Tips for Multilingual Customer Support

December 20, 2016 |

By Sarah-Claire Jordan

tips-for-multilingual-customer-support-photoMaking it as an international business these days is not the simplest of things. The process of taking a local business and making it global can be difficult and complicated, but it’s all worth it once you start seeing how successful your business can be in foreign markets. Also, in order to compete with other similar businesses, not going international is basically a death sentence. To round out this imminent success, however, one must have multilingual customer support.

That probably is an obvious statement to a lot of business owners who have gone global, but it’s worth repeating. You can have the best product or service out there with unparalleled quality, but if you branch out to different international markets and fail to localize your customer support, your potential customers will most likely stick with businesses that speak their language and know their culture.

Localizing your customer support, just like any localization process, does not consist of simply translating the customer support section of your company’s website into different target languages. That does help, but only if the translation is professionally done, and only up to a point. Depending on your budget and the size of your company, you can do anything from providing integrated chat support in target languages to setting up an in-country customer support team. For smaller businesses, integrated tech options are better, while larger ones with more of a budget can opt for setting up entire teams inside the target market to handle inquiries.

Whether you choose a low-cost solution or go all out, it is important to remember that localization goes beyond being able to communicate with customers in the target language. Surveys and statistics have shown that even native English speakers from the U.S. would prefer to speak with someone who speaks their dialect of English rather than with someone who speaks, for example, Australian English.

The same goes for any other language, but there are also some cultural details to consider as well. For instance, in some cultures, it would be totally acceptable for a customer support representative to speak with a customer in an informal manner. In other cultures, however, this would not be acceptable and could even be viewed as rude. Take these things into consideration when translating customer support content as well as when training customer support representatives.

Finally, one of the most important things you can do to ensure excellent customer support reviews in target markets is to make sure your online customer support content, from FAQs, to online chat technology and more, is perfectly translated and localized. If a customer can find answers for their questions on the website without even having to contact a customer support representative, you are bound to get points for being clear and thorough with your online content. This will also save you money in terms of maintaining a customer support team. Just make sure to be upfront about what you do and don’t have in terms of support.

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Category: Business Translation

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