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How to Overcome the Language Barrier While Doing International Business

Posted on 26 May, 2013

Often, business owners turn to merchant account providers to manage their payment solutions when business is conducted internationally. Offshore merchant accounts can be tricky, and international companies need those who are experts in the field.

As an international business owner, it’s all too common to stumble into a severe language barrier. As a merchant account provider that frequently deals with foreign organizations, we have experienced setbacks in this department. To prevent a misunderstanding and to keep potential clients feeling understood and appreciated, we’ve made some shifts to accommodate non-English speakers.

Read on for three ideas for overcoming a language barrier and keeping clients happy.

Hire employees from a variety of backgrounds

It’s useful to have employees who are bilingual, but you likely won’t have one person who is capable of translating multiple languages (if you are, hold on to that employee!). During the hiring process, stress that conversational Spanish, French, and Arabic is a desired skill and choose the best candidate who also speaks a language other than English proficiently.

Take advantage of translating software

Google translate and other programs can help with the bare minimum and it’s often the best solution when a translating need arises. When it comes to reading incoming mail or messaging with a potential customer, use a digital translating service to copy and paste the text into the respective languages. It won’t be a perfect translation, but you can at least buy time until you have a native speaker who can better converse over the phone or via email.

Laugh when things get confusing

With so many different languages flying around, things can get a little confusing. Don’t be afraid to laugh if there is a miscommunication. Rather than get worked up and let tempers rise, break the ice with laughter. The more lighthearted you can be, the more accepting clients will be about the situation. Don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t understand correctly. Better to ask twice than to risk a mistake.

The great thing about doing business internationally is that you have exposure to a variety of cultures and backgrounds, but the language barrier can be confusing. Don’t let a little misunderstanding get in the way of doing business. Take these tips to heart and you can boost sales and grow your customer base far and wide.

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Bad credit merchant account credit card processing services

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