May 2018
Text by Calvin Scharffs

Image: © Nikada/istockphoto.com

Calvin Scharffs is vice president of marketing at Lingotek, a cloud-based translation software and language services company. He has over 20 years of sales and marketing experience, working with Global 1000 and Fortune 500 companies as well as with small start-ups.


cscharffs[at]lingotek.com
www.lingotek.com
Twitter: @calvinscharffs
Linkedin: calvinscharffs

Three best practices to improve CX and boost engagement

Engaging customers around the globe means speaking multiple languages while maintaining one distinctive voice – a juggling act that becomes ever more vital in the era of the customer.

In times of digital global marketing, it’s easy to match a competitor’s pricing and offer copycat products. Providing a better customer experience (CX), on the other hand, is an area where companies can really distinguish themselves from the pack. In Walker’s Customers 2020: A Progress Report, the customer experience consulting company predicted that "by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator." In a recent Gartner survey on the role of CX in marketing, the majority (89 percent) said that they expect to compete on customer experience.

Improving CX is good for customers and it is good for business. Happy customers are more likely to purchase and refer others, and are willing to pay more to avoid the hassle and inconvenience of poor CX. A recent Temkin Group survey found that CX is highly correlated to future purchases. "Consumers who have had a very good CX are 54 percent more likely to buy from a company than consumers who have had a very poor CX. Consumers who have had a very good CX are also five times more likely to recommend a company." This is in line with Oracle’s 2011 Customer Experience Impact Report, which found that 86 percent of customers will pay more for a better customer experience [4]. So there is a definitive financial incentive to provide a better CX.

Whether your organization is new to entering global markets or has a large globalization group dedicated to delivering multilingual content, there are three best practices that will improve customer experience and boost engagement. It comes down to personalization, localization of your entire marketing tech stack, and a consistent experience with your global brand.

Best Practice #1: Make personalization a priority

Learning about your products and services is the number one reason most consumers engage with your brand, so your information has to be both personalized and relevant. A recent article by Fast Company, titled "3 Ways to Make Your Company Relevant", explained that to resonate with global customers, your brand and message must appeal to the personal values and community of the end user. Personalization is how companies create relevance, so to boost engagement and improve your CX, you need to make personalization a priority. And in a global marketplace, you can’t be relevant or personal if you are not providing content in the native language.

Eliminating language barriers is key

To ensure your product and services maintain global relevance, your messaging, tone, and style must resonate with the target locale. The digital economy knows no borders. Independent research firm Common Sense Advisory (CSA) found that non-native speakers won't buy products or services from English-only websites. To fully engage global customers, eliminating language barriers is the first and most important step toward personalization.

Best Practice #2: Localize your entire global marketing tech stack

While many companies focus their localization strategy on translating their website, it shouldn’t be the only platform. To personalize the customer journey, companies need to provide multilingual content throughout the entire marketing tech stack. CSA research discovered that, to optimize global customer experience, you have to look beyond localizing your website.

 

"In 2016, building multilingual websites only takes a company so far. ...Customer experience (CX) builds from the combined result of website experiences plus the direct extensions of that look, feel, and function into HTML-based email, apps, social profiles managed by the brand, and various on-site engagement channels. When your company designs or manages the content where brand and customers meet, that is part of global CX, including video, chat, forums, and even call center interactions."

Roadmapping Global Customer Experience with 58 Best Practices.

 

The recent Marketo survey The State of Engagement discovered that B2B consumers are using more channels to engage with their vendors. When asked which marketing channels customers engage with most, the results showed that the most-used channel is not a website – it is email. Consumers were highly likely to use email, social media, chat, podcasts, online communities and forums. Thus, companies need to offer multilingual content throughout the customer journey and across all the digital channels that are part of an effective marketing mix: social media, email marketing, community platforms, knowledge bases, etc.

 

Technology for integrating translation

Web developers are responsible for making sure that the path to global engagement and localization goes as smoothly as possible. When enterprises prioritize user experience and customer engagement, providing dynamic, multilingual content with agile, 24/7 delivery is key. Translation management systems (TMS) are specifically designed to address the challenges of continuous global publishing. Cloud-hosted and offered on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) basis, a browser-based translation workflow and publishing platform is fully integrated and interoperable with all of the most popular third-party applications.

Translation connectors and multilingual application programming interfaces (API) can be integrated into your native environments, enabling you to create, update, and manage delivery of multilingual content without leaving your native environment. There are translation connectors for all of today’s most commonly used marketing technology platforms: marketing automation, content management systems (CMS), customer relationship management (CRM), customer engagement platforms, software, knowledge bases, and more. Robust API can seamlessly integrate content management, content authoring, code development, and source control.

Best Practice #3: Create a consistent brand experience

The goal of establishing a strong brand is to convince customers of your company and product value with content that educates, differentiates, and strongly communicates your value proposition. And it has to be done in a way that creates an emotional connection between your brand and the consumer.

One of the most common drawbacks when brands go global is maintaining the consistency of corporate messaging and branding. Integrated localization technology will help ensure that your international customers have the same CX, no matter where they live or what language they use to engage with your brand.

The Lucidpress report The Impact of Brand Consistency from October 2016, predicts that brands that are consistently presented are three to four times more likely to experience brand visibility. The report also identified the financial value of ensuring branding consistency: The average revenue increase attributed to always presenting the brand consistently is 23 percent.

Software to ensure consistency across borders

Cloud-based translation software and linguistic assets make it easier for companies to create consistent brand messaging in any country or language by collecting translated terminology in repositories. Translation memories (TM), style guides, and glossaries can be effectively used to ensure brand consistency among several different departments in several different countries.

Cloud-based terminology management enables global companies to achieve effective and accurate translations by organizing specific terms along with clear sets of rules for their usage. This ensures that translators use your industry-specific terms, acronyms, technical terms, short phrases and slogans appropriately. Terminology management also protects any keywords used for search engine optimization (SEO), so your content remains searchable in any language.

Tech-forward companies rely on these innovative translation tools to centralize multilingual content management and to maintain consistent voice, messaging, and branding worldwide. It also optimizes your translation spending. Reusing translation is easy when the information is stored in the cloud. Organizations do not have to duplicate efforts or pay for the same translated terminology over and over again.

Personalized engagement is good for business

In its survey of Fortune 500 firms titled Fortune 500 Companies that Invest in Translation Report Higher Revenue, CSA found that businesses that augmented their translation budget were 1.5 times more likely to report an increase in total revenue. Companies that translated consumer information were also twice as likely to experience revenue increases and to generate improved profits.

Making personalization a priority, localizing more than just a website, and providing a consistent global brand experience makes reaching and engaging with a global audience easier. Corporate enterprises that use powerful localization technology aren't just buying translation – they are investing in the ability to improve CX, engage more customers, and improve their bottom line.