How to Instantly Improve Global Customer Experience

This week is the National Customer Service Week, so in its honor I’d like to show you how you can improve your customer experience strategy.

Customer service is an essential component of the overall global customer experience, from building awareness and attracting new customers to conversion, cultivation, and advocacy.

There are three organizations I’m going to analyze and demonstrate how they implement language services in their customer experience process.

Three Organizations Delivering Excellent Customer Experience

What do, Clark Public Utilities and the Ritz-Carlton all have in common?

They were among 50 organizations recognized by J.D. Power for providing the highest level of customer service.

They are also quite different from one another. One is an eCommerce giant, the other a public utility and the third a world-class luxury hotel chain.

In the case of and the Ritz-Carlton, there is a lot of very good competition out there. Customers have a choice to buy goods & services from other online retailers and travelers can stay at other luxury hotels.

With Clark Public Utilities, the case is slightly different, because there’s no competition. You only have one place to buy power and water in that geographical location.

All three of these organizations found ways to deliver the best service to their customers through a variety of ways. More importantly, they found ways to improve the overall customer experience & satisfaction.

It’s relatively easy to capture one transaction from a customer. Your goal should be on figuring out on how to get that customer to come back for more.

If your customer has an excellent experience interacting with you, they will surely buy from you again.

Here’s how you can instantly improve your global customer experience strategy.

Communicate with Your Customers in Their Language

The days of English being the language of commerce are behind us. If you’re not creating brand awareness in Chinese, Spanish and Arabic, you are missing out on a huge business opportunity.

Besides English, those three languages and their respective dialects are the most common in the world. That’s a lot of purchasing power!

Whether you’re doing business in other countries or within the United States, adding the ability to communicate in your customers’ languages is a guaranteed way to improve customer experience & satisfaction.

Here is how, Clark Public Utilities (CPU) and the Ritz-Carlton do it. Localized User Experience is a global eCommerce giant that consistently ranks first in online sales.

An intuitive navigation structure combined with localized websites makes it easy for customers to find what they are looking for and buy it. And if they’re later not happy with the purchase, they can generally return it without any hassle. Website Localization

Localized versions of

Roughly 33% of’s annual sales came from international markets.

That’s partly due to the customer experience they provide through localized websites. That number will most certainly increase as expands into other global markets.

Your take away: Consider translating and localizing your marketing communication materials and website content into other languages.

Clark Public Utilities Customer Support

Being a CPU customer myself, I was not surprised to see them ranked on the J.D. Power list for great customer service. CPU provides a great customer experience through their 24/7/365 call center.

Without having any competition where local customers can go buy similar utility services, CPU has a great business model with virtually no competition.

They don’t necessarily have to provide great customer service, but they do nonetheless.

When you call in, you’re greeted by a customer service representative that can assist you with your bill or any questions you may have. Let’s say you don’t speak English and have trouble communicating. The CPU representative will instantly bring an interpreter on the line who speaks your language to help facilitate the communication.

Many communities in the United States are as diverse as the world itself. In essence, that makes the global customer experience become more local.

Your take away: Consider implementing telephone interpreting services to support your call center operations.

The Ritz-Carlton Customer Service

The Ritz-Carlton operates luxury hotels and resorts in major cities across 26 countries. The customer service provided by the Ritz-Carlton is considered a benchmark for service industries worldwide.

Having stayed at the Ritz-Carlton hotels before, I can personally attest to the quality experience I’ve had. When you fly in and get to your hotel, all you want to do is check in and be on your way.

The entire interaction process from making reservations to checking in has to feel comfortable and seamless. It’s something that you experience consciously and subconsciously.

Regardless of your destination, the staff will make sure they communicate to you in your language in a courteous and welcoming matter.

Your take away: Consider the big picture of customer experience and make sure you’re not alienating persons who speak different languages.

Focus on the Customer

Implementing professional language translation & interpreting services may seem like an unnecessary cost, and it may very well be costly in the beginning.

However, when properly implemented, providing these services will turn into a profit center, while keeping your customers happy and coming back for more.

If you have other global customer experience ideas to share, I’d like to hear them.

Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Need assistance with language access services to help improve customer interaction in your business?

Let’s discuss your specific needs. Contact us.

Are Hospitals Required to Provide Language Access Services?

You are reading this article because you are not sure that you may have to provide language access services for your patients, right?

You are not the only one, as this is very important topic that is often clouded in confusion. To provide an expert answer, I reached out to the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) for assistance.

The staff at NHeLP did a great job clarifying the requirements for us in very simple terms.

Language access services are generally provided with the help of professional interpreters and translators.

For the purpose of this article, I will assume that you are a health care provider fitting one of the following four categories:

  1. You provide language access services for your patients, but are unsure if you are required to do so.
  2. You don’t provide language access services for your patients, but understand you may be required to do so.
  3. You didn’t provide language access services for a patient and are being threatened with legal action.
  4. A law suit has been filed against your practice for failure to provide language access services by, or on behalf, of the patient.

Regardless of which category fits you, the information below should help clarify your responsibility to provide language access services for your patients.

Unless of course you fall into category 4. If that’s the case, contact your attorney as soon as possible.

Are hospitals required to provide language access services?


Here is why.

Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin is prohibited.

Therefore, health care providers, including hospitals, that receive federal funding, including Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP, are required to provide language access services for their patients.

What if health care providers opt out of federal funding?

When federal funds are not in question, health care providers may not be subject to Title VI requirements. However, there may be state laws that require you to provide language access services.

Can health care providers bill the patient for language access services?


If you are receiving federal funding, you are required to cover interpreter costs for all your limited English proficient (LEP) patients, including those with private insurance and no insurance.

State laws may also prohibit you from billing your patients for language access services.

What health care entities are covered under Title VI?

The entities covered by Title VI include hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, managed care organizations, state Medicaid agencies, home health agencies, health service providers and social service organizations.

How can health care organizations provide language access services to patients?

Health care providers may choose to hire staff interpreters as employees to interpret the most frequently requested languages. Many health care providers typically contract with language service companies to provide language access services.

A language services company can greatly streamline the process by providing scheduling, quality assurance, billing and project management.

What types of language access services should health care providers have readily available to patients?

At a minimum, it is recommended that all health care providers be able to provide on-site interpretation, over-the-phone interpretation and document translation services.

Can health providers use family members, friends or bi-lingual staff to interpret for patients?

It is strongly advised against using family members, friends or bi-lingual staff members to interpret for patients. You could risk malpractice, the cost of which would far outweigh any money you might save by asking friends or family members to help.

In fact, your legal fees in dealing with just one malpractice lawsuit could potentially cover your language access services budget for several years to come.

What about written translation services for patient communication?

According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights, various types of documents may require translation from English into other languages. Some of the documents include patient forms, discharge instructions and information about the availability of interpreter services.

Learn about the 7 most common document types all health care providers should have translated.

I’d like more information on developing a Language Access Plan for our health care organization.

For more information, check out these publications:

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Need assistance with language access services in health care settings?

Let’s discuss your specific needs. Contact us.


Dozens of law suits are filed every year against health care facilities for failing to provide language access services.

My advice to you is to set aside a budget for language access services and deliver the best patient experience you can. It will cost you less in the long run.

Share your questions, thoughts and experiences in the comments.

This article was originally published on July 8, 2011 and has been updated on February 8, 2016.