Unbabel Customer Service Survey Highlights Shift to AI-Powered Translation Across Global Organizations

March 1, 2021

    • 600 responses from CS decision-makers in U.S., UK, Germany, mostly in mid-market or large enterprises with global consumer base
    • 79% of leaders find AI-powered translation to be extremely valuable, with live chat as the #1 implementation
    • Top challenge for organizations is to provide a consistent customer experience

San Francisco, CA ‒ February 24, 2021 ‒ Unbabel, an AI-powered language operations platform that helps businesses deliver multilingual support at scale, has announced the release of a Customer Service (CS) Market Buyer Insights Report, a survey of decision-makers in the U.S., UK and Germany. Designed to surface challenges that professionals face when managing global CS operations, the survey found that companies want to provide a more consistent customer experience, confirming that they will continue to invest heavily in CS in 2021.

Professionals surveyed represented the food & beverage, retail, consumer packaged goods (CPG), tech, financial services industries and more. Most work in mid-market or large enterprise organizations with a global customer base. Key findings include:

      • Companies want to provide a consistent, global customer experience. Over 42% said their top challenge is how to provide a consistent experience for their customers across the world, including in each customer’s own native language.
      • It is common to cobble together a human-and-machine-powered translation department. 79% of companies find AI-powered translation solutions to be extremely valuable, yet 40% hire in-house native language support agents. This is due to a longtime disconnect between hiring native-speaking agents (who are expensive, yet highly skilled) and leveraging AI for translation (which can process in volume and is cheaper, but often lacks the local nuance of a human translator).
      • Half of U.S. companies are increasing their CS budget in 2021. 30% of UK respondents and 40% of German CS leaders also indicated growing budgets. Speed and security were top concerns that U.S. and UK leaders cited in evaluating translation software, with Germans prioritizing personalization and ease of use. All three countries’ respondents said that live chat is the #1 channel for prioritizing an AI-driven solution.

Gartner says, “With automation and AI, CSS (Customer Service and Support) organizations can scale the level of service without adding people to power it. This enables the ability to proactively engage customers with the right message at the right time of need via the right channel, instead of waiting for customers to make contact themselves.”

“Global customer service is an industry that is ready to take advantage of modern AI technologies in new ways,” said Unbabel founder and CEO Vasco Pedro. “There’s sometimes a knowledge gap between what teams think is possible and what AI can deliver. In 2021 and beyond, we expect this gap to close.”

To read the survey report, please click here.

Gartner, 2021 Strategic Roadmap for Customer Service and Support: 10 Dilemmas, Brian Manusama, et al., 27 January 2021.

About Unbabel
Unbabel eliminates language barriers so that businesses can thrive across cultures and geographies. The company’s language operations solution blends advanced artificial intelligence with human editors, for fast, efficient, high-quality translations that get smarter over time. Unbabel integrates seamlessly in any channel, so agents can deliver consistent multilingual support from within their existing workflows. Making it easy for enterprises to grow into new markets and build customer trust in every corner of the world. Based in San Francisco, Calif., Unbabel works with leading customer support teams at brands such as Facebook, Microsoft, Booking.com, and Uber, to communicate effortlessly with customers around the world, no matter what language they speak. For more information, unbabel.com.

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