Intercom Integrations for Translation: How Unbabel Delivers Seamless Multilingual Customer Support

December 7, 2022

It’s Susie’s shift: She’s a customer support agent who leverages Intercom automation functions like a pro, answering tickets with an outstanding AHT and CSAT. But then, a customer reaches out, and they ask her something in French. Sounds familiar?

Susie feels lost in the Tower of Babel, unable to make heads or tails of the request. What are her options? 

A. Ignore the ticket until a coworker who speaks French becomes available, which will both impact her KPIs and leave the customer in limbo. Does she even have a coworker who speaks French? 

B. Quick: To Google! Try to decipher what the customer said and put together a clumsy answer, courtesy of Google Translate. 

C. Cry in the breakroom.

Naturally, none of these alternatives sound appealing to Susie or the customer (not to mention the Quality Assurance team). 

Nobody likes having to contact customer support to deal with a product or service issue. And no customer support agent wants to deliver poor service. The first (and most basic) step in creating a pleasurable experience is ensuring customers and support agents can communicate seamlessly — but language barriers can often barricade this experience. 

More and more brands — from SaaS to crypto, e-commerce to gaming — are using CRMs to deliver stellar customer experiences. As these businesses scale globally, they’re integrating language solutions platforms to help them communicate and connect with their customers worldwide. CRMs, like Intercom Messenger, act as an all-in-one customer communications platform, which companies can link to their products, apps, or websites — allowing customers to chat directly with an agent or even self-serve. 

Brands with an Intercom account can use Unbabel for Intercom, to translate live support chat, optimize agent workflows, and create more delightful customer experiences.

How can businesses break down these barriers and bridge the gap between helping their customers, support agents, and brand?

Instant multilingual customer support with Unbabel 

Intercom’s platform user interface can already be programmed in the company’s or agent’s preferred language, helping them navigate their workspace with ease. Intercom can also display the right language for the website visitor — through their browser’s selected country — as they consult FAQs and Knowledge base content. But, to deliver multilingual customer support, Intercom users need a language solutions API.

Plug-and-play language Intercom integrations enable multilingual customer conversations between customers and agents in near real-time — no more cutting and pasting between online translators and applications. Whether your customers speak Spanish, French, Portuguese, or any of a dozen other languages, they can communicate back and forth with support team members in their native language while using the Intercom platform.

They even fit in with Intercom’s ‘Snooze button’ feature: The Snooze button allows agents to ‘snooze’ Intercom conversations, which means they’ll be marked as still requiring action and reappear in their workflow for follow-up at a time they specified. This way, tickets that are still open but temporarily on hold don’t get lost in the agents’ inboxes. 

Say, for example, an unusual request that had to be translated came through to customer support, and the agent needed to check the answer with another colleague or subject matter expert. With a language integration, the agent can quickly reply to the customer in their own language, letting them know they’re finding out the answer. The agent can then snooze the conversation, which will pop back up later in the day, by which time they or another agent should have the full answer and be able to reply in the customer’s preferred language. Without a language solution, it might be complicated to even inform the customer that their question is being resolved, and the email could — literally — get lost in translation. 

Live chat translations transform support agents into instant polyglots, allowing customer support teams to expand their capabilities and capacity without having to scale their numbers.

Scaling into new markets with less risk

Expanding a business into new, international markets is never easy and can seem even riskier during times of economic uncertainty. But Unbabel and Intercom help de-risk an expansion strategy by allowing companies to enter new markets in search of international customers without the added expense of having to hire local support teams. Companies can hire for customer support skills rather than for their ability to speak the native language.

And research shows the importance of providing native-quality communications: Our Multilingual Customer Experience Report 2021 found that more than two-thirds (69%) of global consumers believe it’s “extremely or very important” that brands offer an end-to-end customer experience in their native language. That number jumps to a massive 89% for Brazilian customers, 67% for the French, and 61% for Germans. Additionally, 68% of consumers say they would switch to a different brand that offers support in their own language.

High-quality, native-language support is a “must” for the majority of customers, so relying solely on Google Translate or any similar online, machine-only translation service available on the internet to assist with customer support just won’t cut it. Not only can the translations be inaccurate, but there are also concerns when it comes to security and data privacy compliance. 

Unbabel: The ultimate language Intercom integration

Intercom and Unbabel have worked in a trusted and reputable partnership for many years. Unbabel’s multilingual solution delivers success to many of Intercom’s 25,000 customers across 140+ countries, who rely on Unbabel’s out-of-the-box integration to streamline translations and personalized engagement. The Unbabel solution is now translating more than 1,000 chat interactions per month in the Intercom app in languages ranging from French to Spanish.

By leveraging the power of artificial intelligence and human editors, Unbabel for Intercom provides the native-quality translations needed for agents to deliver proper assistance. The result is happier customers — which can boost retention and reduce churn — as well as an uptick in NPS, CSAT, and CES scores. Unbabel also delivers high-level data protection, customer data analysis, and domain localization and glossary features:

Direct integration

Unbabel can seamlessly integrate into existing CRMs. It’s a no-code solution that doesn’t require Zapier or other connectors. 

Data protection and analysis

Unbabel provides native-level translations with robust security protocols, all within the Intercom platform. Agents can optimize workflows and deliver top-notch support when communicating with international customers without worrying about security or quality.

Built with data protection in mind, all machine translations are fully GDPR and CCPA compliant as well as encrypted and anonymized to ensure the utmost privacy.

But Unbabel doesn’t just protect customer data: It helps businesses analyze their metrics. Businesses can implement this one-stop solution for language operation and KPI monitoring without additional agent training. With a dashboard such as the Unbabel Portal, organizations can monitor their KPIs in one place, without having to switch back and forth between Google Analytics, Intercom data, or other reports.

Supporting your brand language

If a business uses unique or newly invented words that are specific to its brand, support teams can train Unbabel’s machine translation software using style guides, glossaries, and key terminology. That way, agents can always provide consistent, on-brand messaging without the slightest hiccup.

In order to help businesses better communicate throughout the customer journey, Unbabel also integrates with some of the most popular CRMs, including Zendesk and Salesforce

To experience Unbabel in action with Intercom or your favorite CRM, schedule a free demo today.

About the Author

Profile Photo of Imogen Mccaw
Imogen Mccaw

Imogen McCaw is the Content Strategist at Unbabel, where she facilitates the ideation, development, and distribution of high-impact content deliverables. She has 5 years of experience in developing media and editorial initiatives, as well as overseeing project management for international brands. She earned her MA from the University of Edinburgh in Philosophy and Psychology.