How SMEs can open communication with traditionally non-English speaking markets


International borders are more blurred than they’ve ever been. Technology, working alongside globalisation, has made it possible to hire from across the globe, sell to customers with different backgrounds, and build business relationships outside “traditional” marketplaces.

Running a small business and selling to non-English speaking markets can expand your potential customer base by the millions while saving on staff and translator costs too. The only snag being that selling to these customers is often hamstrung by one problem: the language barrier.

Having worked with overseas markets and non-English speakers throughout my career, I knew that the key to effective communication (and getting sales) was personalised, quality conversations in the speaker’s language. SMEs need to make their messages meaningful to their audiences, not just make them available – they need to be accessible. A vast, untapped market awaits SMEs around Australia, but they’re not yet using the technology to effectively communicate with such markets.

Don’t be afraid to take the leap into messaging to communicate with customers – they want easier ways to connect. Today’s technology can go a step further and provide real-time translation too, saving the need for clunky copy-and-pastes into an online translator. Now, the conversation just flows.

Australia has 4.9 million people speaking a language other than English at home; one fifth of our population. Without the proper tools at your disposal to communicate with them, that’s 20 per cent of the marketplace lost.

Customers want questions answered, and expect clear, concise communication. They need product support, expect top-tier service, and if they don’t receive it, will post a negative review on Google. It’s the same for non-English speakers; SMEs need to make effective communication more accessible to them.

It was understanding this that motivated creating the Jeeves.Plus messaging platform. It provides engagement, staff efficiencies, and cost savings better than phone and email-based customer support.

The system’s uptake allows SMEs to do business with the hearing impaired community, and globalise sales efforts through automatic translation in 109 different languages. It allows for multiple conversations at once, and eliminates the need for call-waiting queues.

With limited staff, managing incoming messages from all your social channels is frustratingly difficult. Jeeves.Plus allows companies to streamline inbound messaging through a single platform – with SMS, Facebook Messenger, Webchat, and Google Business Message requests appearing in one window. The platform’s templated responses allow communication to be even faster: customer details are automatically filled out as new information becomes available.

SMEs can expand their outreach through creating and sending thousands of messages to customers. People are open to, and engage with text messages far more than emails; our methodology achieves 98% open rates – unheard of in email communications. SMEs will find it very affordable and effective to send promotions, such as discount codes, directly to their customers’ mobiles.

Multilingual text-to-translator services and communications will better allow this new customer base to open up a dialogue with businesses and provide valuable input.

The technology now exists to open the doors to a huge market of new customers. It’s as simple as sending an SMS. Start speaking their language, and your customers will be impressed.