Unbabel accelerates growth with richer insights and smarter processes

Language doesn’t just convey meaning, it conveys emotion. And that’s why Unbabel leverages a global community of linguists to review and, where necessary, improve translations produced by its state-of-the-art machine translation engines before sending them off to customers around the world “By combining human expertise with artificial intelligence, we bring businesses and customers closer together,” said Hugo Macedo, Unbabel’s Vice-President for Marketing.

Unbabel’s blended approach to multilingual customer support has proved a real hit with investors and clients alike. The Lisbon-based company is growing 300% year-on-year and raised $60 million in 2019 to help continue this success. “With Salesforce, we can continue to grow at a rapid pace. Our technology is well-suited to the market, and we’re eager to translate that enthusiasm into even wider adoption of our products.”

Multi-lingual support without the misunderstandings

Unbabel reduces the cost and complexity of providing customer support in multiple languages without compromising on quality. It works with some of the world’s biggest brands, including Microsoft, easyJet, and Booking.com. More than 5,000 support agents use Unbabel to respond to millions of customer queries every month via live chat and email.

“Pure machine translation can result in mistakes and misunderstandings,” said Macedo. “Support is a vital part of the customer journey. We don’t just use language to answer customer questions. We use language to convey empathy — emotions can run high in customer support — and deliver the best possible customer experience.”

Creating a customer-centric, data-driven business

Unbabel understands the importance of making and maintaining strong customer connections - not just on behalf of its clients but also within its own business. To meet its aggressive growth goals, Unbabel needed to transform its approach to CRM. “We wanted a platform that could support us as we continue to expand,” explained Macedo. “With Salesforce, we can build a customer-centric, data-driven business backed by robust processes.”

Unbabel implemented Sales Cloud and Service Cloud ‘out of the box’ in 2017, and has gone on to add more customisations as well as Pardot for marketing automation. “The development process has been a learning curve,” said Macedo. “We’ve attended many Salesforce events, which have been enlightening from a knowledge-sharing perspective. Our team has also taken advantage of Trailhead to more fully leverage the platform.”

Greater consistency and visibility keeps deals on track

An efficient sales cycle is fundamental for maintaining Unbabel’s growth trajectory. The average deal can take up to 12 months to close with multiple stakeholders involved on both sides. “Our sales processes used to be very disconnected, which made it difficult to track a lead through the funnel,” said Macedo. “With Sales Cloud, we can guide the account team through different stage gates and enable everyone to track the progress of a deal.”

By bringing greater consistency and visibility to the sales cycle, Unbabel can ensure that all the right documents are ready to support the on-boarding of a new customer. “Individual deals are worth millions of dollars, so we need to ensure we don’t lose any momentum or any data,” added Macedo.

Unbabel swaps intuition for real-time business insights

The deal data captured in Sales Cloud enables Unbabel to see if it’s winning more business in certain regions or customer segments and prioritise its resources. “We’ve replaced intuition with real-time insights,” said Macedo. “If we experiment with a new segment, we can quickly see if the strategy is working. We can now embark on more data-driven planning around sales dynamics.”

Unbabel can also take a more strategic approach to nurturing prospects across different channels and prioritise its marketing spend. “We used to just track the last touchpoint rather than the entire journey,” explained Macedo. “With Pardot, we can see if a prospect has downloaded an ebook or joined a webinar, which enables the sales team to personalise interactions and have more contextual conversations.”

Ensuring a constant loop between sales and service

The sales team also need to have contextual conversations with existing customers based on any ongoing service requests. Unbabel’s customer service team responds to around 200 queries per month, which are received via email.

With Service Cloud, everyone involved in a customer account can see what cases have been logged and resolved. “There needs to be a constant loop between sales and service,” said Macedo. “With Salesforce, we have a 360-degree view that enables the team to focus on the health of the account and the quality of the customer experience.”

Colleagues from different departments, including sales, implementation, service, and success, collaborate on customer accounts via Chatter. “There are so many communication channels available to people that important information can get lost in all the noise,” said Macedo. “With Chatter, conversations can be tagged to a customer record and followed by all the relevant stakeholders.” 

Richer insights support personalisation plans

As more data is logged in Salesforce, Unbabel will be able to make its business more predictive and proactive. “If a customer comes to us with an issue, it’s already too late. With Salesforce, we can dive into sales, service, and marketing to identify where we need to improve,” explained Macedo. “It’s become the backbone of all our business analytics.”

With more integrations, including contract management, on the radar, Unbabel’s analytics are set to get even richer. These insights will support its personalisation plans for marketing campaigns and customer service. “With Pardot, we will be able to track the value of personalised content and how it contributes to lead conversion,” said Macedo.

Anticipating customer needs boosts satisfaction

Collaboration - both internally and externally - is at the heart of Unbabel’s success. “We want to usher in a world without mistranslation or missed opportunities. But we can’t do that on our own,” explained Macedo. Unbabel has established a number of partnerships, and has developed an app that enables other Service Cloud customers to translate live chats, emails and knowledge articles to and from 29 languages.

“With Salesforce, we have a platform and a partner that can grow with us. It gives us the flexibility and visibility we need to anticipate issues and opportunities and drive greater customer satisfaction,” said Macedo. “With Salesforce, we can empower our people to influence customers at the right time, in the right way.”

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