For businesses in certain industries, it’s a fairly common practice to provide interpreters for their customers. In this article, I will use the healthcare industry as an example, where the patient is a customer.
You may view providing interpreters as just another unnecessary business expense. Let me show you why it is necessary and how working with interpreters can be beneficial to you, regardless of the industry you are in.
Whether you are a seasoned consumer of interpreting services or are just now looking into launching a language access program, I will give you three solid reasons to provide interpreters for your customers.
1. Increase Brand Awareness
Everyone wants their business to be successful, and one way to do that is to create brand awareness. As a healthcare practice, you might be doing that by sponsoring local events, investing in your online presence and offering referral discounts.
Why not advertise the fact that you also provide language interpreters?
It’s true that some states and insurance companies will reimburse you for providing interpreters for your patients, while most of the time you will have to cover the cost directly. If you pay for interpreters directly, here’s how to justify it as a marketing expense.
Run a local awareness campaign, advertising that you serve diverse communities of patients who speak Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese and other languages. Include that you also serve the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community with the help of sign language interpreters.
Such an approach will only help increase brand awareness of your business in the local community and allow you to justify interpreters as a marketing expense.
Providing interpreters for your customers will improve your position in the market you’re serving. By limiting your communication to one language, you do not realize the full potential of your business. Turn that around by letting your customers know you can serve them in many languages.
2. Improve Customer Satisfaction
Every business wants satisfied customers. After all, satisfied customers tell friends and colleagues about their experience interacting with you. They may even leave a review about your business on Yelp or elsewhere.
Your job is to leverage that to your advantage. Be known as that awesome clinic that helps all patients, regardless of the language they speak (or sign). Don’t be the clinic that takes shortcuts and lacks in providing a great patient experience.
Improving customer satisfaction is an investment, so you must be ready and committed to pay for it. If you hire staff interpreters, that’s fantastic. If you contract with language service companies for interpreter referrals, that’s also a good thing.
Regardless of how you approach providing interpreters for your patients, be sure to do it right. Work with interpreters that help your business succeed so you can reap the rewards of satisfied customers – getting more customers and five-star online reviews.
3. Comply with Laws and Regulations
Every business wants to comply with laws and regulations. If they are not, it would be tough to continue staying in business. Being subjected to a lawsuit or a government audit will not only drain your bank account, but may also put you out of business.
When it comes to providing language interpreters, particularly in healthcare settings, it’s required by law more often than not. The cost of providing interpreters for your patients is marginal compared to what you would pay to survive an audit or pay out in a legal settlement.
And no, you cannot pass the cost of interpreters to your patients.
Taking this approach, you can categorize interpreter services as a compliance expense.
You now have three reasons to provide interpreters for your customers, regardless of whether your business is in healthcare or another industry. Each reason gives you a unique angle and justification for providing such services.
If you are already providing interpreter services, you are a third of the way there! Why not try some of the tactics I outlined in reasons one and two? If you are new to requesting interpreters, here’s an article that will explain how to do it.
It will only benefit your business to increase brand awareness and improve customer satisfaction.
Have more reasons or thoughts to share about this topic?
Post them in the comments.