Daniel Wellington, Europe’s fastest growing company, uses Unbabel to support its global customer community

September 27, 2017

Daniel Wellington is a watch brand, known for sleek and timeless design, its interchangeable NATO straps and mid-price positioning. Founded in Stockholm, Sweden in 2011; by February 2017 the venture was crowned the fastest growing business in Europe with growth across three years of over 4500%. 

A retail all-rounder, the company has a strong e-commerce presence, including a committed global following on social media (Daniel Wellington on Instagram has over 3 million followers). It also boasts a mature reseller network in stores across the world, in partnership with flagship retail brands. Daniel Wellington is today still a private company, so valuations vary; but it is generally believed to be worth around $200m.

Multi-channel Support as part of the Brand Promise

Daniel Wellington’s dramatic growth in just five years has been in part a challenge, in part a blessing. On the one hand, rapid expansion is a rollercoaster for any business, and the company has had to work hard to keep up with demand. That’s true of the customer service function as much as the rest of the operation. 

On the other, the business has never had any of the legacy challenges experienced by older companies who have had to rip-and-replace traditional customer support systems in order to meet the ever increasing demands of today’s customers, who want service on any channel, fast. 

Rather, support has been designed in’ from the outset. The company’s policy has always been to see service/support as part of a coordinated and seamless customer experience, along with marketing, e-commerce and social commerce. After all, a business which leverages social media to sell, ought to be just as capable across multiple channels in servicing its customers. It’s a fundamental part of the brand promise.

For Randolph Heyrowsky, Daniel Wellington’s Head of Customer Service, his task is clear: to honour that brand promise while the business continues to grow at breakneck speed. By using technology, he can optimise and measure the quality of every interaction and drive out costs without sacrificing engagement.

Building a best-in-class CS function

Heyrowsky’s approach has been holistic and strategic, and it has created a customer service environment into which Unbabel has become a natural fit and demonstrates clear value:

  • Connect with the business: Work closely with other departments to identify potential problems before they become crises, and develop sustainable solutions judged on customer experience and business impact
  • Develop a metrics suite: Refine the KPIs which represent both customer and brand expectations (in the case of Daniel Wellington, these are CSAT scoring, first reply, issue resolution time and of course, Net Promoter Score)

Heyrowsky realised that despite having dozens of agents across three continents, spread across offices in Stockholm, Shenzhen, New York City and Los Angeles, there would always be gaps in language coverage. That’s to be expected but it isn’t acceptable for a company that seeks to communicate with every customer on every channel in the language of their choice. This sparked the search for a technology solution to handle those specific situations:

  • Delivering languages where it would be uneconomical to build an in-house team
  • Delivering languages where it would take too long to reply to a customer despite having in-house coverage, because demand for support is uncommonly high or a native speaking agent is otherwise unavailable.

Unbabel was a natural choice, particularly because of its total scalability: the Unbabel service allows Daniel Wellington to activate service in near real-time to match fluctuating demand. But just as importantly, it was easy to deploy. The Daniel Wellington customer service team uses Zendesk to manage customer interactions, and Unbabel integrates natively. This not only gave Heyrowsky rapid go-to-market, it also gave him the confidence that Unbabel was committed to Zendesk, and would grow in alignment with Zendesk’s product roadmap. It’s an important consideration because this dramatically reduces commercial risk: no retailer wants to suddenly find that its technology partners have different priorities.

Along with off-the-shelf translation integration for Zendesk, Daniel Wellington’s service operation gets Unbabel’s end-to-end optimised translation platform:

  • Client-specific dictionary (e.g. watch names)
  • A self-learning AI language engine which refines reliability with every conversation
  • Optimised human review
  • AI Quality Control

It’s given Heyrowsky a turnkey solution to scale up the customer service operation as the business grows, without facing a comparable increase in costs in delivery or indeed risk the reputational damage that happens when a brand’s service function fails to keep up.

A substantial CSAT improvement from a world of customers

Deploying Unbabel was simple. You know what, I can’t even remember because it was so quick!”, Heyrowsky says. It’s very easy to get up and running and Unbabel’s customer success team couldn’t have been more helpful in making sure everything was calibrated perfectly”.

Today, for those markets where Daniel Wellington has dedicated native speaking agents, they cover territories by language. For them, Unbabel is on hand to assist with peak loads. However, a ten-strong Other Markets” support team covers all the other languages required. 

There are rare languages which barely ever come up and which would never make a visible dent in the company’s CSATs or profits if they were unsupported. But where Unbabel really delivers is in supporting the midrange languages which are uneconomical to support natively, but still spoken widely enough to deserve attention. For a global brand like Daniel Wellington, that’s an increasing list of languages like Portuguese, Italian, Polish, Russian Indonesian and Thai.

Heyrowsky continues: “There’s a strong feeling that the overall experience is far better for so many of our customers, and that’s also backed up by a substantial increase in customer satisfaction and customer satisfaction response rates. In fact, we’ve seen average CSAT scores rise from 89% to 92%, and CSAT response rates more than double from 9% to 21% since we rolled out Unbabel.” 

Impressive numbers to be sure, and which have a much bigger impact on the business overall:

And of course that translates to an increased likelihood to purchase or refer other customers. We want to be a brand that can be anywhere, and help you in any way you want to be serviced. Unbabel helps us keep our customers happy.

Key Learning Points

  • A holistic approach to customer support will align it with the business and give you the metrics to buy in technologies that deliver value.
  • Modern retailers master the art of selling on social media this sets the expectation that they can also deliver support on multiple channels too.
  • High-growth on a global stage will invariably stretch your in-house customer service function. Flexibility is a key attribute of any bought-in assistance.
  • Unbabel is particularly valuable for languages which are uneconomical to support but popular enough to deserve support.

To find out more about how Unbabel delivers seamless, scalable and trustworthy translations of customer service communications for companies like Pinterest, Skyscanner, and Under Armour, check out our integrations with Zendesk, Salesforce and Freshdesk.

Or request a demo today.


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Unbabel’s Content Team is responsible for showcasing Unbabel’s continuous growth and incredible pool of in-house experts. It delivers Unbabel’s unique brand across channels and produces accessible, compelling content on translation, localization, language, tech, CS, marketing, and more.