Workplaces and communities are becoming more diverse, and as businesses are more easily able to work internationally, customer bases are diversifying as well.
It only makes sense that bilingualism or multilingualism can drive the success of a business. After all, it means that many more people understand what the business does and can feel comfortable working with it, with fewer barriers to communication.
Many businesses benefit from making their forms (both internal and customer-facing) and workflows available in more than one language. Second and subsequent languages used will vary according to the business and its customer base, of course, but typically it includes the standard language of business (often English), plus a language spoken by a significant proportion of clients or employees, or perhaps a “common denominator” language that many people speak as a second language.
The Benefits of Speaking to Your Audience in Their Language
Whether your audience is employees or potential customers, speaking to them in the language they use most comfortably puts them at ease and demonstrates that you are willing to reach out to them. This doesn’t mean you can simply run a form or web page through Google Translate and suddenly have a functional multilingual form or webpage. Generally, it’s worth investing in the services of a native speaker or the services of someone who is fully bi-lingual so that nuances can be communicated effectively. Rest assured, however, that this effort will not go unrewarded, because it opens up your business to a new audience and can set you apart from your competition.
Allow Customers or Form Users to Toggle Languages Conveniently
If you have a multilingual website or have customer forms available online in multiple languages, you should make it as simple as possible for users to toggle to their preferred language easily. Typically, this is done by creating links based on language names and placing them prominently at the top of a page or form.
The same should be true for employees who use different languages. If employees need to submit a purchase order, they can choose the language they want to use when they log onto the employee web portal and be presented with online forms in their preferred language.
It is also important that the online form software you use accept character sets that contain all the characters and glyphs that you need to work in multiple languages. This ensures clarity and professionalism.
Route Workflows Appropriately with Language as a Factor
In businesses with a multilingual customer base or with multilingual employees, you can design automated workflows to route appropriately based on the language the customer or the employee uses. For example, an automated workflow could be set up so that whenever an online form comes in from a customer in a particular language, a decision point can be reached, and the form will be submitted for processing to employees who are qualified to work in that particular language. This can ensure a seamless workflow, using whichever language a customer chooses to use when interacting with your company.
The key to being able to create things like multilingual online forms and automated workflows is having workflow software with both the power and the flexibility required to handle them. PerfectApps not only offers this power and flexibility, it has an intuitive user interface, so creating pixel-perfect forms and workflows does not require the services of a programmer. In fact, the people who actually use the forms and workflows regularly can have great influence on the design of those forms and workflows, which helps ensure optimal performance.
Whether or not your company is interested in multilingual forms and workflows, you should check out some of the PerfectApps case studies. There you’ll see clearly how user-influenced forms and workflows can totally transform business operations, making them faster and less costly, and giving the companies that use them a clear competitive advantage.