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Why you need to connect with customers in their own language

Aishwarya Sankhé
|
3
min read
Why you need to connect with customers in their own language

Imagine you’re about to go on vacation. You're excited, you’re visiting a place where English is not the first language, and you’ve arranged for a guide. You've packed your bags, your family’s ready to go. Fasten your seat belts, it’s show time.  

You've landed, but not one person knows a stitch of English. Not to mention, you stick out like a stray dandelion in a field of roses. Everyone's following a strict uniform, except you. You're greeted by excessive staring and exaggerated hand gestures and broken English as a form of communication.  

While the view was nice, the experience of visiting this country was enough to make you say “never again.”

That's how most global customers feel while interacting with brands.

Connecting with customers in their own language

The globalization of businesses allows customers from all over the world to engage with brands. However, there needs to be a homogenization of brand communication to avoid creating dissonance between the brand and the customer. That's why connecting with customers in their own language is vital.

Think about it this way- When you decided to visit a country where there was a language barrier, you came there by choice. But would having such a negative experience urge you to comeback?  

It's the same when global customers arrive on your landing page. You’ll have to work harder to keep them engaged by providing value in their own language.  

Step into your customer’s shoes

Before you dive into connecting with customers in their own language, you have to understand their needs. Think about what problems they’re trying to solve and how your product or service provides a solution. Show your global customers that you empathize with their problems and how you have the tools to fix it.

By stepping into your global customer’s shoes, you’ll also understand how to best communicate with them. The personas for global versus local customers vary significantly. By researching the customers in the areas, you want to expand to, you’ll be able to identify the tone of your messaging and how you want to engage with them.  

Consider working with mentors from the area you’re hoping to expand to, and extensively researching your target audience’s culture.  

Transcreational messaging

If only we could take our message, plug it into a translator, and call it a day. Unfortunately, that’s now how communication works. Our brains don’t process language the same way a translator does. It's in kahoots with other cognitive functions like attention and memory- both of which could also play a role in how we generate language as well.  

When we hear a sentence, our brain parses through and memories and searches for when we’ve heard this phrase before. It then compares it with how it’s being used now. We intuitively think about the context, and that’s a simple way of understanding how we process language.

As you can see, memory and context play a significant role here. And that there's a huge gap between this and a translator. Translators looks at phrases and try to understand it word-for-word, and jumble around the puzzle pieces until we arrive at a sentence. This works when you’re writing an essay for a class (and wanting a maximum grade of a C!), but not when you’re trying to communicate with customers in their own language.  

That's why more than translating a message, you have to transcreate. I.e., you have to take your original message and adapt it to the other language while keeping intent, style, tone, and context consistent.

Chatbots as a guide

You know what would have amplified your visit? Knowing the local language. But learning a new language can take years to master. And sometimes, being a novice and communicating in a new language can be embarrassing.  

“What if I humiliate myself?”  

Imagine your customers felt the same way when interacting with your brand. That’s no way to make a customer feel. It's our job to ensure your customers feel less like a tourist, and more like a family. It's harder to learn a new language than it is to communicate in your own.  

56.2% of customers believe obtaining information in their own language is more important than price.

Thus, it’s time to work with Engati’s multilingual chatbots. If the landscape of customer service is moving towards autonomy, your global customers shouldn’t get left behind. Use a multilingual chatbot as the bridge between you and your global customers.

The Engati advantage

With over 50 languages to choose from, Engati makes it possible to connect with customers from all over the world. We already have a global customer base of 186 countries. We've tried and tested all of the formulas, and so we’re offering our services to you.  

Get multilingual support with the freedom of customization. Get started with Engati chatbots today!  

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