential customers.
Do you have Multilingual Customer Support?
A study conducted by The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) revealed that a staggering 74% of consumers are inclined to make repeat purchases if they are provided with after-sales service in their preferred language.
Furthermore, 58% of consumers stated that customer support in their native language enhanced their loyalty to a brand, while 71% reported increased satisfaction.
Despite these findings, only 19% of contact centers currently offer language support for calls.
In light of the rapidly accelerating pace of globalization and the proliferation of e-commerce, it is increasingly likely that businesses will encounter customers from a wide spectrum of cultural and linguistic backgrounds. The report also highlighted several impressive statistics, including that:
- Spanish is spoken by around one in nine Americans age five and older at home.
- The Hispanic population is the largest minority group in the United States! Spanish is the most common non-English language spoken in U.S. homes (62%) in 2019 – 12 times greater than the next four most common languages.
Tips For Assisting Insurance Customers Who Don’t Speak English
While intricate in nature, the insurance industry plays a crucial role in maintaining our overall well-being and security. Clear communication with policyholders is fundamental to customer service in this field.
Regrettably, not all insurance providers try to provide information in languages other than English, in effect neglecting a segment of the population that’s already underserved.
Those that do, offer a valuable service by catering to the linguistic needs of their diverse clientele.
Here are some tips that would help you in assisting insurance customers who are not fluent in English:
- Offer Language Support From Experts
It is crucial to deliver the necessary language support to your customers! So pairing up with a language agency that has expertise in insurance is your first step. You can offer over the phone interpreters, virtual interpreters or translate documents into the customer’s native language.
Your non-English speaking customers can then be assured that the information provided will be clear and understandable to them without any difficulties.
They will feel more comfortable and confident when interacting with your organization!
- Be Patient And Empathetic
Communicating with non-English speaking customers can be difficult, so it is helpful to be patient and compassionate.
Whenever you interact with them, be accommodating and understanding, and approach the conversation with empathy and experience to make the relationship as effective as possible.
- Use Simple Language
If you are trying to speak with a customer who does not speak English, try to communicate in simple language and avoid any technical terms or jargon that may be foreign to them. Instead of using complicated language, stick to simple words and explain concepts clearly and straightforwardly.
- Provide Visual Aids
Diagrams, pictures, and videos can effectively supplement verbal communication and help non-English speaking customers understand complex concepts.
They can also help to make the information more engaging and easy to understand.
- Train Your Staff
Give your team training on interacting with customers who do not speak English as their first language. As part of this process, language classes may be offered as well as cultural sensitivity training.
Be sure to train your staff on how to effectively use their go-to language agency. The more confident and comfortable they are with scheduling interpreters and forwarding documents for translation, then the better for the customer and insurance organization.
- Provide Translated Documents
Readily offer translated versions of important documents such as policies, claims forms, and brochures. If you know the languages spoken in a region or market, you can have all of those materials tailored and translated for customers.
Informed customers stay engaged, use more services and recommend friends and family to use your insurance firm.
- Employ Digital Solutions
Use digital solutions such as language translation software, automated chat systems, and virtual assistants to aid non-English speaking customers in locating the information they require on your website.
These tools simplify the process of interacting with your business, conveniently providing them with the information they need.
- Assess Consumer Feedback
Use feedback from non-English speaking clients to enhance support and improve your service.
The feedback collected from these customers can assist you in identifying areas for improvement in catering to the specific needs of your non-English speaking clientele.
There are several key steps that insurance companies can take to serve non-English speaking customers better.
By offering language support, being patient & empathetic, using simple language, and monitoring customer feedback, insurance companies can ensure that all customers have equal access to the coverage and protection they need.
Insurance companies can tap into a growing market of non-English speaking customers and improve the overall customer experience by making these changes!