Business Translation Center

How to use language to connect more effectively with your customers

by OFER TIROSH 01/08/2018

Connecting effectively with customers is a goal that most businesses set themselves. Good customer engagement can mean different things for different companies, but it almost always has a positive impact. 

Language plays an interesting role in enabling businesses to connect more effectively with their customers, particularly in the age of social media, where a poorly worded comment can have significant reputational ramifications. Social media has done much to change the way we use language and, indeed, the way that companies engage with people. A good social media strategy can make a huge difference to a company’s reach and brand awareness. 

Know your audience

A key component of such strategies – and of marketing activities more generally – is the language that the company uses. This can vary significantly based on the customers that the company is looking to engage with. It would be appropriate to use different language, for example, for communicating with an audience of pensioners than it would for a customer base aged in their late teens or early twenties. 

Companies struggling with finding the right tone have various options at their disposal. Using focus groups and research panels can be extremely helpful, as can working with mentors from the demographic that the business is aiming its goods or services at. 

Know your language

Businesses also need to factor in the way that their own language is changing. The rise of video game culture has replaced ‘newbie’ with ‘noob,’ for example, so companies that want to market themselves as in touch with the latest cultural trends need to keep their vocabulary up to speed. 

Keeping an eye on the Oxford English Dictionary’s quarterly updates can be helpful (binge-watching and imposter syndrome were among the latest additions), as can monitoring social media sites. Companies looking to place their products and services appropriately in terms of the language they use would also do well to read publications that are popular with their target audience, to gauge their style and tone. 

Know your product

Of course, businesses also need to match the language they use to the products at hand. If a company sells fine wines and caviar, for example, it’s likely to want to maintain a more sophisticated tone when engaging with customers. That doesn’t mean that the company can’t be engaging and playful in its communications, but it does impact on the choice of words used as part of those communications. 

Think about translation

As well as the kind of language that a company uses, the actual language it uses can shape how effectively it engages with customers. India, for example, is home to 22 major languages, written in 13 different scripts. As such, a company that uses Gujarati translation services or Bengali translation services can massively increase its potential customer base. The same is true in London, where more than 300 languages are spoken. There can be a distinct advantage to reaching out to customers in their native language, even if it’s not an official language of the country that a business is operating in. 

Final thoughts

Just as languages evolve, so too do customer retention and engagement strategies. As such, there’s plenty of scope for businesses to experiment with the language they use. Implementing the tips above should get those looking to do this off to a great start. 

A quick word 

A final word for companies looking to really get ahead – the new Tomedes Text Summarizer Tool is free to use and has a range of applications. Why not check it out today to see how it could benefit your business?