If your staff only consists of native English speakers, you could be missing out on a major customer service opportunity – approximately 67.3 million people in the United State speak a language other than English, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. Check out these seven benefits of hiring bilingual employees:
1. More Business Possibilities
Having employees who can speak additional languages opens up the possibilities for your customer base. The more demographics you can cater your products and/or services to, the more business opportunities you will have to generate more revenue.
2. Better Customer Service
It is likely that your existing customer base consists of people who either don’t speak English or who may speak English, but isn’t their native language. By having bilingual employees, you can provide better service to these customers by being able to communicate with them in the language they feel most comfortable in, especially for explaining detailed or complicated situations.
3. Stand Out From the Competition
Making it a priority to hire bilingual employees can be a strategic business decision. It can serve as a unique value proposition (UVP) or a differentiating factor that makes your organization stand out from the competition and can make customers more likely to choose it above others offering similar products and/or services that don’t cater to other languages besides English.
4. Demonstrates Commitment to Inclusivity
If one of your company’s core values is related to inclusivity, having bilingual employees on staff sends a clear message that you are not just paying lip service. It demonstrates an authentic commitment to inclusivity, which can help you build a strong brand as both a business and an employer.
5. Encourages Brand Affinity
People often make their decisions on which companies to give their business to based on emotion. Even if you don’t necessarily offer the lowest prices or other competitive factors, customers may still be loyal to your company if they have a deep personal connection, such as through outstanding service or shared values – both of which can be encouraged by serving non-English speakers.
6. Increased Efficiency
Bilingual employees also have the added benefit of additional productivity. A study from Northwestern University found that the brains of bilingual people process information more efficiently. This is likely due to their brains being conditioned to switch back-and-forth between different languages depending on the situation, making the cognitive process quicker.
7. Organically Facilitates Diversity
Building a team that consists of different perspectives helps with creative brainstorming and better decision-making. Committing to seeking out bilingual candidates organically facilitates diversity in the workplace, and increases the chance of attracting underrepresented populations to apply to work for your company, as it will be clear they have a path forward.
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