Multicultural Consumers & Financial Services: Staying Ahead by Providing In-Language Services

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According to Bain & Company (the inventor of the net promoter score), retail banks and credit unions can stay ahead of the competition by appealing to the emotions of their target consumers. The company claims that delivering an emotional element of value increases customer satisfaction and loyalty 1.5 times more than adding a new functional element, such as a new product or service.1 Offering banking and financial products and services in limited English proficient (LEP) consumer’s native language delivers, in addition to the actual service or product, a proven emotional value for the consumer.2

Many financial institutions that provide in-language services maintain centralized points of contact for technical assistance to help address internal matters related to language access.

Depending on the size of the financial organization, however, the provision of language access can be a major undertaking. Many larger institutions that provide language services find it more effective and beneficial to have a centralized point of contact that provides internal technical assistance to the institution’s employees on language-related initiatives.

Generally, the language-related technical assistance point of contact within a financial organization is part of the shared services center or another intra-organizational unit. Its functions may include annual review of processes and procedures for using languages other than English, evaluation of the areas of business that would most benefit from LEP services, development of the quality-control mechanisms, establishing translation and interpretation policies, among others, and managing third-party language services providers, where applicable.

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