Five Steps for Credit Unions and Community Banks to Improve LEP Customer Experience
Authenticity is fundamental to financial services organizations earning the trust of limited English proficient (LEP) communities, as well as an earnest effort to demonstrate how organizations can help LEP consumers achieve financial and life goals. Credit unions and community banks are inherently well-positioned to deliver exceptional customer experiences for their LEP members, or, better stated—their neighbors. Credit unions and community banks are physically the closest organizations to the community, with intimate interactions with those who will benefit most from best-in-class customer experiences at their financial services institution.
Common among organizations launching an LEP or multicultural program is hesitation over how to begin, especially over concerns about cost and compliance. Based on the many relationships TransPerfect has cultivated with organizations throughout the retail financial services industry, we propose all credit union and community banking organizations take these five steps to enable their LEP customer experience and, simultaneously, lay the foundation for scalable, compliant growth in the space.
- Offer Over-the-phone interpretation (OPI) and business process outsourcing (BPO)
Customer contact centers and your organization’s phone servicing agents are one of the first points of contact when members need assistance. Communication and comprehension are critical when that assistance is to ensure their financial wellbeing. When an LEP member is able to express themselves in their first language and a professional interpreter relays that message faithfully, the member has a better experience knowing they are understood by the agent and vice versa. In some cases, requirements mandate that the agent must speak to an account holder directly before enabling OK-to-Speak with permissions of a bilingual family member who may be the only other resource available to the member for language support.
- Ensure completion of agent assessments
Serving LEP members and communities would not be possible without the support of dedicated bilingual staff across branch and phone channels. Language assessments are part of a well-managed program to encourage and enable DEI staffing strategies, as well as multicultural servicing. Language certification programs ensure language competence of employees placed in locales with greatest demand, provides documentation to fulfill potential compliance requirements, and enhances the employee experience. Assessments may also be leveraged to certify participation in areas like content creation or linguistic asset management.
- Consider ATM experience
As one of the main points of contact with their money—and for LEP members, an option that eliminates the potentially challenging human interaction—ATM experiences are straightforward localization projects with comparatively low-risk considerations.
- Implement a document submission portal
Whether organizations have a formalized translation process or not, almost inevitably, multicultural teams find there are translation projects happening “off the books”—that is, services or solutions being applied outside the documented (read, approved) path. Whether it’s an internal portal or a submission path to a contracted linguistic service provider, creating and promoting a front door for all things linguistic not only consolidates execution for quality and consistency but also mitigates risk.
- Scope out “what needs to be true” to localize digital servicing channels at your organization
Digital is the channel of preference, including among LEP consumers. Enhancing multicultural digital experience is a critical differentiator; 30% of Hispanic customers will leave their financial services organization for one with a better mobile experience. Enabling the credit union or bank’s web servicing platform and mobile app with multilingual capabilities provides an added convenience to customers who have otherwise only experienced the servicing platforms in English. Clear disclosures and signals of an organization’s program development is also a critical part of the authentic appeal to LEP consumers.
TransPerfect has shaped 24/7/365 multilingual consumer journeys for leading financial services organizations around the world. This includes bespoke data identification workflows, encrypted technology, and a network of globally trained resources that support more than 200 languages working around the clock.
To find out how we could help your finance-related organization, contact us today.