Lack Of Language Skills Is Damaging UK Businesses

A recent survey by the office workspace giant, Regus, has found that a large percentage of UK businesses do not believe it is necessary to have fluent local language skills in order to have successful overseas business. This perception is despite an increasing number of UK businesses already trading with the overseas market or willing to do so. With the current global economic climate it is essential that firms speak their customers’ language in order to be competitive.

According to the survey, it appears that UK companies rely too much on using English to communicate with overseas clients when using the local language would be more beneficial. Stephan Chambers who is the MBA programme director at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, said that “Fluency in languages other than our own must help insight and understanding and, in turn, our national competitiveness.”

It is essential for UK firms to reduce their reliance on using English when dealing with overseas clients particularly if they trade with the world’s growth markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC countries). Companies with staff who can speak Mandarin, Spanish, Russian, Arabic or Portuguese could potentially win more business and build stronger relationships with their customers in countries where these languages are spoken.

Read more about the Regus survey and why a lack of language skills is damaging UK businesses>>

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