Best Practices

Why English into Spanish Translation is Crucial for Hospitality Businesses

The flight was delayed for the second time. The hotel had to change a reservation, and now there is no crib for one of your top customer’s six-month old baby. This passenger has a weird, but real, allergy to poultry, and all there is to eat on the plane is chicken. One of your newest employees canceled a transfer to Napa Valley, and the CEO of a major corporate customer will definitely miss the visit to her favorite winery.
Romina C. Cinquemani
8 min
Table of Contents

The flight was delayed for the second time. The hotel had to change a reservation, and now there is no crib for one of your top customer’s six-month old baby. This passenger has a weird, but real, allergy to poultry, and all there is to eat on the plane is chicken. One of your newest employees canceled a transfer to Napa Valley, and the CEO of a major corporate customer will definitely miss the visit to her favorite winery.

Now, imagine you do not get a word of the customer’s language (Spanish) when you need to inform them about all those changes, and bumps on the road. Granted, this could happen when both you and your client speak the same language. But when you and your team do not understand the clients’ claims, both explanations and solutions become more complicated, and tiresome for all the parties involved.

Translation Should Not Be an Added Service

As you can guess from the above and your own experience, hospitality services and businesses are a lot easier to navigate when you have linguistic assistance. Of course, this should not be a luxury added service that raises your payables to the roof. It should be a well curated part of the package you are offering and, ideally, it should be well paid to the team that provides the translation. Understanding and being understood is important in all contexts.

In hospitality businesses, taking this step further into customer service with translation could mean greater income, more clients, free publicity from satisfied travelers, and more. It could also enhance operational efficiency because it would eliminate language barriers between co-workers, third party suppliers, and final clients.

Customers Have the Key (and They Are Not Afraid to Use It)

Expanding your market is one step ahead in your sales strategy. In order to expand, you need to include more people to serve. Including Spanish-speaking customers and providing services to them in their native language will mean a lot to them. This will foster a sense of welcome, and it will make them feel they belong.

It is always a good idea to personalize your services as much as possible. Especially, when tailoring your customer service could open new doors. A couple of examples of tailored services would be menu descriptions or room service instructions translated into Spanish.

When traveling across borders is involved, translating legal documents, contracts, and policies into Spanish is vital for transparency purposes. This and the fact that, with translation, Spanish-speaking customers will fully understand their rights and obligations, which promotes trust. They are more likely to return and recommend your services to others.

Enhanced Operational Efficiency

In the hospitality business, bilingual staff is the best choice. This will contribute to smooth out all processes within your organization, and improve teamwork, and communication.

It comes with the territory but let’s admit that, with bilingual staff, you need to have training and onboarding materials and processes in both languages. This will break down language barriers and help promote a more united work environment.

Feedback and Public Online Reviews

If you open a channel of communication in Spanish, as well as in English, your Spanish-speaking customers will have their own space to recommend your company and services. They will be encouraged to share their experience by the chance to speak their minds in their native language. This option will foster more relatable guest experiences, positive reviews and recommendations.

Every worldwide spoken language you add to your business shall open a huge window of new opportunities. Be ready, be aware, be authentic.

Romina C. Cinquemani
Spanish translator, writer, language lover, and constant life apprentice.
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