Creating a Complete Customer Journey on Your International …


Enabling your website for fully-localized online customer experience is a challenge. Craig Witt, EVP, MotionPoint, explains why that is and how marketers can take advantage of a complete customer journey through their website.

Your international customers have the same high expectations as the customers you serve at home. They want websites that are easy to navigate, that seamlessly deliver the content they want to find, and allow them to conduct business in the language they use every day.

But providing these customers with fully-localized online customer experience is a challenge, mostly due to the sheer size and technical complexity of modern websites. Consider these complications:

•    Sites are constructed using multiple coding languages and capabilities

•    Online content is populated through CMS systems and disparate third-party services

•    Website management and technical upkeep is often shared among several parts of the organization, and vendors

 

When faced with such a daunting prospect, companies will often enlist the help of in-house resources, or their document translation vendor, to localize their sites. These teams often publish partially-translated websites in an effort to capture business—but they often fail to realize that the resulting disjointed UX can quickly erode brand trust.

Also Read: Looking Ahead: Why Localization and Personalization Will Rule in 2019

This approach especially undermines the on-site customer journey as the customer experience is critical for building credibility in international markets. It’s also important for the bottom line; nearly 90 percent of buyers say they’ll pay more for a great CX. Leading brands should instead collaborate with digital-first translation vendors that specialize in website translation. 

If you’re expanding internationally, here are some insights into how to fully support the customer journey on your localized websites.

Website Discoverability

Before international buyers can transact with your company, they first need to find it. Using international SEO best practices to translate content across your entire site—including critical keywords and “under the hood” metadata—will help regional search engines index your site and present it in organic search results. 

You can also boost discoverability by translating your sitemap and implementing hreflang tagging. This organizes your localized website’s URLs and automatically associates them with a URL from your origin website.

By informing Google of this association, your localized website provides a signal to the search engine that a better user experience exists for customers who speak a certain language, live in a specific location, or both. International customers will naturally gravitate to visiting the website that’s available in their preferred languages.

Making Customers Feel at Home

Once your new customers have found your site, you’ll want to ensure they can seamlessly view its content in their preferred languages. While “language toggles” (which often appear in a website’s main navigation or footer) are a popular way for customers to select the proper localized site for their needs, more elegant solutions exist. 

For instance, there are technologies that automatically detect a customer’s preferred language and instantly present the opportunity for the user to visit that site. This eliminates the friction of a customer looking for a language toggle and improves on-site traffic and engagement. 

Also consider the value of publishing customized content on your translated websites. Providing localized offers and imagery—and even locally-preferred lingo—can increase conversion rates.

Look for local holidays, traditions or seasonal activities that should shape your on-site content. 

Highlighting these relevant events via customized content will demonstrate that you’re invested in the community and its experience with your brand.

Engagement and Consideration

Once global customers are on your site, delivering content that answers their questions and surfaces the products and services they need is the main goal. That means having content ready and waiting in the languages they use most will have the most impact.

Advanced translation technologies make this easier than it sounds; they can easily detect and translate all of the relevant content on your site and serve it through technology that’s entirely independent of your CMS or site structure. That means even redesigns or restructures of the site itself won’t impact your ability to create a holistic customer experience through translated content.

And while translating text is obvious, don’t forget to localize the visual content that makes your site ultimately shine. Images, video captions, interactive applications, and downloadable documents should all be localized and available for your customers across your site.

Purchase and Conversion

Even seemingly small details like localizing currency, contact information, and payment options can make the difference between a customer feeling like you value their business and having them abandon the entire process out of frustration.

Be especially conscious of these details if you’re doing business in non-Latin languages or languages that read right-to-left. In addition, you should ensure that your systems can capture and store unique characters and data for later use by your sales and marketing teams.

Also Read: Small Screen Revolution: Building Your International Brand Through Mobile Marketing

Customer Experience Isn’t a “Nice to have”

Customer experience isn’t a “nice to have” for today’s digital businesses—it’s imperative. This is especially true for businesses that serve customers around the globe. Customers expect immersive, localized online experiences.

Keep the complete customer journey in mind as you localize your site, and the trust you build with your international audiences will help pay dividends for your brand for years to come.

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