The Advantages of Live Chat and Auto-translation in the Medical Industry
17 Aug 2018 By: Jessica Eyre
Updated: 26 Jan 2023
Progressions such as automation, self-service, and the breaking down of communication barriers are making customer service easier than ever before.
One of the easiest and most convenient advancements for businesses to take advantage of is online live chat. People prefer to communicate remotely these days, making live chat a comfortable option for most. And the advent of live chat as a customer service tool means that waiting for answers is becoming a thing of the past.
For years, many businesses have provided translation services in person and over the phone. Now, auto-translation makes it easier to do so, and since it’s now a part of live chat, the service provides many benefits. Let’s take a look at how live chat and auto-translation are a powerhouse duo for the medical industry.
How Much Do People Use Live Chat?
No one likes to call customer service when they need assistance. While consumers still begrudgingly use their phones to call a company’s customer service line, this method of communication is no longer preferred. We live in a world of text—in fact, a Kayako survey found that 41 percent of consumers prefer to chat live with a customer service representative.
This communication method offers many benefits for patients. These range from being able to give them near-instantaneous answers to providing a way for people to ask uncomfortable questions anonymously. Not only that, but live chat is also helping bridge the communication gap between consumers and their medical providers (more on that in a second).
For medical providers, the form of communication is an affordable way to help their patients. It’s user-friendly and allows for positive customer service interactions. Live chat also saves both the doctor and the patient time. Patients can make appointments without waiting on the line, ask questions about side effects, and receive prescription instructions. Put simply, medical providers with live chat are able to do more for those who count on them for help.
Where Does Auto-translation Come In?
For live chat to be an effective form of communication, it requires a certain amount of promptness, making auto-translation a tricky addition. Technopedia defines real-time chat as any form of online communication that occurs between two people almost immediately. For live chat to be considered “live,” two or more people must “chat” with delays of no more than a minute or two. This is where the translation part becomes a factor. When a medical specialist is talking to a foreign-speaking patient using live chat, the specialist types out a reply that then needs to be translated. But with auto-translation capabilities, live chat translates answers to medical questions in real-time, making it a service that eases patients’ minds.
Translating conversations sounds easy, but it’s not. Making sure that words are translated correctly is tough for people to do, let alone software programs. The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon shows how hard this is in a singing segment called Google Translate Songs. During this part of the show, Jimmy and his guest sing songs using Google Translate. The program tends to translate the lyrics in strange and unusual ways. For example, the song lyric “I will survive!” becomes “I will be punctual!” after Google Translate gets involved. This is the last thing you want when people have questions about their health. Live chat avoids confusing translations by using advanced technology.
What Makes Translation Difficult?
Translating is harder than it seems. One reason for this is that in the English language, one word has several meanings. For instance, the word “rose” is the name of a flower. However, it also means to stand up as in “She rose from that sofa.” Cultural references make a difference as well, creating more translation challenges. An article in Unbebel points out that some languages have specific words for feeling a certain way, but no equivalent exists in the English language. “Ennui” is a French word that means an intense feeling of weariness and discontent, but the English language does not have a word for this feeling. In live chat, the translation program must work with this problem.
How one person addresses another in addition to cultural expressions also make translation difficult. If you were to use the English phrase “from A to Z,” a translator would have problems translating that in a language like Mandarin because it doesn’t use the Latin alphabet. In general, language is a restrictive way to communicate. At its core, translation is the practice of using an equivalent meaning to a sentence said in a different language without the use of equivalent words. You won’t find another word for “stuff” in French. The English word “insight” is also tough to translate into other languages. This means that translation programs must be able to provide alternate meanings.
The Benefits of Auto-translation
Auto-translation streamlines the process of communication between the live chat agent and someone who speaks a foreign language. The feature is an advanced service that uses state-of-the-art machine learning technology to give people a real-time translation of content that’s text-based. With this feature connected to live chat, patients who need a translation service no longer need to wait for a translator to become available. Auto-translation breaks down barriers and decreases human involvement.
Easing Patients’ Minds
Auto-translation in live chat gives foreign speaking patients immediate answers. And that quick answer to a medical question eases the patient’s mind. Even if the patient is making an appointment, the ability to do so in the moment can provide feelings of relief. Doctor–patient confidentiality is a very serious tenet of the medical world that live chat companies take seriously. During a chat with a patient, the system encrypts data between the servers and the apps so that all information is secured. For additional peace of mind, live chat agents are trained in HIPAA compliance which is the standard for protecting patient information in all areas.
While the Internet has changed the world by making it a more connected place, it is also responsible for providing too much information. This can be a problem for medical providers because they are now dealing with patients who have misinformation. Patients who come across scary details about a condition that they may be experiencing can gain comfort by being able to chat live with an agent to make an appointment with someone who can answer their questions. Auto-translation makes sure that patients who speak another language receive the same benefit.
Giving the People What They Want
Changes in technology are making life easier. Instead of making phone calls or meeting in person, people can now get the information that they need using their laptops or smartphones. People prefer to use live chat because it saves them time. Free live chat software can serve as a quick solution to a lack of communication between customers and the business. The communication option is secure and available at any time of the day or night. Medical providers who offer live chat are moving forward with the times. A change in how people talk to each other is also making live chat the preferred method of communication. People still need and want to communicate. Today, they just prefer to do it from the comfort of their wireless devices.