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Connecting With the Hispanic Market, Part One

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A DATAMARK white paper on customer contact with a focus on the $1.2 trillion U.S. Hispanic consumer market. Part one of this two-part series focuses on building relationships through authenticity and …

A DATAMARK white paper on customer contact with a focus on the $1.2 trillion U.S. Hispanic consumer market. Part one of this two-part series focuses on building relationships through authenticity and connecting through language, location and culture.

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  • 1. Connecting With the Hispanic Market Part One Contact Center White Paper March 2014 www.datamark.net •Building Relationships Through Authenticity •Connecting Through Language, Location and Culture
  • 2. ©2014DATAMARK, Inc. www.datamark.net Building Relationships Through Authenticity •Population: 53 million (17 percent of the U.S. population). •Growth: Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population grew 43 percent, from 35.3 million to 50.4 million. •Hispanics are projected to become the largest single racial/ethnic group in California by 2014. •The median age of the Hispanic population is 28 years old, nearly a decade younger than the total U.S. market median age of 37 years. The concept of authenticity may seem nebulous at first, but Glenn Llopis, a Forbes contributor and founder of the Center for Hispanic Leadership, says companies must work to understand the perspective of the diverse bloc of Hispanic consumers and target them with a strategy of “culturally appropriate messages and language, providing education, showing care for the community beyond just selling to them.” “Hispanics expect companies they do business with to understand and address their unique and diverse needs, and research indicates common themes across industries looking to build relationships with Hispanic consumers,” Llopis, a Cuban-American, said. “Many of these themes tie into the growing prevalence of social media, mobile solutions, big data, and interactive technology – and the spotlight all of these developments put on the importance of relationship building.”1 Connecting with the $1.2 trillion U.S. Hispanic market requires a broad understanding of Hispanics’ cultural identity. It’s a difficult undertaking because the Hispanic population can’t be looked at as “one group.” Hispanics are heterogeneous, coming from different national origins and cultural groups. Then there are generational differences to consider, with variations in language use, cultural identity and values among first, second and third-generation Hispanics in the U.S. However, many thought leaders say a common thread connects Hispanics—the ability to recognize “authenticity” in the marketing and advertising messages aimed at the Hispanic demographic. The idea also applies to service provided by multichannel contact centers. When a customer reaches out to an agent by phone, email or social media, they hope to connect with someone they can trust. U.S. Hispanic Population – Quick Stats: Source: U.S. Census Bureau; Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project2
  • 3. The ability of agents to connect with customers through language and cultural understanding is an important consideration when selecting a partner for a multi-channel contact center. DATAMARK’s customer contact center, for example, is located on the U.S.- Mexico border in the El Paso/Juarez metroplex, home to more than 2.1 million residents, and one of the country’s largest labor pools of bilingual English-Spanish speakers. Nearly all of DATAMARK’s bilingual customer service agents have lived, worked or traveled on both sides of the border. In addition to excellent language skills, each has a unique cultural understanding that helps deliver a sense of understanding, trust and security to Spanish-speaking customers from across the U.S. ©2014DATAMARK, Inc. www.datamark.net Language Use •92 percent of second-generation Hispanics say they are proficient in speaking English. 91 percent say they can read a newspaper or book in English “very well” or “pretty well.” •82 percent of Hispanic adults say they can carry on a conversation in Spanish “very well” or “pretty well.” 78 percent say they can read a newspaper or book in Spanish either “very well” or “pretty well.” •In Hispanic households with incomes over $50k, the majority speak both English and Spanish, easily shifting between both languages. Source: AHAA: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing 1. Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA: 5.8 million 2. New York-Northeastern NJ: 4.3 million 3. Houston-Brazoria, TX: 2.1 million 4. Riverside-San Bernardino, CA: 2.1 million 5. Chicago, IL: 2 million 6. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX: 1.8 million 7. Miami-Hialeah, FL: 1.6 million 8. Phoenix, AZ: 1.2 million 9. San Francisco-Oakland-Vallejo, CA: 1.1 million 10. San Antonio, TX: 1.1 million 11. San Diego, CA: 1 million 12. Washington, DC/MD/VA: 810,000 13. McAllen-Edinburg-Pharr-Mission, TX: 720,000 14. El Paso, TX: 670,000 15. Denver-Boulder, CO: 600,000 Top 15 Hispanic Metro Areas Source: Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project Connecting Through Language, Location and Culture
  • 4. The U.S. Hispanic market is uniquely diverse and requires a savvy approach to establish authenticity and trust. An ideal customer service agent in this market is agile—ready to switch between Spanish and English at a caller’s preference. They are able at any moment to handle a call from an elderly Spanish speaker who has never owned a computer, then web chat or exchange email with a young customer, using a mix of English and Spanish if necessary. They understand that callers may not necessarily be interested in keeping the phone call short—often, they want to chat a bit, get to know who they are talking to, and establish a sense of mutual trust. When selecting a contact center partner to serve the Hispanic market, consider the attributes highlighted in this paper: location and cultural familiarity; a technology platform that supports phone calls, interactive voice response (IVR), email, web chat, social media and other channels; and a training program that develops bilingual agents capable of agile customer service. ©2014DATAMARK, Inc. www.datamark.net Agile Bilingual Customer Service What experience do they have in the Hispanic market? Does their location provide a quality pool of bilingual customer service agents? What technology do they use for customer contact? Do they offer voice, IVR, email, web chat, text, broadcast message and social media support? Are they PCI-DSS compliant? Do they have quality assurance policies and training programs in place? Do they offer a no-obligation consultation? Choosing a Contact Center Partner: Questions to Ask
  • 5. The remarkable growth of the number of U.S. Hispanics and their considerable purchasing power—expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2015—has led to their designation by marketing groups as “super consumers.” The opportunity to connect with this relatively young and highly diverse demographic requires working with business partners who have an innate understanding of the Hispanic market and its language, culture and values. In Part Two of Connecting With the Hispanic Market, we’ll take a closer look at the buying power of U.S. Hispanics and address the importance of multichannel customer contact with a young, tech- savvy demographic. ©2014DATAMARK, Inc. www.datamark.net Looking Ahead About DATAMARK For more than 20 years, DATAMARK has provided mailroom management, data entry, document processing, contact center, business process improvement consulting and other outsourcing services for Fortune 500 companies across all industry sectors. If you have questions or need assistance in developing your organization’s case for outsourcing and business process improvement, DATAMARK’s business process outsourcing specialists are available for a complimentary initial consultation. Contact us at: www.datamark.net Toll-free: 800.477.1944 Info: info@datamark.net “The opportunity to connect with this relatively young and highly diverse demographic requires working with business partners who have an innate understanding of the Hispanic market and its language, culture and values.” Notes: 1Glenn Llopis Group, 2014; www.prweb.com/releases/2014/03/prweb11640148.htm 2Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project, www.pewhispanic.org 3AHAA: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing, www.ahaa.org