You probably believe communication is key to business success. After all, how far can you get without proper communication? When marketing your product, reaching out to suspects and prospects, and your own clientele, wouldn’t you agree that if your company does not express itself effectively this could lead to conflict and you could certainly lose a sale or—what’s worse—a client?
According to a Pew Research Center survey, the majority of U.S. workers see the realities and value of adjusting to the growing demands of today’s workplace. They expressed the following as important: the ability to work with those from diverse backgrounds (85%), training in writing and communications (85%), and access to training to update skills (82%).
If the vast majority of Americans can see that, your company should consider how it can facilitate this. One very effective way is investing in a language training strategy that will provide a good return on investment. Here are the reasons why you need to implement a language learning strategy at your company.
Investing in foreign language training is the way to build a global brand recognized for going beyond its borders. Global expansion requires global languages and communication skills. This doesn’t only apply to Fortune 500 companies, but also companies—large and small—who have an international marketing strategy. Enhance your branding and take your marketing to the next level by implementing a language training strategy. If you are not working internationally yet, chances are you still work with multicultural clients. Building a global brand can help you reach out to bilingual customers domestically.
If you are doing business internationally, you should be communicating internationally. If your company is still growing, soon you will start thinking about expansion. If you want to grow your overseas revenue, you have to look and speak beyond your borders. Language competence facilitates expansion into foreign markets and allows you to speak to overseas clients, suppliers, and buyers in their native tongue.
At times a translator is a more practical option ,but it’s not the strategic answer. In the past, I worked as a translator and even as as an interpreter, so I definitely understand the value and necessity of this field. That level of precision is needed for many legal documents and, at times, simultaneous interpreting is called upon, such as at international conferences. However, do you want to rely on translators to conduct business on a day-to-day basis? Your customers and clients want to feel like they matter. A translator will never understand your company’s vision and long-term goals. But with the right language learning training strategy in place, you can have a tremendous return on investment. Just imagine the level of engagement, connection, and even persuasion you can achieve by speaking to a client or prospective business partner directly. Can a translator do that?
Nelson Mandela said, “Talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. Talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” If a customer is more comfortable speaking in their language, you don’t want to be the one who cannot grant him that wish. Bonding with clients in their native tongue is a whole new ballgame and chances are your competitors are on it. According to research on the impact of language and cultural difference on restaurant experiences, “…language barrier generates negative emotional and cognitive responses, and prevents ESL customers from taking certain actions such as seeking necessary information or complaining about service failures.” The truth is that the only way to get to a customer’s heart is by showing you care, and nothing says you care more than understanding their needs and interacting with them on a personal level. That’s when you really show that they matter and they are not just numbers to you.
A sales rep who speaks a foreign language can conduct business with a client in that language. A customer service representative can assist customers who do not speak your country’s language, or who prefers to speak their own. Remember that even bilingual customers who are proficient in English might feel more comfortable speaking in their native tongue. This goes to show that language competence increases productivity. Aside from the technical reasons why, employees who have this additional language skill will feel more confident around clients because they will be providing a unique advantage. That’s without mentioning the connection they build with the customer.
Building a company-wide language learning strategy will increase employee satisfaction and retention, whether you are investing in a foreign language or helping them navigate English as a second language. Everyone wants to feel appreciated and valued, and that is exactly how your employees will feel if you invest in their professional development. An investment in your employees is an investment in your company’s work culture, which is good ROI.
Do you think this is news? Not really. Companies have long known that there are advantages to investing in language training for their top executives and staff. Stay ahead of the competition and invest in the right language learning strategy.
At Diáfano, we offer the cutting-edge alternative to the traditional training methodologies. Here’s why you should choose us:
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Irma is a trained linguist, native Spanish speaker, and teacher. She is the founder and CEO of Diáfano.
For those with no prior experience with Spanish. 9-week course.
For those who can hold a minimal conversation in Spanish, ask for directions, etc.
For those who are conversational and can express emotions in Spanish
For those who are conversational and can express emotions in Spanish. The course is designed to get you to full fluency.