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How Playtomic responds to non-native tickets 76% faster, without hiring native agents

“We prefer to have good people with good experience, who provide a good service without the need to speak 15 languages.” 

Giulio Castiglioni

Global Head of Customer Care


Key integrations used with Lokalise

About Playtomic 

Playtomic is Europe’s leading app for racket sports players. Through the app, players can search for and book courts, meet new players, join groups, and book lessons in over 49 countries. They have over 4,800 partner clubs, 21,000 courts, and 3.1 million players around the world.


About Lokalise Messages

Lokalise Messages is a multilingual chat translation integration designed to bridge language gaps in customer support. It seamlessly and swiftly translates customer support chats, facilitating clear communication in 100+ languages.

Challenge: Agents manually translating and retranslating 

In 2021 Playtomic was growing quickly in countries where the main language spoken was not English, Spanish, or Italian. They already had customer care agents to cover these languages, but when they started to see conversations in Danish, Swedish, French, and Dutch, they realized they had to find an alternative to hiring native agents and manually copying and pasting translations.


Sometimes, these conversations were picked up by another agent, who would have to manually retranslate them. Most of the time, agents would reply to customers in English, because they knew they spoke the language. But, in retrospect, this likely led to customers choosing a local service over Playtomic—and the sports app losing out on market share. Ultimately, not speaking to customers in their native languages was proving to be a huge disadvantage, giving local competitors an edge.


Solution: Ticket translation in seconds without hiring native agents

Giulio Castiglioni, Global Head of Customer Care at Playtomic, seeking to best invest his resources, decided not to hire agents for new languages. At the same time, he needed to simplify the process of manually translating conversations, which was time-consuming since agents had to copy and paste conversations into Google Translate or DeepL, then copy and paste the reply.


Knowing that he needed a simpler way to speak to customers in their native languages, Giulio did a quick search and found Lokalise Messages.


He was surprised at how quick and easy it was to install for Intercom. There were no lengthy configurations, and Lokalise Messages was immediately available to every agent. Giulio and his team were able to test the full version of Lokalise Messages with a free trial, which meant they could see firsthand if it was right for them.


Agents were impressed with how easy it was to use and the speed at which conversations were translated. Time to translate went from minutes to seconds. They also got feedback saying that the translations were very good.


After finding success with ticket translation, Giulio and his team started using Lokalise translation management system to translate articles in their knowledge base. When they launched in the Portuguese market, they translated the entire knowledge base from English to Portuguese in less than a week!


The impact: Operational efficiency is higher and customers are happier

Playtomic can now translate conversations in seconds without the manual work of copying and pasting. They can also speak to every customer in their own language and open in new markets without the pressure of hiring agents for each. 


Overall, “operational efficiency is much higher,” says Giulio. 


Before, 10% to 15% of agent time was spent on translations. With Lokalise Messages, that’s now down to 2%.


Not only is the support team spending less time on translating tickets, but also on retranslating them. Lokalise Messages stores translations for the whole ticket, so agents can pick up where another agent left off and scroll through the conversation without having to retranslate it—which is what they had to do before.


They've also saved a huge amount of time spent translating knowledge base articles with Lokalise translation management system. In the past, agents had to write, translate, and review the articles. Now they just have to review them.


“Before, it took weeks and months to translate the whole knowledge base,” says Mary Lagus, International Customer Care Team Leader at Playtomic. 


An added bonus is the amount of money they save on translating and reviewing articles. It costs just one tenth of what it used to. 


Since Playtomic has been using Lokalise Messages, agents no longer skip tickets with the excuse that they don’t speak the language. It’s much easier to read a conversation and respond. This has seen the average time to handle tickets decrease by 24% in B2C conversations, while response times have seen an even bigger drop of 76%, this time in B2B conversations. 


The average time to close a ticket is also shorter—it has decreased by 2.3% in B2B and 64% in B2C because agents no longer have to copy and paste to and from external translation tools. 


Mary and Giulio both sound relieved that there’s no longer the pressure to hire. 


“We don't have the pressure to find new people. Or if we're looking for someone, we don't have to take the first person we meet. We have some time to look for someone we want,” Mary tells us.


Giulio adds: “For example, we have just one Dutch-speaking person in our team. But if that person is on vacation tomorrow, it's not a problem for us. We prefer to have good people with good experience, who provide a good service without the need to speak 15 languages.”


Without the need to hire, Giulio estimates that they’ve been able to save 25% of their hiring budget.


Finally, and most importantly, customers are a lot happier. 

“No one is ever complaining that we are not able to help them in their native language. That's a complaint we had in the past and now it has disappeared. Currently, all the customers are way happier because they are able to write in their native languages,” says Giulio.

This is also reflected in the conversation volume, which has increased by 24% in B2B and 18% in B2C. Customers are more comfortable reaching out to Playtomic now that they know they can send messages in their native language. 


“Before, we were forcing customers to write in English,” Giulio states. “Now they can write in their native language.”

Looking to the future: AI for a more empathetic tone

Now that Giulio has revolutionized Playtomic’s international customer support while keeping the team lean, he’s switching his focus to AI and how it can help his team adapt tone of voice to be more empathetic.


Since Playtomic is a sports digital company, he’s also excited to try out the new informal feature in Lokalise Messages.


And obviously, Giulio is looking forward to what he calls ‘offering premium customer support’ in more languages.

“For us, the first and most important and basic thing is providing support in a customer’s native language. And I’m always happy to increase the number of customers without the need to hire more people.”

The results: Support in 11 languages, and 76% faster response times.

Playtomic now offers customer support in 11 languages, which has led to higher customer satisfaction and increased market share. In addition, Lokalise Messages drives many operational benefits, helping Playtomic respond to customers quickly, and solve and close tickets faster.


Lokalise has helped Playtomic: 

  • Increase conversation volume by 24% in B2B and 18% in B2C
  • Speed up average time to reply by 76% in B2B conversations
  • Close tickets 2.3% faster in B2B and by 64% faster in B2C
  • Decrease average handle times by 24% in B2C conversations
  • Save 25% of their hiring budget
  • Reduce agent time spent on translations from 15% to 2%
  • Translate their entire knowledge base in less than one week

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