Businesses have departments responsible for different areas, but providing an optimal experience to international customers is ultimately the responsibility of everyone. Yet, all too often, translation is “owned” by no one, even though it is needed by many. As a result, organizations end up with fragmented silos of translation stakeholders throughout the company.
In many businesses, once global revenue reaches a certain level, it receives greater attention from the executive management team. When that takes place, a group within the company is usually tasked with making improvements to translation. However, by this time, it’s often difficult to centralize translation activities, because there are so many different groups purchasing translation and localization services within the company to acquire, support, and service international customers.
If you have international customers who speak other languages, here are the groups within your company that are most likely to purchase translation today, and can benefit from translation technology.
The Marketing Team
Marketing makes up the largest budget for most companies, and it also typically has the largest budget for translation. Getting international customers in the door requires companies to produce and translate website content, collateral, advertising campaigns, images, videos, and other print and digital assets in a variety of languages. So, marketing translation projects are common.
However, large marketing teams might have different translation resources in each country, and even across different divisions of the marketing department. Sales enablement materials also frequently require translation.
The Tech Team
Whenever a company needs a multilingual website, developers and IT teams are usually involved. Technical teams need to ensure that websites are ready from an infrastructure, hosting, and ongoing development perspective. But, when a company decides to move into other countries, it often forgets the impact to the web and IT teams.
As a result, the tech team is often overloaded with tasks that divert them from their daily work. It can even make them resent the need to support translated sites, because it can slow down progress in other areas that are critical for the company. Tech teams seek out agile translation solutions.
The Product Team
If you work for a software company, the product team may be charged with translation activities – particularly, if you need to localize your software for end users and customers. If you do choose to localize your product, you will need to translate all user-visible content, including any in-product messaging and automatic notifications that are sent to users via email, as well as any content that appears to users due to third-party integrations.
Often, product documentation needs to be translated too, including technical documentation. Sometimes, product teams are also charged with helping with patent applications, in which case legal text and technical diagrams may also require translation. Product launch materials developed by the product team also need to be translated. If you create physical products, you also need to think about all of the product packaging and labeling that needs to be translated.
The Client Services Team
Once customers in other countries begin sending emails, submitting online questions, and contacting you for support, you need to be able to speak their language. Often, the client services team is at the tail end of the process, especially in companies that are lead with sales and marketing. Generally, getting new customers is the highest short-term priority, and keeping and retaining those customers becomes a longer-term initiative.
When companies realize they need to support customers in other languages to improve retention (and reduce churn, in the case of SaaS companies), they usually begin translating customer-facing content, which may include client newsletters, client help content, training videos, a separate support website or client portal, email templates, and other types of content.
The Executive Team
There are many other areas of a company that might require translation. For example, perhaps your company is required to publish regular summaries and reports for investors or shareholders. Or, perhaps translation spending has reached a level that puts it on the radar of your finance or procurement department.
The best companies in the world that succeed in international markets realize that translation isn’t limited to just one department. So, translation at these companies tends to have one or more executive sponsor. Ideally, this is the most senior officer of the company. If translation – and global customers – are viewed as a priority at the top, it becomes easier to make it a priority for the rest of the company.
How Translation Technology Benefits International Customers
How does translation benefit the entire company, and its stakeholders in various departments as they work to provide the best experience to international customers? In a single word: centralization.
Centralizing translation activities can be difficult to do at the enterprise level, especially when translation takes place in so many different areas of the company. However, much like CRM tools have enabled all departments to centralize their customer relationships and communication, translation software tools enable businesses to centralize their translation processes and their global content. Centralizing translation is only possible with the help of technology.
Using software localization and translation to centralize your translation activities offers numerous benefits – improved translation quality, which leads to greater customer satisfaction; greater speed, which helps improve the productivity of your own employees and teams; and cost savings, which makes your business run more efficiently overall.