Omnichannel for Customer Service – Real-time Translations

Microsoft have just released loads of cool enhancements to their Omnichannel for Customer Service application! In this post I will review one of my favourite new features … real-time chat translations.

The scenario being that your agent might speak one language but customers will obviously want to chat in any language. To support this wouldn’t it be useful if we could apply real-time translations so that the customer and agent can converse with ease??

Below you can see a short video showing the agent and customer experience ….

 

I will now briefly describe the steps to enable this feature;

  1. Create Azure translator
  2. Create a web resource
  3. Enable in Omnichannel Administration

Note:
These instructions do assume you have some understanding of Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform! I  assume you know how to create a web resource and have already configured web chat within Omnichannel for Customer Service etc. But honestly this is simple and you don’t really need any coding / technical skills.

Step One – Create Azure Translator

The first step will be to create an Azure cognitive service to act as your translator. For me, this was very simply for me as I’d previously created a translator!!

But you will go into “portal.azure.com” and add a Cognitive service. All you then need to do is copy your API key, as we’ll need that later!

Step Two – Create a Web Resource

Microsoft describe how to configure the translation feature here …. you will see there is a link to download a sample web resource. I did that and then simply copied the sample JavaScript.

You will need to make a small amendment to the JavaScript, below you can see that I have pasted my API key for my Azure translator into the start of the code. Also notice that I could have used Google translator!

Next I created a web resource in my Dynamics 365 instance. Obviously don’t forget to publish your web resource after you have created it.

Also copy the URL! As you will need that in the next step!

Step Three – Enable in Omnichannel Administration

The final step is also really simple. In your Omnichannel Administration app you will find a real time translations option under the settings heading.

Simply turn on the feature and select your default input language (In my case English).

Finally I added the url for the web resource I created in the previous step into my configuration.

Conclusion

So what do I think about this new feature ….

Well firstly I will point out that currently (Sept 2020) this is a preview feature so maybe it isn’t quite ready for production usage.

But having said that I didn’t find any issues and it worked first time. (Which is always nice!)

Additionally, in my demo I showed the translations working with web chat but other channels are available! I haven’t tested all of them yet but I have used this feature with SMS, Twitter and Teams conversations. All worked perfectly.

I think for a demo or for simple production use it is perfect. With no more configuration than I described above.

However if I had a more complex scenario I might also need to experiment with skills based routing options. As I could have many agents all who speak multiple languages, in that scenario I would try to route conversations to agents who can actually chat in the required language. And then only use this translation feature if those agents weren’t available … meaning for a complex real-world scenario I would need to consider how I wanted to chat with my foreign customers in more detail.

But this feature was easy to configure, worked quickly and would be a powerful agent productivity tool. And I am pretty confident it could be used in conjunction with skills based routing to achieve the more complex scenarios I reference above.

So I am impressed, great job Microsoft. Enjoy.

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