A survey conducted by The Harvard Business Review some years ago gave us some revealing, though perhaps not entirely surprising, insights into online consumer behaviour.
The report showed that around 72% of those accessing the Internet in order to make a purchasing decision, did so in their own native tongue.
The same percentage indicated that they were much more likely to make a purchase when the website they were dealing with spoke their own language. In fact, 50% of the people surveyed considered language more important than price point.
Being able to speak - or more importantly - understand, the language of your customer or client is one of the key components to accelerating your businesses online profitability.
Setting aside the fancy language, the clever jargon or the double entendre, plain and simple language that speaks directly to the consumer or customer is considered a major key to your business success.
The bottom line is this: If your clients and customers cannot understand you, then neither will they be convinced that purchase what you're offering.
Nothing increases brand loyalty and brand trust more than plain speaking
True, it is possible to train your customers with an entirely new language. But let's face it, most of us aren’t Starbucks.
It is taken Starbucks around 30 years to train their consumers to speak the language of the restaurant chain.
But even then, such language is still mainly localised to the United States. Who of us outside of United States knows what a "Tall Pike", or a, "venti half-caf vanilla latte", is?
Who cares? Is the coffee hot, is it fresh, and does it taste great? Answer those questions in the affirmative and you have yourself a brand that is speaking the language of consumer desire.
Learning the Language of your Customers and Clients.
Should you call a jumper a pullover? Or is it a sweater or a jacket?
"That all depends on who you think you are talking to. Just make sure you're speaking the same language as your potential customers", says Rachel Lindteigen at Marketing Land.
The idea of establishing a new language Feel Brand made sound exotic and even and exciting opportunity to separate yourself from the pack. But the risks are high. If your customers cannot understand you, they simply won't buy.
Educating your clients in a common and familiar market is hard enough. The burden of a new language is not only unnecessary but virtually impossible in an online world.
Remember, you have perhaps three seconds to impress a potential client before they begin to lose interest.
Three seconds is not enough to educate them in a new, or even perhaps even bizarre tribal language.
One industry that has built itself around this understanding perhaps better than any other is the online trading and investment industry.
According to Forbes, the online trading firm, E*Trade returned over $210 million from its fees and service charges alone last year and are enjoying a growth rate of around 2% which will see then exceed over 51 billion dollars in revenue over the next decade.
Exness, a firm offering free Forex VPS Service, has a trading volume in excess of $180 billion and more than 15,000 people from around the globe open trading accounts with the Exness in any given month.
How is it that an industry, which is viewed with heavy scepticism by many, can sustain and grow such a lucrative market? The answer is that money talks. The online trading platform has learned to talk to the base interests and desires of their consumer group.
The benefits - an increase in wealth - are made crystal clear at every turn. The language is simple and the benefits to the customer are obvious.
To speak the language that is most familiar with your customers, you’ve got to learn it and master it. It does not have to be complicated speech. In fact, in most Industries, the more simple the speech, the better.
Listen to the Language they Use
While your customers may not be able to articulate the ins-and-outs of your business, they are able to articulate their own interests and desires.
The role of any marketing strategy is to match consumer behaviour and interest with products and services.
Matching those two things involves effective communication, both verbal and nonverbal.
Pay attention to your customer's own speech, to their language. How did they describe their problem? How do they describe their needs or desires?
Your role in marketing is to address those needs and desires by feeding back to them a solution or proposition in the language they have used to communicate with you.
Ask yourself: How do your customers describe your services? What phrases do they usually used to describe your products?
Interact with your Customers
Part of your online marketing strategy should be to stop and consider the language your customers are using. Consider the language they use with you, as well as with those in their own community and within their own culture.
Social media is a fantastic opportunity to do your research in an informal way. Social media platforms thrive on casual language and conversation.
If you're paying attention, you will quickly find out how your potential customers describe your products and services.
More importantly, you will discover what your customers and clients consider important, and therefore be in the position to meet their needs and desires.
Learn to ask questions. Again, social media is an excellent way to do this. Your goal is to imitate the language of your clients and customers so that you become more familiar with them and your level of authority and trust increases.
Quite often business executives separate themselves from the day-to-day customer service an enquiry lines where they are most likely to meet the backbone of their success.
It is impossible to speak the language of your clients and customers if you are not in regular contact with them.
Just as you would engage with your own staff in order to learn their language, understand their desires and keep them satisfied as employees, so too, you should be engaged in the language of conversation of your customers on a regular basis.
The more you understand them and speak with them, the greater your ability to speak back in their own language is likely to be.
About David Trounce
David is a small business consultant based in Australia. David has worked in small business tourism and retail and also writes for Business.com, GrowMap and Born2Invest.