Communication is the key to every successful relationship. Marriages, friendships, and professional relationships alike all depend on the successful communication of wants and needs. Too often, though, communication grinds to a halt because of language barriers. As our country grows more and more diverse, business owners are working to overcome customer service language barriers. Here are just a few ways they impact client communications:
Prospective Clients May Not Pick Up the Phone At All
There’s nothing more frustrating than attempting to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak your language. That frustration multiplies over the phone. While you may be able to fake your way through in-person conversations using gestures and body language, the language barrier often proves to be too much to overcome on the phone. In many cases, non-English speakers may not even bother picking up the phone to dial your business if they’re unsure if your team can communicate.
If you’re eager to overcome this business communication conundrum, create a bilingual web presence. Since your website serves as a digital storefront for your business, you have a unique opportunity to share your commitment to clear communications right from the start. Of course, you’ll want to supplement this with bilingual representatives to answer your phones. Your customer communication strategy must work across platforms for maximum effectiveness.
Details May be Lost in Translation
Client miscommunication is a risk with any customer. When you’re hammering out the details of a deal, explaining how to use a particular or product, or chatting about available options, there’s bound to be little misunderstandings here and there. With customers who speak your language, these miscommunications are no big deal. You’ll usually have a way to correct misunderstandings and clarify your intentions.
With clients who don’t speak your language, the opportunities for miscommunications multiply tenfold. Learning how to overcome a language barrier isn’t just about learning to speak a new language. Instead, focus must be paid to the way we communicate. How we say something is just as important as the words we use to express ourselves. By keeping language clear and straightforward, the chances of being misunderstood go down.
Employees and Customers Grow Frustrated
Good employees are always eager to satisfy customers. Too often, though, American workers simply aren’t equipped with the business communication solutions required to serve non-English speakers. While most of us take a semester or two of Spanish or French in high school, few people continue on with their studies and become fluent in a second or third language. Employees grow frustrated that they can’t serve customers the way they’d like to, and customers may become annoyed that nobody can help them in their own native language.
Frustration is bad for business. It’s bad for employee morale, and it’s bad for the customer experience you’ve worked so hard to create. One of the best ways to approach the language barrier is to call for reinforcements. A partnership with bilingual call center agents is one of the best investments you can make in your business. Cut frustration for everyone while saving your team valuable time – it’s a true win/win.
Overcoming the Language Barrier
In addition to working with a bilingual call center, there are a few ways to overcome the language barrier and mitigate its impact. Business language tends to be complex. By keeping communications, short, sweet and to the point, your team can more effectively share their perspectives with customers. Of course, the medium is so often the message – if a customer is calling about pricing over the phone, for instance, you may want to follow up with an email or text message overview of your service offerings so they can review the details again.
The essentials of business communication lie in a mutual respect between service provider and client. If you approach non-English speaking customers as an annoyance, they’ll take their business elsewhere. Conversely, if you communicate with kindness and respect, your connection can rise above any language barrier.
Your Partner in Bilingual Customer Service
Businesses around the country are seeing more and more demand for bilingual services. If you’re eager to overcome the language barrier but don’t have the staffing budget to bring on bilingual employees, MAP Communications can help. Our bilingual call center agents work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to fluently provide support for callers. Affordable, flexible and easy to set up, our services have proven instrumental for countless satisfied customers.
Bilingual support can do wonders in setting your business apart from the competition. When non-English speakers can dial in and speak in their native language, they’ll be less inclined to shop around and will instead be more loyal to your business. After such a positive interaction, customers may even send their friends and family your way for future purchases.
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