Key Benefits of Real-Time Translation Software for the Travel Industry

As customer experience expectations evolve, the technology that organizations use to communicate with customers must as well. With 75% of customers stating they are more likely to work with a brand again if post-sale support is provided in their native language, the time for travel companies to meet this demand is now. While there are a number of ways to deliver in-language support for travelers, the most cost-effective and scalable way for brands to provide multilingual support is via real-time translation software.

Here are the main reasons travel companies should be using translation software to communicate with global customers.

Get travelers the answers they need faster

It’s never ideal when something goes wrong for a customer, no matter what type of business environment it’s in. In the travel industry, customer mishaps can be especially damaging for both the traveler and the brand providing services. Travelers pour thousands of dollars into vacations or business trips; to have that expense and anticipation spoiled by a flight cancellation or lost bag is a nightmare scenario—one that needs to be resolved by a customer support team immediately.

Most large travel companies have a team of fluent speakers that can handle support requests in the languages spoken by a brand’s customer base. But relying solely on your multilingual staff still doesn’t prevent disasters. Imagine a Japanese speaker travels to the United States for work, only for their flight back to Japan to be canceled at the last minute. Meanwhile, they have a critical meeting the next day and they absolutely have to be in attendance. This traveler isn’t going to be happy hearing that no Japanese-speaking agents are available because it’s the middle of the night in Japan.

Translation software helps avoid these issues by enabling monolingual (i.e., English-speaking only) support agents to communicate with customers in any language. With this software equipped, the aforementioned Japanese speaker can have their issue resolved by an English or Spanish-speaking support agent whose messages are instantly translated into Japanese. 

Manage seasonal spikes with ease

It doesn’t matter what part of the travel process your business supports—booking aggregators, airlines, rental car companies, hotels, and tourism-based groups are all going to experience some degree of seasonality. 

Understanding seasonality’s impact on business operations helps when it comes to planning finances and revenue goals, but it doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to properly staff customer service teams. Depending on the region, busy travel seasons may vary significantly, leading to various periods of increased support requests throughout the year. The hiring problem presented to customer service teams is a double-edged sword: staffing enough full-time bi- or trilingual agents to manage requests during these spikes will likely result in those same agents largely sitting idle during slower months—while not hiring extra help during busy periods will overwork the team and lead to a reduction in the quality of service travelers receive. It’s a lose-lose outcome.

This is another area where translation software helps. Let’s use Europe’s busy vacation season as an example. Rather than hiring agents who can speak the various European languages, a brand’s existing customer support agents can use translation software to easily communicate with travelers from Sweden, France, Portugal, etc. This helps keep a consistent team throughout the year, making budgeting easier. 

Keep customers coming back

When choosing a travel brand to book with, the majority of customers (60%) say that customer service is their top priority. And because high-value travelers average seven airline reservations and nine hotel bookings a year, it’s paramount for brands who want to earn repeat business to deliver world-class customer experiences.

Real-time translation software helps achieve a higher quality of customer support that keeps travelers booking with the same brand again and again. Imagine your top-performing agent—the one who consistently closes out tickets in a timely fashion, who handles difficult cases with ease, and whose friendly disposition gets them rave reviews in customer satisfaction surveys. Now imagine if that agent could support more than just your English-speaking travelers. No matter if a ticket pops up in French, Swedish, Portuguese, Chinese, etc., your all-star rep can jump in and resolve the issue without running into language barriers.

Using technology to turn your top performers into polyglots helps ensure that customers get the quality of support that they need. It also means that you don’t have to worry about your most qualified team members sitting idle while less experienced agents handle difficult requests simply because they speak the customer’s language.

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Implementing Real-Time Translation Software at Your Travel Company

Adding translation technology to your customer support tool belt does not have to be a challenging undertaking. The right technology is one that seamlessly integrates into your existing customer support tools—such as your CRM—and is easy for agents to use without disrupting existing processes. It should also be customizable via mechanisms such as a glossary, which dictates how industry- or brand-specific jargon is or is not translated. This is important in the travel industry, as terms such as “checking in” mean something much different to a traveler than they do to a project manager at a tech company, for instance. Imposing a glossary ensures that such terminology will be handled properly in every conversation.

If you are looking for the best-in-class machine translation technology that integrates into your existing tools, delivers high-quality translations, and empowers your team to support customers in more than 150 languages, Language I/O is the solution. Learn more about our technology by reaching out to us or scheduling a personalized demo.