When I read that John Cena spoke Mandarin, I had to check out the video. Mark Zuckerberg speaks Mandarin too, so I learnt. But how Cena addressed the press in such a calm, compelling manner makes speaking customer’s language an interesting issue. WWE is expanding, the wrestling community is finding its foot in China. What a wonderful way to announce your company’s presence to the Chinese community?
If WWE had hired an interpreter to communicate John Cena’s speech to the Chinese, the story would have probably passed away as one of those press releases. John Cena took me by surprise, at least some other people confessed on social media how awesome they found his ability to endear him to the Chinese audience. Likewise, the rapport between a business and her audience can be warming and cordial if businesses learn to speak their customer’s language.
From the perspective of a company’s standard, policy on communication, brand message, brand perception and all that ‘grammar’, how far can businesses go to learn to speak the language that their customers’ best understand? How far should they go actually?
WWE provides free language courses, wrestlers signed to the company can learn as many new languages as they want. How many brands go as far as creating enabling environment for their staff to learn to speak their customer’s language other than merely including it in their Customer Service policy?
Assuming a business already knows her audience, how to talk to them in a language that the brand message feels organic to customers is a serious business.
Much as a company has a brand term to refer a product they sell, marketing team should listen out on social media and forums to know what terms customers actually use to refer to such product.
For instance, an agency can say they offer digital marketing services, while the majority of their customers and leads refer to the same concept as online marketing. When such leads are searching, they will search for onlne marketing. It is now the digital marketing company’s responsibility to position their brand for attention from these leads.
When such digital marketing agency is posting on social media and optimizing their keywords, online marketing should be prominent so that their customers can get along.
In another case, a brand may place ad that they sell finger spoon, while leads are busy searching for fork. The lesson here is that brands should find out what term most of their audience use to refer to what they sell and refer to it with the same term.
That is what communication really is. I hear you, I understand you, I process it and give you feedback.
When businesses focus so much on sounding very very professional instead of sounding like their customers, they will be missing out on leads who use search engines and social media listening to research what they want to buy. Prospective buyers search with words as they occur to them.
They search with real-life problems they want to solve not some ‘professional jargons’. Find out what your customers call what you do and call it the same.
Speaking customer’s language in this context is not limited to taking customers’ complaints and requests alone, it goes as far as driving traffic and generating new leads.
When choosing keyword to optimize for search marketing, the reason many experts recommend long-tail keyword is partly to present what you sell in a way that is closest to possible search terms to be used by visitors.
Likewise, titles for blog posts meant to solve customers’ problems should sound like the problem as much as possible
Beyond lead generation, customer engagement and brand awareness, one vital situation that require that a sensitive business to speak customer’s language is system failure. A customer just called in to report how terrible your company’s action or in-action is making him feel, please listen to understand not listen to merely reply. This is not the best time to recite those customer care memory verses. The customer can feel it when you are you providing a generic solution to his problem.
From the tone, accent, language and details provided by the customer about the situation at hand, you can deduce where such customer is coming from. This is not an easy task, and everyone is not so spontaneous that they can immediately adapt to customer’s level. But being sincere and borrowing from words already used by your customer makes him feel you actually grabbed what he said and not that you are dishing out a ready-made answer.
During situations such as this, here are some ways you could speak your customers’ language in order to achieve a win-win situation:
Rather than talking to your customer like your colleague who understands your ‘slangs’, find the simplest term possible to break down the situation at hand.
If you have been having conversations with customers before, you would have known what they call what you do.
If a merchant calls VoguePay to complain that his client’s payment was declined, asking to know why it happened and solution to the issue. Of what benefit will it be to the customer if we start telling him stories of international payment gateway, PCI standard for card details storage and processing, bla bla bla? The simplest answer could be that the merchant’s client has not verified his card for online payment.
Check the last paragraph well for brand term VS customer’s term. We call our customers merchants but they know themselves as customers or clients. It is all about speaking customer’s language.
Explain the consequence of the situation at hand with notable empathy in your voice. What you say at this point is as important as how you say it. Your tone here carries weight as well.
In the best way the customer can understand, explain what the customer can do in the meant time or recommend a permanent solution to the problem if it what the customer can control.
When you speak customer’s language, they feel relieved as you confirm their understanding of the situation. Nobody likes to look stupid, though customers may not present the situation that is logical enough for you to quickly grab what the problem really is.
Unlike banks, VoguePay has the culture of giving as much details as possible to customers when transactions are declined or there are service issues. It is in the nature of banking services no to disclose too much for whatever reason. But this could be killing at critical times.
We will not just tell you why your transactions failed or what we saw that made us take any precautionary step we might take. We believe when provide you with enough information, you will be empowered to educated your clients on how best to make and receive payments.
Remember, we don’t earn unless you earn. Thus, it is our utmost pleasure that you make and receive payment without itch., no matter how little.