How to Choose the Right Translation Management System

April 12, 2023

Machine translation can take your business to new heights through improved customer satisfaction and the ability to effectively speak to a global audience.

As a decision-maker, it’s imperative to do your due diligence to select a translation management system (TMS) tool that meets your needs, improves your return on investment (ROI), and maintains the highest customer satisfaction scores (CSAT). The right professional translation tools will set the perfect tone for a quality customer experience, have the capacity to translate a large amount of content, and help you reduce costs.

We broke down for you what you need to look for when evaluating translation management platforms.

What is a translation management system?

This type of software platform helps institutions in retail, gaming, tech, and other sectors translate content into multiple languages. A TMS enables brands to communicate efficiently with audiences in their native or preferred language by automating various parts of the translation process.

For example, a retail company needs translations to improve the customer experience. A hybrid AI and human translation service can reduce costs, meet demands, facilitate growth, and deliver exceptional customer support.

A suitable TMS for a gaming company will streamline translation in the app store as well as provide in-game play support. These benefits would ensure that non-native-speaking players have access to the highest levels of cross-channel support. Multilingual games are played by more people and are also better rated by players from around the globe.

In the past, translation management was widely referred to as “globalization management” and the systems known as “GMS,” as the focus was on expanding reach to worldwide audiences.

When you leverage a TMS, you have the ability to streamline tedious and repeatable tasks within your translation projects. This leaves you with the freedom to focus your time and energy on the work that requires a human touch.

Any business or organization that wants to reach a cross-border audience in multiple languages can benefit from translation software, but how do you pick the right one for your workflow?

Considerations to bear in mind when you evaluate translation management systems

There are four crucial elements to analyze with any potential translation management platform. When the end goals are to cut costs while improving your customer satisfaction levels, here’s what you need to think about.

1. Cost < Value

The best translation management system for your business is the solution that provides you with the most value at the lowest cost. Naturally, pricing will play a role in this consideration, but this doesn’t mean that you should choose the “cheapest” option. As with all investments, you typically get what you pay for with technology solutions. TMS is no exception to this rule.

Still, you can’t assume that because a TMS has a higher price point, it will be superior to another option. Look for case studies and user stories to help you assess the true value of a translation tool for your business.

For example, after they employed Unbabel as a TMS solution for customer support operations Hero Gaming achieved 90% CSAT and full scalability — while simultaneously cutting costs. Look for proof that the tools you’re considering can help you achieve similar results.

2. Translation capabilities

Machine translation is a complex process, with the end goal of emulating the way real humans speak, regardless of language barriers. Translations within a TMS are written at scale by AI, and they should always be revised by people who speak both languages conversationally; this ensures the best possible end-user experience.

Find out whether the TMS you’re evaluating gives transparent access to development processes so that you can understand how it creates accurate translations.

Look for these key indicators of a brand with proficient translation capabilities:

  • Up-to-date with current trends in translation and your industry

  • Combines technology and human translation to deliver high-quality translations at scale

  • Delivers translated content with topic sensitivities and ethics in mind

  • Uses linguists who are fluent in many different languages

  • Is reviewed by humans for clarity and localization.

One often overlooked aspect of translation services is customer service. Machine translation makes your customer service agents multilingual, providing the ability to speak to anyone, anywhere, in nearly any dialect.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores rely on your audience feeling like the content was written for them. Look for a language service provider (also known as an LSP) that offers machine-learning functionality complimented by human quality assurance processes.

3. Accurate quality estimation

The system you choose should use quality AI tools that streamline your work to ensure good translation. Quality estimation is an automated quality indication for machine translation output that doesn’t rely on human rendering — it assesses computer-assisted translations making it easier to proofread and edit them during the translation workflow.

Precise, built-in quality estimation will save time by automatically highlighting the text that may still require edits, which is especially valuable for editors and project managers working with machine translation engines. Smaller amounts of content — a few thousand units —  might require simple quality scoring. As your needs grow, and you translate tens of thousands of content units, you will need more robust quality estimation reporting features.

Check prospective TMS solutions for quality estimation features that align with your needs.

4. Compatible integrations

Finally, the right TMS should be compatible with the apps you already use to run your business and those that you might use in the future. Check to make sure that the platform you’re considering integrates easily with your email marketing, chat, knowledgebase, website builder, and content management system (CMS) platforms.

If there are no existing integrations with your current services, the cloud-based translation management system you choose should at least provide easy access to their APIs. When you have this, you can employ a developer to build a connection for you or build it yourself.

See our integration information to find out if the tools you use are compatible with Unbabel.

Schedule a demo with Unbabel

When you evaluate a TMS, there are key factors to consider. First, the cost of the platform should be less than the value it provides for a positive impact on your bottom line. Next, a quality TMS should have intelligent translation capabilities for the best customer experience and to maintain and improve your CSAT scores. Finally, accurate quality estimation and compatible integrations will streamline your overall experience with the system.

If you want a translation management system with a proven track record of reducing costs while maintaining and improving customer satisfaction for brands like yours, schedule an Unbabel demo today.

About the Author

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Content Team

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.