Salesforce Adds Multilingual Features To Customer Support Service Desk.com

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Salesforce.com is working to make Desk.com, the customer service platform for small and medium businesses that it launched in January, more useful for global companies by announcing support for multiple languages.

To be clear, Desk.com isn’t doing the translation for its customers. Instead, it’s adding features that take some of the headache and confusion out of the process.

For starters, Vice President and General Manager of Desk.com Alex Bard says the system can determine the language of an incoming customer service request, and route it to the correct agent, presumably one who’s fluent in that language. You can also set up other rules and associate them with specific languages — for example, attaching an important piece of localized information to every request.

Desk.com customers can also create external help centers and internal knowledge bases in multiple languages. And it should be easier now to manage the necessary translations. In the current version, a customer might already have created multiple versions of each article — one in English, one in Spanish, and so on. But that creates challenges for keeping everything up-to-date. With the new multilingual features, that’s managed through a system of “master” articles, with translated versions attached. Then, when you update the master version, there’s a simple system for tracking which of the other languages have been updated too, and which ones still need to be tackled.

Bard estimates (and he says this was only an “order of magnitude” estimate) that 30 percent of Desk.com customers are international. He also notes that particularly thanks to social media, even small businesses can have a global customer base.

The multilingual will features will go live as a free update to all Desk.com customers on June 6, he says. It will support 39 languages and dialects at launch, including Chinese, French, German, and Japanese, with plans to add more over time.

Side-by-side editing Japanese