How real-time chat translation delivers better multilanguage customer service

Providing service in a customer’s preferred language is key to a great experience, that’s why embracing real-time chat translation makes this easier to achieve. Today, customers may not be confident or comfortable in the main language used within your contact center. This could be because you are providing service to multiple countries from a single location, or to local customers who have migrated from other countries. Either way, customers generally prefer to communicate in their first language. It can be difficult or expensive to cater for this, especially if there aren’t many local speakers proficient in the specific language.

Bridging the language gap with technology

Enghouse’s real-time chat translation solution provides effective multilingual service. The software automates multi-language support, enabling both the customer and agent to communicate in their preferred language. It translates the chat conversation in real-time, avoiding any language confusion and ensuring seamless, fast communication. Here’s how it works:

  • The customer makes contact, either through the phone or via an online form. On the phone channel, the system’s IVR detects the local language by analyzing data contained in the call properties, for example, the originating country code.
  • If there are no agents available that speak that language, rather than the caller needing to wait for an agent with the required language skill to become available, the IVR may invite the customer to launch a chat session via an SMS or email notification. Business rules around triggering an offer to transition from voice to a chat conversation are completely customizable.
  • For web chat interactions, the customer can simply select their preferred language from a drop-down menu on a pre-chat form.
  • The chat session then starts. The customer and agent are both completely aware that the conversation is via translation.
  • The solution automatically translates the agent and customer responses, enabling each of them to write in their preferred/native language.
  • Agents can still manage multiple chats if required, even if each is with customers speaking a different language.
  • Companies providing international service and customers who aren’t fluent in the local language of the contact center can really benefit from real-time chat translation.

Delivering global follow-the-sun service

Hitachi Energy’s experience demonstrates the international value of chat translation. As a global organization with B2B customers in 140 countries, it provides full 24x7x365 support in multiple languages. This is from its five contact centers in the United States, Mexico, Poland, India, and China.

If a customer places a call with the contact center and a native language speaker is unavailable, they have the option to communicate via chat with an agent. Chat is available in 18 languages. This is especially useful during out-of-office hours, such as when Hitachi’s US contact center oversees European queries. In this instance, the contact center may not have available French or German speakers for example. Chat translation means that Hitachi Energy doesn’t need to engage an out-of-hours service to deliver support in specific languages. This helps increase overall efficiency and ROI.

Meeting the needs of a multilingual demographic

Many North American organizations, from credit unions to utilities, cater for a broad demographic. This can mean that some customers are not native English speakers and may not be confident in discussing complex queries in English. In this case, real-time chat translation enables them to type their query in their preferred language and have an in-depth conversation with the agent. This leads to greater customer satisfaction while speeding up First Contact Resolution (FCR) and improving efficiency.

The benefits of real-time chat translation

As these use cases demonstrate, real-time chat translation delivers substantial benefits to both customers and customer service teams. These include:

  • Improved customer experience through automated, instant service that ensures customers feel valued.
  • A better agent experience. While technically agents could use online translation sites during a chat session, real-time chat translation is instant and automatic, cutting down their workloads. The system also uses the best available translation engines for specific languages, ensuring consistently high quality.
  • Greater efficiency. Previously organizations would have to employ specialist language speakers out of hours or use agencies to fill gaps. Real-time chat translation, therefore, reduces costs without impacting service levels.
  • Increased convenience. To speak to agents with the right language skills, customers might have had to book an appointment. Now, they can get an answer as soon as they make contact.
  • Future-proofed. Real-time translation is developing fast, driven by technology such as artificial intelligence. New capabilities, such as real-time voice translation, integrating generative AI into chat, and translation-powered chatbots will be available soon.

Everyone appreciates receiving service in their native language. However, previously this posed challenges or incurred high costs, particularly with less common languages. Technology such as real-time chat translation overcomes the language challenge, enabling cost-effective, accurate and engaging customer service for all.

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