The way in which you work may have become more remote but your markets are closer than ever. It’s clear that changes we first expected to be temporary as a result of Covid, are now here to stay. In fact, rather than seeing remote working as an imposition, businesses are starting to benefit from the savings in time, travel costs and carbon footprint. For individuals too, there’s the added benefit of a better work-life balance.
What will define success over the coming years will be how well a business can adapt to virtual operations. That means employing new ways to reach key audiences.
As a translation company, it’s our role at Peak Translations to help businesses communicate effectively with their chosen audiences, regardless of language, topic, medium or setting.
As the UK navigates the unchartered waters of post-pandemic and new trading arrangements with the EU and wider world, we will be on hand to show how translation needs to be considered as part of this transition.
We will be exploring this most important of topics in more detail over the coming months. First, we wanted to set the scene and outline those areas we think you should be considering now in order to give your business the best opportunity of engaging with its people, customers and suppliers.
For some time, it’s been apparent that those retailers who have embraced online sales as part of their business model are in a better position to weather the uncertainties of imposed lockdowns and customer reticence about returning to face-to-face shopping. The battle between ‘bricks and clicks’ as it has been termed, is no new phenomenon; the Covid pandemic has only accelerated the demise of some.
Consumers may have forgiven their favourite brands for being, quite literally, offline during the first lockdown, but not being available for the longer term will quickly erode brand loyalty.
Of course, making products available through an online shop not only converts physical to online shoppers (one of the reasons Boohoo has recently acquired Debenhams), it also appeals to a completely new audience. If you’re going to the effort of setting up an online shop, why not develop it for an international audience?
Peak Translations has supported businesses in many different sectors to sell their wares – from fashion to tool hire, and baby products to knitting yarn. We are not only adept at language translation but also offering guidance on the culture of the country where your target customers live – their payment preference, the regulations of that country and the expectation on how goods are shipped – even down to which countries are most likely to order more than one size! Unwanted sizes may well be shipped back to you but there’s an impact on your stock levels in the meantime.
Businesses that sell services rather than goods may not need an e-commerce site but, where they seek to open up or expand overseas markets, they still need a website that appeals as much to customers in Germany or Japan, say, as it does to its UK customers.
There’s a lot that needs to be considered when translating a website.
Firstly, infrastructure. A staggering 98% of Internet users in China and 80% in India already access the Internet via their mobile devices so it’s important that your site works as well on a mobile as it does on a desktop.
Secondly, how you engage with your customers via your website. You may offer an online chat function in the UK but your Customer Services team may not be equipped to respond to audiences outside the UK – either because they do not have the required native language skills or because of time differences. You may want to consider instead a series of translated, pre-prepared chat responses.
Read more in our blog, Technology and its role in reaching overseas markets.
Your website may be your ‘shopfront’ when it comes to presenting your business to the masses, but there will also be times when you want to communicate directly with particular customers, suppliers or agents with whom you might previously have engaged face-to-face.
In 2020, Zoom and its related terms – Zoom-ready and Zoom-friendly – were identified by the Oxford English Dictionary as words that have been catapulted into our vernacular. Zoom continues to shore up its position as platform of choice, beyond smaller meetings or casual catch ups. The addition of its Simultaneous Interpretations feature means that foreign attendees can select their language of choice and tune in to a dedicated channel where they can hear a live interpreter.
Including an interpreter on a conference call can have a very real impact. Peak Translations’ German interpreter was considered “very much part of the team” when he recently translated at a meeting between the CEO and staff at a virtual staff meeting for one of our clients. The feedback we received from the client was that the call was “significantly enhanced” as a result of having our interpreter on the call, particularly since “his presence meant our German colleagues could easily communicate with our CEO”.
You can learn more about Peak Translations’ Interpreting Services here. We look forward to sharing more on our suite of translation and interpreting services for a virtual world over the coming months.
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