Common Mistakes Businesses Make with Hispanic Clientele: part 3

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The consequences of misinterpreting or misleading a Hispanic customer can lead to difficulty maintaining sales or even loss of customers. Some businesses think that an easy “fix” to a language barrier is to simply hire an interpreter to do all of the communicating.

Common Business Mistake #3

“I do not need to train my staff to speak a little Spanish because we already have an interpreter.”

It is a group effort of the entire staff to make a person feel welcome in a business.

The ratio of interpreters to clients can become increasingly imbalanced and overwhelming for the one employee who is being relied upon to assist all of the Spanish-speaking customers.

If that employee leaves the business, then the client is likely to leave as well. Also, many business do have Spanish-speakers on staff, but are not qualified for professional interpretation. This is usually a janitorial staff member, and sometimes even a family member of the client. When they are called upon to interpret for the company, they are not being compensated for the extra work, nor is this an effective or professional means to assist the client.

By delegating the task of interpretation to only one employee, companies are not building trust with their clients; trust is only built with the interpreter.

The Solution

  • The best way to build trust within the first five minutes of staff-customer interaction is to train your staff quickly and affordably without having to invest in long college classes.
  • If your staff can learn the basics of the language, and the simple cultural differences between Americans and Hispanics, such as how to greet children and how to convey a positive message using body language, then your organization will effortlessly expand throughout the Spanish-speaking population.
  • Knowing how to build trust with the client is the best way to keep their business, and by doing so, they are likely to recommend the business to their friends and family.

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