Having foreign customers: In today’s global marketplace, customers from different cultures are buying from businesses with a global footprint more than ever before. As a result, businesses must learn how to connect with their customers from different cultural backgrounds.
This is not only essential for your company’s long-term success but also to avoid miscommunications that could lead to negative word of mouth. After all, companies that fail to effectively communicate with their customers run the risk of coming across as insensitive and out of touch. This article covers some useful advice on how you can connect with customers from various cultural backgrounds.
How to Connect with Customers from Different Cultural Backgrounds
In a global, digital world it’s no longer enough to just have customers from a range of different cultural backgrounds.
Those customers need to feel like you understand them and their needs.
If they don’t, they won’t want to engage with your brand further or recommend you to their friends.
It sounds obvious, but so many brands miss the mark when it comes to being inclusive of different cultures.
So how can you connect your brand with customers who come from a variety of cultural backgrounds?
Read on for some insider tips…
Be fully bilingual
If you want to connect with customers from different cultural backgrounds, you have to be able to speak with them in their language.
Not only that, you need to know the specific nuances of their dialect.
Over 72% of people in the U.S. speak a language other than English at home.
If you want to attract these customers, make sure your brand is fully bilingual and has culturally-appropriate messaging.
If you don’t speak the right language or don’t know the right cultural nuances, don’t even try to reach out to these customers.
Speak to the customers you know you can connect with. In fact, you should be fully multilingual for a couple of reasons.
First, it’ll help you avoid any offensive language that may exclude certain communities.
Second, it’ll make you a more appealing employer.
Use culturally-informed research methods
Consumers from different cultural backgrounds have different needs, wants and expectations.
To truly understand how to best serve these customers, you need to use methods of research that are culturally-informed.
For example, when conducting focus groups, try to make sure your participants reflect the correct cultural background.
And when conducting surveys, try to make sure you are asking the right questions.
Your methods should be culturally-informed.
Otherwise, you’re leaving yourself open to misinterpretation and poor data.
Make your brand’s message clear and simple
If you want to attract new customers from different cultural backgrounds, you have to be crystal clear with your message.
And if you want customers from various cultural backgrounds to recommend your brand to others, you also have to be clear.
Your brand needs to have a clear promise and purpose.
It needs to have a clear value proposition. It needs to have a clear set of brand attributes that consumers can easily identify with.
Make sure your brand’s message is simple. Consumers from different cultural backgrounds have different needs, wants and expectations.
Making your message complicated will only prevent those consumers from engaging with your brand.
Don’t rely on one type of user research
It’s easy to rely on customer research and surveys that focus on a specific cultural group.
But if you want to truly understand how to best serve your customers, you need to include customer research from a variety of cultural groups.
For example, if you want to understand how to best engage Latino customers, you shouldn’t only survey Latinos.
You should survey Latinos, African-Americans and Asian-Americans.
You should survey people of different ages, socio-economic groups and education levels.
Alternatively, you could use a hybrid of quantitative and qualitative research methods.
This will allow you to collect data from a variety of cultural groups and then analyze it to find commonalities.
Create a diverse workforce
One of the best ways to attract customers of different cultural backgrounds is to make sure your brand’s employees come from a range of cultural backgrounds as well.
Let’s say you have a product for babies and toddlers.
If you have a team that consists of only white females, you’ll miss out on an entire segment of the market.
If you have a diverse team, you’ll be better able to understand and serve a range of customers.
You’ll be able to identify ways in which you can improve your product and marketing strategies.
And you’ll be able to get firsthand, first-rate customer insights. This will help your brand become truly inclusive.
By now, you should know which cultural groups matter most to you
If you’ve followed the tips above, you should now have a good idea which cultural groups matter most to your brand.
You should now know which cultural groups you are trying to reach.
You should now know how you need to reach them.
You should now know what their expectations and preferences are. You should now know which cultural groups are most likely to engage with your brand online.
You should now know which cultural groups are most likely to engage with your brand offline.
Now, it’s time to put your knowledge into practice.
You should now know how to reach out to these cultural groups.
You should now be able to write copy that appeals to their specific needs.
You should now be able to design visuals that appeal to their specific preferences.
You should now know where these customers spend their time online.
You should now know where these customers spend their time offline.
Connecting with customers from different cultural backgrounds is something every brand needs to focus on. However, it’s not something every brand is doing well.