How to Win New Business with Bilingual Website Chat with Live Agents in English & Spanish

Samir Sampat

Bilingual service is becoming much more essential in the modern world of customer service. We already covered a series on live website chat and why every business needs it, so now we want to show you just what chat can do. Today, there are automated software tools that offer close to 100% accuracy for virtual translation, allowing agents and customers alike to engage in their preferred language and get the best resolution to their needs. 

Of course, that’s a loaded sentence to the average business owner. Don’t worry, though, because we’ll break it all down in this handy guide. Considering that Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the U.S. and that it’s expected that the incidence of Spanish as a preferred language is going to continue to grow exponentially over the next few decades. 

Here are a few statistics for perspective:

  • 13% of the U.S. population speaks Spanish at home.
  • There are over 559 million people around the world who speak Spanish as their preferred or native language.
  • By 2050, it’s estimated that as many as 1 in 3 people will speak Spanish.
  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics cites Bilingual Customer Service Representative among one of the fastest-growing jobs through 2022 and beyond.
  • By 2050, it’s estimated that there will be over 138 million Spanish speakers in the U.S.
  • Spanish speakers make up 64% of the U.S.’s Limited-English Proficient (LEP) demographic, with the other 36% comprised of more than a dozen other languages. 
  • Currently, there are more Spanish-speaking people in the U.S. than there are in Spain and Columbia, who have 47 million and 48 million speakers, respectively. 
  • The top 5 states for Spanish speakers in the U.S.: Texas, California, New Mexico, Nevada, and Florida. 


So, the case is solid. Adding bilingual service is definitely going to drive new business and boost your brand’s reputation, among other things. Of course, you have to make sure that you implement it correctly and like all things, that you create an effective strategy for adding this to your customer service repertoire. 



How it works 


There are several different options for adding bilingual service to your website chat. The first, and most obvious, is to hire agents who speak English and Spanish so that they can be available for those customers who need them. That’s effective, but usually not possible for a lot of small businesses. Not only that, but it’s not very efficient. 

Think about it: if you have a handful of bilingual agents and a person asks to speak to them, you’re going to have to track them down and that causes the customer to wait. During the wait, they could change their mind, lose the connection, or any other number of things. And when they do get an agent, they feel like a second-rate customer because they had to wait for someone to talk to when everyone else gets help right away. 

We know what you’re thinking: ok, so if not bilingual agents, then what?

Well, the future is automated, as we always say, and that continues to ring true with modern translation software technology. There are platforms available today, such as the one used by the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai, that are designed to engage users in their preferred language, even if the agent only speaks English. 

These programs can take the user’s input, translate it at near-100% accuracy, and deliver a clear message to the agent on the other end. Then, when the agent types their response, the translation will be reversed, and the customer will receive a chat in Spanish, just as they requested. It allows everyone to communicate in their preferred language and makes it easy for you to offer this service to your customers and other users. 


Do I really need bilingual service?


We already covered this above with the laundry list of statistics we rattled off, but for those who are still on the fence, let’s talk a little more. 

Yes, you absolutely need bilingual customer service in 2021 and beyond. There’s no other option. It’s a matter of not just gaining the competitive edge, but proving that your brand is up to the job and keeping up with the changing world that we live in. 

When you add bilingual service you will:

  • Attract new audiences
  • Increase leads and conversions
  • Drive sales 
  • Improve brand reputation
  • Increase visibility
  • Grow your profits 
  • Create sustainable business growth
  • Make customers feel valued
  • Increase customer loyalty and retention
  • And so much more!

Business growth is all about strategy—what better strategy than improving your customer service department to help attract new leads and build your bottom line? And good service starts with great communication, so it’s time to remove all the barriers. That includes the language barrier that many companies don’t even realize that they have. 

It’s time to get on board with bilingual customer service, but the good news is that you’re not on your own when it comes to getting it done. 


Smith.ai offers support for live website chat with bilingual service 24/7


At Smith.ai, we take pride in keeping up with trends and industry standards and work hard to ensure that we can deliver the communication solutions that our clients need. If you’re looking to improve your customer service by adding bilingual website chat, we have exactly what you need. 

As we mentioned, we’ve got state-of-the-art software that translates text chats to almost perfect accuracy, allowing agents and users alike to communicate seamlessly and flawlessly without having to staff a full team of bilingual agents specifically for the job. We also have a team of dedicated virtual receptionists that know how to quickly and politely determine things like language preferences, how to best communicate with people, and so much more. 


How our live chat translation works 


We covered this in brief in a short release about adding bilingual service to our website chat solutions, but now we want to discuss it more in detail. The system that we use employs Neural Network AI and real-time translation that ensures that speed and accuracy are first and foremost so that website visitors never miss a beat. Using the Smith.ai Chat widget, your user can reach a receptionist that speaks Spanish or English. Rather than taking the time to wait for a transfer, our software allows the following process to take place. 

If an English-speaking agent answers the chat and the user is typing in Spanish, the agent will initiate the translation tool within the software. This allows the user’s input to appear in English with near-100% fluency and accuracy. Then, the receptionist can take the time to formulate the appropriate response, enter it into the chat, and then send it back to the user. 

The user will receive a translated message in Spanish to facilitate a smooth conversation without language barriers and without having to wait to speak to a Spanish agent. This can carry on for as long as the conversation takes. Plus, a full transcript is included with every chat that includes the original chat with in-line translations so that anyone can follow and understand the conversation from all sides. 

In the past, this may have been more involved because the systems required more training or “coaching” to learn how to speak conversationally or learn how to adapt to the business itself. With this unique Neural Network Programming, the translation software gives real-time, accurate translations that sound just as if you’re carrying on a native conversation:

Graphical user interface, text, application, chat or text messageDescription automatically generated


Take a look at the image above. Alex, the agent answering the chat, does not speak Spanish. However, she’s able to carry on a customer conversation in their preferred language, thanks to the software. There’s even an option to see the original English right in line with the chat, making it easy to double-check the translations and know that you’re communicating effectively. 

The world of technology has come a long way even in just the past decade and there’s a lot of value to be had in services like bilingual website chat. And when all you have to do is ask for help and there’s a team waiting to help you with all of it, you really have nothing to lose. (FYI, we’re talking about the live chat agents from Smith.ai, but more on that in a bit.)


In case you missed it… the case for live chat is strong


We mentioned at the beginning of our previous series on the importance of live chat for businesses today. We cannot overstate this. It is essential to any business that expects to deliver on customer expectations. Live chat is a medium that your audience now expects and demands, so it’s time to get on board if you haven’t yet. 

Live chat affords benefits like:

  • The chance for people to connect with your brand on their time and in their preferred medium. This ensures that they will feel valued and that you want them to reach out
  • Improved customer experience by providing instant answers to immediate problems. People don’t like to have to wait. If you provide live chat, they can get answers in the moment. This also ensures that people don’t move on or forget their question before they hear back from your business. 
  • You’re giving people the ultimate convenience, making your brand accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That kind of move can definitely boost your credibility and brand reputation. 
  • You’ll be able to build better relationships because you are instantly connecting with people. There’s no communication lag and you can easily get a feel for someone’s tone and their sentiment so that you can communicate effectively. 
  • There’s less redundancy in the communication process. Too often, trying to reach a business feels like conquering a maze. When you make it simple, your customers will appreciate your efforts. 
  • Increased conversions, improved loyalty and retention, and a bigger ROI, which all lead to bigger profits for your business. Ultimately, that’s the goal, right? Growth is what you’re after and this is one surefire way to get a good jump on it. 

Of course, the fact of the matter is that you need live chat, but in case you want to see what all it can do, we wanted to provide you with a quick overview. And don’t worry about staffing it, either. Just because you need live chat services doesn’t mean that your team has to man the chat channels—you can outsource to a dedicated team of virtual receptionists to field the chats for you and deliver premium service as the face of your brand. 

Plus, when you choose the right partner, you’ll be able to employ their assistance with your audiences in English and Spanish, ensuring that everyone gets the best communication support from your brand, even when you’re not the one on the other end of the chat. 


Choose Smith.ai as the right partner and you’ll be on the right track with bilingual service and more


If you want to make the most of your business communications, you need to partner with the people who know how to do it best. The dedicated team of receptionists at Smith.ai offer a host of solutions for communications and administrative tasks, including everything from live website chat to lead intake, appointment scheduling, and so much more. Our list of services is impressive, and we’ll work with you to create the perfect custom solution for your needs, no matter what those might be. 

We provide our bilingual chat services as a standard feature with all of our plans, too, so you don’t have to pay extra to get everything that you deserve. We’ll ensure that all of your customers get the perfect chat experience and that we keep bringing in the best leads for your brand while you’re taking care of the rest of your business. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation to find out how the 24/7 support of the bilingual virtual receptionist solutions at Smith.ai can change your brand’s communication game and keep you ahead of the competition. You will also find us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484.


Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing and Events Associate with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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