Do Accents of Customer Service Agents Affect Customer Satisfaction?

Do Accents of Customer Service Agents Affect Customer Satisfaction?

OABPO Blog Team Published on February 28, 2014Last updated on October 10, 2020

Yes, the accent of a customer service representative does have an impact on the customer’s satisfaction.

multilingual customer service team speaking to customers in call center

This is what a Zendesk research revealed, underscoring that “The problem with foreign call centers are the foreign accents.”

However, the software development company disclaimed that not all outsourced call centers fail at customer satisfaction.

Zendesk also guessed that the service vendors may not provide sufficient accent training to foreign staff. In addition, the call equipment might even be the one causing customers to mishear agents over the phone.

The customers’ reason for calling could also have an effect on their understanding or reception of the person on the other line. The study says that callers making inquiries and expecting to receive a product are the most satisfied customers, while people who call to complain or check the status of their order are the most dissatisfied.

Whatever the main reason may be, we should not discount the fact that the manner your agent pronounces words still has an impact on your customer’s satisfaction.

To emphasize how much accents really matter, refer to these figures garnered by customer feedback insights and analytics firm CFI Group:

  • Customers handled by American agents rate their satisfaction at an average of 79%
  • Customers handled by foreign representatives are only 58% satisfied

When it comes to customer service effectiveness, here is how foreign-accent call center agents fared against American representatives:

  • Problem resolved: US - 94%; non-US - 85%
  • Problem resolved on first call: US - 67%%; non-US - 50%
  • Problem handled by more than one agent: US - 21%; foreign - 32%
  • Ease of understanding: US - 85%; foreign - 54%
  • Effectiveness in handling issue: US - 84%; foreign - 62%
  • Courteousness: US - 87%; foreign - 75%
  • Interest in helping: US - 85%; foreign - 70%
  • Overall satisfaction: US - 85%; foreign - 66%

In the issue of trust, accent also plays a significant role. The University of Chicago pointed out that if the customers cannot understand the agent, they cannot give their trust. And the heavier the accent, the less information the agent could get from the person on the phone.

Should these numbers discourage you from outsourcing customer service?

customer service agent talking to customer using laptop

Outsourcing is still advisable, especially if you choose BPO centers where voice services are dominantly delivered in the English language.

Companies that concentrate on this are mostly found in countries where the official language is English or in territories where Western culture has a great influence.

As the aforementioned Zendesk research said, accents may only become a problem if the outsourcing firm lacks the right training, so look for a service vendor that goes beyond intonation exercise and focuses more on familiarizing agents with the cultural and lingual context of the customers they serve.

Get in touch with Open Access BPO to outsource your English and multilingual business needs to our highly skilled teams.

Read More

JOIN US ON FACEBOOK
Open Access BPO
Open Access BPO4 hours ago
As much as your brand wants to give your customers a great experience, there are times when you really have to say no to their requests. For #CallCenter agents who are trained to always delight the customer, having to say "no" can be difficult.

Here are 5 tips for letting down your customers gently without ruining their entire #BrandExperience: https://buff.ly/3VuHqR6

----------
Choose an #outsourcing company that values customer service and brand retention: OpenAccessBPO.com/get-started

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
#CustomerSupport #CustomerService
#CallCenterTips
Open Access BPO
Open Access BPO2 days ago
The holiday season is one of the busiest times for most businesses and deal-seeking consumers.

Between the onslaught of online shoppers, the potential issues you might run into, and possible internal concerns, is your brand ready to handle the holiday rush?

Here's how outsourcing can ensure a satisfying #CustomerExperience during the holidays: https://buff.ly/3XTgDzB

-
-
• How a 24/7 Call Center Handles a High Call Volume During the Holidays
https://buff.ly/3B9bkCq

• Outsourcing to Beat the eCommerce Holiday Shopping Rush
https://buff.ly/3FqlDEC

• UI Tune-Up: A Customer Service Must-Do for the Holidays
https://buff.ly/3XYPiMj

• 5 Ways to Boost Customer Satisfaction This Holiday Season
https://buff.ly/3FooIoE

• 4 Major Flops that Could Happen Over the Holidays
https://buff.ly/3FmdfWL

• How Can Philippine Call Centers Motivate Agents After the Holidays?
https://buff.ly/3XOlmmd

• Top Five Business Tasks To Outsource During The Holiday Season | via Forbes
https://buff.ly/3B9bkSW

----------
Partner with a #multilingual #CX expert trusted by global brands for their 24/7 support: OpenAccessBPO.com/get-started

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
#ecommerce #OnllineRetail
#OnlineShopping #HolidayShopping
#CustomerSupport #CustomerService
Open Access BPO
Open Access BPO7 days ago
If you think it has become harder to make your customers happy these past couple of decades, you're right.

Here are the 5 reasons why making customers happy—and keeping them that way—has become an even more demanding task: https://buff.ly/3APNZFN

----------
Start improving your customer retention and brand loyalty: OpenAccessBPO.com/get-started

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
#CustomerSupport #CustomerService
#CX #CustomerExperience
Open Access BPO
Open Access BPO2 weeks ago
#BlackFriday and #CyberMonday are the biggest holiday shopping events in the US, with millions of consumers eagerly waiting to snatch up season-exclusive discounts and special deals.

To provide the best #OnlineShopping experience possible, #ecommerce brands and their outsourced support teams spend months devising #CustomerSupport strategies.

Here are a few notable stats about these shopping holidays.

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
Open Access BPO
Open Access BPO2 weeks ago
Employee self-care is everyone's personal responsibility. Ensuring it involves maintaining health and wellbeing, enabling employees to prevent and manage work-related stress.

Here are helpful ways to ensure employee self-care: https://buff.ly/3EDhOdP

----------
We empower our employees to create #CustomerExperiences for your customers. Outsource with us: OpenAccessBPO.com/get-started

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
#EmployeeManagement
Open Access BPO
Open Access BPO2 weeks ago
Employee self-care is everyone's personal responsibility. Ensuring it involves maintaining health and wellbeing and enables employees to prevent and manage work-related stress.

Here are helpful ways to ensure employee self-care: https://buff.ly/3EDhOdP

----------
We empower our employees to create #CustomerExperiences for your customers. Outsource with us: OpenAccessBPO.com/get-started

#WeSpeakYourLanguage
#EmployeeManagement
Open Access BPO