Translation bottlenecks and how to overcome them

Translation bottlenecks: blockers that impede effective and scalable multilingual support. In order to interact with a diverse customer base, customer-facing teams need access to translation services. And yet, almost every translation service is falling foul of translation bottlenecks.

There are three common methods of providing multilingual support. Specifically, these are offshore call centres, bilingual and multilingual agents, and translation subscription services. Unfortunately, these methods are notoriously costly and tricky to implement.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. So, what are the three main translation bottlenecks and how can you overcome them?


Benefits of multilingual support

The importance of translation abilities and multilingual support for businesses cannot be underestimated.

The internet has allowed many businesses (big and small) to serve a global market — leaving them vulnerable to language barriers. Meanwhile, our communities have become more diverse and multicultural.

So, translation benefits local companies as well as global ones. It helps you cater to more customers. Plus, being able to receive support in your native language is a major driver for both customer loyalty and customer satisfaction.

In short, translation capabilities give a competitive edge to businesses big, small, local and global. But translation bottlenecks are making these benefits little more than a dream.


The top translation bottlenecks

For all the benefits multilingual support brings to the table, businesses are struggling to succeed with its provision. And, according to a recent study, there are three main reasons why.

Contact centres not offering multilingual support cite the following core issues:

  • Budget limitations (33%)
  • Inability to hire multilingual agents (21%)
  • Lack of resources needed to manage multilingual service (15%)

So, let’s dig a little deeper into each of these leading translation bottlenecks.


Translation bottleneck one: limited budgets

There’s a high cost to powering the translations needed for multilingual support. As a result, this cost leaves businesses falling at the first hurdle. Many methods of offering multilingual customer service come at a steep cost. So, limited budgets are the first of the translation bottlenecks.

Bilingual and multilingual agents are expensive. They’re often highly coveted, and it takes more of them to cover multiple languages (most are proficient in only two or three languages.) One or two of these talented people might be affordable. But if you need to support more than two or three languages, for more than a small subset of customers, this is an expensive option.

Offshore call centres are even more costly, with extra expenses like rent and operational fees. They are useful for big enterprises with big budgets and frequent business in the host country. For smaller businesses with smaller budgets, offshore call centres simply aren’t feasible.


Translation bottleneck two: lack of talent

Lack of talent is another of the top translation bottlenecks impeding multilingual support. This is particularly true for companies looking to go down the bilingual/multilingual agent route.  

Finding multilingual agents can be tricky. They’re often few and far between, particularly in countries with one predominant language. Plus, a lot of other companies are coveting the talent that does exist. This further adds to the scarcity of eligible candidates.  

So, finding a large volume of bilingual agents to recruit (to scale with your needs) is difficult.


Translation bottleneck three: no supporting resources

To get translation through an offshore contact centre, you need the physical centre. To use external translation technologies, you need the extra subscriptions and human backup to manage it. To add multilingual agents to your team, you need the desk space and equipment for them to use.

And if you want to run the translations yourself (i.e. through Google Translate), you need the time it takes to do so.

Needing these resources is another of the translation bottlenecks holding back your multilingual support. For example, service cannot happen in real-time if you must spend time manually translating it. Translations can’t happen if you don’t have the technology to support it. Call centres and agents alike can’t work without the space and equipment they need.


Another way

So, how can you overcome the translation bottlenecks? Well, there’s another way to offer real-time translation: live chat translation.

First, live chat translation is a cost-effective way to offer multilingual support in a channel you already pay for. You aren’t buying a whole new subscription from another third-party. Live chat translation is also far less budget-intensive (and much more scalable) than offshore agents or a handful of multilingual talents.

The language ability of your current agents is no longer a hurdle. With over 100 languages at your disposal, agents can speak in their language and the customer can speak in theirs. So, finding the talent to represent your brand is much easier. You can choose the best people for your team, regardless of language.

Live chat translation also requires no more resources from you to support it. In other words, it uses the things you already use every day. It doesn’t cost extra time between translations, and it doesn’t need an extra call centre halfway around the world.


Breaking the translation bottlenecks

Sometimes, all you need is one language from a multilingual agent. Other times, you need an offshore contact centre for high-frequency transactions. But for all the times in between, translation technology — like live chat translation — can bridge the language gaps in your service.

Why not see how easy offering multilingual support can be? WhosOn’s live chat translation services are free to trial for 30 days. Request a translation account before or during your trial period and give live chat translation a try.


Useful links

You need to offer multilingual customer support. Here’s why.

The babel fish and your live chat solution

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