Supporting Your Customers Through an Omnichannel Approach

March 8, 2023

Unbabel’s Henrique Dutra and Zendesk’s Kolton Kittleson unpack the benefits of a high-quality multilingual omnichannel strategy

Translation services should be perceived as more than just a revenue driver or market expander. If implemented properly, they can enrich the omnichannel experience by adding to it the personalization of language and a sense of connection that soars beyond cultural barriers. 

At Unbabel’s latest LangOps Universe event, Senior Product Marketing Manager Henrique Dutra hosted a fireside chat with Zendesk’s Product Manager Kolten Kittleson, exploring how a multilingual omnichannel customer experience can elevate customer engagement.

Kittleson shared how the Zendesk Agent Workspace creates an omnichannel system by collecting customer data, which Unbabel’s technology can then pick up for translations to craft a personalized experience for each customer. This fully integrated solution grants ease of functionality to both the agent and the customer, providing a natural flow to the conversation and a consistent customer journey across different channels.

“My absolute favorite watch brand that I’m loyal to actually uses the same translation software [Unbabel]. And every time I’ve had an interaction, it has felt as though I’ve actually walked in-store and talked to somebody. And I love that personal feeling.”

— Kolten Kittleson, Product Manager at Zendesk

💡 Logitech Use Case

Leveraging both Zendesk and Unbabel, Logitech was able to reduce its First Reply Time by about 43% — penetrating many different markets without increasing agent headcount. Since language was no longer an issue, Logitech’s agents could then focus on handling more complex customer interactions for a better customer experience.

Elevating the agent experience through automation

Through the power of automation, Dutra shared, customer support teams no longer need to worry about running out of available agents or going back and forth to translate messages on third-party translation platforms. 

With Unbabel’s Zendesk integration, every agent on your team automatically becomes multilingual, no extra tools needed. The roadblocks of sounding unnatural, having to reroute tickets to native-speaking reps, or worse — being unable to offer a resolution and damaging customer loyalty — disappear, for a seamless experience that benefits both agents and customers.

Zendesk’s differentiator: The Agent Workspace

The market for omnichannel solutions is rife with alternatives, but there are many features that distinguish Zendesk’s omnichannel approach from other options. One of them, according to Kittleson, is the ability to take agent capacity into account.

With Zendesk’s Agent Workspace, if an agent is working on multiple chats with customers and multiple notifications of email tickets or requests come in, those tickets get routed to them without the expectation of an immediate response. As the ticket still goes into their backlog with the proper configurations, the agent can then maintain both their workflow and their capacity — which ultimately improves their experience.

After all, a truly positive customer experience is closely tied to the experience of your agents. This is where an omnichannel approach can make all the difference: If representatives feel empowered to help customers across channels, with the right tools and frictionless workflows in place, their satisfaction increases — and so does the quality of their service. 

Choosing different support channels

To evaluate which approach is the best fit for your specific use case, you should look at the channels you’re already using and analyze how fast your end-users are going to need a reply. 

For example, an airline experiencing a delay may need to support consumers in real-time, whereas an eCommerce company like Amazon could receive less time-sensitive requests and choose to prioritize channels accordingly. In either case, your strategy should be entirely customer-centric: The conversation should take place at the pace set by your customers, on their preferred channels.

When choosing different support channels, then, it’s key to delve into a few questions:

  • What products or services does your company offer?

  • What channels are available to your customers?

  • Do your customers need an instant touchpoint? 

How adopting an omnichannel strategy affects sales success

As the consistency and speed of an omnichannel approach decrease reply times and improve the customer experience, the number of new customers reaching out through multiple channels also grows. Ultimately, this leads many of Zendesk’s clients to expand into even more channels and increase their revenue. 

“With a product like ours, the emphasis is on the personal connection with the customer. You have all the contacts, and with Unbabel, you speak their language — it’s really the next level.”

— Kolten Kittleson, Product Manager at Zendesk

The impact of Unbabel’s Zendesk integration on KPIs

When leveraging Unbabel’s Zendesk integration, the main impacts observed on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) metrics are increases in Customer Satisfaction scores (CSAT), the ability to offer more personalized service regardless of geographical location, and a reduced operational burden of agent staffing and capacity — which in turn translate to cost-savings that can be critical in a tough economic climate.

Multinational developer of location, navigation, and map technology TomTom, for example, increased its CSAT for email by an average of 12% across all languages. In addition, its Unbabel-enabled support team notched 80% CSAT on chat, which was higher than its native-speaking team’s CSAT. The company also registered a 20% reduction in support costs year over year.

Similarly, after implementing Unbabel’s Zendesk integration, online direct debit provider GoCardless achieved a consistent CSAT of 92%, and world-leading tech manufacturer Logitech was able to increase staffing by 45% during the pandemic while keeping spending flat.

Key takeaways

It’s imperative to be selective in the digital channels you choose to expand into. Growing and scaling your company is the ultimate goal, but you can only achieve it by pursuing it sustainably, making sure that the level of customer service and personalization grows alongside your strategy.

“When clients tell me that they want to talk about the Agent Workspace and add more channels to their roster, I’m always open to discussing it, but I like to remind them that the best multichannel approach is one that builds up,” said Kittleson. “Can your agents and end-users handle it? Can your company?”

There are cases where having too many channels can potentially cause more problems. It ultimately comes down to your motive for expansion: Is it to meet customer expectations and offer new and loyal customers the best brand experience, or is it just to have a presence on all platforms? 

Implementing a catch-all approach is not necessarily the best course of action, especially when your system uses a single-channel versus cross-channel CRM database that is incapable of storing customer data on previous interactions. When that’s the case, a customer that reaches out via email after using a chatbot on your mobile app or messaging on a social media platform will have to explain their issue to the new agent from the top, as the individual channels act like silos — which will just lead to more friction and frustration.

Unbabel’s Zendesk integration also supports scalability by allowing you to focus on hiring the best customer support talent based on expertise. This enables you to leverage seasoned technical agents that are widely knowledgeable in their field and can answer any question, regardless of their language skills. The customer can then speak to experienced agents in their own language with ease, making the user experience functionally seamless.

Additionally, instant messaging adds functionality and flexibility to the way customers are supported. On various channels, long pauses can mean the end of the communication. Although the historical text might still be there, the conversation may need to be readded to the queue after the agent goes offline. With the message feature, once a customer is with an agent, they’re with that agent until the issue is solved, for a more consistent experience.

A final takeaway is the importance of researching new markets and target audiences, because channels that aren’t popular in a specific country may be very common in another. For example, in the US the social media app WhatsApp isn’t widely used, but in regions such as Latin America it’s a staple of day-to-day communication — and it shouldn’t be missing from your arsenal of online channels.

Partnership with Unbabel

Unbabel offers many different integrations with Zendesk: Chat, Guide, Support, Agent Workspace, and most recently messaging (including social media channels). As Zendesk continues to expand, ensuring proper integration with Unbabel is crucial to allowing Zendesk users to maintain the low-to-no-code opportunity and benefit from a vast choice of channels.

Interested in learning more about how Zendesk’s partnership with Unbabel empowers companies to achieve a fully multilingual omnichannel approach, tailored to customer needs, and easy to scale? Watch the full on-demand session:

About the Author

Profile Photo of Liliana Hernandez
Liliana Hernandez

Liliana Hernandez is part of the Marketing Communications team at Unbabel and is responsible for the company’s social media strategy, as well as the production and publication of external and internal communications. She leverages 3+ years of experience in marketing and graphic design to support campaigns and deliver on-brand content. She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Texas, Austin.