Over the years, websites and apps have gotten smarter and smarter. They have started interacting with their users, providing them with a much greater level of engagement than ever before. One of the ways websites and apps interact with their users is by sending them notifications, for a wide variety of purposes. Notifications let you communicate instantly, and effectively with users. Digital communications come in various forms – email, SMS, push notifications, app notifications, and more.
We’ve often stressed how important it is for localization to be an end-to-end process, with no gaps in user experience. Or in other words, if a user chooses to use a site or an app in their own language, they should be able to enjoy a full range of options and features, just like an English language user. Additionally, they shouldn’t be redirected to English language content at any point.
Unsurprisingly, these platforms usually begin their localization journey by localizing their interface first. After all, that’s how you’d logically begin.
But once you’re done with localizing your interface, including content in hard-to-find places like at the bottom of pages and inside drop down menus, what’s next?
The answer is, you localize the way your platform speaks to its users, both on and off the platform itself. An Indian language user shouldn’t use a platform in their own language only to find that it sends them notifications in English. Localization should close the loop and ensure that there are no breaks in the flow.
As you can imagine, forming a localization strategy for notifications comes with its own series of to-do’s.
Here’s how different verticals can make use of communication localization.
Banks send out numerous communications to their customers on a regular basis. Every transaction, every ATM withdrawal, every net banking interaction is recorded, with summaries of these records sent to customers over multiple channels, primarily SMS and e-mail.
Every time you make a withdrawal for example, you get an SMS from your bank with details of the withdrawal – the amount, the branch, your current balance, withdrawal details, and your account details.
These communications, of course, carry critical information, since they’re related to one’s money. There’s no justification for making them more difficult to read for customers.
Localizing these different communications solves that by letting banks share financial communications in a user’s own language, bringing them closer and involving them more and more. Localization lets banks speak to their customers in their own language, which significantly helps build trust.
After all, that’s what banks want, right?
E-Commerce, Logistics & Supply Chain
E-commerce sites usually communicate with customers by sending them step-by-step notifications of their products. When you place an order, you get a notification. When the order is shipped, you get a notification. When it’s on its way, you get a notification.
These notifications need to reach customers in their own language, informing of what their order status is. It doesn’t make sense for someone to order something and then be unable to figure out what its order status is.
These processes are handled by people in logistics and the supply chain. They handle all the steps between your placing an order and your receiving the order.
In a logistics context, localizing notifications has other benefits – it helps reduce human costs as well. Not all employees involved in delivery and logistics understand English. By providing instructions in employees’ own language, companies can cut down on human resource costs, improve efficiency, and reduce confusion.
Hospitals, clinics, and many healthtech companies communicate with patients through SMSes and e-mails, informing them of doctor availability, appointments, invoices, prescriptions, and more.
Now obviously, these communications contain critical information. Patients need these communications – they’re essential. Given how important they are, it follows that they need to be localized as well.
Portal localization is quite different from notification localization. Most notifications follow set templates for different situations, with text that stays common, with certain fields like names, addresses, and more specific details that change.
The static content that’s fixed and unchanging should be translated and kept ready. The additional fields that feature dynamic content and change from notification to notification need to be localized separately, and in real time – they need to reach the user immediately after sending.
Which brings us to our second point – given the volumes of notifications sent out and how they need to be instant. A system should be able to generate a localized notification in a matter of seconds. The relevant dynamic content information needs to be localized, using a mix of translation and transliteration (for proper nouns) as needed, fit into the already localized template, and sent out to the user’s inbox.
All this with no loss in meaning.
As more and more companies realize the importance of localization, they need to keep in mind that a user’s language experience doesn’t end with the website or app they’re on. It extends across multiple digital channels, and all of them need to be localized.
In addition to providing information in a user’s own language, speaking to a user in their own language is a quick and simple way to build more trust with them.