American online communication predominantly uses text in English. However, depending on your dealership’s location, your customer base could have more non-English speakers than English speakers.
It is for this reason that dealerships need to seriously consider translation for their main website and digital communications. By doing so, you will invite in more business from diverse shoppers and ultimately…bring in the most sales!
So how do you go about making your website and communications more inviting for non-English speakers?
Check out these four steps:
Add a Website Translation Button
When designing your website, you often can include a “Translate This Page” button at the top of your site. If your demographic has a predominantly non-English speaking population, then you should add this button to your site to make it easier for shoppers to find what they are looking for in their preferred language.
For a good example of how a page integrates a Translate button into their website’s design, see Central Florida Toyota.
You can also restrict which languages are in the drop-down menu based on your staff’s abilities and your area’s demographics. See Toyota of Orlando’s website for an example of a restricted Google Translate drop-down menu.
If you do not currently have a translate button on your site, talk to your website provider about adding it today!
Choose a Chat Provider with Live Chat Translation
Not all shoppers on your website who use chat speak English. And when a shopper clicks the CHAT NOW button, and the representative on the other end cannot answer their questions in their desired language, the shopper has no choice but to visit another dealership.
Take for example this chat from a dealership that is located in California (a state that has quite a large population of people who speak Spanish and Chinese):
Chat Receptionist: Hello, thanks for contacting [Dealership Name]. My name is Mark, may I have your name?
Visitor: necesito un camion
Chat Receptionist: Hi. How may I assist you?
Chat Receptionist: I can only understand English.
Visitor: Hay alguien que puede ayudarme en espanol?
Chat Receptionist: I am sorry, but I cannot speak Spanish.
Chat Receptionist: Are you interested in a new or used vehicle?
If you want to retain this shopper and increase your chances of a sale, then you should choose a chat provider that offers a translation feature and/or one that has bilingual staff to answer chats in multiple languages.
It’s important to note that not all chat providers offer translation features or services, so it is definitely worth asking about before you choose a provider.
If you already have chat, and are seeing chat transcripts like the one above, then you should consider switching to a different chat provider that will accommodate your diverse customer base.
Translation in Phone and Email Follow-Up
It is also important that your dealership staffs your Internet Sales Team with dedicated salespeople who speak the prevalent languages in your area.
This way, when you receive chat transcripts, or any lead sent by a non-English speaker, they can be directed to the staff member(s) who can reply in the appropriate language.
When selecting the appropriate salesperson for this bilingual job, a few things to look for are:
- Do they know the language’s correct spelling and grammar for written communication?
- Can they hold a verbal conversation about all aspects of your dealership in the appropriate language?
- Do they understand cultural principles for communication, like using formal vs. informal conjugated verbs?
Below is an email sent to a shopper who chatted in Spanish. Several things are wrong with this email:
- It’s written half in English and half in Spanish.
- There are several spelling errors in the text.
- The reply is not helpful because it does not discuss available vehicle options (which was requested in the chat) – it only asks for the shopper’s phone number, which provides no value to the consumer.
- There are no “other vehicles” listed below, only white space.
- They use informal word choices (“tu” and “te”) when referring to “you”, which could upset the shopper if they would not want to be spoken to in such a personal manner by a business. (This is essentially like saying, “Hey Dude, Buddy Ol’ Pal!” to someone you’ve never met. It’s awkward, and a little too personal).
In languages like Spanish, something as simple as the placement of an accent mark can make all the difference in how and if a shopper responds!
Also, for some additional tips on how to improve the above email and your overall follow-up process, check out Todd Smith’s recent webinar, “The 4 Costly Follow-Up Mistakes You Can Fix Right Now.”
Showcase Your Bilingual Staff on Your Website
It’s also important to showcase on your website your salespeople who can have conversations in languages other than English. You’ll draw more sales from non-English speaking customers who find and connect with a person they can feel comfortable with for their transaction.
For an example of a dealership that does this well, check out Longo Toyota’s “About” tab’s drop down menu on their webs… They include staff pages for both Spanish and Chinese speakers!
Note: Make sure when you are setting up these pages with your bilingual staff that any text on these pages is written in the appropriate language.
Are you using any other methods to draw in non-English speakers to increase your dealership’s sales? Let us know what you are doing in the comments below!
Also, would you like to learn more about ActivEngage’s Live Chat Translation Feature?
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