Chat support provides the immediate gratification customers want when they’re visiting your website. Who has time to wait for an email response? Or make a phone call? They want an answer NOW. It’s much easier to take advantage of that unobtrusive little screen that pops up in the lower right-hand corner with a friendly message like, “Hi, welcome, can I help you with anything today?” “Yes,” you reply, “How soon can you ship me this awesome Justin Bieber Christmas sweater, and have you got it in my size?”
Chat support teams are in overtime mode this month as we cyber-sleigh ride through another Christmas season. (Grandma got run over by a multilingual Lowe-bot!) For those companies that are aware, there are people with money in their communities who don’t speak English, or at least not very well. Multilingual chat support becomes a quick and less expensive solution for the problem of how to support your new clients now that you’ve translated your website into one or more languages.
The cost of hiring multilingual chat specialists is off-putting, to say the least. Not to mention the logistics! Let’s say you’ve got a sizeable Vietnamese community near you. How many Vietnamese speakers do you need? When will you need them? How often do Vietnamese speakers visit your website? Often enough to justify even one new hire? (“I don’t have any Vietnamese customers,” you say. “I want to catch my community’s attention. With a properly translated website and SEO keywords optimized for Vietnamese, they’ll come and buy my gorgeous Justin Bieber Christmas sweaters. But I need to help them if they have questions or a problem with the order.”)
See? This is what happens when you don’t properly optimize your SEO for other languages. Not an actual Justin Bieber Christmas sweater in sight. Little Chau is going to be *so* disappointed on Christmas Day.
What you might not know is you can easily render your entire chat support team immediately multilingual, without any new hires or language immersion courses.
Multilingual real-time chat support software turns your team into a United Nations of localized customer service stars. (Or just Tim, the guy who functions as your ‘team’ until you sell enough gorgeous Justin Bieber Christmas sweaters to justify another specialist, upon which you’ll either dragoon Helen from Marketing into dual service, or maybe break down and hire a dedicated rep to handle the sweater questions).
Chat Support – The Wages of Bilingualism
- The annual salary of ONE bilingual customer service representative in Canada is $40,175
- In the United States, it’s $38,832
- In the United Kingdom, a bilingual customer advisor averages £18,380 annually or USD$23,387
The logistics of figuring out how many people you actually need just to support one other language severely limits what you can offer. Maybe you can justify a budget for one bilingual rep for say, Spanish or French, but you can’t afford to take a chance on the local Vietnamese community. Or maybe you think you could afford one Vietnamese speaker, but you’re not sure if you need them full-time and how valuable will the customer experience be if they can only get the proper language support sometimes?
Considering that the cost of chat platforms for businesses is anywhere from free to a few hundred dollars a month, the addition of a plug-in plus the chat software will cost a lot less than just one bilingual CSR.
Now all your monolingual chat support rep has to do is respond. They doen’t even need to flip a switch because your plug-in software detected your new visitor’s language preference as Vietnamese and now neither your CSR nor the visitor are even aware they’re chatting in a different language.
Localization suddenly got a lot less expensive. It also got less problematic.
Attracting customers for whom English isn’t a second language becomes much easier when you speak their language from stem to stern, regardless of whether you speak any of their languages.
- With English speakers representing only 25% of Internet users globally, most of your potential customers speak something else. A lot of them live in your country, your city and even in your neighbourhood
- 75% of Internet shoppers surveyed in ten countries said they preferred to buy online in their own language
- 86% of contact centers have non-English-speaking customers, and only a little over half realize it’s a key competitive differentiator
Yappn White Paper: The Impact of Multilingual Support on Customer Care
Many geographical regions, whether they’re states or provinces, entire countries, or polyglot continents like Europe or Asia, have residents and citizens who don’t speak the predominant languages, or don’t speak them very well, within their own borders. Or they simply may always be more comfortable online shopping in their native language, regardless of their fluency in the dominant language.
Website translation seems like a potentially risky investment when you stop to consider what to do once those multilingual speakers are on your website. What if they have a question? What if they need help ordering? What if they need to return something or ask where their shipment is? With multilingual chat support, a simple API plug-in to most existing live chat platforms, supporting your multilingual Belieber customers gets affordable and efficient.
Good luck! Or Chúc may mắn! as they say in Vietnamese communities.
Yappn Corp is an enhanced machine translation company that can chat with you real-time in 67 different languages. We don’t, however, sell Justin Bieber Christmas sweaters in any language. We’re sorry. We hope you’ll Yapp with us anyway. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +1.905.763.3510 x246.
Never miss out on another Yappn blog post! We love language, translation, and the cool machine translation technology driving it. Not to mention eCommerce, Asian growth, and how we’re all learning to communicate better with each other. Sign up for our new post email notifications today!
Written by Nicole Chardenet, Sales Development Rep at Yappn