Tips for Selling to Different Languages and Cultures 

Though English was once the dominant language on the internet, these days it is the preferred language of hardly a quarter of the online traffic at just nearly 25.2%.

Beginning April 2019, an entire 19.3% spoke Chinese; another 7.9% spoke Spanish, and Arabic was spoken by 5.2%.

What does that mean for an e-commerce merchant? You are not only dealing with English-speaking clients. So you must begin targeting multilingual customers. Or you risk missing out on a lot of opportunities to convert prospects to buyers.

Luckily, you can get started on serving your multilingual base with a little technology and some basic communication skills. Here’s how to improve your multilingual customer support.

Customer Service & Cultural Variations

Your well-intentioned customer-friendly employees may still lead to an undesirable customer experience. If they are tasked with dealing with prospects from different corners of the globe because of the underlying cultural differences which they may neglect unknowingly.

multilingual customer support

We can define culture as a set of beliefs, traditions, assumptions, and values a group of people develops over time. As a result, members of a given cultural origin other than your own may translate your actions in ways that you never imagined before due to their community’s traditions, values, or assumptions.

So, if you’re looking to manage this risk, spend some time focusing on the various cultures your business serves.


You want to apply your gained cultural knowledge flexibly. People do not always subscribe to all their culture’s traditions, assumptions, or values. Family background or an individual’s personality may strongly influence a person’s values.

To stay safe, you should always treat customers as individuals in all the areas of customer support instead of handling them as a group.

That said; here are the four tips on dealing with a multicultural customer base.

 The 4 tips for Increasing Conversion among Multilingual Would-be Customers

 1. Use automatic translation sales tools

Because expert translation services will cost you a fortune, and the chances of getting multilingual employees are slim, your small firm’s best remedy lies with automated translation solutions.

And though you may not recommend it for your deeper heart-to-heart communication needs, they are the best you can get for responding to straightforward questions through email or live chat.

Perfectly built live chat features even come with a plug-in to allow you to enjoy instant translations while chatting with a client

 2. Prepare your employees for cross-cultural sales lingo

Language is not the only challenging aspect of selling to a cross-cultural market. Ensure your sales and customer support team is aware of the importance of staying away from cultural references.This may not translate well to a diverse customer base. They should also communicate in a manner that respects the various values and traditions.

Here are some tips to pass on to your multilingual customer support representatives; ask open-ended queries, be courteous, and take time to know every would-be client in person.

3. Make known the level of multilingual customer support solutions your business offers

Your multilingual customer support solutions may not be as perfect as your English relations, and that’s fine— but you must set expectations so that clients know what waits. If you’re relying on automatic translation software over email or chat, inform your visitor, so they are ready for the minor linguistic mistakes.

Make sure to state on your website that you do not have employees fluent in non-English languages. Then let customers know when they may be available and how to get in touch with them.

 4. Promote Your Business in multilingual markets

As soon as you have prepared your website and your teams for non-English speaking prospects, you can start advertising your goods or services in these markets.

Run an ad campaign in the areas where English isn’t the main language. Use a short and straightforward ad.  If possible, have a translated copy prepared by a native speaker to ensure you are passing the right message home.


In a nutshell, dealing with multilingual customers is a different challenge altogether. You must prepare to serve the non-English buyers with the same level of convenience your English market enjoys. Or you risk missing on the chances to convert more and more prospects.