Using Unbabel to Streamline Global Customer Service and Reduce Costs

April 22, 2022

Today’s customer service leaders are always looking to do more with less. One scenario we frequently see is an organization spending significant time and resources to build out their customer service and provide a high-quality global customer experience — only to realize that the cost of operations has become exorbitant.

The first step toward repositioning customer support as a value-driver rather than a cost center is to determine how to make your customer operations more efficient so you can stay within budget without sacrificing quality. Sound appealing? Below you will find more information about where traditional multilingual support solutions fall short and why AI has become the leading competitive differentiator for global customer service.

The hidden costs of traditional language solutions

The conventional approach to customer support across multiple countries is to either attempt to staff multilingual support agents or hire a customer service translation service that uses human translators, such as a language translation agency or business process outsourcing (BPO) firm. The first option is usually difficult to scale, not to mention untenable from a cost perspective. The second option may work well for a period of time; however, when solutions that leverage freelance or full-time translators aren’t equipped with the right technology, they can quickly become costly and time-consuming.

Unexpected project management fees, drawn out approval processes, and extra charges for revisions recommended following an in-country review can add up over the course of a year and ultimately make the total cost of ownership (TCO) much higher than what’s in your budget. That’s why Unbabel has partnerships with some of the world’s top BPOs and outsourcing firms that have demonstrated the ability to integrate with our AI-powered Language Operations (LangOps) platform, resulting in cost-effective and scalable multilingual support initiatives.

Language solutions that rely 100% on AI are certainly affordable, but inconsistent quality and lack of understanding cultural nuances will ultimately cause your global customer experience to deteriorate over time, wreaking havoc on your brand reputation and bottom line. In the Unbabel Multilingual CX Report 2021, 40% of respondents said that high-quality translations are of utmost importance when receiving customer support from brands in their native language.

Using only one of these two types of translation leaves your business with gaps that will ultimately hurt your bottom line. That’s why we highly recommend using a language translation service that combines the speed and efficiency of AI with the accuracy and context that only a human can provide.

3 ways Unbabel lowers the cost of your customer operations

Rather than duplicating the entire customer service department for each language you serve or suffering the suboptimal quality found in machine-only translation options, Unbabel provides the only solution that truly allows you to streamline operations without incurring additional costs.

1. Focus on hiring for customer service skills

When you rely on foreign language proficiency in customer service teams, it can be difficult to find multilingual agents who are also experts in a given industry, technology, or service. Unbabel lets you hire for technical and product expertise so you can assemble a dream team of customer service all-stars.

For example, we helped Wargaming eliminate the language barrier for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean so they could staff a support team of actual gamers who had an intimate knowledge of what their customers wanted. Unbabel improved their CSAT scores to 82% and helped them achieve a <24 hour response time for 95% of queries across ten languages.

2. Optimize resource allocation and location strategy

Unbabel gives your customer service team the flexibility to allocate resources as needed depending on shifting budgets, seasonal peaks/troughs, and market expansion initiatives. This means you no longer need to hire as many agents while still giving your growing customer base top-quality support.

You might also consider implementing a cost-saving location strategy such as employing agents in areas without a high cost of living. That’s what Microsoft did when they used Unbabel to create strategic hubs of English-speaking advocates who specialize in certain products and customer concerns. This enabled them to achieve more economical, efficient support along with a 10% increase in CSAT.

3. Fine-tune your most vital multilingual support KPIs

Unbabel contributes toward a customer service culture of continuous improvement. Featuring integrations with the most popular CRM tools such as Zendesk, Kustomer, Intercom, and Salesforce, our LangOps platform empowers customer service teams to identify and improve their most important customer-centric and operational KPIs.

While CSAT is a common North Star metric, we also see top customer service leaders use the LangOps hub to monitor and refine key metrics such as customer effort score (CES), Net Promoter Score (NPS), first response time (FRT), and average handle time (AHT). When created an in-house helpdesk platform powered by Unbabel’s API, they decreased AHT by 20%, reduced cart abandon rates from 35% to under 1%, cut phone inquiries by 33%, and lowered cost per agent by 20% for English speakers vs. native speakers.

Free up bandwidth to perfect the ideal customer experience

Because Unbabel frees up bandwidth without your customer service team having to increase resources or costs, your agents can spend more time solving problems that require a high level of creativity and empathy. For example, let’s say you tap us to handle an audit of your foreign language FAQs that haven’t been edited in years and are no longer accurate. Taking this tedious project off the plate for your team allows them to focus on complicated and high-priority cases such as pacifying upset customers or helping with particularly high-touch purchasing questions.

It’s also likely that you will always need some form of phone support to complement your text-based customer support efforts. It’s no secret that call centers are often high-pressure, high-volume environments. AI-powered, human-refined machine translation technology such as Unbabel can reduce overall phone query volume, helping agents improve FRT and have more time to solve complex challenges.

Nimble, cost-effective multilingual support at scale

If your customer service department is looking for a way to control global support costs, Unbabel can help. Our AI-powered LangOps platform gives you the ability to quickly reduce your cost of operations without jeopardizing the quality of the customer service you provide.

Want to see how this groundbreaking technology can benefit your business? Schedule a demo of Unbabel and find out how to deliver stellar global support at a fraction of the cost.

About the Author

Profile Photo of Ana Pereira
Ana Pereira

Senior Customer Success Manager at Unbabel, Ana spent the last three years working closely with our customers and helping them solve real-world business and productivity problems. Ana focuses on ensuring her customers achieve their goals when using Unbabel.