The marketplace is growing culturally diverse at a mounting pace. As the internet makes companies increasingly stateless, more and more businesses are making the push to go global. In this environment, multilingual support is fast becoming a competitive attribute.
But meeting the language needs of international customers is both difficult and expensive for the average SME. Up until recently, businesses have relied on offshore call centres and multilingual agents. Now, as technology improves, more cost-effective translation options are emerging.
So, who will this emerging business tech benefit, and why is it becoming a business necessity?
The growing need for multilingual service
The world is shrinking in a good way. Modern technology has allowed us to connect with more people, cultures and countries worldwide. It’s enabled multicultural communities and global business, with companies able to reach a wider customer base than ever before possible.
However, this means that language barriers have become a hurdle to providing friendly customer service. And not just for businesses that want to trade internationally. Those trading closer to home are facing a growing need for translation as well.
For example, consider the fact that in the UK, 8% of the population have a primary language other than English. Or that 86% of contact centres are receiving non-English enquires. In the US, meanwhile, as many as one in five people speak a language other than English in their homes.
Without multilingual service, then, businesses are missing the mark when it comes to accessibility for their customers. If agents and customers can’t understand each other, how can either hope to achieve a great customer experience?
Customer service translation technology
Unfortunately, multilingual and bilingual support agents are in short supply. Deficient language skills are already costing the UK economy 3.5% of GDP. Moreover, in a post-Brexit business environment, expertise from EU linguists may become even harder to access.
Put simply, hiring linguists to answer the growing need for multilingual service can be both costly and difficult. Fortunately, translation technology is improving. As the marketplace continues to diversify, real-time translation technology is becoming an invaluable tool for every business.
For example, services such as live chat translation allow companies to offer instant web help in over 100 languages. They can assist international customers via their website in real-time, with translation running instantly back and forth within the support session.
This kind of digital communication offsets the traditional resource consumption of providing multilingual service. So, businesses enable fluent international communication, without the expense of bilingual agents or offshore contact centres.
Beyond real-time communication, translation services also support international administration. Today, email parsing tools can offer automated email to CRM translation, helping businesses who trade overseas keep their records in order.
The benefits of translation technology
Unlike hiring a multilingual agent, translation technology allows every support agent to offer service in almost any language. That’s service from any agent to any customer, both able to use the language they’re most comfortable with.
Those that rely on multilingual agents alone, meanwhile, wont just be facing hefty costs. They may find difficulty if a language is not known by the agent, the agent is off sick or on holiday, or there’s an influx of international support queries. With translation technology, this is not a problem.
On an ethical level, removing an unintentional language bias leads to a more inclusive and accessible trading culture. Customers can feel confident and cared about, with service personalised to their language needs.
Translation technology like live chat translation can also ease the workload of your multilingual agent(s). Agents fluent in different languages can focus on VIP customers and complex international support sessions. They can also spend more time serving international customers on other support channels, such as phone or video chat.
An inclusive trading culture
By incorporating translation technology, companies can extend their global footprint beyond the limits set by language barriers. It provides a competitive edge to customer service, and improves the accessibility of any type of business, no matter the size or industry.
As the world grows ever more connected and traversable, the need for multilingual services and translation skills will only rise. To answer this need, it seems likely that translation technology is set to be the next big trend for businesses.
Note: we originally published this article here: https://homebusinessmag.com/growing-a-business/diversifying-a-biz/translation-emerging-technology-trend-businesses/