Top 5 customer service languages every brand needs

Faith Ocampo Published on October 18, 2016 Last updated on February 17, 2021

The international business landscape is changing at a pace never before seen. McKinsey predicts that by 2025, almost half of the world’s biggest companies will be based in emerging markets, revolutionizing the dynamics of global business competition.

diverse young people with international flags

Employers are now starting to prepare for this massive shift. More and more of them are taking an initiative to promote multilingualism in the workplace as part of their business growth strategy.

Others, however, are taking the easier route. They outsource to multilingual call centers that can handle their customer support and other processes. By doing so, they instantly gain access to a workforce that can help them penetrate diverse foreign markets.

But which customer service languages should you prioritize to gain the biggest benefits? Based on the number of native speakers and nations’ economic growth, here are the top five languages you must be able to speak.

  1. English (339 million native speakers)

    young african american man in glasses speaking on phone in seaside
    Of course, when it comes to business communication, the English language must be your top choice. Tapping the world’s most powerful economies including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia would require you to learn English. Plus, it’s widely considered a dominant international language. So there’s a big chance that non-native speakers in many parts of the world are also familiar with English, possibly learning it as their second tongue.

  2. Mandarin (897 million native speakers)

    Chinese best friends laughing
    Mandarin is more widely used than English and Spanish combined. China, the major country where it’s spoken, is also an attractive place for businesses. In 2020, the Asian country posted a GDP of USD 15.67 trillion, making it one of the world’s most vigorous markets.

    Being highly fluent in Mandarin will bring you a step closer to the Chinese market. It will help you build strong relations that are based on trust, enabling you to maximize the opportunities in the world’s biggest consumer sector.

  3. Spanish (427 million native speakers)

    Spanish friends in cafe with coffee camera
    Spanish has long been recognized as one of the most useful and widely spoken languages in the world, making it a key component of every business communication strategy. It’s spoken in 24 nations across Europe and Latin America, and it’s also the second most popular language in the United States.

    Delivering customer service in Spanish would therefore give your international marketing efforts a significant boost, allowing you to tap several foreign markets at once.

  4. Arabic (290 million native speakers)

    Arabic friends talking about smartphone use
    Arab-speaking countries are economic powerhouses bringing in a collective GDP of $2.522 trillion. Providing Arabic customer support allows businesses to tap into big economic markets with ease. However, Arabic language variations are difficult to learn as English speakers, placing more importance on native speakers to effectively communicate with customers in clients.

    Arabic languages feature 30 modern types, including Modern Standard Arabic, and are widely spoken in the Middle East and Africa. In addition, it is considered as one of the six official languages of the United Nations (UN).

  5. French (77 million native speakers)

    fun russian friends on the phone out shopping
    French is spoken in 29 countries across Europe and Africa, and regions of Canada. It is also the second most used language for multilateral diplomacy, following English.

    Due to its popularity as a learned second language, French speakers are predicted to balloon to 750 million by 2050. Even now, 202.6 million non-native speakers outweigh French native speakers. This, therefore, cements French as an asset for international businesspeople and a crucial language offering for multilingual call centers.

To achieve cultural competence and connect with diverse markets all over the world, you need to team up with a multilingual call center that can adhere to your standards. This will allow you to create a sustainable business growth strategy as you aim to capture new, promising frontiers. Get in touch with Open Access BPO to start speaking your customers’ language.

Faith is a digital media enthusiast aiming to become an active part of the tech world by sharing her insights. She likes to blog about everything digimarketing, technology, and social media.
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