Visual communication is nearly a cultural universal. If you’ve ever bought furniture from IKEA, you’ll know the little white instruction book that comes with your unassembled furniture doesn’t have any words to be read, just pictures and diagrams to help you put everything together. And if you’ve ever bought furniture from IKEA, you’ll know that this instruction booklet seldom includes enough information for you to confidently assemble your new dining room table, couch, or television stand, because visual communication, employed here as a cost-saving mechanism, is an ineffective tool.
People like to be communicated with in their own language, which can make “going multilingual” an important customer service strategy. On the phone especially, multilingual communication can be essential, as there are no visual clues like body language or lip reading, widening the language gap. To combat this, it’s important to have representatives who understand both the language and the culture of the callers, so that concerns are efficiently and adequately addressed.
Multilingual communication can help you by establishing:
- Clarity. Communicating with someone who speaks a different language is difficult because of the language barrier. As your business expands, your customer base can grow if you incorporate multilingual options into your website, phone system, and marketing materials.
Trust. Communicating in the same language can help callers and representatives bond more personally. To callers, agents are the voice of your company, and how they interact with callers is essentially how your company presents itself. When callers can clearly communicate, misunderstandings are avoided and callers trust the representative and the brand.
Efficiency. If two people are speaking the same language, they can communicate clearly, making customer service easier and more efficient. Speaking the same language means understand what’s being said the first time
Experience. Options in foreign languages should deliver the same quality as the original offering. Providing high quality content keeps callers and customers engaged with your business.
Adding multilingual capabilities to your phone system and other points of contact with your customers can help you grow your business into new markets. By giving callers and website users options in multiple languages, you can deliver an excellent experience with your brand and communicate clearly and efficiently. As your business expands, it's important to speak to your customers by giving them options in their own, native language.