ICBC launches phone line for Cantonese and Mandarin-speaking customers
November 27, 2015
Customers who speak Cantonese or Mandarin can now speak directly to ICBC in their language of choice, thanks to a new, dedicated phone line that launched today.
The Chinese line allows customers to connect to a Cantonese or Mandarin-speaking interpreter who will help relay the customer's claim, driver licensing or insurance enquiry to an ICBC representative and interpret the conversation. The toll-free line (1-855-813-2121), is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week for claims-related enquiries. For insurance and driver licensing enquiries, the line is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
These languages were selected based on customer demand. Cantonese and Mandarin are two of the most common languages spoken in Vancouver outside of English (2011 Census). They also rank in the top three languages most requested by ICBC customers, which are Mandarin, Punjabi and Cantonese, making up approximately 75 per cent of all interpretation inquiries.
The Chinese line supplements ICBC's ongoing efforts to serve its multilingual customers. ICBC's website features dedicated pages fully translated in the three most-requested languages. ICBC also provides free, over-the-phone, interpretation services in 170 languages. In 2013, ICBC launched its first direct phone line for Punjabi-speaking customers.
Since introducing its telephone language assistance service, the number of phone interpretation requests have tripled, with over 441,000 requests received in the last full year. All telephone interpretation services are provided by Canada-based company, CanTalk.
More details about ICBC's direct Chinese phone line can be found at icbc.com/Chinese and icbc.com.
"ICBC exists to serve its customers," said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone. "Providing service in more than one language meets customers' expectations and needs."
"British Columbia is home to a diverse population that have linguistic needs," said John Yap, MLA for Richmond-Steveston. "I applaud ICBC for bridging the language gap and enabling residents to communicate in their language of choice."
"We're committed to providing specialized service that meets the unique needs of our customers," said Steve Crombie, ICBC's Vice President of Corporate and Stakeholder Governance. "Getting into a crash is already a difficult, stressful experience. We want to help our customers – including those whose first language isn't English – to be able to file a claim with us in confidence and in comfort."
"ICBC's direct Chinese line is a great example of addressing the unique needs of our customers in the Lower Mainland and throughout the province," said Tony Lau, President and CEO of Tony Lau Insurance Agencies. "Being greeted in their preferred language will help our customers feel more at ease with talking about insurance."