For a long time the United States was predominantly a monolingual country, with English being spoken by people across all economic strata. However, as Hispanics began migrating to the US and their number began growing, there was a shift in the dynamics. Today, around 15 percent of the US population comprises of Hispanics. This chunk of the population has more spending power than it did before. Hence, companies are looking to market their products and services to them. If these companies do not use the same language, they will be alienating this section of the population. So this has led to a demand for bilingual employees. However, we must not forget that the United States is home to many other nationalities, which come here to make a better life for themselves and their families.
Most consumers prefer doing business with people, who are conversant in their language. This means that bilingual companies are better placed to target consumers, who are not native speakers of English. This allows these companies to communicate with their customers in their own language. Hence, customers are more comfortable dealing with bilingual businesses than monolingual businesses.
Also, thanks to globalization, companies are no longer content with just operating within American borders. They are expanding their business interests, so they now have a multi-cultural workforce. It has been seen that bilingual companies end up being more flexible and adaptive compared to monolingual companies. The bilingual workforce help a company to expand into new markets seamlessly and any cultural gaps are bridged with the help of this workforce. Hence, bilingual businesses are more successful in the constantly changing business environment of today. Many of these companies have HR policies in different languages, so that their multicultural workforce can properly understand these policies and there is no room for misunderstandings or ambiguities.
Furthermore, there are companies that have established their own call centers. These call centers are meant for consumers and potential customers who have queries, issues or want certain information. Considering the global working of the companies and the multicultural population in the US, it is imperative that these call centers can cater to callers, who may not just be native English speakers. So if a company has a call center, it will benefit from having a bilingual answering services.
In fact, the importance of being bilingual has also filtered down to the education industry. The US has laws that ensure students with limited English proficiency are not excluded from schools and educational institutes. These students are often instructed in their own language to help them understand what is being taught at school. However, researchers tend to believe that bilingual education should be emphasized in US schools, as the current language of instruction used in most schools is English. In Quebec, Canada, it has been seen that when English speaking students are instructed in solely in French, they tend to have a better grasp of the language. This is known as immersion instruction, where monolingual students are instructed in another language. Furthermore, research has shown that these students do not lose their proficiency in English and can perform at par with students that speak just English. Hence, researchers and educationists are stressing the need to use immersion method of teaching even in the US.
If students get bilingual education from the very beginning, they will be equipped with language skills that will help them in the job market. Companies today prefer bilingual employees over monolingual employees. Such employees do not have to spend their time learning a second language, as they already have the necessary skills. So right from the beginning, they can make a meaningful contribution towards the growth of the company.
Today, many industries use call centers to address the questions and concerns of their consumers. Financial institutions, Department of State, healthcare, educational institutes, Census Bureau, SSA, fast moving consumer goods sector, information technology, and even non-profit organizations have established calls centers that work with non-English speaking people. These organizations need bilingual answering service to communicate with this group of people. These organizations realize the importance of using bilingual answering service to connect with people who do not speak English. As a result, non-English speaking consumers are more comfortable with these companies, as they know their concerns and queries will be dealt properly and professionally.
By not using bilingual answering service, businesses will alienate a sizeable chunk of consumers, who have spending power. As a result, these consumers will move on to a business, which has the language skills to handle their concerns and questions. That is why bilingual businesses are more successful than those who only speak English. Just as the education industry has realized the importance of bilingual education, monolingual businesses should wake up and realize the importance of having bilingual answering service and bilingual employees.