/ Pinterest Case Study


Pinterest launched in March 2010 and is now one of the biggest places on the web to save and discover ideas. Within the last six years it managed to grow the number of users (or rather Pinners) to an astounding 100 million monthly active Pinners. Pinterest is the world’s catalog of ideas where people save content from around the web to personalized boards, and discover more ideas from others with similar interests. With more than 75 billion Pins, Pinterest has ideas for all interests, including style, recipes, parenting and more.

Pinterest: Scaling While Keeping The Team Lean

It’s All About The Personal Experience

Why does Pinterest feel the need to have Customer Care available in different languages? Their product is all about a personal experience, so there was no doubt that Customer Service should reflect this. Speed in customer service is important, no one wants to wait until the next day to get the answer they need. Speed is also something Pinterest does not want to sacrifice, so they’re constantly working on ways to find the right balance between personalization and automation. To keep the service fast and efficient, the team uses templates for questions that are asked repeatedly, but there is no way that templates could completely replace a team of Customer Service experts making sure Pinners get the help they need. Sometimes even if the template answers the question, it just doesn’t feel right to simply copy paste it and send back to the Pinner, so the team adds personal notes. Being able to answer support tickets in multiple languages makes the interaction even more personal.

“With localization came the need to communicate with users in different languages”

Scaling While Keeping The Team Lean

How to offer amazing customer service in multiple languages without constantly hiring new people for the team? Being able to scale, while keeping the Customer Service team lean is a great challenge for Pinterest. While the company is partially outsourcing their customer service, all the international tickets are answered by the team of 5 in-house agents that use Unbabel for Zendesk. Being able to simply hire amazing Customer Service agents without being restrained by the language factor can help improve customer satisfaction. You want to be able to hire excellent agents - not excellent translators. And that’s what Pinterest does - Community Specialists in the Customer Service team go through weeks of training, learning how to answer all questions, rather than just specializing in certain types of tickets. This way, when a ticket arrives someone who can help the Pinner is always available.

Having native speaker agents for the different languages Customer Service is offered in would mean significantly growing the entire team, and that’s the step Pinterest doesn’t want to take at this stage. Besides, hiring one person for each language is not enough - it would mean that whenever that agent is taking a day off, Pinners that seek support in that language will not get the help they need in the time they expect. Another problem is the volume of tickets for some languages being too low to hire an individual agent. With Unbabel for Zendesk Pinterest’s Customer Service team can scale without growing the number of agents on their team - this way they can find a right balance between accessibility and keeping the team lean. Keeping the team lean helps reduce friction and make sure that the entire team works together to give Pinners the level of customer service they need.

Pinterest results in numbers


Target Languages


Agents Answering

The number of agents answering international tickets


Best feature

The best thing about Unbabel is how easy is to scale

Why Unbabel?

Being able to scale and cover the Customer Service needs international Pinners independent of language is the key reason Pinterest decided to use Unbabel. The Pinterest team is busy with tickets -- last quarter they answered tens of thousands overall. The priority is to automate the process as much as possible - this way the Pinners will be able to get the answers they need faster. But the team is also working on improving another important metric - quality. Providing responses in a user’s native language definitely helps improve Customer Satisfaction levels across different languages. Another advantage of Unbabel for Zendesk app is how easy it is to use. Training new agents takes time, but showing them how to use the Unbabel app takes 5 minutes, so it’s not making the onboarding process of new agents more complicated.

Being able to answer customer service tickets in users’ native languages can result in great levels of customer satisfaction. Localization is a key ingredient to providing your users with amazing, personalized experience, but it has to go beyond just translating the website. That's why as Pinterest keeps growing in different markets, it’s constantly improving the international customer service. No wonder the huge base of over 100 million monthly active Pinners keeps growing every day.

On your way to become the next great technology company? Make sure you take good care of your users, just like Pinterest. Learn more about what we can do to help you with your international customer service operation on our website, or go ahead and request a demo today!

Even with a small customer service team, you can give your customers amazing care in their native language. This will help you build both trust and loyalty. If you want to see how easy it is to reply to customer tickets in multiple languages, download our Unbabel for Zendesk app.

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