Communication Trends and Language Diversity: New Data Suggests Messaging is Popular – but Business is still English-dominated

Here at Babeltext, we are always looking to innovate our technology to ensure organizations can use messaging where they want to: be it SMS, Facebook Messenger, WebChat, or even Google Business Messenger.  With this in mind, we’ve been busy researching which businesses are using which channels – and we were surprised by the results!

Survey Says…

Firstly, looking across 6 industries at 63 companies surveyed, we found that a whopping 89% now offer at least one messaging channel.

Messaging has seen a boom in recent years, with its convenience far surpassing phone support often associated with long wait queues, and email support is now considered the new snail mail. Customers want their problems solved immediately, and messaging offers that.

What Channels Are Businesses Using to Communicate?

Next, we looked specifically at which channels are being utilized. Often businesses may use more than one channel to communicate with their customers, and sometimes these channels are managed by different teams. Babeltext presents the opportunity to streamline all channels into a single messaging platform.

Facebook Messenger was offered by 78% of companies surveyed – this is huge. It was most popular in Energy and Retail industries and least used in Aged Care and Help Services (such as Lifeline, which directs traffic elsewhere). But note that many companies only offered Facebook as a messaging option, which prevents non-Facebook users from easily approaching the company in this manner.

Also rising in the ranks was WebChat, with 54% of organizations utilizing it – a simple solution to manage basic queries quickly, arriving from your web traffic. However, we were almost always first connected with a bot and then occasionally upgraded to a human operator.

Bots serve the useful purpose of helping customers solve basic FAQs or directing them to the appropriate support team. But bots can also frustrate customers who want to engage with a real person. The businesses that offered both bots and human operators were by far more efficient at solving the problems we posed to them.

SMS Messaging is a relatively new addition to businesses in Australia, but it allows customers to message from anywhere without worrying about losing their internet signal or place in the queue. It also provides businesses with a contact phone number, allowing them to broadcast messages to their database with 98% open rates on phones vs email-based marketing (Dynmark 2015). This also allows easier opting-out by customers who can send a one-word response to unwanted mail.

So they’re messaging – but what about translation?

In Australia, NSW has a population of 7.95 million, yet only 68.5% of those speak English in their home (Census). This represents a massive proportion of non-English speakers who need to connect with businesses and Government services in Australia.

While this may present a problem to organizations looking to expand beyond the English-speaking market, it also presents a lucrative market of largely untouched customers waiting to engage with local stores and services.

Given that platforms such as Babeltext allow businesses to use their existing channels but to communicate effortlessly in 109 languages, we wanted to find out how many businesses actually offer non-English services.

The results were disappointing.

We looked at the top 10 companies in Insurance, Energy, Retail, Telecommunications, and Aged Care and found that only 6% offered services in a language other than English. But among all of these, none offered a simple messaging translation service, preferring to rely on expensive phone translators – often outsourced at huge expense to the companies.

In a modern society where businesses seek to appear more inclusive and diverse, we were surprised that 94% of these businesses turned away a non-English speaker at the outset of the conversation. This is a potential revenue loss and a fast way to earn a negative review from a customer.

What should businesses be doing?

As we’ve discovered, a huge 89% of businesses are using messaging from at least one channel – this is great news! While we recommend using multiple channels to ensure all customers are served, this no longer means more staff are required to manage the messaging platforms. Leveraging the power of Babeltext, an organization could use 4 different messaging channels and funnel them all through one platform in real-time. One staff member could be interacting on Facebook Messenger, SMS, and WebChat all at the same time!

Furthermore, working with non-English speaking customers should be an anticipated experience for businesses on a daily basis. But it doesn’t need to be a headache for your staff or burn a hole in the budget. Forget phone translators – utilize a platform that automatically translates into 109 languages. With Babeltext, your staff doesn’t require extra training, they keep messaging like normal, and the customer will receive responses in their chosen language.

It’s as simple as that!

Stay ahead of the competition; Get a free demo of Babeltext now.

If you’re considering upgrading your messaging to include multiple channels or want to start talking in 109 languages, ask for a no-obligation 15-minute virtual demo of Babeltext. We’d love to help you reach your customers easier than ever before, and the platform’s ease of use will have your staff thanking you!

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