With the latest revelations that Eurostar has been forced to react to a social media barrage of customer complaints after their poor handling of the disruption hot on the agenda, Simon George, MD of language marketing and translation company Thames Translations, is concerned that many brands simply haven’t realised how important language is in facilitating the deep set trusting relationships needed to maintain customer loyalty during a crisis.
“It’s a known fact that customer attitudes to some of the country’s biggest institutions have faltered during the past 18 months and now the Eurostar brand is facing its worst knock in consumer confidence for 15 years. Language plays a huge part in building rapport and trust in consumers and so brands large and small should think about reviewing the language and terminology they are using to ensure they are communicating their brand values effectively, resolving issues in a timely manner and are bringing in the desired result in 2010,” says George.
George is also urging brands to focus even more on social media as a means of communicating with a global audience, whilst warning that communicating in a single language alone is no longer acceptable for the majority of customers.
“It is amazing the role of language can play such a huge part in dealing with customer complaints efficiently and effectively across the globe. Even Twitter has created translation tools because it realises it can’t succeed long term in English alone. Whether their experiences are good or bad, customers will be talking in their own language in forums and so it is important that any issues are resolved in the languages that they are posted in. It has never been more important for brands to be visible and vocal online and in 2010, brands should focus on making themselves more accessible to customers. We all know that resolving a customer complaint can actually create a more loyal and supportive customer than one who didn’t have any problems in the first place, and it’s a strategy I suspect Eurostar will focus on next year if they want to secure bookings for next Christmas,” says George.