What is Chat Translation?

Want to know a secret? Live chat translation can take your business global.

They say the more languages you speak, the more you’re worth. This is especially true when it comes to business.

Do you communicate with customers who exclusively speak Chinese or Spanish? According to Babbel, those are the two most-spoken languages in the world as a first language. So your customers may prefer to speak in them.

Using live chat translation can help bridge the communication gap and ease the minds of your customers, particularly when they need your help with a problem.

What is live chat translation exactly? How does live chat translation work? How can it benefit your business in the long run?

Stick around as we answer these questions.

What is live chat translation?

If you have live chat on your website, the translation feature is an option your agents can use when speaking to foreign customers.

In a nutshell, a live translation is a Google Translate integration that instantly translates text from one language into another, allowing your agents to chat with customers in their native language in real-time. 

Chat Translation

Example of how Live Translate works in Freshdesk Messaging.

Why do you need Live Translate for your chat support?

If you’re a company that provides its services only in one language say English, you’re likely losing money as we speak. 

Live chat translation is essential for your customer support because it helps you overcome language barriers when communicating with audiences from different parts of the world. It saves money, improves user experience, and enables you to stand out as a brand.

Consumer language preference research conducted in 29 countries around the world shows that:

  • 65% prefer online content in their mother tongue, even if it’s poor quality
  • 66% use online machine translation
  • 40% are not willing to buy from websites using foreign languages.

This makes it abundantly clear that consumers might bounce from your app or site if they can’t find the answers in their native language. 

The same applies to live chat that’s exclusively in one language. Potential customers might visit your websites or apps interested in your services only to click away as they continue their search for similar services that cater to their needs in their mother tongue. 

As browsers today automatically translate text on a webpage to the visitor’s primary language, it’s only wise to also offer support in their language.

Adding Live Translate to your services is one way you can help foreign customers navigate your site, get around the language barrier, and get answers to their questions right away in their native language. 

These are just some of the reasons why live chat translation should be your next business investment.

Cater to your audience across the world 

By offering multilingual services, you show that you know your customer and want to help them get their concerns and questions across. You also show you understand that not everyone speaks English fluently or isn’t comfortable using it. 

Today, the English language counts more non-native speakers than native speakers: approximately 1.5 billion people speak English, but fewer than 400 million have English as their mother tongue.  

Despite this, many businesses insist on including chat translation because they know: 

  • not every person who speaks English is fluent in it and thus can’t express themselves well
  • not every English language speaker is comfortable with their English speaking skills, and being forced to speak the language can cause a lot of anxiety
  • many people haven’t had the privilege of learning English 
  • it makes customers feel more seen and heard if you address them in their native language.

Communicate in the customer’s preferred channel 

Live chat already offers your customers a more viable option for reaching out and asking the questions they need quick answers to. 

Many customers don’t prefer emails or calls—especially if that means they’ll need to write long paragraphs of text or talk to someone in a foreign language over the phone. 

Adding automatic machine translation to live chat makes communicating less stressful for your customers. It improves the customer journey by eliminating language barriers.

Speaking directly in one’s native language in live chat messages prevents: 

  • misunderstandings during conversations
  • inability to communicate at all
  • frustrations if the customer cannot express the idea as well as they could in their native tongue.

Save cost on hiring multilingual agents

Multilingual support agents cost companies more. For example, in 2021, the average annual customer service agent’s salary in the United States is $30,004, while it’s $32,944 for bilingual customer service agents. 

Let’s set aside the fact that it would be difficult to find a polyglot (a person who speaks over three foreign languages) who could translate in as many languages as chat translation does.  

Your best-case scenario would be to hire a couple of multilingual agents who speak some of the most spoken languages globally, such as English, Arabic, Hindi, Russian, Mandarin, French, Spanish, and German.

This option is still limiting because your clients and customers are from all over the globe. Adding a few languages would still leave your service inaccessible to people who speak not offered languages.

Boost brand reputation 

Good customer experience is a building block of a brand’s reputation.

Chat translation shows your customers and clients that you care about their user experience on your site, no matter where in the world they might be from. 

Your customer service is often their only back-and-forth contact with your team—the experience they have via communication tools with your agent’s shapes how they perceive your brand.  

Even if they understand English, your customers will appreciate your efforts to communicate in their native language.

It shows that you’re willing to go the extra mile to adapt to your foreign customer, who has to adjust all the time to a predominantly English-speaking environment. It shows that your company values their language as an essential part of their culture.

Stand out from your competitors

Live chat translation separates you from other businesses that don’t offer multilingual customer support and only communicate in English.

Using a chat app with translation builds an image of your brand as one that literally and figuratively speaks the customer’s language. 

When foreigners live in a different country, they can be more likely to become friends and connect with other ex-pats who speak their native language. 

The fact is, we often look for what’s familiar–something that reminds us of home. And customers are more likely to come back to websites and apps that feel like home too. 

How does chat translation work?

  1. Activate Live Translate using your Google Translate API key.
  2. Enable Live Translate in “Settings” in your Freshdesk Messaging account. 
  3. Turn on the Live Translate app.
  4. When a user sends a message in their native language, your agent receives the same message in the chat window translated into English, and any reply your agent sends will be automatically translated into the user’s language.

Find out more about how Live Translate works here.

Translate on the go with Freshdesk Messaging

We understand that the beauty of language brings people together. 

Freshdesk Messaging helps your agents overcome language barriers and avoid misunderstandings—making your services more transparent and more accessible. 

Include Freshdesk Messaging’s live chat translation feature to your website and help your customers connect more strongly with your agents, services, and overall brand.