An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) service in Hindi is available now for the first time in Bahrain.
The Zain Bahrain offering, for all those calling its call centre on 107, also offers for the first time their queries and concerns being answered by agents proficient in Hindi, company consumer sales and customer services director Haitham Sabbah said .
"This is basically a 'third language' option, in addition to Arabic and English," said Mr Sabbah told the GDN.
"Callers will have to register with 107 for the Hindi service the first time they call or change to the Hindi option if they are already registered in Arabic or English," he said.
Mr Sabbah said if the IVR is unable to address the callers' queries, they would have an option to speak to an agent in Hindi. "The call would be directed to a Hindi-speaker."
He said the call centre now has agents proficient in several other Indian and South Asian languages so if one were to understand Malayalam or Bengali, for example, he would be spoken to by an agent speaking in that language.
He said the company selected Hindi as the 'third language' since it is understood by most people, and even those whose native tongue is not Hindi.
"We did a research which suggested a large majority of those who were not comfortable in either Arabic or English would prefer IVR in Hindi."
IVR is technology that allows a computer to detect voice and keypad inputs and is used extensively in telecommunications.
In telecommunications, IVR allows customers to access a company's database via a telephone touchtone keypad or by speech recognition, after which they can service their own enquiries by following the instructions.