Dealing with international customers has its own set of challenges and using proper cultural etiquette is one of them. What may be acceptable in one culture could be a serious insult in another, so you have to be very careful. You might think you’re saying something nice or friendly but in reality, you could be insulting the client and that’s not a risk that you can afford to take.
In order to know exactly what proper etiquette is when dealing with foreign clients, research the country to learn as much as you can about it. Every country is different. Something that’s acceptable in America could be considered rude in Japan, Europe or any other country. Always address your clients respectfully using their proper titles since some counties are more formal than others are and use the tips below to enhance communication.
Speak Clearly but Don’t Be Patronizing
When conducting business with foreign clients, you need to speak clearly and slowly but don’t be patronizing. If you drag out your words or hesitate too long between them, it can become very insulting for the receiver. The person will begin to think that you feel superior to them simply because of the language barrier and that will definitely have a negative impact on your business.
No one wants to deal with someone that is talking down to them even if it is unintentional. It can make you upset, annoyed and defensive, which is definitely not the mood you want to create when trying to conduct business. Your goal is to create a friendly environment where everyone feels comfortable and as equals.
To avoid coming across as patronizing, speak at a normal pace using simple words that are easy to understand and avoid paraphrasing or using slang that can be very confusing. Be patient and listen carefully when spoken too and this will help to make it easier to communicate. If at any time you’re unsure of what the client is saying, ask them to repeat it or to rephrase it and be willing to do the same.
Use Interpretation Services
The best way to make sure you’re using proper cultural etiquette is to hire an interpretation service to enhance communications between your company and all foreign clients and prospective customers. When you hire an interpreter to convey your messages, you don’t have to worry about saying something offensive or sending the wrong message.
The interpreter will be familiar with the culture of the country and know proper etiquette. He will have the knowledge and experience needed to not only relay your message but to also make sure the true meaning is conveyed and that it is done so in a friendly and professional manner.
Extending your marketing efforts internationally will certainly help your business grow, when done correctly. Communication is the key to foreign marketing successfully because you must get your point across efficiently or it can do more harm than good. In order to build trust and a good image for your company, you must use proper cultural etiquette everytime you deal with foreign clients and a good interpretation service can make that happen.