Business German Masterclass
The game-changing 2-day intensive workshop for German-speaking teams.
Customer Delight. Customer Retention.
High C-SAT scores. Zero Escalations.
Key metrics in green. Long appreciation emails from customers and clientele.
Irrespective of industry, these are goals that drive every support team within an organization. These are the goals that govern every training program, every refresher session, every quarterly review and team huddle.
All German-speaking support representatives go through all the same training steps as the English-speaking colleagues.
They receive the same amount of process training.
They know how to solve the problem at hand.
They know what to say to the customer/ client.
In English, sure.
But are they communicating in German with the same amount of conviction, professionalism and clarity?
German customers are culturally different in small but significant ways. Apart from these peculiarities, there’s a great deal of language-based adapting that German linguists have to do while interacting with them, both verbally and in writing.
Back when I was a linguist employed in the corporate world, I noticed that the German-speaking linguists struggled with this on many levels – right from not knowing the correct business term to not understanding the customer’s accent.
Based on my experience of leading a team of 20+ linguists, I discovered three key problem areas that impact the success of German-speaking teams:
– lack of a proper communication strategy in German
– lack of proficiency in Business German (which is not extensively covered in the standard certification courses)
– lack of awareness of business call and email etiquette in German
I realized that many of the misunderstandings, escalations, irate customer calls & emails and low C-SAT scores were rooted in these shortcomings.
I was also able to see first-hand, how a short but insightful session covering the three topics went a long way in improving the team’s success rate.
And that’s when I designed the Business German Masterclass.
Business German Masterclass
- The goals
the communication skill-level of the team in Business German
the team with effective new communication strategies
first-call resolution, call and email etiquette
overall customer experience, bringing down grievances and escalations
The masterclass begins with a thorough evaluation of the team as one unit, as well as of each individual team member. The result is a documented initial assessment that gives valuable insight to the team leader or manager.
Through a 360-degree SWOT analysis, the team’s competency is evaluated on these key aspects:
1. Do they understand the German customer well (culturally+linguistically)?
2. Are they representing the business effectively to the customers?
3. Do they consistently follow the best practices
4. How well do they handle different kinds of business interactions?
The Right Approach
Are there members in the team that need to be re-trained? Do some of them need to brush up their language skills or apply a specific technique plan to overcome a certain shortcoming?
Apart from the specifics, there are certain golden rules, best practices and techniques that every team can benefit from.
I’ve designed and compiled them into a segment where the team learns how to apply the language to communicate better, how to handle complex situations, steer away from misunderstandings and diffuse a potential escalation situation.
Here are some of the concepts and methods I focus on:
The German Business Communication Code: The complete rulebook of dos and don’ts in verbal and written communication.
Scenario-based learning: A deep-dive into the most common and complex situations involving customers, and the hacks to resolve them.
Switching priorities from transaction to connection: How to achieve first time resolution, and how to ensure a seamless customer experience.
The Business German Lexicon: A run-through of power-words, terminology and phrases that can improve the team’s customer rapport and relations.
Beyond these aspects that everyone can benefit from, I like to focus on each individual team member – tapping into their attention, strengths and areas of concern through one-on-one conversations. The masterclass is an open platform for German-speaking professionals to talk about their individual difficulties – and gain clarity and confidence before they return to their desk.
Day 2 begins with the real test – observing how effectively the team is able to apply the principles and practices imbibed on Day 1. This is an intensive session, filled with evaluation techniques that test their spontaneity, accuracy and linguistic professionalism.
I employ a mix of various methods, engaging the team members in a series of test activities that will ultimately lead to a calculated conclusion of the team’s progress.
As a result, at the end of the workshop, there is documented data on the improvement of the team, both as a collective and of its individual members. This includes individual progress reports and a concluding SWOT analysis, highlighting the problem areas that have been eliminated, and those that would need a longer, more detailed action plan for substantial improvement.
Detailed post-session progress reports for individual team members
Workshop Workshop Handbook + Cheatsheets for easy future reference of team members
Individual action plan recommendations for each team member
Orientation to Business German Bootcamp – a 2-month review program for weaker members
Business German Masterclass
- An overview
Duration: 2 days, 10 hours
Day 1: Orientation, Evaluation, Business German Deep-Dive
Day 2: Application-based exercises, concluding evaluation, one-one-one coaching
All workshop reference material will be provided by me.
Within 24 hours of the workshop, the management will receive a detailed report on each candidate, highlighting the progress, shortcomings and action plan recommendations.
I’m happy to answer any of your questions about the masterclass, and work out a customized plan for your German-speaking team.