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A multilingual chatbot: handy in Belgium?

Daphné Vermeiren

Hi there! Bonjour! Hallo! Wie geht’s? A multilingual chatbot, a chatbot which understands and speaks several languages during a conversation, is it useful in Belgium? Well, I think I don’t need to lay it out for you. In a country where there are three official languages (being Dutch/Flemish, French and German) and where, in addition, the lingua franca is mostly English, multilingual communication is key.

Organizations are expected to communicate to their clients and users in at least one of these four languages - depending on which part of the country they are targeting, of course. As a result of language choices, multilingual communication could be found in their website, blogs, social posts, email marketing, ... The list is endless. So, what if your company decides to communicate in English, French and Dutch? And your chatbot only speaks English? Well, we have a solution for you... Oswald just took some language courses and became multilingual! ✅

In this blog, we give a more extensive overview of our new feature.

What are multilingual chatbots?

In an age where users expect to be able to communicate in their own way, it seems essential in order to communicate properly. To meet this requirement, companies have two options. They can either create a separate chatbot for each desired language, or use a translation program.

Apart from these two solutions, there is a more effective way to solve this problem. That is to say, (online) shops/webshops can integrate a chatbot that supports multiple languages without using any separate translator program. We, at Oswald, simplified this process. For more technical details, stay tuned or reach out to us!

Why multilingual chatbots?

This world consists of a huge package of emotions and cultural values. People transmit their traditional and cultural values to the next generation through language. Now comes the question: "In this world, where everything revolves around emotions, what language would people prefer to use for their communication? English has become the second most preferred language for exchanging thoughts through words. However, the mother tongue remains the most important way of communicating in everyday life, as we also see in Belgium, where 3 official national languages are spoken:  

  • French 🇫🇷
  • Dutch 🇳🇱
  • German 🇩🇪
Atomium, Brussel, Belgium
Photographer: Carlo Alberto Burato | Source: Unsplash

You're probably wondering: "Why use this feature in Oswald, you can still create a different chatbot for each language?” Well, creating an entirely new chatbot for each native language is practically feasible, but it is not efficient as it takes up a lot of time... A single chatbot that can work in all languages is what every organization needs, isn't it?

If you're in a dilemma and can't decide whether you should use a multilingual chatbot for your business, read our next section. However, if you are sure and know you need a Facebook Messenger bot that can answer in your target audience's native language, you can find the steps to build a multilingual chatbot yourself here.

What’s in it for you?

Now comes the key question. "Why is building/having a multilingual chatbot so important for companies and organisations?”. Well, multilingual chatbots can:

  • Improve the user experience. 📈 A survey of online shoppers in 10 different countries showed that 75% of shoppers want to make purchases in their native language. If these conditions are not met, they do not want to make the purchase at all. Even a user who speaks English as a second language will perceive the interaction with your brand as faster and easier if it can be in their native language.
  • Grow your customer base. 👥  Imagine that every potential customer in the world would be interested in your brand, but they can't speak English. This could prevent certain messages from ever arriving. With a multilingual bot, you can reach them to showcase your products or services, answer questions and help them on their consumer journey.
  • Save time, energy and resources/people. ⏱️  Training your staff in every possible language of your prospects is, of course, not feasible. Creating a multilingual chatbot instead is a much simpler and more cost-effective way to deal with a multilingual customer base, in every aspect from marketing and sales to support.

Bottomline, it is therefore essential for a company to be able to communicate in the multiple national languages in order to develop further growth within its own territory and the step up to the BENELUX region. It can even lead to an international organisation in the long run. Oswald may be able to help you with this challenge. Take a look at our website to see what else Oswald has to offer!

Written by

Daphné Vermeiren

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