Its true that communication becomes difficult in such situation but most of the times, miscommunication is experienced where the media of communication is verbal. The pronuncition is confusing and not clear. Online chat would be a better option in this case. Even a slow delivery of speech helps you make your concepts clear.
We have a lot of clients coming from outside US, some of them speak very good English and some of them are not. In this case we usually treat them in a very polite way by asking them back or confirm to a specific question since most of them understand English but can't speak English very well
The problem with searching out people who are bilingual is that the language skills cost more money. You are essentially asking for translators who have technical skills, and really, it won't come cheaply. You might try and muddle through first.
Our system restrict what countries can apply for hosting, this cuts out the hassle of countries with a language we can't understand.
You might think this is being nasty but it would not be fair on the customer to provide hosting to them and not be able to support them.
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I had a client that needed a handful of sites transfered over to our servers. His english was pretty bad, and when we checked out his (then) current host's WHM/cPanel... everything was in Dutch!
But luckily Google Chrome was able to translate everything effectively enough for us to make the needed changes and what-have-you.
Although I feel as if this client in particular has received poor support compared to other clients, as I may have to send several tickets back and forth before the actually issue is known, wasting potential resolution time and giving both parties a headache.
The ideal hosting company would have translators and multilingual techs and sales reps, but unfortunately we have yet grown to support such things! One can dream...
She may not have got such good service but you tried and that says a lot. I'm sure that it would have scored brownie points with her, compared with someone telling her that they couldn't deal with her because the language barrier was too great to overcome.
It depends on your organization's requirement whether to use online translator on not. I think there is no harm in using it if you are getting bunch of customers related to a particular language you can always use it but if not getting them regularly or once in a while then it's fine.
We have a few customers that don't speak English very well. Usually though, it's not a problem. Sometimes you may have to rephrase a question or double check what the customer is asking for but it's usually not too hard to work out.
If the client's requests are simplistic, e.g. subscribe to service X, then we can often handle the request and use translator.
If the client's needs are complex, we often try to find another provider who can handle their language.
For example, I just passed up a nice opportunity involving 10-15 cloud servers, 3-4 dedicated units plus backups. The client's primary language was Portuguese and do to the complexity of the setup requirements, I was not confident we could deliver our services properly.
Fortunately, I have a contact who was able to translate our reply. This way our "saying no" is well understood by the client. Instead of them seeing us as unwilling to help, they have a thoughtful reply in their own language.
I try to send the turn-downs in their own language as often as I can.