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May 31, 2012

Desk.com's Multilingual Support and Its Potential Impact on Accidental Customer Acquisition

Who wouldn’t want more accidental customers?   As the world gets smaller and smaller there are more opportunities for prospects that weren’t on your radar to find you.  And customer service collateral like knowledgebases, community generated responses and the like are great SEO bait for those looking for solutions to challenges they face.  So even if you don’t target a potential customer segment, they just might find you anyway.  Even if they are in another country and speak a different language…or languages.

And if enough of these accidental customers show up and speak foreign languages, the best way to keep them happy (and to attract more like them), is to start speaking their language – quickly.   And the quicker you can add support for accidental foreign customers the better it is in this competitive landscape, which is why the news from Desk.com about their new multi-language feature support caught my attention.

Desk logoFirst is it makes it easier for any business to manage support content (FAQs, tweets, Facebook posts, etc.) in multiple languages.  The work isn’t fully automated, but they make it easier to track updates that need to be rolled out in the languages you need to support.  So if you have customers across 5 different languages, it’s much easier to keep knowledgebases in synch – as a change in a KB document in the main language sets a visible status to the related KB document in the other supported languages.  Then each document can be manually updated to match the original.  Also the tweets and Facebook posts associated with a KB doc can be updated to.

As you can see the more languages you need to support adds a lot of content that has to be managed, so anything that helps to manage that is helpful.  As any change needs to rifle through.  And although there is no auto-translation function at the moment you’d have to think that will come somewhere down the line.  The other thing I hope they add sooner rather than later is an easy way to tell what content has changed on a KB article, so that when you go to edit in the other languages you can see the change right away.  That will be a HUGE HELP to make this process less time consuming and more efficient. 

All-in-all it’s a nice new set of functionality that they’re adding for free to all their customers starting on June 6th.  So this is great from a support perspective, but with customer service being the new marketing (or at least I hope it’s on its way to that) this also is a marketing story.  Anything that makes it easier to bring on new customers speaks right to support being a marketing play.  And adding the ability to engage customers in their native language does that.  And also creates localized, native content that just might help you find more accidental customers – I guess I should say help more of them find you.



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