LOCALIZED TECH SUPPORT
Obviously, in internationalization-localization, the customer often would like to speak in the native language. Large companies do hire experts in some major languages. Many customer service agents are often Indian. They are fluent in several Indian languages and can take care, if needed, the customer who is fluent in those languages. The major problem that English speaking have with Indian Agents, is the accent of the Agent that is often hard to understand. The reason for reliance on Indian agents is economics. It is cheaper to field a customer support in India than in a Western country.
Giving support to all languages, even for a major company, is an uneconomical. There are hundreds of languages spoken by more than 5 million people. Many times, there are very few customers for a given language. Creating, for example, a Turkish version of the software, is no indication that the support will be in Turkish. Only if Turkish revenues are high, it might be economically possible to have Turkish support. Same for any language
Internationalized-Localized tech support has the same restraints that exist for support in the native language of software manufacturer; the cost of supporting. To reduce costs, FAQ and online automated help are used. Another line of defense against high cost is a maze of automated options by phones to reach an agent. Because agents cost money, the lowest number of agents is hired. Therefore the wait queues are often long. These long wait time frustrates the client. Often decision to repurchase is based on satisfaction or dissatisfaction with tech support. Often, it is impossible to contact the manufacturer by email. The customer is forced to login to the site and use a a ticket control to communicate. This is not very convenient. It becomes even worst if login is impossible, or automated password recovery does not work as designed, or the website is unreachable because somewhere in the package route a node has been blocked.. Sometimes, when the frustrated customer writes to tech support in such cases, the email is automatically rejected with a note that tells the Customer to use the ticket control within the Customer area. Chat, if the wait is not to long, is excellent for customers. Some companies mislead the Customer by offering automated chats with a robot that often cannot make sense of human language
Because the cost of supporting Customers is high, specially in internationalization-localization the following can be done to minimize it
1. Write software that is easy to use without reading manuals. This means good GUIs
2. Have good and abundant online graphic help built into the application
3. Have self-repair within an application. This is expensive
4. Let customers have a mechanism for reporting bugs. Company must pay attention to such reports, even if the bug is not real. Often the incorrect bug report indicates failure to understand the application. Therefore there is no bug to fix. The application must be improved so that the Customer does not need to be a whiz to use the application.
5. The automated telephone response should be in the language that the software is written with an option to select another language. Same for online help. The difficult part, because of expenses is the humans support in native language. Example, unless you have a Norwegian office, it would be hard to find qualified people that know Norwegian. If your Customer support is in India, then finding a Norwegian speaking agent is a very hard task.
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StarHaig can be hired as a consultant for internationalization-localization