In the last few decades, most of the business environment has moved online, as the digital environment provides more space and opportunities for growth. The global connectivity gives business owners a gateway to new markets, fresh partnerships, and cost-efficient production. In order to deal with the multinational community, we need to develop strong language skills and learn as many foreign languages as we can. English is one of the most widely used languages, therefore, mastering English communication skills should be a priority, no matter if it’s your native tongue or not.
Here are five strong arguments that testify how language skills help smooth management of your business.
1. Improved Communication
When you negotiate a certain deal, it’s important to convey your message loud and clear, in the most eloquent manner possible. Your foreign partners might understand you in a wrong way or get confused, offended even if you don’t express yourself properly. The same goes for both written and spoken communication.
Great language skills also prevent miscommunication when placing and receiving orders. If you have to hire a person to process each international order then you’re missing the chance to invest more money in the development of your business. Furthermore, many companies employ international staff, which also puts the language abilities as a priority.
2. Enhanced Productivity
Imagine having the need to translate every single correspondence you get, because you can’t read the language in which it’s written. In addition, imagine sending each of your emails to some writing services before you send your message to a client or partner. This type of behavior would significantly reduce the productivity within your firm, which directly leads to loss of revenue. With more languages in your skillset, you are able to cut the translation expenses and shorten the time needed to respond to emails.
3. Language Skills Help with Business Trips
Business trips are something that every business owner should count on, especially if they plan to expand their influence. It’s much easier traveling to another country when you’re feeling secure and confined about your ability to communicate and navigate in a foreign environment.
If you speak more than one language, you should have no problems finding your way around a new airport, getting around a new city, and ultimately—performing the presentation to foreign clients. Sure, you could do this with a translator, but it won’t paint the best picture about your abilities as a businessman if you can’t utter a single word in a country you plan to expand your business to.
4. Interacting with a Foreign Audience
One of the most effective marketing strategies is the engagement of your target audience over social media platforms. As social networks occupy the attention of the international public, your ability to communicate with foreign followers could help you get a better grasp of their needs and enhance your chances of making a success in a new market.
Studies show that Spanish is hitting a high level of influence in the US, which means that even English speaking areas require a multilingual approach. The same could be applied to Canada, where French and English are both widely used. In Europe, Switzerland is a single market with three major languages. All of these examples show that sometimes reaching towards the customers in a single country could require the use of multiple language skills.
5. Customer Support
Providing the best user experience to a customer is what every business strives for. User experience is what aims to fulfill a user’s needs and provide positive experiences that keep them loyal to the product or brand. A meaningful user experience enables you to define customer journeys on your site that are most conducive to business success.Customer support service is also in the realm of user experience. Many businesses tend to overlook this particular area, which often makes or breaks a company. Now, you might say you provide good customer support, which is fine. But, you need to understand the key difference between “great” and “good” customer support service: you’re doing only the minimum to keep your clients satisfied in the latter.
In the first case, however, you’re not only keeping them satisfied but also going much beyond to retain their loyalty. For instance, let’s say you’re a software company. You’ve received a complaint from a client regarding some security issues they are facing. Now, you know for sure the problem isn’t with your product, but on the user’s end. In this case, you could educate them about antivirus software, and help them understand what might be causing the issue and how it could be solved rather than saying, “It is not our problem, Sir/Mam.” This will help establish the relationship between you and your customer.
Similarly, if there’s a large customer base in Russia, and you don’t provide support in Russian, chances are you will receive a lot of bad reviews, and lose potential customers. Remember, great customer support not only keeps your customers satisfied, but also helps to understand them, define your company, and impact your bottom line.
Running a successful business takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Apart from talent and passion, one should also work on language and a multitude of other skills in order to scale. These are only a few aspects of a business that strong lingual skills can improve. There are no limits in the number of languages you should learn, the more you know, the more you’re worth.
by Jacob Dillon