ROI of Translation: 4 Ways Translation Makes Businesses More Competitive

ROI of Translation 4 Ways Translation Makes Businesses More Competitive
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Is translation just an expense to be minimized, or is it an investment? Of course, the answer depends in part on the situation. But considering how often potential customers ask our CEO why they can’t just use Google Translate instead of a professional translation company, it’s clear that some people are overlooking the value.

What’s the ROI of translation?  Here are 4 ways investing in translation can give your business an edge over the competition.

Get Found Online With Multilingual SEO

“If you build it, they will come.” That advice might have worked for Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams but it’s bunk when it comes to building websites.

It’s not enough to build a website, you also have to appease the search engine gods.  Then, and only then, will the customers come.

And as the rest of the world comes online, more and more people will be searching in languages other than English. If those people can’t find your site, they’re not likely to become your customers, now are they?

Keep in mind that search engines don’t like error-ridden, automatically generated translations, and users don’t like them either.

Attract New Customers By Catering to Unmet Needs

Whether it’s online or in person, customers almost always prefer to do business in their native language. Often, these language needs aren’t being met. And that gives savvy businesses an opportunity to differentiate themselves with multilingual content.

For example, consider Chinese tourists seeking accommodations. In 2016, 122 million Chinese travelers spent $109.8 billion on tourism.  According to, those tourists want content like hotel websites and travel and tourism guides to be available in Mandarin.  But while the Chinese consider translation a priority, hotels do not:

For 9% of Chinese tourists, having travel and tourism guides available in Chinese is the single most important service they expect from their hotels, while 7% mentioned a Chinese language hotel website as an essential service . . . These services, however, ranked low in hoteliers’ priorities. Only 18% of hotels offer travel and tourism guides in Chinese and only 21% plan to offer it in the next 12 months.

These types of opportunities aren’t limited to the travel industry. In fact, a 2014 survey from Common Sense Advisory found that 60% of shoppers from non-English-speaking countries “rarely or never” bought from English-only websites.

Improve Customer Engagement

Want to improve customer engagement? Speak to customers in their own language.  Are you trying to build relationships with multilingual content marketing?  Do you want to make friends on social media? Are you trying to engage your customers with emails? All of your efforts will be more effective if they are translated and localized whenever possible.

Customer engagement is all about building relationships and building trust. Customers want to feel like you speak their language . . . in more ways than one!

Encourage Customer Satisfaction and Customer Loyalty

Want satisfied customers? Good reviews, a good reputation, and positive word of mouth can all help your business to stand out from the competition. Satisfied customers also become repeat customers, and that helps your bottom line.

One often-overlooked key to creating both satisfied and loyal customers? Multilingual customer support. Check out these statistics:

  • According to Common Sense Advisory,  74% of customers would be more likely to purchase from a company that offered post-sales support in their language.
  • According to the International Customer Management Institute, 71.5% of customer service leaders interviewed “said support in a customer’s native language increased their satisfaction with customer support,”  and 58.4% said it “increased their loyalty to the brand.”

There are a variety of ways to provide multilingual customer support, of course.  But a good first step is to offer multilingual self-service options. Translate FAQ’s, user guides and other support pages on your website into common customer languages.

You’ll still need a plan for handling support queries in other languages, of course. But by helping customers help themselves in their own language, you make them feel welcome. Lower support costs are the icing on the cake.

The ROI of Translation

As you can see, there are several different ways businesses can leverage translated content to create new opportunities, bring in more customers and ultimately make more money.

But not all translations are created equal. Poorly done translations simply don’t provide the same competitive edge. In fact, they can degrade your brand, alienate customers and set your business afoul of regulators.

Presumably, you’ve invested an appropriate amount of time, money and energy in your business content already. So why would you not be selective about how you present it to international customers? Quality matters, and remember: Price is what you pay, value is what you get. 

Curious about our translation services and how they could benefit your business?  Take a look at what we offer and feel free to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!