Service Desk

Does your service desk speak the right language?

The value of an onshore service desk that supports multiple languages.

Discover the benefits of a multilingual support service desk

In the world of digital services and web portals, the service desk plays a crucial role as the face of IT. Many businesses rely on this layer of employee support to resolve issues quickly and keep their business operating optimally.

However, communication in these scenarios is not always so straightforward. Especially for businesses with a global footprint (and a large, diverse employee base), language and communication barriers have a negative impact on the service desk function. And, because of the technical complexity of most tickets, this can create situations where nuance or details are missed, resulting in misunderstanding, misinformation, and costly ticket mishandling.

This has a negative impact not only on the immediate user experience, but it can also be problematic for business agility, employee retention, and brand reputation. The answer is simple; you need a multilingual service desk.

In a recent study, it was reported that 9 out of 10 U.S. employers rely on U.S. based employees with language skills other than English, and a majority of employers report the need for foreign languages has increased over the past five years, with this trend projected to continue.1 With this increasing need for bilingual and multilingual professionals, it’s more important than ever for service desks to be able to communicate with employees in more than just the English language. Since the service desk is the ‘face’ of IT, providing support in multiple languages enhances IT’s reputation as effective and competent—well worth the interaction effort.

Increase business agility and workflow efficiency

Business agility might not be the top priority for service desk teams, but it's one of the main things impacted by language issues. When users face communication barriers, they must rely on multilingual staff or use translation services that can only add to frustration and increase resolution times. Having a service desk that supports multiple languages allows businesses to mitigate employee communication issues more efficiently.

Think about it; a primarily non-English speaking user has an IT issue but is hesitant to call the service desk because they provide support in English only. What do they do? They enlist a fellow employee, who speaks their language, to help them with their issues. If that employee is unable to help, they enlist another’s help, and then another and another until their problem is resolved or one of them speaks English well enough to contact the service desk.

Known as ‘shadow support’, this is an inefficient process that consumes multiple employees’ time. IT organizations have been trying to eliminate shadow support for some time. Now, some of them are responsible for creating the exact same issue they are trying to eliminate by not providing support in needed languages. And you’re not just losing a support opportunity, but data opportunity as well—those incidents and needs are not being captured as part of your overall support picture.

Providing support in the languages of their users increases business agility by bringing faster resolution and allows service desk to handle tickets in an effective, timely manner.

Employee experience and satisfaction

As revealed in countless lists of CEO priorities, employee/user satisfaction is imperative to business operations, and most CIOs are very aware of how this strongly correlates to IT support services provided. It’s important that IT organizations not let language accommodation be a blind spot in their service model.

While English might always be a primary trade language, the reality of a global marketplace is that many consumers and IT users are not native English speakers. For businesses, and specifically their IT departments, to develop a good reputation and empathize with their users, they must be able to easily communicate with them. This is especially important in relation to service and support. A multilingual service desk translates to improved employee experience and satisfaction

Here’s an example of an onshore service desk that provides non-English speaking support, during the respective country’s business hours, with on-demand language translation coverage provided 24x365. It provides seamless IT service for a better employee experience that delivers high customer satisfaction ratings.

service desk language support timeline
Figure 1: Onshore multilingual service desk support model

Benefits of multilingual customer support

Investment in outsourced help desk services has surged nationwide. A post-pandemic, remote workforce has been a catalyst for companies to develop an IT outsourcing support plan to maintain or increase their level of service anytime, anywhere. Outsourcing service desk support is a proven path to modernizing IT support, while freeing internal resources to focus on innovation.

A multilingual service desk has many benefits:

  • Enhanced perception of your IT department as an effective service center
  • Improved customer satisfaction ratings
  • Happy and productive employees
  • Increased business agility and IT workflow efficiency

At CAI, our service desk solutions reduce issue resolution time and enable excellent customer service. Clients using our onshore services to support multiple languages have achieved a customer experience rating up to 96.9%. Learn more about how CAI’s onshore multilingual service desk can positively impact your business.


  1. American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. “Making Languages Our Business: Addressing Foreign Language Demand Among U.S. Employers.” Page 4. Lead with Languages. 2019.

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