A recent Cisco survey underlines the fact that the customer experience is of paramount importance online, and not just price. Overall 40% of respondents said they would be willing to spend more with a company if they improved the overall customer experience, In Western Europe the figure is 81% and 90% in the UK. But as is so often the case in these surveys, there is one monster missing factor: language equity.
Interestingly, a good third of the respondents (35%) want businesses to ensure they can easily ask questions and access information before making a purchase. This sort of behaviour is as old as the hills in the world’s traditional bricks & mortar shops and marketplaces, and is so natural a practice as to almost go unnoticed. But online this sort of exchange is complex to manage, though it can bring enormous added value to the retailer due to the rich usable data embedded in the query process.
Online, the natural first step is to trawl through the retail website, or check out the usually limited information available on product FAQs The next would be to talk (live) with the ecommerce site in question - or chat (live with a keyboard) if you sitting in a crowded train. The emerging platforms for live video chat using a tablets will soon replace these. Or you always fall back on email. Another fast-trending way to get information indirectly is to consult or mine your social network and its long comment tails, though you’re more likely to get opinion than the full facts.
The eventual transaction will be sealed with an exchange of virtual money executed by a single click on an electronic button. But the prior information-gathering processing will depend entirely on the monster missing factor every centimetre of the way: a customer using their language to reach a goal.
Almost every exercise in customer experience management using today’s communications tools will need to put language management high on its list of must-haves. Way ahead of all the other bells and whistles that will win customer confidence, build loyalty and accelerate ‘conversion’. It’s all so obvious…yet so often forgotten.
Negotiating in a marketplace, a smart merchant will usually adapt their language to yours. Online, that means an end-to-end (not just a landing page) experience in a customer’s language – text, voice, videos - the lot. For the LT industry the issue is clear: it is not about how to introduce translation tech everywhere to see if its work in situ. It means starting from deep knowledge about the customer experience and inventing transparent language solutions that perform the right job, whatever you decide to call them.