When you decide to run a global business it is only natural to create your product and promotion in English. It’s the most universal language, especially on the e-business markets. But it’s almost certain that your product develops and gains popularity in specific domestic markets. This would be the moment you start considering whether to translate your service, promotional materials and even to provide customer support in the local language.
To be (multilingual) or not to be?
Providing business (even online business) in the language of every possible customer can be difficult, extremely costly and absorb human resources. And, if your solution is sold all over the world, it might be even impossible. But if you launch your product in particular markets, prepare promotion actions or start partnerships with local companies, institutions or suppliers, you’ll need to be ready for an increased number of queries, clients and partners from that region. And that’s what you expect. But it might happen that your clients want to talk and write to you in their mother tongue.
Talk to me
This can be initiated by both sides. Before you launch your product you can decide that it would be better to prepare a customized version of your website / sales panels / customer service etc. This may happen even just before the first clients arrive. But it could be customers who decide they want to communicate with you in their language even if you claim to be a global company. Your clients don’t need to be global, they don’t need to know English.
If you decide the market has potential, it’s worth to ‘learn’ yours customer’s language and talk to them in their tongue. Consider this especially when your clients need to administrate service or monitor results of their actions through your website. Administration or sales panel should be not only user friendly but also language friendly. If the users don’t understand the functions and commands in the system, they won’t use it. Or, they could use only a small percentage of your service capabilities. What is more, they could ask you a lot of questions and see your solutions as unmanageable. What is worst: they won’t decide to buy your solution.
Polish your language
Some time ago PayLane expanded online payments to the Polish and then the German market. So we’ve prepared Polish and German websites, the communication, we took care of partnership. we assumed that because we’re global, our customers will manage our merchant panel in English without any problems. And a lot of them did . But more and more clients came and suggested it would be a great convenience for them to navigate the merchant panel in German or in Polish. So we had them both translated and now we can present the results of our work — the new language versions. Now even non-English-speaking costumers can feel comfortable using PayLane merchant panel and Secure Form (as long as they speak either Polish or German, that is). And now we start to prepare other language versions… Perhaps you want to suggest a language?