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How to Streamline Your Company’s Language Operations

When it comes to translation, your business has a few options. You can outsource translation to native speakers — effective, sure, but costly and time-consuming. You can hire an in-house multilingual support team — also effective, but possibly even costlier and more time-consuming, given the onboarding and training involved in integrating new hires into your existing organizational structure. You can do away with people altogether and use AI machine translation — fast, efficient, and cheap, since there are no labor costs. But AI without people lacks nuance and empathy.

The solution is to combine the speed and cost-effectiveness of AI machine translation with the empathetic, reality-grounded knowledge of human intelligence — that is, to do translation with human-in-the-loop AI. With AI-powered, human-refined translation, your business saves both time and money. 

In other words, when you use Unbabel’s Language Operations platform to power your multilingual communications, every part of your business benefits. Here are three ways in which we can help. 

Quickly expand your CS into more languages, without having to hire native speakers

For many businesses, international expansion into new markets and new languages is a primary goal — a path to more customers and brand visibility. In our survey of over 1,000 decision-makers at global mid-market and enterprise businesses, we learned that 59% are planning to increase their translation and/or localization budget next year and that 62% agree that translation efforts have increased in the last year. Clearly, global expansion hinges on speaking the local language — often a barrier in and often itself.

At its core, Unbabel is a technology platform that eliminates language barriers so that businesses can thrive across cultures and geographies. Even when your business doesn’t have enough volume of global support tickets to justify the cost or time required to hire an in-house multilingual support team, our Language Operations platform ensures you’re speaking to customers in their native language — something that two-thirds of customers want.

Thanks to human-guided AI machine translation, your business can use its existing internal resources to scale internationally, without having to recruit, train, and retain highly specialized multilingual support agents. Testing new markets can happen more quickly and easily, and customers can get served sooner before new full-time hires need to be made. Your current team — experts in your product — can handle the toughest support requests by integrating Unbabel into your existing tools and systems, without a lot of change management.

With Unbabel, a retail business can test demand for new products in different markets before needing to invest in opening new brick-and-mortar stores, and they can drive brand loyalty by providing a consistent customer experience (CX) in every language across digital channels. Tech, fintech, and gaming businesses can offer 24/7 support to users across the globe. Travel businesses — which inherently handle lots of non-English support tickets covering various time-sensitive, high-stakes queries — can provide a consistently high standard of support to every customer, no matter their language or location. 

Optimize your customer service (CS) for every situation, in more languages

Travel and retail businesses know the cycles of the seasons. The peak summer travel season brings surges of support tickets from travelers making last-minute changes and cancelations, while for retailers and ecommerce sites, the shopping frenzies of Black Friday and the holidays send support volumes skyrocketing. For other types of businesses, unforeseen events can lead to sudden peaks in support demand, stressing organizational infrastructure.

If businesses aren’t able to cover predictable or unexpected peaks in support demand with the service that customers have come to expect, those customers will take their business elsewhere. Unbabel ensures that customers stick around by helping businesses scale high-quality CS and automate resolutions — while simultaneously boosting agent productivity.

In effect, Unbabel serves as a business’s backup help, able to cover spikes and surges in support demand or, on the flip side, absentees. Unbabel can also support customers who speak long-tail languages such as Vietnamese, Polish, and Japanese. These languages are less frequently localized and therefore cost more to support.

With less hiring, less training, and more predictable shift patterns, businesses achieve operational efficiency that saves them time and money. 

Reduce the costs of existing CS operations

Some businesses already have well-established CS operations. Those businesses are often large, international, and innovators in their industry — maybe they invented an entire industry — but a central concern is often one shared by every business: costs. How can your business significantly reduce the costs of your robust, time-honored CS outfit without blowing the whole thing up?


With us, global businesses can lower their hiring costs by recruiting for skills and experience, rather than for knowledge of specific languages. They can optimize resource allocation, hiring fewer full-time agents and working in smaller teams for more streamlined productivity. They can consolidate their global footprint with a cost-saving location strategy, building out support hubs in places without high costs of living. In short, they can do more for less money (and with fewer people).


Scalable, seamless, and fast, Unbabel’s Language Operations platform empowers your business to do high-quality translations for every customer. Whether your business is focused on expanding internationally, optimizing existing CS operations, or reducing costs, Unbabel will streamline your multilingual operations.

About the Author

Sophie Vu is the chief marketing officer for Unbabel, an AI-powered Language Operations platform that helps businesses deliver multilingual support at scale. With more than 20 years of experience growing and leading innovative tech companies, Sophie has a strong pulse on the current and emerging market landscape. She has a graduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles Anderson School of Management.

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