Your international customers should be the most important part of your global business. This means you must look after them by offering perfectly localized products and a translated knowledge base as part of your worldwide customer service.
What is a knowledge base?
A knowledge base is built by a software tool that enterprise companies use to create an online repository (database) of information about a company’s products. It is used to gather and organize information. It contains answers to topics or questions that customers ask more frequently, as well as product-related information.
Customer service teams use it internally to find quick solutions to tricky problems, and customers use it externally to find answers to product queries.
Why translate a knowledge base?
- It allows your international customers to quickly find answers to their questions in their language.
- It increases customer satisfaction abroad and reduces customer support at home.
- It delivers a good customer experience and increases customer loyalty.
- It is an excellent way to offer multi-channel customer support.
- It ensures that the correct information is provided to every customer in their language.
Ready to start?
Where to start with knowledge base localization?
- Review your current knowledge base to ensure it is up to date.
- Compile all the questions that international customers frequently ask your customer service team, write answers, and add those to the knowledge base.
- Assign the content review to specific staff members based on product knowledge.
- Create writing guidelines to ensure content creators follow the same structure and grammar if you plan to utilize machine translation.
- Consider building a glossary to explain complex terminology if you have not got one.
- Gather visuals in each language to prepare for the translation project, such as screen captures, graphs, charts, etc. It will help explain the process if it is complex.
- Organize the database by FAQ, topics, or products, but ensure it is well-structured and straightforward.
How to prepare your project for machine translation?
Once you have all your content reviewed and well structured, these are some of the steps to take to ensure your localization project will be successful.
- Determine if you need a full or partial knowledge base translation.
- Select languages for translation based on your company's needs:
- product demands
- volume of support calls
- complexity of the product
- languages your products have already been translated into
- Decide whether you should also translate case studies if you have those.
You can send case studies for translation as a separate translation project prior to the knowledge base. Case Studies will probably benefit from professional translation (rather than machine translation ). Also, these will need to be formatted in PDF format, ready for publishing if they were created in InDesign or Word.
Machine translation tips
- Ensure that your knowledge base content management system has the functionality to export and import translated content easily (ideally XLIFF), but HTML and XML file formats are acceptable.
- Explore tools that can integrate (connect) directly with your knowledge base to facilitate translation.
- Discuss with your translation partner if raw Machine Translation will produce acceptable publishable quality.
- Evaluate machine translation output quality in each language to determine if the result will benefit from professional post-editing before publishing, as this will involve additional cost and time.
Read more articles about machine translation here: All you need to know about Machine Translation
Margarita spearheads SimulTrans' Digital Marketing and Business Development Programs, focusing on developing digital marketing strategies that support business growth. With SimulTrans since 2000, Margarita also volunteers for Women in Localization, a global non-profit organization. A native of Spain, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in History of Art and a Master of Arts in European Studies.