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Unbabel Helps GetYourGuide Expand to New Languages at a Tenth of the Cost

“Partnering with Unbabel was certainly the right decision for our team. The pandemic has been so challenging for everyone. As a travel company, we’ve experienced a year full of learnings and difficult decisions. Unbabel can relate and empathize with us. We selected the right partner to come through where we needed it most.”

— Roman Siepelmeyer, Head of Operational Excellence

GetYourGuide is on a journey to help travelers elevate ordinary trips into extraordinary experiences. The company operates in virtually every country where tourism exists, with a customer base that speaks dozens of languages. GetYourGuide teamed up with Unbabel to ensure they can communicate in correct language and tone to all of their customers, with the goal of conveying the excitement that comes with exploring a new environment.

With over 15 million tours booked worldwide since the company’s founding in 2009, GetYourGuide understands that meeting the needs of global customers is critical to its success. Unbabel has brought the ability to powerfully and clearly communicate the thrill and happiness that traveling brings to any GetYourGuide user, no matter their native language.

The Unbabel Effect


  • Introduced new languages to customer service workflows within weeks

  • Customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) are on par with native speaking teams

  • Saved 10x the cost vs. using native language agents

About GetYourGuide

GetYourGuide is a global travel agency on a mission to give the whole world access to incredible experiences. GetYourGuide allows travelers to seamlessly browse, schedule, and experience their dream vacations. The site enables adventurers to book some of the world's greatest attractions in advance and get personalized recommendations before and during their trip, ensuring that customers can take advantage of everything their destination has to offer.

At a Glance

  • Founded in 2009
  • Raised $484 million in Series E financing led by the SoftBank Vision Fund
  • Has served travelers from 155 countries
  • Over 15 million tours booked
  • Team consists of 400 travel experts from 50+ nationalities

Challenge

As a global travel agency, clear communication is key.

When a customer embarks on a travel planning journey, GetYourGuide needs to be a few steps ahead. That means having the customer service team available to match the surge in customer requests during busy travel seasons. For example, if there are a hundred people on the customer success team in March, it's likely that around summertime the number will double or triple. After summer, the number of employees will need to scale back again. This presented challenges when customer service tickets needed response in a language that wasn't currently covered by a native speaker, or if native speaking agents were backlogged with other requests.

GetYourGuide’s second challenge was serving its customers within a long list of international markets. While the company is a preferred travel agency brand in select markets, there are others in which the brand is a newer name. GetYourGuide had a goal to make sure that language was not a barrier to competition in any potential market, but didn’t have the bandwidth to hire native speakers for more niche countries with lower demand. However, the company knew that offering native language support was a huge factor in both customer satisfaction and long-term loyalty.

Before Unbabel, GetYourGuide struggled with supporting languages that were not in its core source markets. The company would rely on employees within its customer service team who potentially spoke a second or third language, or were from the country where the customer query originated. This was not a scalable solution, with agent attendance and workload determining the speed of customer support. The consistency was not where the customer service team wanted it to be.

The Solution

Unbabel’s language operations solution increased CSAT and expanded new service possibilities.

Choosing an AI-powered language operation solution like Unbabel was the best and most efficient option to help the GetYourGuide team scale with customer demand regardless of the customer’s native language. A major part of implementing Unbabel was training the machine learning models based on the unique way in which GetYourGuide communicates with its customers. Unbabel’s language models are continuously refined based on human feedback from customer service agents at GetYourGuide as well as Unbabel’s own editorial team.

Another important part of the onboarding process involved training agents on how to use the machine translation technology, and helping them understand how to relay feedback on translation quality back to Unbabel for refinement. In other words, it was important that the AI solution evolved along with the business. Unbabel’s customer service team matched the speed of execution at the fast-growing travel company and helped GetYourGuide quickly and seamlessly scale their customer service operations to new languages.

Today, the technology is invisible to the customer on the other end of the email interaction, and agents can respond to questions across a variety of languages without additional friction or an impact on CSAT scores. This is especially impressive with more difficult-to-translate languages, such as Japanese, with its many cultural and linguistic nuances.

Using Unbabel’s human-machine translation technology, the GetYourGuide team is able to offer its customers translations that are on par with native speakers. With the power of Unbabel, GetYourGuide is now able to service new languages, such as Portuguese (BR), Japanese, French, German - Deutsch, Italian, and Dutch, within a matter of weeks, at one-tenth of the cost of a native speaker. GetYourGuide would recommend Unbabel email translation to any organization looking to expand its international language operations.

“The Unbabel product is very strong in terms of being innovative and at the top of its game. Everyone at Unbabel is in tune and in sync with what’s happening at our business, both culturally and professionally. “ 

— Roman Siepelmeyer, Head of Operational Excellence

 

The Results

  • CSAT scores for Unbabel were on par with that of native speakers
  • The team can integrate new languages into their service and customer support channels in weeks
  • GetYourGuide experienced the translation quality and efficiency of a native speaking team at a tenth of the cost