Salesforce's steps up its global focus

Targeting SMBs, the customer-support app now speaks more than 50 languages



Small businesses just starting out may dream of world domination, but that's a difficult goal to achieve if you can't interact with customers in more than one or two languages. Enter Salesforce's customer-support app, which just got a hefty boost in the number of languages it can work with.

Though it originally supported an already respectable 15 languages, soon grew to accommodate 30, based on customer requests. On Thursday, it increased that number to a full 53 languages and regional dialects, including Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Portuguese and Swahili.

"Creating a personalized dialogue with the customer has become critical," said Leyla Seka, a senior vice president and general manager of "This makes it easy for the agent to interact in a localized way."

One result, Seka added, is that small companies can operate like "blowfish" in that they can appear to be much bigger and globally dispersed than they really are.'s Global Self-Service Help Centers and knowledge base articles now all support the full 53 languages, allowing user companies to deliver support materials to their customers in the languages those customers prefer. Google Translate provides an instant translation engine for knowledge base articles, but users can also work with translation partners such as VerbalizeIt instead.

When customers request help, they indicate their preferred language, and will ensure that the agents who respond do so in that language. filters and business rules can also detect and set language preference based on case or customer language attributes, so agents always know a customers preferred language when helping them.

Desk's Global Agent Console, meanwhile, is available in eight languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish. New language-recognition tools automatically route service requests to agents fluent in the detected language. By allowing agents to work in their native languages, the agent console boosts productivity, the company says.

Finally, a new set of tools for administrators makes it possible to set up rules and workflows in one language and then distribute translated content to global agents. The administrator in one location can create a knowledge base article explaining warranty information in his or her native tongue, for example, while allowing remote agents to access translated versions.

Pricing for's Pro plan with multilanguage customer support starts at $60 per agent per month. Multilanguage customer support for administrators will be available in the second half of 2015.

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Tags Customer Relationship ManagementapplicationsSalesforce.comsoftwareSoftware as a servicecloud computinginternet

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Katherine Noyes

IDG News Service
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