Global travel app Hopper leverages Unbabel to launch native language customer service in international markets. Seamlessly integrated with Hopper’s CRM system, Kustomer, Unbabel helps English-speaking agents serve customers in their native language, while keeping CSAT scores sky-high.
Tapping into an Unbabel integration with Kustomer, Hopper’s customer service (CS) team can now seamlessly add new language support within their existing headcount, without having to hire and train language specialists in emerging markets. Customers are impacted positively by Unbabel; CSAT scores remain consistently high and turnaround times are much faster than waiting on availability for native speakers.
Millions of travelers use the Hopper travel app to book flights, hotels and cars around the world. Hopper’s innovative technology helps save travelers up to 40% every time they travel. At the heart of the Hopper app is a prediction algorithm that processes trillions of data points, allowing the company to make precise and personalized travel recommendations. In 2021, Hopper has grown their revenue by 3x, as the world begins to travel again after the initial pandemic lockdowns.
At a glance
- Founded in 2007 in Montreal, Canada
- 70 million app installs, saving travelers more than $4 billion
- Raised over $590 million in venture capital funding
- 3x revenue growth in 2021
While pandemic-related restrictions sent shockwaves through the entire travel industry, Hopper emerged strong in 2021. To meet the demands of 3x revenue growth, the team quickly ramped up their CS operations. As the global customer base for Hopper’s travel app grew, the team needed to respond to incoming queries in Spanish and French.
In the past, Spanish or French email and chat inquiries would have to wait until a native speaker was available to respond to them. This had the potential to create a suboptimal and not-so-timely experience for Hopper’s diverse customer base. The volume for these languages was low for Hopper's scale, and thus not logical for the company to staff with a dedicated team yet. However, it was high enough that they saw the need to equip the existing team with a tool that would help them support their users in their preferred language.
“We wanted to reduce the operational need to duplicate the entire customer service organization based on language,” said Camilo Alvarez-Hiscox, the director of CS enablement at Hopper. “This approach would have been both costly and ineffective.”
Prior to the pandemic and after considering numerous solutions, Alvarez-Hiscox and his implementation team had already chosen to partner up with Unbabel. This partnership was originally scoped to be developed using Unbabel’s integration with Hopper’s previous CRM system. In 2021, Hopper decided to change their CRM system to Kustomer. But, a combination of their team’s previous positive experience with Unbabel and the versatility of the platform itself led them to carry this partnership forward. The CS team leverages Unbabel’s AI-powered multilingual support within their agents’ existing email and chat workflows.
“With Kustomer, there’s more flexibility than we had with our previous CRM,” said Alvarez-Hiscox. “We were always happy with Unbabel, but now we can easily modify Unbabel’s settings, and have the capability to expand to a range of languages that our customers now expect to receive service in.”
As Hopper expands, the company has the opportunity to launch both their app and content localization efforts in tandem with local language support. That way, as the app becomes available for different languages, native-language support is instantly unlocked for these new customers. This approach to language operations helps Hopper support their user base, without having to invest in native-speaking agents from the get go.
“We chose Unbabel because the company’s range of languages allows us to easily scale,” said Alvarez- Hiscox. “We’re not locked into a set of languages where we’d need to look for another company to support new regions.”
To measure their success with Unbabel, the Hopper team looks at KPIs such as CSAT scores, AHTs and translation quality. Since launch, Unbabel has enabled Hopper’s agents to serve customers in their native language without disruption. All travelers see is a seamless and efficient conversation that flows naturally, written accurately in their native language.
Agents are pleased with Unbabel because they can own a single customer interaction from beginning to end, regardless of language. They enjoy working with the platform because it gives them more autonomy. Overall, the Hopper CS team is thrilled by having the flexibility to scale their language operations at their own pace.
“Unbabel has been an invaluable resource in allowing us to unlock lightning-fast response times for ad-hoc multilingual support, without exponentially increasing our language-fluent workforce,” said Alvarez- Hiscox.
From Q2 2021 to the beginning of Q3 2021, more than 13,000 chat and email conversations have been handled using Unbabel. In the future, Hopper plans to expand to more markets, and will rely on Unbabel to help unlock multilingual support.
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