Why multilingual customer service is important to eCommerce websites?
Every day, our world becomes even more interconnected. The moment a business creates a website online, advertises through social media, or launches an online ad campaign; that business becomes ‘international’. Globalisation, trade, and social media have all contributed to the expansion of global business and increasingly, the need for multilingualism in business.
Unfortunately, only around one-third of call centres are able to conduct calls in more than one language at this moment in time. Due to all of these increasingly important factors, the likelihood of a customer calling a company in a language that they do not offer has become much more likely than it was, say 10 years ago. The impact of customer service and clear communication has a direct link to sales and on a business in general. If there is a language barrier when a customer makes contact with a company, they may potentially lose a customer to this fact.
Why multilingual customer service is essential?
Below are some detailed advantages of developing customer service to be multilingual.
1. Increase your target market
Even though in our Anglo-dominated ‘world’, we may think that everyone speaks English, an increasing amount of people who call customer service lines or visit their websites either do not speak or read English fluently. Even though some people may try to learn English as a second language, it would not be their most comfortable language, which means that their likelihood of purchasing when not comfortable decreases dramatically.
2. Company sales will increase with existing customers
Sales in a company can fluctuate due to many factors, but all of them boil down to customer decisions. Customer decisions can be influenced by advertising, brand loyalty, language, customer service, and other influences. Multilingual customer service will also build a higher amount of trust and approval ratings from customers that it already retains. Pre-existing customers will approve of the business more so due to its efforts to become more inclusive. This may also increase the likelihood of customers talking to their friends and co-workers about the company.
3. Company sales will increase due to new customers
An increase in multilingual customer service options in a business will expand the target market, as stated above, which will increase overall sales. New customers will also be attracted due to positive word of mouth being spread about the company, and advertising regarding the business’ new multilingual capabilities.
4. Increase brand loyalty
A business’ increase in accessibility to its customers will build brand loyalty through increasing customer trust. Customer’s (either new or pre-existing) will either appreciate the business’ efforts to diversify lingual capabilities, or simply just have their ease of access increased and overall interaction with the business made simpler and more streamlined. Both of these customer reactions will skyrocket a customer’s trust to the business and decrease the likelihood of them ‘bunny-hopping’ when the next trendy or socially ‘in’ product or company comes around as competition. Building brand loyalty is hard to do in today’s market, and has become increasingly important due to globalisation itself increasing competition in markets around the world.
5. Break down barriers between your company and overseas customers
As soon as something is not in your most comfortable language, your draw toward it is minimised almost instantly. Think about a movie which was originally in a different language, for example. Even an intriguing Netflix documentary in another language would come second best to an equally interesting one in English, wouldn’t it? It is all about ease of access. And though subtitles on said documentary might increase your likelihood of watching it, you would be much more likely to watch it if it was in English. The same goes for a business.
6. Make your customers comfortable
If people are able to enter your business and feel comfortable interacting, and not like they are entering a foreign business; they will be more likely to continue to interact with your business in the future.
7. Give your business a competitive edge
Providing multilingual customer service and online capabilities, though growing, is still fairly new on the global stage. Offering this service to customers will give your business a competitive edge and allow you to have a specific notable difference to your competitors on the world stage.
8. Miscommunication will be minimised
Globalisation and communication across different countries and through different languages and platforms allows for mistakes, miscommunications, and minor discrepancies. Even Google translate gets it wrong sometimes! If your business is able to operate in a customer’s original or native language, this potential for error will be greatly diminished, and will enable your business to streamline itself and operate more seamlessly in the long run.
9. Unique Selling Point
In the business world, the most positive attribute n a ne product or business is a unique selling point or USP. A USP allows a business to either be able to charge more or to appear as more premium due to the fact that they possess or offer a good or service which is rare and sought after in the market that they operate in.
10. Provides a tailored service
Similar to offering a unique selling point, providing multilingual customer service provides a tailored experience to your customers. Customers often feel that they are just a number, or a point on a sales board to companies. Offering them a service that benefits them and makes them feel individually valued will not only increase their likelihood to buy on that one occasion, built build brand loyalty and customer trust through the offering of a tailored service for the future.
As a global market, we are constantly evolving as the world becomes more intertwined. The internet, social media, and television has meant that we are more connected than ever before. Because of this, so are our business. Tiny home-grown businesses that 50 years ago would not have even left their small town of origin are now shipping all over the world due to globalisation. But as the world evolves, we must evolve with it. The addition of multilingual customer service and capabilities to a business will assist your business in its expansion, and be an asset to not only your immediate sales; but your business’ growth for the future.
Angela Douglas is a business coach and blogger at Gum Essays. Born in Connecticut, Angela is an entrepreneur who had founded her own showroom at the age of 21. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and writing about her experiences.
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