The journey for banks to deliver comprehensive language accessibility continues with the vital component of oral interpretation services. Planning lays the roadmap and translations make essential documents accessible. Oral interpretation immediately enables clear communication in real-time interactions and delivers data to support the business case for next steps.
The Role of Oral Interpretation
Oral interpretation services bridge the language gap during face-to-face interactions or phone conversations between bank staff and customers with limited English proficiency (LEP). Here's why they are indispensable:
- In-Person Interactions: Whether at a branch or during a financial consultation, LEP customers should have access to interpreters who can facilitate effective communication. Professional interpretation alleviates the pressure of having family members or other third parties involving themselves in these sensitive and significant conversations.
- Phone Support: Offering over-the-phone interpretation by way of call center agents ensures that customers can execute the necessary transaction or servicing of the account in the moment, even when they’re not physically present at a branch. Meeting customers where they are, and where they seek interaction with the bank, improves trust and confidence.
- Emergency Situations: In critical situations such as fraud alerts or account issues, immediate and accurate communication is essential. Interpreters play a crucial role in these moments, ensuring customers feel heard and cared for during these scary and vulnerable events, in real time.
Benefits of Oral Interpretation
Effective interpretation services offer numerous advantages for banks and customers alike:
- Clarity: LEP customers can ask questions, seek clarification, and make informed decisions with confidence. Professional interpreters, especially those with financial services industry specialization, deliver direct and accurate conveyance of the information to eliminate the language barrier between institution and LEP customer.
- Customer Satisfaction: Improved communication leads to higher ”one-time touch” customer interactions, satisfaction, and loyalty. With greater confidence that customers can communicate with their bank by way of an interpreter, the opportunity to deepen the relationship is expanded.
- Compliance: Banks support compliant language access by providing interpretation services. In the event where direct communication is required with the account holder, cardholder, or loan recipient, without ”OK to speak with” approval, interpretation is the solution to enable these conversations.
Strategies for Effective Oral Interpretation
Banks can ensure the success of their oral interpretation services with:
- Quality Control: Partnering with reputable language service providers to ensure the quality and accuracy of interpretation services. Nominal monitoring and control—on both sides of the relationship—supports continued improvement.
- Staff Training: Equipping bank employees with the knowledge and tools to seamlessly access and utilize interpretation services. Working with an interpreter in a customer interaction relies on a couple of best practices—including speaking slowly and with short sentences.
- Prompt Availability: Ensuring that interpreters are readily accessible during operating hours and, if applicable, through after-hours support.
In our next blog, we'll explore the importance of a secure, compliant document translation process in banks and how this complements oral interpretation and further expands the sphere of LEP-enabled customer experiences. Stay tuned to learn how banks can provide seamless communication for their diverse customer base.