ULG's Language Services Blog

How to Boost Global Customer Experience with Language Quality

User experience is a huge differentiator in a commercial world crowded with options: Succeeding in today’s global marketplace is about much more than an outstanding product or amazing customer service. In fact, almost 90% of buyers surveyed by Salesforce said that the experience a company provides matters just as much. 

“Experience” is about function (does it work) and emotion (how do I feel about it) and is influenced by several factors including sensory perceptions (sight, sound, touch), feelings, and expectations. Companies today also increasingly need to provide these exceptional experiences to diverse audiences both inside and outside their home countries, and that can be even more challenging.  

As far as global customer experience, the quality of the language services you provide, including translation, interpretation and localization, is a key driver, directly impacting how your customers perceive your brand at every touchpoint. High-quality translations and interpretations provide clear communication and build trust, while poor language quality can lead to confusion, misunderstandings, and a negative perception of your brand.  

Let’s take a closer look at how language quality impacts CX and steps you can take to make sure all your customers get the stellar experience they deserve.  

Why Customer Experience (CX) and User Experience (UX) Matter to Global Brands  

Great customer and user experiences (CX and UX) are vital for any brand. CX covers all customer interactions with a brand, from first contact to post-purchase support, aiming to create a smooth, enjoyable journey that builds loyalty. UX, a key part of CX, focuses on how users interact with a product or service, reducing confusion and frustration. High-quality UX ensures that each interaction is intuitive and satisfying, enhancing overall CX. 

Some of the most successful global brands use exceptional CX and UX as a differentiator.  Consider Apple, known for its fanatical attention to both elements, both on their devices and in-store. Or Amazon, with its fast shipping and nearly frictionless buying experience- truly motivated shoppers can make a purchase in less than a minute and have the product at their house the next day.  

What Is Global UX? And How Does It Relate to Language? 

Global UX goes beyond standard UX by considering cultural differences and local preferences. Some elements of the user experience, like shopping cart buttons on websites, are understood around the world. Other elements, like color symbolism or design standards, may vary from region to region. For example: 

An effective global UX balances the universal with the specific, altering elements as needed to make customer feel at home. We create a global UX through the process of localization, which goes beyond translation to customize every aspect of the user experience to connect with your audience in a way that is culturally relevant.  
What does language quality have to do with this? Almost everything.    

Whether you are talking about translation or interpretation, language quality covers not just accuracy but also cultural relevance, so that each customer is treated appropriately and gets accurate, understandable information and assistance. Whether or not they receive that deeply impacts their experience with your brand.  

The Deep Impact of Language Services on the Global Customer Experience 

Around the world, customers expect the brands they interact with to support them in their own languages and in ways that are culturally relevant. For example:  

  • 69% of consumers believe providing an end-to-end experience in their preferred language is “extremely” or “very” important.  
  • 70% of consumers feel more loyal to companies with native language support.  

These statistics indicate that consumers around the world expect access to both written content and verbal support in their native languages as part of a high-quality experience. To provide a global UX that meets these expectations, brands must integrate translation and interpretation services into every stage of the customer journey. Yet merely offering these services is just the bare minimum for an acceptable experience. They have to be provided at quality.  

How to Drive Great Global CX with Linguistic Quality 

Exceptional CX and UX start with prioritizing linguistic quality at every touchpoint. High-quality translations and interpretations build trust with your international audience by promoting clear communication and cultural relevance.   

Here are some best practices and tips from our experts to help you drive great global UX through linguistic quality: 

Train Your Team on Customer Needs and Expectations 

Make sure that your project team, including linguists, is well-versed in your customers’ needs and expectations by providing them with comprehensive training. This allows linguists to deliver more relevant translations and provides a more personalized and effective customer experience. 

UX Design Tailored to Each Locale 

Good UX design is not one-size-fits-all; it must be crafted for each locale. This means understanding local preferences and behaviors. For instance, Japanese users may prefer information-dense pages, while Western users lean towards minimalistic designs. Tailoring UX design to meet these preferences can significantly enhance the user experience and satisfaction. 

Focus on Both Culture and Words 

Quality in language services is as much about cultural knowledge as it is about the words themselves. Great UX means that the content is aligned with the preferences, beliefs, and values of the local culture, so it’s relatable and engaging for users. This cultural alignment helps in building a strong connection with your audience, leading to better customer loyalty. 

Maintain Brand Consistency 

Ensuring brand consistency across all touchpoints is key. This includes written translations and spoken interactions, whether through over-the-phone interpretation (OPI) or video remote interpretation (VRI). Consistent terminology, tone, and style across different mediums help reinforce your brand identity and build trust with your global audience. 

Improve Consistency with Language Asset Management 

Language asset management (LAM) involves building and maintaining references like glossaries, style guides, and translation memories (TMs), which allow you to reuse existing approved translations.  
Creating and utilizing these references maintains brand consistency by helping translators understand your preferred terminology and style. Comprehensive glossaries and style guides streamline the training of translators, interpreters, and machine translation engines, reducing the chances of miscommunications, while TMs can help you make the most of your budget while improving consistency. With these tools, it’s easier to deliver a cohesive and polished user experience.  

Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to build and maintain these assets. It’s particularly useful for cleaning up translation memories so that only high-quality translations get reused. United Language Group’s language asset management system reduces turnaround time by up to 50% and improves consistency by up to 35%.  

Use Qualified Linguists 

Even though AI is capable of linguistic tasks, it’s essential to use qualified and experienced linguists who understand both the language and the culture of your target markets. These skilled professionals will help you avoid miscommunications and cultural faux pas that can alienate customers. Always keep a human in the loop.  

Focus on Linguist Engagement 

The more engaged linguists are with your brand, the easier they will find it to adopt your brand voice, whether in translation or interpretation. Engaged linguists act as an extension of your team.  

At United Language Group, we’ve developed a program, ULGEngage, that offers continuous training, support, and feedback for our linguists to keep them aligned with our clients' goals and standards. By fostering a motivated and knowledgeable team, we ensure high-quality linguistic services that drive excellent global CX. 

Examples: What Great CX Looks Like in Translation and Interpretation 

What’s the difference between a customer experience that’s supported by high-quality language services and one where language quality is lacking?  

Imagine this: A customer reaches out to a call center for help, but the connection time is slow. Reaching an interpreter takes multiple transfers and long holds. The interpreter struggles with technical terms, leading to confusion and frustration for the customer. As a result, the customer’s issue remains unresolved, and their perception of the brand deteriorates. This is a poor customer experience, but it happens every day.  

Now, imagine a different, more quality-focused scenario: The same customer contacts the call center, but this time, they are quickly connected to a highly skilled interpreter through ULG’s Direct Connect program. The interpreter understands both the language and the technical terms, communicating clearly and resolving the customer’s issue efficiently. The fast connection time, quality interpreters and ease of access leave the customer feeling valued and satisfied, enhancing their trust and loyalty to the brand. 

Written translation quality is just as important at each stage of the customer journey. Imagine a customer visits your website, but it’s poorly translated. Product descriptions are inaccurate or hard to understand.  Currency does not convert to the appropriate type, so the customer must get out a calculator to know what they’re paying. When they have questions, they try to use email, but the response is confusing and perhaps overly formal or overly familiar. They do not buy from your site again.  

When language quality is front and center, the experience is not that much different than shopping on a site in their native country. The content is easily understood and appealing, currency converts automatically, and international shipping options are clearly explained. Customer service emails are clear and provide the customer with the level of formality that they expect according to their culture.  As a result, they become satisfied repeat customers.  

Moving Towards Exceptional Global Customer Experiences 

High linguistic quality promotes clear communication, builds trust, and enhances customer satisfaction. Choosing a language service provider with a strong focus on linguistic quality is essential for delivering the types of exceptional customer experiences that can help your brand capture the global market. 

To learn more about how ULG can help you achieve high linguistic quality, connect with us and speak to our experts. Let us help you provide the stellar experience your customers deserve!