Hispanic Customer Service Strategies in 2012
In early 2012, NBC News plans to launch NBCLatino.com. This will be the first time an English language broadcast network news division has launched a website specifically targeting Hispanics. Fox Networks recently announced the creation of Fox Hispanic Media, and Google has created a specialist team this past year to focus on the U.S. Hispanic market because of the fact that about 86% of Hispanics have high speed internet connections. Businesses are cashing in on the online Hispanic community and their buying power. What actions have you taken to meet this growing need?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanics grew by 43% over ten years to 50 Million in 2010 and their buying power has grown by 347% reaching $1 Trillion in 2010. In fact, the top ten most populous U.S. cities are 35% Hispanic. Pew Hispanic Center says that 22% of all U.S. children under the age of 18 are Hispanic. This makes marketers feel the need to assume that the English language and “one size fits all” works with this emerging “Americanized” Hispanic. But research proves wrong. Young Hispanics are rooted into their culture. Their hearts, minds, and values drive them to continue to stay bilingual which will keep companies marketing to them as a segment just as you would market differently to women, teens, elders, etc.
One way to increase your ecommerce connection with U.S. Hispanics is to ensure that you have plenty of Spanish/English speaking employees. If you cannot communicate with the Hispanic market, you may find yourself struggling to maintain a Spanish speaking customer. This customer that you’re not communicating with is also now not helping to increase your sales with this demographic. Are you really able to afford this loss? Once you begin this communication, be sure that your customers are aware of the fact that you offer Spanish language support whether through a pop up window or a graphic on your front page. Also important, be sure that your Hispanic customers are assured their information is secure through your website. Internet security is not as strong in other countries as it is in the U.S. and doubt and mistrust still stand in the U.S. Hispanic market.
Essential to your website is a separate web space to cater to your Hispanic customers. Even if your company research shows that your target audience largely speaks English, this is important. And link these two sites. Having two separate sites works well, especially if you have a bilingual audience. By playing to the two largest demographics in the U.S., you have the opportunity to cater to the majority of the U.S. population and their buying power which will increase your sales.