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Guest Blog: How Logitech Responded to a Global Surge in Customer Service Demand During COVID-19

Logitech, the world’s leading PC and mobile accessories manufacturer, deploys a workforce of 7,000+ to distribute products in over 100 countries. So when the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020, it posed multiple complex challenges—especially for our customer experience (CX) team. 

As people across the world scrambled to assemble new technology for home offices, Logitech experienced an unexpected surge in customer service demand. At the same time, our own global CX team had to transition to remote work, posing bandwidth and security challenges with VPNs, telephone, and CRM systems.

We had internal challenges to work out, plus a sudden 300 percent surge in demand meant we had to staff up fast. We wanted to find a smarter approach to improving the productivity of our technical representatives to address the volume – without having to increase spending.

Luckily, Logitech’s long-term partnership with Unbabel meant we had already created a scalable multilingual infrastructure. We were able to quickly increase staffing by 45 percent, while keeping spending flat, and strategically increase the existing team’s efficiency in order to absorb the extra demand. As a result, we cut ticket response times to 12 hours vs. 48 hours with a native speaker, and raised NPS scores for Unbabel-related conversations by 58 points.

Here’s how.

Meeting Customer Demands Quickly

Because of the complexity of our product lines, Logitech had adopted a vertically oriented customer service strategy—hiring engineers and subject matter specialists in its 13 verticals and layering in human-machine translation, rather than relying on native-language generalists.

Shifting to specialists helps us train on the technology, not the language, so agents can handle complex issues and technical troubleshooting without having to escalate tickets. This strategy proved to help drastically when the pandemic hit.

The work-from-home surge in demand quickly outstripped our customer service supply, creating backlogs. The number one priority: respond quickly to the backlogs, and get operational metrics back on track. 

To do so, we scouted technical engineering talent in India who already had the background and expertise in Logitech’s key verticals. While it would have taken 12-13 weeks to hire native speakers, it took an average of one week to hire each new specialist.

In less than three months, with Zendesk and Unbabel enabling a smooth remote transition, Logitech’s existing and new-hire English-speaking specialists stamped out the backlog by successfully responding to complex issues across 13 verticals and 16 languages. 

A Shift in Channels

Another secret to our ability to swiftly handle the crisis: getting agents off the phone and prioritizing email, followed quickly by chat. This both alleviated the security and privacy concerns that come with a newly remote workforce, and enabled the team to seamlessly handle multilingual requests.

How does it work, exactly? With Zendesk automating ticket workflows, Unbabel translates multilingual customer service requests. English-speaking agents simply read and respond to requests through Unbabel in English. Their text then gets translated by machine and edited by a human editor at Unbabel before reaching the customer in their native language. 

While shutting down a channel is never ideal when demand is surging, we had to act fast with our remote workforce. We knew we had the tools and technology to handle requests more efficiently through email and chat.

Rising Expectations for 2021

Thanks to the rapid acceleration of online shopping ushered in by the pandemic and sky-high global customer expectations set by Amazon, there will be no rest for Logitech’s CX team. While we can’t share the exact playbook, our 2021 goals are very ambitious for customer care.

Whatever the future brings, one thing’s for sure: the company will continue to embrace AI for multilingual translation, and integrate Unbabel across even more channels. And in the meantime, we’re taking a brief moment to appreciate how much our team accomplished in the face of an unprecedented crisis.

We’re proud of how fast we were able to move as a global organization to respond to the pandemic, in part because we already had the technology infrastructure and tools in place. 

Want to learn more about how other organizations serve their global customer base with Unbabel? Read our Case Studies

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