Thanks to the growing market, your company gets to expand and uncover more opportunities far beyond its usual territorial reach.
But, alas, going international entails dealing with business people from all over the place, involving different languages.
While diversity is always a great thing when it comes to creating fresh ideas, differences present barriers in the working environment.
These communication hiccups can interfere with management and decision makings. For instance, teams with varying languages suffer from a lack of fluency and meager knowledge processing due to poor communication.
And as the business owner, you can’t always leave it to the workers to integrate seamlessly, can you?
So, if you want to overcome these challenges and create a positive office environment, you must find a solution for language barriers in international business.
How in the world are you going to do that? What are the solutions for overcoming language barriers?
Stick around, and we’ll give you some tips on how to break language barriers in multinational companies.
Have you heard: communication is the lifeline in any relationship, even in business.
However, communication, like all else, has pinches that need to be overcome.
Communication may fail — when a higher-up can’t relay the exact message to the person intended to receive it or when a buyer can’t properly converse with a foreign customer.
How can international businesses deal with language barriers and differences in culture?
Well, in overcoming this communication inefficiency, businesses usually rely on the following solutions to get the proper message across.
Clear speech avoids misunderstandings.
Despite the constant rush in the hectic office, be sure to enunciate the words clearly and to speak slowly.
Time may be gold, but delivering your message lucidly without any confusion will save you tons of money and valuable time.
It doesn’t matter if you’re conversing with someone who has your primary language as their secondary speech. You have to make it a habit to always speak in plain language in short sentences without slang/jargon—more so when you’re on a deeply technical subject.
Though many people might think complex language equals intelligence, in reality, you’re actually not doing anyone a favor. Instead, you’re opening miscommunication in the workplace while making a co-worker feel bad about not getting what you’re saying.
The more direct solution for language barriers in international business is by providing language training through taking courses.
If you’re worried about the extra cost, reports say that companies that invest in language classes can save at least 3 hours every week for every trained employee. And around 70 percent of them gained more confidence in their abilities, making them more productive and effective in handling international clients.
And that’s despite not having to master everything, a few basic words are already handy in establishing effective communication at all levels.
When words fail, visual methods speak.
Showing can do wonders more than telling, which is why when trying to convey complicated concepts, it’s more commendable to use images and diagrams. It can enhance the data, increase the depth and create knowledge.
Additionally, it will be helpful for non-native speakers and for people with visual types of learning.
Communicating with people with different roots and languages can take a mountain of patience. You always have to be mindful of your manners and choice of words.
Some language barriers in international business examples include pitching a business idea but coming off as egotistical by injecting flowery words and technical terminology. See, you swiftly mess up a presentation because of careless word selection.
That said, every worker should be aware of who and what they’re dealing with. Knowing these challenges, everyone in the office should foster a positive, supportive and respectful environment wherein no one throws mockery at a struggling individual.
By all means, if communication is making you work, you can always hire a translator.
With them on board, you can ensure no detail is missed and everything is well-communicated. Then again, you have to be ready for the big payout that comes along with it.
If you’re looking for ways to overcome language difficulties in business, the above mentions will make it all worth the while for you.
However, with the urgent need to go global in a very diverse market, perhaps, incorporating a virtual assistant who can understand different languages is a more cost-effective solution with a lot higher accuracy.
The market for virtual assistants is booming and that, is not without reason.
Virtual assistants are more productive, economical and flexible; all major attributes to take your business to the next level.
Of course, adhering to some of the solutions we mentioned earlier can bridge that communication gap. But would it be efficient to do so? No, the smarter option would be to hire a virtual assistant.
Compared to full-time employees, a VA doesn’t stop at being an English speaking virtual assistant, their experiences and skills involve being multilingual and well-versed in cultural divergence.
VAs hail from different parts of the world, meaning, they’re excellent at understanding diversity, be it in culture or language. They can help you out in creating connections with your international clients via shared cultural backgrounds and understanding their language.
In a nutshell, virtual assistants are assets to your company for these particular reasons.
How do you assist customers with language barriers? By working with a virtual assistant.
Let’s be honest, everyone is most comfortable speaking their native language. This means that talking using a second or third dialect can still be really challenging for your clients.
For example, your non-English-speaking customers may fail to present their ideas because they can’t find the right words.
That’s why a virtual assistant with a rich cultural background and who can speak different languages should be right up your alley. With their knowledge and translation expertise, clients can freely express themselves and eventually grow affinity towards your brand.
There are so many words that mean differently in other countries. Take this for instance, the word “gift” means a present in the U.S. but in Germany, it translates to poison. Can you see the danger there?
Language is a strong business barrier when dealing with international clients. So, when making marketing campaigns, you have to be thorough or you’ll end with a PR nightmare.
You can hire a full-time interpreter, but it would be expensive. A virtual assistant is still the viable option to win these wide-ranging clients.
In today’s age of digital marketing, your reach has become expansive. From Asia to Europe, your potential business associates are immense.
As such, in trying to create that first contact, a virtual assistant is a very practical asset.
When you hire a permanent translator for your team, you also have to deal with the additional cost of paying for rent, office equipment, compensation benefits and even non-productive hours.
If you’re a startup looking for ways to save costs without compromising work or quality, a virtual assistant is a great alternative. You get to work with a multilingual professional and reduce operational costs by as much as 78%.
There is always a better way of establishing and maintaining business relationships, one option is to hire a virtual assistant who can speak your client’s language.
Audiences from across the planet will be more comfortable and confident doing business with someone when they feel secure and heard.
Diversity is good. It increases morale and propels creativity, innovation and success.
But with diversity comes linguistic challenges too. Everything can easily get lost in translation with differences in languages; which brings us to the answer.
Big or small, working with a virtual assistant is the solution for language barriers in international business.
They’re priceless assets in boosting your networking opportunities, customer service, client relationships and marketing.
So, don’t let language barriers get the best of your diverse workplace, start your business with a virtual assistant today!