Customer Service and the Mother Tongue
Each of us has a mother tongue, the language of our country, culture and region. It distinguishes us from the rest of the world, reflecting all that is familiar and important. As business continues to expand globally, we need to remember that each transaction is done locally.
In this fast globalizing world, which gets smaller every day, we should not forget that there is not (yet) a universal language. Each region, country and customer has their own language and culture which should not be forgotten or neglected. In many cases the local language is the only way people communicate.
We are always more comfortable communicating in our mother tongue. We all have an easier time understanding something when it is expressed in our own language. In business, we do more to retain and gain new customers when we do them the courtesy of providing service in their language. And not just translated, but localized for true understanding.
Don’t your customers deserve to feel comfortable when communicating their business needs to your company?
International corporations will gain more traction if they actively seek to provide customer service to their clients in their own native language. This can be done in a variety of ways. If you run an on-line store, you can localize the site for different countries. But when someone has an issue, does your customer service operate in each of those languages? Can they leave feedback or send email in their own language? Can you respond in-kind?
The essence of modern customer service is global. Each visitor should experience your content and interaction naturally, without barriers to communication.
And don’t forget social media. Having a Facebook Page in multiple languages is great, but the core of social media is that it is social – providing a platform for communication not only from a business to its clients, but between your customers and you. It is a dialog. Can you read and respond to comments in the language of all the places you do business?
One way to address these issues is to hire native speakers to use as operators in a multi-lingual customer service centers and social media moderators. Translating customer emails and responses and customer service tickets through a system like ZenDesk makes it easy and seamless for you and your customers.
When deciding how to interact with your global clients, remember that they deserve to be treated as individuals, each in their own mother tongue.
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