So, you think your multilingual website is ready to take on the world? Think again!
If you have invested time and money to localize your website, you already understand that website content in a customer’s native language plays a critical role in turning them from an online browser into a customer. You probably made this wise decision, when you recognized that customers won’t buy what they cannot understand. International customers now have the ability to access your website from multiple access points, with customizable user views, all of which are offered in a rich web interface in multiple languages. Your job is done, right?
With your pristine website now firing on all cylinders, it’s vital to consider factoring in customer service in your customers native language. As with your domestic market, it is hard to achieve repeat business if the after sales care is poor. In fact, a recent study by Common Sense Advisory – which surveyed 3,002 international consumers in 10 non-English speaking countries from Europe, Africa, Asia and South America – found that consumers of all nationalities agreed on wanting customer care in local languages.
Amazingly those who were capable of speaking English, were three times more likely than their non-English speaking counterparts to value local-language support, with 74% of all those surveyed strongly agreeing that there was a need for post-sales support in their language.
The evidence is clear: in order to increase your return on investment from website localization, you have to consider ways to offer superior customer service in multiple languages –after the sale is when language becomes really indispensable.
We have looked at five different opportunities where you should focus your customer service efforts, so that your international customers feel they’re valued and being served after the buying process.
A suitable payment method that takes into account local payment preferences is vital to encourage first-time buyers in making their initial purchase. Setting up online payment processes that take into account how your customer usually completes online purchases, will help strengthen the customers feeling of security and excellent usability that comes with your website. In addition to this it will lead to less abandoned baskets, higher conversion rates and ultimately, increased revenues with repeat custom.
If you’re not emailing your customers in their native language, you are missing out on one of the least expensive, highest ROI methods for increasing sales and building customer loyalty. Three emails that no business can afford to skip when localizing their international customer service experience include;
As an international retailer or service provider, it is your duty to satisfy your customers – and returns and refunds are a reality of doing business online. It is important that you ensure that the whole process of Returns and Refunds is available in the customer’s native language, and is an easy to navigate and stress-free process. Do this, and you can rest assured that your international customers will admire and reconsider your products or services when making similar purchases in the future.
If you rely on recurring business, or if the lifetime value of a customer is greater to you than the ROI on that first sale, then providing customer service and support to your international customers and addressing any questions they may have in their native language is vital. Communicating with your customers through telephone interpreters, a multilingual live-chat feature or even providing answers to FAQs in multiple languages, ensures that you address your customers questions and queries in near real-time. Service and support features like these will allow you to deliver excellent customer service to international customers and will give your website the functionality to achieve top satisfaction scores for after sales care.
With the growth of social media, re-engaging and marketing to international customers’ needs to be adapted for different cultural audiences and locales. Consequently, a localized social media marketing strategy alongside your wider localization strategy is essential to business expansion and to ensure ROI on your multilingual website.
With this in mind you should be tweeting, posting, liking and communicating content around the clock for foreign language web users. In the same way a customer is more likely to engage with your website if it’s localized and available in their native language, posting messages in your customer’s language will also resonate with your international customers. Localized marketing is therefore more likely to result in rewarding ROI, because by re-engaging with your customers in their native language, you are able to build a global customer base, ensure consistency in your customer service and offer customer satisfaction on par with your domestic market.
As we have seen, global brands that speak to international customers in their native language and really engage with them, won’t just be companies that have localized their website; they’ll be the companies that have localized their customer experience.
If left in English, each of the customer service opportunities examined, will present challenges, testing your patience and ability to provide the same level of customer service as offered to your domestic market.
Ask us today about our translation and interpreting services and see how we can help ensure your international customers get the customer service they deserve in their native language.
This finding, along with numerous other international e-commerce consumer buying behaviour findings, are detailed in “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy: 2014,” a report by independent research firm Common Sense Advisory (CSA).