Taking over the world is a tricky business. You might think globalisation would mean you could get away with a one-language-fits-all approach to your marketing materials, website content and customer services, but the truth is that we all have a significant native language bias. Even our language spoken with a non-native accent, or written with spelling discrepancies i.e. American/British English, is often enough to prevent us parting with our cash.
So, when you’re trying to meet the unique needs of customers in foreign markets, is multilingual customer service really worth it? We think it absolutely is, and here’s why…
1. You can boost customer loyalty
It’s lovely to be looked after by a business. When you receive fast, honest and effective customer service, delivered with a smile, it’s such a rarity these days it’s something most customers will remember.
One of the biggest factors in the quality of the customer service you receive is the language it’s delivered in. A report from Common Sense Advisory found that 74 percent of customers would be more likely to buy from a company that offered after sales support in their native language.
A further report from the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) found that:
- 72 percent of customers said support offered in their native language improved their level of satisfaction;
- While 58.4 percent said it increased their loyalty to the brand.
And that what it’s all about. You treat your customer well and there’s a good chance they’ll be back for more.
2. It builds trust
You’re a good, honest business that sells products and services for a fair price, right? You want your customers to recognise you for what you are. Consumers prefer to hand over their hard earned cash to companies they trust, and they are more likely to trust companies that speak their own language.
Speaking the customers’ language makes it easier to build relationships and help them understand how you think. Customers also tend to believe the information they are receiving is more accurate if it’s delivered in their native tongue.
3. Native speakers understand what customers want
Customers from different cultures have very different expectations of the customer service they receive. Everyone wants their problems solved in one way or another, but some nationalities like to discuss their problems on the phone at length, while others prefer a live chat facility that takes as little time as possible. In some countries, up-selling is quite acceptable, while in others it is considered rude.
Having native speakers to deliver your customer service function ensures an intimate understanding of the target market. The result is support that meets the customers’ preferences and their particular needs.
4. Even bilingual customers prefer their native language
It is not uncommon for businesses to expand into countries where English is spoken as a second language to reduce the costs associated with translation and transcreation. However, just because your customers can speak English, it doesn’t mean they want to.
Most customers feel more confident checking the details of a product or service, or communicating their disappointment if their expectations are not met, in their native language. Removing the anxiety associated with speaking a second language can improve the customers’ experience.
How can we help?
At Linguistica International, we can help your customers get the support they need in a language they understand. Our translation and transcreation teams can create word perfect user guides, customer support pages and FAQs in your customers’ language. The result is happy customers, and a successful business.
For more information, please call 02392 987 765 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org