Importance of Making Your Knowledge Base Multilingual

Expanding your business beyond the English-speaking market opens up a variety of opportunities for growth.

However, it also presents new challenges, the language barrier being one of them. How can you assist your customers who don’t speak English?

Obviously, having a multilingual customer support team is a must, but as your business grows you will also need to establish a multilingual knowledge base. 

What is a Knowledge Base?

A knowledge base is an online library that provides answers to frequently asked questions. 

Establishing it makes the job of your customer support team easier:

  • Empowering customers to find solutions to their problems themselves reduces the number of tickets that you get each day.
  • Automatically deflecting tickets to the right answers in the knowledge base reduces that average resolution time. 
  •  Answering frequently asked questions without the involvement of a customer support representative allows your team to focus on solving more complicated problems.

Additionally, it can also be used internally to train new customer support representatives. 

Understand that if your business continues to grow there will come a point at which handling requests manually will become unsustainable. After all, salaries add up quickly, so there’s a limit to how many people you can hire. That is why a knowledge base is a must if you want to scale your customer support.

For example, take a look at the Audible knowledge base.

Above the fold, they provide a search bar, address the three most common issues that their customers have, and give people a way to contact their 24/7 customer support (note how it’s easy to find but doesn’t immediately attract attention).

Knowledge base

When you scroll down you see a list of the most popular questions that they get from customers:

It’s probably safe to say that most questions that Audible customers have are answered in the knowledge base.

Sure, their customer support team probably still has to help people with issues that are covered in it, but it’s safe to say that providing customers with such a comprehensive resource must have a drastic effect on the number of tickets the company gets on a daily basis. 

This allows Audible to save a lot of money because they need fewer customer support representatives than they would otherwise.

Knowledge base is a necessity for any business that wants to continue providing excellent customer support as they grow. It’s best to set it up sooner rather than later. Don’t wait until your customer support team is completely overwhelmed. 

Why You Should Make Your Knowledge Base Multilingual

Okay, so you need a knowledge base to scale your customer support, but does it have to be multilingual?

An independent research firm Common Sense Advisory conducted a survey of 3,000 global consumers in Europe, South America and Asia to learn whether companies can increase sales by localizing their products and websites.

Apparently, 75% of people surveyed prefer to buy products in their own language.

That is completely understandable. Imagine how frustrating it must be to try to buy something from a website where all the information is in a foreign language which you don’t know well.

And what if you have a question? A knowledge base in that same foreign language won’t be much of a help.

This inconvenience might be enough to make you choose an inferior product that caters to you instead of a superior product that you have to decipher with Google Translate. After all, who has time for that?

And sure, you might reach out to the customer support if the company provides it in your language. But is the product really worth the hassle if you can’t find answers to even the most basic questions yourself? Probably not. 

What does this mean for your business? Well, if you only provide information in English, you might be driving away potential customers. Also, a company can gain an edge over its competitors by becoming multilingual, because when people have a choice between two products with similar features they are likely to choose the one that is available in their native tongue. Wouldn’t you?

Now, of course, translating your website and your product into every language is impossible. But that doesn’t mean that you should give up on becoming a multilingual business. Providing at least some information in several languages will make your product more attractive to those who speak them.

According to Common Sense Advisory research, 50% of global consumers surveyed preferred at least the navigation and some of the content be available in their native language, with another 17% strongly sharing that preference.

A multilingual knowledge base is a great start. It will go a long way towards delighting your customers. After all, it shows that you care. 

Where to Find Translators to Translate Your Knowledge Base

You might be tempted to give the task of translating your knowledge base to your customer support representatives who speak that language.

However, merely knowing two languages is not enough to translate between them at a professional level, so asking people with no prior translation experience to do it will likely result in an amateurish and awkward translation. 

So don’t waste time with that. Hire an experienced translator instead. You can find one on Upwork.

Look for people with an established track record of producing quality work who translate to the language that you need.

Alternatively, if you are using Freshdesk, you can translate your knowledge base with the help of trusted translation partners like Transifex, Localize, OneSky and Google Translate. 

Keep in mind that translation quality reflects on your company so it makes sense to invest in it. 

Choosing the Right Knowledge Base Software

There is a variety of knowledge base solutions on the market. How can you determine which software is the right choice for your business?

It all depends on what kind of self-service support you want to provide:

  • What channel do your customers prefer (email, social media, chatbots, etc.)?
  • Do you need the ability to provide information in several formats (articles, guides, video tutorials)?
  • Do you need advanced features like automatically deflecting tickets to the correct answer?

Understanding what is important to you will help you identify the solution that offers the necessary features.

And you don’t have to go all out. A simple frequently asked questions page might work well for your company. It depends on your particular situation. Make a decision based on what your business actually needs, not on what the latest trends are. 

Also, pay attention to the usability of the software. A clunky user interface can slow your team down. And speed matters a lot in customer support. So look for a solution that is intuitive and easy to understand.

And, of course, you should consider how much it costs. Knowing what features are essential for you can help you avoid wasting money on software that offers more than what you need. There’s no reason to pay for tools that you are not likely to use.

Note that it’s not always clear which solution is the best. For example, one product might have all the right features, another might boast a great user interface, and yet another one might offer the best price. So which one should you pick?

Choose the solution that provides the best combination of all three factors. That is your ideal helpdesk software.  

IDEAL HELPDESK

Take it One Step at a Time

Translating your entire knowledge base into multiple languages is a huge task. 

However, it is entirely doable. 

  • Focus on one language at a time. Hiring a translator, overseeing their work and ensuring that the final product meets your standards is a lot of work. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
  • Set a realistic delivery schedule. You can’t expect quality translation if you don’t give the translator enough time. There’s no need to rush them if their turnaround speed is reasonable enough.
  • Stay patient. You won’t create a multilingual knowledge base overnight. It will probably take quite a while. Plus, if your business keeps growing you will probably want to add more language to it. So it might turn into a never-ending project. And that’s okay. 

What matters the most is consistent progress. Are you regularly adding new articles in the language that you chose to focus on to your knowledge base? Then you are on the right track. Keep going!

Conclusion

Knowledge base is an essential component of scaling customer support while still providing an excellent service.

Meanwhile, establishing a multilingual knowledge base will help you better serve a diverse customer base, and provide a competitive advantage in the global market.

Most importantly, your customers will appreciate you going the extra mile to cater to them, and customer happiness is what it’s all about, isn’t it?