Account Managers deal with clients from all over the world, either by e-mail or over the phone that request translation services for all types of industries. The diversity of clients requires the Account Manager to understand the differences between each other or at least acknowledge that there are differences, such as cultural differences, language barriers or differences in business etiquettes. As we are not able to read the client´s body language, due to the nature of our job, it is very important we stick to these following guidelines, in order to help us sell a translation project and provide great Customer Service:
1.) Acknowledge there are differences in cultures and values: It is very important in today´s diverse business environment that we understand that cultural differences exist and that we have to respect these differences. In not doing so, it is very likely that a client is lost.
2.) Be a strong listener: As an Account Manager it is essential to know what your client actually needs. Is it a high quality translation, a very fast turnaround time or is the total cost the main driver? Not listening or being alert to your client´s requests can make the difference in selling or losing a quote.
3.) Language barriers: When talking or writing to a non-native English speaker, it is important to adapt to your client´s speaking and/or writing skills, in order to avoid any misunderstandings. Talk slower so the client has the chance to understand you and does not feel you are disrespecting him or her.
4.) International Business Etiquettes: Nearly each country has their own business etiquette, which makes it crucial to have a basic understanding of certain business etiquette principles. Account Managers need to make sure they are in line during phone conversations, especially when dealing with dissatisfied clients, where empathy is the key.
Never forget, we are all the same and in order to be more successful and be able to enjoy your work, tolerance, open-mindset and respect are key points in a multicultural business environment.