For businesses to increase their profits and grow successfully, they will eventually have to expand into the global market. This means evolving out of the country they currently operate in and tapping into the potential of multiple countries.
One lucrative market that you could look into is the German market to make money well. In fact, even the NFL is looking into playing games in Germany soon due to the boom in the economy. German is one of the most widely spoken languages in the European Union. It exists as the official language of not just Germany but Austria too. It is also one of the three official languages in Switzerland, which means that this market is quite large.
This article will go over some tips that you should consider when not only expanding into the German B2B market but also how to communicate with German customers. Once you’ve started to get the basics, you can plan your expansion efforts effectively and have more of an idea of the direction you want to go. Continue reading the article to learn more.
Tips For Businesses Looking To Work With German Customers
1. Provide Structure And Rules
The German culture is built around structure and rules. While some cultures prefer a minimal approach to rules and transparency, Germans prefer rules and structure, as they believe it makes their lives easier. In German society, rules give everyone meaning and help show everyone what to do and what they expect.
If you want to sell your products or offer your service to the German people, then you should be clear on how they can do it. Ensure that any product you’re shipping has clear indicators on how to use and maintain them. You should be so clear on how it works, what else it can be used for, and everything in between.
If you have a website, this should also be included on there, just in case, they lose the instructions. Of course, having this on the website may also help you attract more customers to begin with. Ensure that your website is clear and that you have given guidance on anything and everything you can. Your website should also meet the website and mobile app accessibility regulations so that more people can access your website, including those with impaired vision and motor difficulties.
2. Sell To Them In German
If you want to succeed with German customers and clients, you may need to change how you approach them. It may be that, right now, you are reaching the German market without changing anything about your approach. While it may be working, for now, you can be sure that you’re not reaching the maximum productivity or potential that you could be.
The major change you should consider is selling to them in German instead of your native language. You may believe it’s easier to have more control and understanding by operating in your current voice and tone, but it will be ineffective. It’s also fair to say that the German market will appreciate marketing efforts that are not only in their language but also their voice.
This means that you need to think further than a simple translation that you do yourself, you should make a translation effort that is genuine and is culturally aware. Some marketing efforts that you make may not be quite the same in another language, so it’s important that you understand the differences between the cultures and how to get your message across.
If you’re not sure where to start, then that’s okay. There are German translation services that are not only experts in the languages used but also in the culture. This allows them to assist you with translating documents and marketing efforts. Transcreation German translation service provider Brightlines can assist your business in translating various types of content, including your website and brochures. They will be able to assist in not only making it understandable but also appealing to the German reader.
3. Be Efficient In Your Delivery
German efficiency is something that many people in the business world are familiar with. If you want to succeed in the German market, you should ensure that you provide an overall efficient process, from purchasing to delivery.
The last thing a German customer will want is late delivery. If there are going to be any delays regarding the delivery of a product, then you should ensure that you are giving them all the information they need. This is so that they can be assured of what’s going on. Provide information quickly, and that will help satisfy them.
For your website, you should ensure your website loads quickly and in the way, it is intended. If it loads too slowly, you may find they are not impressed.
Efficiency across the board will be key here, so ensure you do all you can to improve processes and communication. Otherwise, you risk losing their business, and you could see your reputation suffer as a result.
A part of being efficient means ensuring that you are informing your German customers on any important dates or times relating to their purchase. You should do all you can to be clear on a timeframe, so they can plan ahead of time if they need to. Give your German customers a clear timeframe throughout the customer journey. This includes before, during, and after any potential purchase you make.
4. Offer Cybersecurity
The German shopper is very serious about security, especially in protecting their personal data. Before GDPR was introduced, Germany was one of the leading countries that were strict with data protection regulations who are aware of the importance of digitalisation.
While your business needs to be in charge of cybersecurity in general, it would help if you could reassure them about the measures you’ve put into place. This means showing your customers that you are protected, perhaps through an ISO 27001, so that you can give them peace of mind.
If you are hoping to succeed in the German market, you will need to ensure you are taking data protection just as seriously as they are. Communicate with them openly and honestly about how you will use their data and keep their data safe.
This will increase the trust between you both, and help convince them to return to you again in the future. Ensure that you provide security across all parts of your business, not just the customer. There should be nothing hidden here, and you should ensure that you are rid of any risk of cyber threats.
5. Offer Them Multiple Ways To Pay
You should ensure that you have multiple different ways to pay for products and services, as Germans may have a range of different ways they want to pay. Do some online research to find out what payment types they usually make, alongside what providers and software, and implement it where you can.
The current way you accept payments from your starting country may not apply to Germany, meaning you need to explore other means of payment. If you get this right, it helps remove any stumbling blocks for the German customer trying to buy from you.
You should also ensure that the way to receive refunds is easy too if needed. The customer journey needs to be clear, from beginning to end. If they need to return anything and receive a refund, then you should clarify how they can do that, and when it will all be done.