suspects. Given that most agents have English as their primary language, dealing with non-native speakers could prove a business disadvantage if the company does not give it proper attention.
Companies can assume any foreign national visiting or reside in California to speak even a little English. However, speaking in your native tongue in long sentences — even injecting humor in phrases — to foreign clients could confuse them and mean the end of the deal.
Here are five steps to handling foreign speaking clients effectively.
Do Not Assume
It is safe to assume that your foreign-speaking client intends to use your services once they contact you. However, if you initially make the approach, it would be wise to take note of each word and sentence during your dialogue.
Expect that your foreign language client might find him or herself having trouble expressing their true intent while talking to a representative from your business. Brief your would-be representatives to be patient and avoid assuming.
Use Short Sentences
Bail bond agents conversing with foreigners must avoid using long sentences. With basic linguistics in mind, the sentence must have a subject and a verb. Ensure your agents choose basic adjectives and the use of intensifiers (very, fairly, pretty, really and quite) are encouraged. Some modifiers in the English language could be difficult to comprehend for foreign-language clients.
Use short sentences and speak slowly. Imagine yourself living in an unfamiliar country where English is not the primary language. You would want local citizens to talk slowly so you can understand their statements better.
Mind Your Vocabulary
In line with using simple intensifiers to modify, mind your vocabulary. Avoid profound and complex English words for adjectives and adverbs. If you have to use rare English words, be sure to explain their meaning to your client.
Despite some foreign-language suspects having spent some time in the country and have a formative-level learning of English, cutting down on vocabulary avoids any possible confusion. It also keeps your agent’s explanations and answers brief and concise.
Emotions are prevalent in all countries, and one form of language understood in all areas of the world. Empathy is an effective way to make your client comfortable regardless of dialect. A client who is less agitated and confused could use the little or formative English they have to express him or herself in English better.
Empathize accordingly: make your client comfortable and relaxed, but never dependent on your agent. Empathy helps the client want the company of your bail bonds agent enough to make them intently listen to the agent’s statement and offer.
Ask For Help When Possible
Finding a translator or an officer or citizen who speaks the foreign client’s dialect is the ultimate solution to avoid any confusion to the intent contained inside the foreign client’s English statement. If you can find a language translator or native speaker of the suspect’s language, it can quicken the finalization of a bond deal.
However, most agents are unlikely to find this ideal situation. It would be wiser to have them prepared to handle foreign-language clients just on their own, but they should take the opportunity for a foreign speaker to help if they are available.