If your business has an online presence, the entire world is available to you for prospecting. The challenge: how do you reach and respond to international audiences without ballooning your marketing, sales and support costs?
You don’t need a pricey location strategy to reach more prospects and customers. As it turns out, live chat software can provide a quick way to support international channels.
There are right ways and many wrong ways to scale globally. One basic element of culture is language.
If you try to market your product to international B2B or B2C customers without researching, you are asking for trouble. Just ask Electrolux, KFC, Ford, BMW, and Nike. On occasion, even these giant brands have miscalculated cultural aspects when marketing to foreign audiences. They found themselves lost in translation by creating “inappropriate” connotations or even inviting consumers to eat their own fingers!
E-commerce and conversational commerce
Long gone are the days when global reach was limited to large multinational organizations. Rapid technological advances have changed the way we communicate and consume. These advances, including automation, helped remove geographical and cultural barriers that previously kept brands from broadening their reach.
Today e-commerce pairs well with conversational technology tools such as live chat, allowing smaller businesses to market and sell their products globally.
Conversational commerce in particular is taking e-commerce to the next level. E-commerce is at the forefront of web chat, messaging or other natural language interfaces like speech recognition, chatbots and AI.
Conversational commerce technologies can be used to build reliable platforms for online shopping. If used properly, these platforms can drive exceptional experiences at every stage of the customer journey.
Beyond web chat
The widespread use of mobile devices and the increasing popularity of messaging services like Facebook Messenger, is driving the growth of conversational e-commerce. Century long consumer habits are shifting from voice and email to live chat, including those industries with “late adopter” audiences.
of consumers will make a purchase if they can get information in their own language
of consumers say that native language information is as important as price
of internet users do not natively speak English
As early as 2018 automotive customers in Germany showed that they were more than ready for online sales. 75% of them would book a test drive appointment online and 66% are willing to buy a car online.
Any car dealership in Germany – and everywhere in the world- should be enriching their online customer experience with conversational e-commerce elements like webs chat and chatbots.
How language impacts conversational commerce
“If I’m selling to you, I speak your language; if I’m buying dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen” [then you must speak German] is what Willy Brandt said once. In fewer words; “If I cannot read about it, I will not buy it!!”
Studies indicate that more than 70% of consumers are more likely to buy a product when they get information in their own language. For more than 50% of consumers, information in their native language can be more important than price. Most will never purchase a product in foreign languages.
Sales, client satisfaction, and client retention are all influenced by language, because these roles are relationship and conversation focused. Many businesses in the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry have lost clients due to lack of multilingual support.
With multilingual customer service, you can:
- Target a much wider market
- Increase sales and brand loyalty
- Reduce churn and increase trust
Native English speakers account for approximately 26% of internet users! At the same time, even in the U.S., the percentage of households that speak a language other than English can range from 2.5% to 35% depending on the State you are in.
Staffing a strong, multilingual customer service team is not an easy task and can be very costly. International multilingual contact centers (BPO) can attest to this. Businesses choose to either handle chats and customer requests internally or outsource communications. Both in-house and outsourced chat communication teams should start using translation technologies.
The global translation industry has grown during both the last economic recession and during the Covid-19 pandemic. The machine translation market is projected to grow more than 15% from 2020 to 2026.
Machine translation capabilities are improving day by day, reaching accuracy levels that were unimaginable a few years ago. As an international company, SnapEngage identified the trend and need for a translation tool, leading to the release of the Auto-Translate tool.
Machine auto-translation has reached great levels of accuracy, but it is not perfect yet. That is why auto-translation is not always a best option unless human interaction is involved; like in the case of live chat.
The SnapEngage auto-translate tool sets the correct expectations as it makes it clear that there is auto-translation involved. Users on both ends (consumer and live chat agent) can see both the original message (untranslated) and the translated messages, providing a transparent and effortless experience for both parties.
Language is just the starting point
Doing business across the globe entails more than just language. Economical, environmental, social, political and legal factors come into play. Online data protection and privacy are increasingly recognized. 66% of countries worldwide already have legislation in place regarding e-transaction laws, cybercrime and online consumer protection.
66% of countries worldwide already have legislation in place regarding e-transaction laws, cybercrime and online consumer protection.
If you are doing business online, you can’t afford to ignore data privacy and security. As your live chat and technology partner, SnapEngage offers a long list of security related features that enable you to meet geographical legal requirements.
SnapEngage was the first live chat provider to offer HIPAA compliance. In addition, even before GDPR, SnapEngage aligned with necessary EU-USA security frameworks. SnapEngage has been committed to GDPR compliance since day one, continuously monitoring privacy laws that might affect the global client base.
No matter where you do business, SnapEngage will provide you with the necessary tools.
- EU: comply with GDPR
- Worldwide: authenticate signed-in users with Visitor Identify Verification
- USA, particularly California: California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) requirements
- USA healthcare industry: HIPAA compliance
Another important element in global data privacy regulations is the location of stored data. GDPR, for example, restricts the transfer of data to countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA). The Australian Privacy Principles (APP) might require that Australian businesses disclose what information is being sent outside Australia.
To accommodate for this, SnapEngage has separate server infrastructure both in the USA and the EU. New and existing clients can choose where to house their account (and data); USA or European servers.
Further, some companies have strict security policies requiring all cloud services to be hosted on private, unshared cloud hosting area. SnapEngage accommodates this request with a Private Instance option. This option enables hosting capabilities in the client’s location of choice.
SnapEngage currently offers private hosting locations in the USA, Canada, the UK, multiple EEA countries like Belgium and multiple Asia Pacific countries like Japan, Hong Kong and Australia.
Translation and security go hand-in-hand
The international market is now open to any online business. In order to do global business well, a strong security and translation strategy needs to be in place.
When searching for a conversational technology tool, be sure to ask and understand their policies for operating in different countries and regions. Strong security measures builds trust from a diverse client base and gives you peace of mind as a business owner.
Conversations bring us together. Quality and engaging rapport can be the difference between a satisfied client and a client at risk of churning. Have more connected, meaningful, multilingual conversations with auto-translate. Take the guesswork out of chat and get rid of browser copy and pasting.
These tools will help ensure a successful international launch.
Ready to take your international presence to the next level? Schedule a complimentary one-one strategy session with an expert today.