Summary: Companies with global ambitions can localize their content in steps. Step one is to translate your knowledge base.
Your company’s English language website has clients or users in countries throughout the world. You know that fully localizing your site will make users comfortable and increases sales. In each market where you operate, your customers should identify your company as being native to their country.
As you move towards that goal you can still set yourself above your competitors by meeting your users’ most pressing needs. Anticipate their questions and give them answers in their native language. Few US websites offer multilingual customer support in a language other than English. But identifying qualified bilingual customer support personnel is both difficult and expensive. How do you offer quality customer support in other languages?
Where to begin
Determine what languages to translate. The most obvious way is when your customer support team is contacted in a different language. Track the frequency of those non-English contacts. If you are using help desk software, for each interaction you should tag that language.
But you might have questions coming to you in English from international sources. That’s where you’ll need to do a bit more detective work. You’ll need to look at the source of your traffic to determine what country that traffic is coming from. In Google Analytics you can apply a filter to see this information.
Localizing, i.e. translating your customer support should be done in two stages:
Active One-on-one interactions between users and your customer support team and
Passive Knowledge Base of instructional articles and your Frequently Asked Questions. (FAQs)
When you translate your knowledge base you are taking advantage of content that is basically static. This is a low-cost way to let users help themselves. Translating your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) provides the same benefits. Unless your services or products are changing rapidly, this content won’t need to be updated for months at a time.
Once this useful content has been translated you will need to equip your Customer Support team with translated email templates for common customer issues. Those translated customer support templates will point users to your newly translated knowledge Base articles or FAQs.
MotaWord makes it simple to translate your Knowledge Base with our APIs for WordPress and Drupal to name just a few. For more detailed or nuanced interactions, MotaWord can translate your email responses to convey that support is done natively. But you won’t need to incur the costs of hiring and training in multiple markets. Those costs can be considerable.
Meeting your customers’ needs, along with helping them understand and use your product, improves your customers’ experience. You may not ‘delight’ your customer. (the current buzzword in the user experience world) but making their life easier with better customer service is a great way to start.