Bilingual Answering Service Growing Despite Arizona Immigration Law

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Specialty Answering Service's English-Spanish call center experiencing record growth amid controversy over immigration

Specialty Telephone Answering Service

Specialty has developed one of the only “true bilingual answering services”. Every operator speaks both English and Spanish in this specialized center.

Esther Cardin of Specialty Answering Service announced that the company’s Bilingual Answering Service has doubled its size in the past 12 months. While the answering service industry has experienced a recent a major drop off in business, Specialty continues to be the fastest growing call center in the United States. While many telephone answering service businesses are downsizing, or even closing their doors, Specialty continues to grow. As the company continues to grow at an annual rate of thirty percent, their bilingual call center division has actually grown over one hundred and twenty percent since the second quarter of 2010.

Even with immigration and the call for immigrants to learn the English language, more and more businesses are catering to Spanish speaking clientele, and the need for Spanish speaking answering services is growing as well. There are presently forty million people living in the United States whose primary language is not English. The majority of these people are Spanish speaking, and that large segment is continuing to grow as well. Hispanics represent a growing and distinct market segment of consumers in this country.

The Arizona immigration is a complex issue. While many feel strongly on both sides of the argument, the need for communication with the Hispanic community has never been so prevalent. The immigration controversy hit close to home for Cardin. Esther resides right outside of Philadelphia, the home of the Philadelphia cheese steak. While many feel the only controversy surrounding the cheese steak is which is the best; Pat’s or Geno’s. But, the cheese steak wars have encompassed the immigration and English language issue as well.

A sign in the window of Geno's continues to gain press notoriety. In response to the immigration controversy, Geno’s owner, Joey Vento placed a sign in his window, reading. "This Is America: When Ordering Please Speak English ". This caused a citywide and nationwide controversy. The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations filed a complaint claiming discrimination. The complaint cited the city's Fair Practices Ordinance. The ordinance prohibits discrimination by denying service to someone because of their heritage or origin. Vento stated that the signs are directed at the Mexican immigrants in the surrounding neighborhood. Vento feels that immigrants should be forced to learn the language of the country as opposed to having the culture adapt to them.

While there is no shortage of opinions on the issue, no one can deny the growing need for business to be able to adapt and service the bilingual market. Specialty has developed one of the only “true bilingual answering services”. Every operator speaks both English and Spanish in this specialized center. Being able to adapt and provide service to a growing segment of the population has given Specialty a distinct edge over the competition. The same edge is given to the clients using Specialty’s bilingual answering service.

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Nicolas DAlleva
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