Date Published: May 30, 2022 - Last Updated 1 Year, 285 Days, 10 Hours, 7 Minutes ago
Localizing your products and services for a new market is a great way to ensure you engage with the target audience of that market. Localization revolves around adapting your product or service to suit the local culture and target language.
But localization is a multifaceted process that goes beyond brand adaptation according to local customs and regulations. Localization is also a fundamental pillar of customer service.
Businesses need to go above and beyond mere translation and localization of their product descriptions to ensure prospective customers understand the product. A wide range of pre-sale activities are required to engage customers. Post-sale customer support has become the benchmark of quality in the modern customer’s eyes.
Alas, the journey doesn’t end when the customer makes the purchase. It’s what follows after that is arguably the most important long-term growth strategy, especially with regards to retaining international customers. Let’s dig into the details!
Understanding the Importance of Localization in Customer Service
According to the Ultimate Guide to Localization, many brands entering the global marketplace underestimate the value and power of localization. Coddling your customers with customized content and outreach that directly addresses the customer’s changing needs is mission-critical and supporting them in their native language is an incentive that goes much further than monetary incentives like gifts and discounts.
How can organizations localize their customer service function?
Start by Identifying Cultural References to Adapt According to Customer Location
Technological phenomena such as the Internet of things, robotics, and artificial intelligence drive dizzying transformations in the way we provide and use services, according to a current master in service design. Now, you might have content that contains cultural references and nuances of the local language in your blog posts, in-app content, advertisements, manuals, and web content. But these references might not be relevant to your new target market, or in the worst-case scenario, they could be offensive to them. Start with auditing your existing content to see where changes need to be implemented before the content can be re-used for a new audience.
Next, Focus on Design
Localization is just as much about design as it is about the written content, and the customer experience revolves around a lot more than just content. Languages that are read from right-to-left, like Arabic for example, or those read from bottom-to-top, like Chinese, need to be specifically catered for during the design stage of your website. Failing to design around these factors can negatively affect the user experience, which nullifies the efforts you put into optimizing and localizing your existing content for the new audience.
Offer Accessible Customer Support
Frustrated and confused customers need assistance as soon as possible and they need to be able to gain access to that support in the easiest way possible. And one of the best ways of doing this is by providing your audience with locally accessible customer support. If you’re doing business in Australia, for example, but your home base is in the United States, you can partner up with a business process outsourcing provider to ensure you’ve got customer service agents on the ground in Australia.
Consumers factor their customer experiences into their buying decisions, so a brand with highly rated customer service attracts more customers. Expanding online help centers to offer more than just English content is no longer “nice to have”; it’s essential seeing that 75% of internet users speak languages other than English at home.
Observe Your Competitor's Marketing Strategy
It’s perfectly acceptable to get to know your competitors and analyze the way they engage with the audience you’re trying to engage. You should be getting into the loop of the kind of stories your competitors are sharing and the methods they use to interact with their customers and potential clients. How are your closest competitors building rapport with their audiences? After you’ve analyzed their moves, allow their gameplay to inspire yours.
Get Your Website and Chatbot Content Translated by Professional Language Service Providers
It’s essential to use professional translators to translate your website and chatbot content to the target language. They also need to be native speakers of the official languages of the local markets to translate cultural nuances effectively. You also need to ensure that the FAQ section of your website is effectively translated during the localization process.
After all, in our digital world, this is where the customer will head for self-help before contacting your customer service team. Ensure the content is localized and applicable to the specific region without containing information that isn’t applicable in the new market.
Prioritize Regular Monitoring
The data you’ve got on hand about the consumer behavior in your new markets won’t always be reliable. And this is why it’s essential to monitor how your new customers are interacting with your customer service function and your website on a regular basis.
While customers in one region might use self-help to solve their issues, others will want to talk to customer service representatives that offer them real-time support. Paying attention to the patterns of customer behavior can help you determine if your efforts to offer a superb customer experience are practical or whether you need to improve the customer service process.
Don’t Forget About Your Social Media Accounts
Depending on the market you’re targeting, your new audience might want to interact with you on social media. The focus here should be on creating culturally appropriate content that’s easy to share and highlight’s your brand story and mission. Make sure the content appeals to your audience on an emotional level, and don’t bombard them with too many posts.
Localization can be a lengthy and expensive process, but it’s one of the most rewarding investments that expanding brands can make in terms of long-term growth. Once you gain customers in a new region, you must be able to provide them with exceptional customer services, and the only way to bridge the linguistic and cultural divide is with localization services.