Introducing Unbabel Interface: your CRM’s new best friend

May 15, 2019

In the wee hours of the night, when most engineers are sound asleep at home, a small team of developers and product managers huddles round a monitor, their faces shaded blue by the screen’s glow. The sun has been up for more than an hour in the Philippines, where a client is located, and customers from around the world begin to fill inboxes with their burning questions, often writing in languages that support agents can’t understand. The team is confident that their hard work will pay off, making the language barrier a non-issue — but the caffeine buzz has a way of turning even triumphant moments into nail-biters.

Now you’ve gotten a glimpse at what it’s like for our product teams during a pilot. Specifically, what it was like for my team when we were developing a web app that would allow a client to translate customer support emails and live chat. The client had a complex proprietary CRM, and no time to wait to build an integration or develop one through Unbabel API.

Thankfully, there weren’t too many sleepless nights. That’s because we had only two weeks to launch the pilot. After fourteen days of late-night phone calls and a handful of international flights, we were able to incorporate user feedback and build a translation platform we were truly proud of. A translation platform that helps support agents give global customers great service — regardless of the language they speak and the CRM they’re using.

We had already received numerous requests from businesses who wanted to translate their multilingual support interactions, but use CRMs that we don’t yet natively integrate with. Our pilot in Manila went off without a hitch — the translation UI was fast, effective, and intuitive —and we decided to keep refining it over the following months into Unbabel Interface.

Unbabel Interface allows any business to translate their customer support tickets and chat on our fast, user-friendly web platform. It’s as simple as copy-and-pasting inbound and outbound messages for quick, native-quality translations — no integration or training necessary.

We like to think of Unbabel Interface as your CRM’s new best friend.

Simplicity in a complex world

Because Unbabel Interface introduces a new tool to agents’ already complicated workflows, we made building a simple, efficient user experience for agents one of our top priorities. We wanted to provide a UX that just helps agents do what they do best, better.

Along with my colleagues, we identified a few critical user needs and implemented them as core features of Unbabel Interface:

Simultaneous ticket translation

Multilingual and multitasking haven’t always gone hand-in-hand. It can be incredibly difficult for agents to focus on one customer conversation — let alone several — if they’re constantly checking the status of translations or improvising a translation themselves. Unbabel Interface notifies an agent whenever a new translation is ready, which gives agents an easy way to manage simultaneous conversations in multiple languages. Of course, our combination of machine and human translation means they can feel confident sending a reply in another language.

More templates, less worry

Perhaps counterintuitively, templates — at least in multilingual customer support — can increase the level of personalization. Typically, an agent working with MT-only tools won’t feel comfortable addressing customers personally. There’s a lot of room for error.

But well-designed templates, coupled with trustworthy translation, give agents the freedom to take on customer queries in their glorious specificity — and quickly. Templates also work well for simple, frequently asked questions, giving agents more time to focus on complex customer queries. That’s why Unbabel Interface has robust support for templates, in both tickets and chat.

Ergonomic workflow

It’s the little details that matter, especially when it comes to building a workflow that is efficient and physically comfortable. That’s why we developed mouse-free navigation for agents, enabling agents to fill in case details and work their way through messaging templates with a simple stroke of the tab key. This simple measure to streamline repetitive tasks ends up saving agents time and get into the rhythm of their workflow. Of course, agents who prefer to navigate with a mouse or track pad don’t need to use these keyboard shortcuts — they’re entirely optional.

Built for business

A great user experience is only part of the equation — and only half of the fun for a developer.

Unbabel Interface has a number of features designed to aid support managers and bring accountability to a digital transformation strategy.

At its very core, Unbabel Interface is built for customer service. Whenever an agent opens a case, they link the translation history to the unique ticket or chat ID generated by the home CRM. This gives managers an easy way to search and track customer queries, as well as conduct quality audits in case a customer reports an issue with the support they received.

And no translation interface could be complete without an admin dashboard. In addition to ticket tracking, we’ve made it easy for support managers to visualize their usage of Unbabel, in real time and per language pair. Here you can also find information related to average translation time per language pair.

Knowing how many tickets are going through our AI+ Human pipeline at any given moment (and how long that journey lasts) gives businesses a quick way to assess Unbabel’s impact on their support operations. It also helps enterprises quickly assess their own pain points — when certain language pairs are in higher demand, for example.

Multilingual made easy

In the wild west of CRMs, where legacy and complexity reign supreme, we’ve built Unbabel Interface to be as simple and flexible as possible. In the future, we’d like to make the copy-and-paste experience even more seamless, and expand analytics features.

I’m proud to say we’ve built a great UX in service of a great CX. And Unbabel Interface is an important step on the path to customer-centric service. Now businesses can meet their customers where they are, in their native language — no matter what CRM they call home.

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