Zendesk Translations, Better Customer Service and AI

Zendesk AI enhanced translation app

The problem with using a machine translation system in Zendesk support is that, even when it does a good job, it still translates in a generic fashion rather than in the particular style and tone a company wishes to use.

It can also get specific terminology wrong. Meaning your customers in international markets don’t receive messages in the way you want.

Some companies use machine translations as a step in the process. First, get the bulk done quickly and then get an in-house resource to polish up the work. Sure, that’s one route, but it can still create bottlenecks if you have limited support functions for a language, and it excludes you from using machine translation for languages not spoken in the office. It can also cause delays in responding to customers when you want to reply quickly.

What’s the answer?

A machine translation system that doesn’t only deal in the generic. One that can use your preferred house-style for customer service and learn words that you wish to translate in a specific way.

How does that work in practice, though?

Creating a custom language library for translations on Zendesk

Supporting your customers in different languages can create a host of challenges when you have multiple agents serving them. That’s why you develop policies to follow. For example, in German, are you going to reply in the formal or informal form? Whatever your company’s decision, consistency is essential here.

You can integrate rules like this into an installation of the Transfluent app for Zendesk. Once set, every time you request a machine translation it will instantly come back in the correct style.

Then there are words that you know you want to translate in a certain way. For example, you may refer to a feature in your product where you always use the English term for that feature, no matter the language. Of course, a normal machine translator won’t know that and will always change it to the target language, but by supplying a list of words and the translations you wish to use, you avoid that from day one.

Setup of the Zendesk translation app

First things first, you can install the app into Zendesk and get going straight away. There’s no need to do anything extra, and the AI will begin learning from the responses you send straight away. However, going through an extra step can speed up the way your company specific terminology is dealt with and the AI learning process. This can be especially useful if you have requirements that must be 100% correct right from the start.

During this process, Transfluent will work with you and your customer service team to identify terms you want to translate in a certain way, along with particular phrases and style that you would like included in your implementation.

This project won’t be equal for everyone. A lot will depend on your needs and how much of the work is done already. For example, you may already have an internal ‘book’ of translations to use and rules for your customer service team. In that situation, it’s a case of collating everything needed and ensuring the system processes them and is working correctly.

If you use the Zendesk macros feature to deal with some standard support requests, setting these up can act as an excellent baseline for the AI and give you a bank of responses in which you can be confident.

This stage can also be an opportunity to define things that were previously a little ad hoc. It creates consistency in your messaging and confidence that you deliver an excellent service to your international customers.

In this case, there may be language that needs to be pre-translated by Transfluent’s expert team of human translators before we feed it into the system. This ensures that in areas where you may have a more custom approach, your exact requirements are met by professional translators. Contact us for more information about this.

Having your language requirements available for the Zendesk app means you'll be set up with your custom language and speed up the AI learning process.

The added benefit is you then receive a copy of these translations to your office. These can then be used as an internal reference document of standard phrases and terms, which can help with onboarding new customer service agents and other training.

Where does the AI come into this Zendesk app?

This is where things get really clever. As your customer agents start using the app, we can create a feedback loop between them. So if one of your native speakers of a language notices something, they can flag it, and the system will make a change for the future.

As far as we know, nobody else in the market has an AI translation system that can learn from your team and the changes they believe should be made in this manner. It learns and improves the more you use it and the more feedback you give it. Think about the power of that and how you can start with excellent translations and only get better from there!

Of course, when you have an advanced system like this, there is always the question of cost. A tailored solution can be expensive, except in this case, it’s a standard feature of the product, which means no further costs to you for using it.

How quickly it learns from you and your agents is a matter of how much you use it. There’s no set timeframe; the more tickets you translate and feedback given, the faster it will pick up your specific words and styles in different languages.

Can it learn to translate customer service tickets in multiple languages?

The Zendesk integration of the app means you only need to click to install. Then open a support ticket, choose the language, hit translate, and you’re away. Everything is done instantly in the familiar surroundings of the ticketing system. It supports more than 80 languages and can learn using its AI system in each of them. This allows you to offer high quality, multilingual support even when a language resource isn’t available in the office.

How do I access the new AI-enhanced ticket translation system?

The new Zendesk API translation tool will be made available to everyone in autumn 2021. However, as of July 2021, we already have a select group of clients using it to translate their customer service tickets and replies. So if you wish to join them ahead of the competition, then get in touch. We can show you the system in action and discuss your needs and how we can help you deliver an even better experience for your international customers.

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Anssi Ruokonen

Anssi Ruokonen