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 have all of their documents translated into Spanish.
Common Business Mistake #2
“We have all of our forms translated”
This is a good start to breaking the language barriers between companies and clients. However, staff should also be prepared to respond to any questions about the forms as well. Even though the form is translated into Spanish, sometimes we forget that others might have a limited ability to read and write, and this can definitely bring up some questions. Will your staff know how to respond to their concerns?
- Your employees shouldn’t have to rely only on a translated document to assist Spanish-speaking clients.
- Spanish-speakers are relational. This means that they prefer face to face contact and friendly small-talk. They should be given just as much attention as English speakers. If they are pushed aside and just handed a translated document, they do not feel as valuable as the other clients and are likely to seek business elsewhere.
- Imagine how special your customers will feel when they are spoken to and greeted in their native language!
- Your staff doesn’t have to be fluent to create a great first impression, but just knowing the very basics will create a warm and welcoming environment for all customers.