Since 2008, GetYourGuide has helped millions of travelers make the most of their trips to hundreds of cities and countries across the world.
As part of our mission to provide amazing experiences, it’s crucial that we uphold an impeccable level of customer service for every member of our global community — 24/7, 365. During our growth phase, GetYourGuide faced some operational obstacles that have made us rethink a traditional approach to multilingual customer service.
Fortunately, Unbabel’s Language Operations (LangOps) solution helped us break into new international markets and adapt to the fluctuating demands of seasonal travel. Here’s how we did it.
Agile scaling of customer service operations
One unique aspect of building out strong customer service teams in the travel industry is that staffing needs can change dramatically from season to season or even month to month. For example, the number of employees needed in June can easily be double or triple the amount staffed in March.
Whenever summer is over, our customer service team has to scale back down again. As you might imagine, this often proves to be a balancing act — we try to predict future demand while maintaining current customer service needs. This was especially difficult in a year like 2020.
Once GetYourGuide embraced AI translation technology through Unbabel, we were amazed at how easily our team was able to scale customer service operations with demand, regardless of our customers’ native language.
Implementing Unbabel has also been a major achievement from a cost-savings perspective. For a customer-obsessed company like GetYourGuide, it’s important for the stellar level of service to be sustainable and aligned with initiatives for future growth. In keeping with that philosophy, Unbabel helped us achieve the translation quality and efficiency of a native-speaking team at a tenth of the cost.
Tapping into new markets
While our global travel agency served a long list of countries prior to using Unbabel, we found it difficult to access new markets where demand was unpredictable and our brand had yet to become a household name. We wanted to offer customers in these markets the comfort of being able to communicate with a support rep in their native tongue, but the unit economics of hiring native speakers just didn’t make sense. It wasn’t a sustainable way to maintain our customer obsession.
With Unbabel, we’re able to train the machine learning models based on the distinct way in which GetYourGuide communicates with our customers. Unbabel’s language models can be iteratively refined based on human feedback from our customer service agents as well as Unbabel’s fast-working human editors. Because of this, we’re now able to confidently roll out service to new markets and languages, such as Portuguese (BR), Japanese, French, German, Italian, and Dutch, in a matter of weeks.
As for the efficacy of using Unbabel to expand and scale in new markets, the results speak for themselves. The customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores for communications that rely on AI translation technology have been on par with that of native speakers. This is especially impressive when it comes to languages that are famously difficult to translate, such as Japanese.
Looking toward the future
In addition to working closely with our team to help us be successful with AI, the Unbabel team has also been very in tune with what we’re doing at GetYourGuide, both culturally and professionally. I can rely on them to help brainstorm new ideas or offer suggestions on how to improve our customer service operations as we grow throughout 2021 and beyond.
Partnering with Unbabel was certainly the right decision for GetYourGuide, and we’re quite excited to see what the future of our relationship holds. I’d recommend Unbabel to other organizations like ours that are looking to expand international multilingual operations.
Read the full case study here, and watch this space for the video.
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