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Change.Org Scales to Support Petitions in 28 Languages with Unbabel

With More Than 360 Million Users Spanning 196 Countries, Change.Org Is the World’s Largest Platform for Social Change.

Change.org’s stated mission is to “empower people everywhere to create the change they want to see,” and over the past two years the fastest-growing social change platform on the web has done just that. Working with Unbabel, the Translation-as-a-Service provider that blends Neural Machine Translation with a global crowd of human linguists to break down language barriers, Change.org has scaled to service customer support queries in up to 29 languages, without having to increase its support team beyond its current 15 members.

Change.org was founded in 2007 as a global platform aimed at empowering people around the world to take effective action, and has seen over 3.6 million petitions launched since then. In 2012, after a viral campaign asking the South African government to take action against corrective rape, Change.org pivoted from a blog-based platform to a petition-based platform. The site continued to see major growth after this, with well-publicized campaigns on issues surrounding the death of Treyvon Martin, and exacting fees from big banks.

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Today, Change.org hosts an impressive 360 million users, however, “only 40-45 percent of the 1000+ weekly customer service requests come through in English,” says James Baldwin, Senior Manager of the User Success and Support team.

To relieve multilingual customer support queries, Baldwin’s lean team looks to Unbabel’s multilingual support solution. The service leverages machine learning and human translators to deliver native-quality translations of customer support emails for Change.org’s customers around the world.

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“In becoming a global petition platform, we received a growing volume of non-English support requests from Europe, Asia, Central, and South America. To accommodate these requests and provide the best support possible in any given language, our support team had to find a way to scale with the organization,” says Baldwin.

As an interim solution, Change.org hired independent contractors to support non-English requests, but as the platform’s popularity grew globally, the customer service team needed a more effective way to contend with the increased volume.

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“That’s why Unbabel is a great fit for us – it fits into our workflows, providing high-quality translations and completing them very quickly,” says Baldwin. “It allows our team to build relationships, resolve complex issues and maintain a high standard of quality with our users, regardless of where they are in their journey on our platform. That’s the most important part for us. Not having to worry about the user’s language and how they’d interpret our message is a huge benefit that can easily be overlooked. Most importantly, it’s empowering our global users and helping them to make the change they want to see.”

This success has been demonstrated in higher CSAT scores, quicker response times and an overall decrease in the number of contacts needed to resolve an issue. As a result, petition starters can rest easy knowing their issues will be quickly and easily resolved.

Vasco Pedro, Unbabel co-founder and CEO says that the feedback surrounding the project has been fantastic and that the Change.org team has provided regular product feedback. “We’re told that Change.org hasn’t been met with a petition customer support request in any language that it couldn’t handle, even in dialect changes,” he says. “It’s a profound example of what removing language barriers can do to affect greater change, and we’re extremely proud to be part of Change.org’s journey.”

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