Device Type: desktop
Skip to Main Content Skip to Main Content

Real-Time Translation Isn’t Sci-Fi Anymore — and Businesses Are Using It

This article was published on August 3, 2021

Ever wish you could use a universal translator like the one from Star Trek to seamlessly communicate in a foreign language? Good news: Real-time translation has already arrived. Now equipped with polyglot powers, companies can communicate with any lifeform no matter where they choose to boldly go. Here’s how businesses are using this technology to facilitate smooth communications, from the contact center to the doctor’s office and beyond.

Beaming into the Contact Center

The contact center is a nexus for communicating with customers, including those who speak different languages, so translation capability is crucial to this core business function and greatly affects both the customer experience and the business’s ability to service global markets. With dedicated services enhanced by APIs, the contact center can now take voice data in real time, translate it into another language, and send the translated version to the other participant via voice or messaging service. Uhura would be proud.

If a contact center agent speaks English and wants to communicate with a French-speaking customer, for example, they can converse seamlessly in their respective languages in real time, addressing the customer’s inquiry quickly and effectively. And since this technology works for both voice and messaging sessions, SMS and chat can proceed just as efficiently.

If your company has seasonal or periodic language needs, it’s now a lot easier to accommodate them at scale. With this type of translation technology in place, your business can deliver excellent customer care to a global clientele and use the full talents of its top contact center agents without worrying about whether they can speak additional languages. Given these powerful business advantages, it’s easy to understand why real-time translation is one of the hottest contact center technology trends right now.

The Doctor Will See You Now, in Any Language

When you’re sick, the last thing you want is a miscommunication with your doctor about treatment. Accurate communication is essential to patient engagement and consent. Real-time translation can play a key role here, too, enabling healthcare organizations to care for patients who speak a different language.

A local clinic or hospital can use this technology to treat the entire community that it serves more effectively, without hiring teams of interpreters. Given that healthcare institutions are increasingly expanding their range, translation technology allows doctors to communicate with patients from different communities who speak different languages, advising them on diagnoses and treatment from afar.

This multilingual capability improves patient engagement because patients are more likely to follow their health care plans, take prescriptions, and show up for appointments when they’ve experienced clear communication with their providers. With better communication comes better care, and real-time translation helps reduce readmittance rates by giving speakers of all different languages the care they deserve.

Acing the Test

Much like healthcare organizations, educational institutions often serve diverse communities of people who may speak a variety of languages. Timely translation can help schools communicate with students and parents, and this is particularly useful in the K-12 setting, where effective parent engagement has been shown to support better student outcomes. With the ability to conduct real-time conversations with parents on the phone or via messaging in any language, a public school system can keep all parents fully informed about happenings at their children’s schools.

For example, if a school system intends to launch a 1:1 laptop program, it will want to discuss the program’s plans and objectives with parents prior to rollout, answering any questions they may have and receiving their feedback. It’s challenging enough to communicate technology concepts in one language to native speakers. Translation capability can help schools explain to parents of all backgrounds and languages how technology can boost their children’s educational outcomes.

With the right AI in place, set up for bidirectional communication with technologies such as WebSockets, schools can foster greater trust between parents and educators through translation technology, which is especially critical during a difficult situation or an emergency. Instant multilingual communication can ease tensions and rapidly disseminate important information via messaging- or voice-based channels during an unexpected event, allowing the school to resolve the situation much more smoothly. And, crucially, parents who speak other languages never have to feel like their concerns have been overlooked or treated as an afterthought. This single enhancement can greatly improve relations between a school and its community.

The Future Is Now

We don’t have to wait for Starfleet to come calling to enjoy the power of universal translation technology. Businesses and organizations of all kinds can engage with all audiences in real time and at scale, innovating the customer experience and tapping previously inaccessible markets. This dynamic technology, once regarded as the stuff of sci-fi, is now a reality. Only one question remains: How will your business make the most of its potential?

Vonage staff

Vonage staff

Deskphone with Vonage logo

Parlez avec un expert.