We’ve all been there. Trying to follow technical instructions in a foreign language. Attempting to work out a product specification using Google translate. Or having that ‘tricky’ phone call in your non-native tongue.
The world is complex enough already, so some years ago Pentair made a commitment to support its European customers and partners in their local languages.
The aim is to deliver written documents, online pages, product interfaces and even human interaction across key European languages, so no one gets left out. We talk to those at Pentair who are making it happen.
Local language support shows a commitment to customers
“We see local language support as a commitment to our customers” explains Francois Imhof, European Content Marketing Manager. “If they can understand and engage in their own tongue, it makes their life easier.”
“It’s a huge undertaking and in many ways a constantly moving and never-ending task. From a communication perspective alone, it keeps us very busy. Annually we are releasing new service manuals, data sheets and user guides for most products, not to mention brochures and supporting literature. Then there is our online presence – multiple websites and information bulletins. Last year alone we sent out about 100 email updates across different audiences – that’s almost 800 different emails when they have all been translated!”
“Initially we were providing everything in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish. Then we
added Dutch and more recently Polish and Russian, so we are now covering over 90% of our customer base across the continent. In terms of our overall budget for communications, we spend around 10% in supporting multiple languages, but that is a small price to pay for the convenience to our customers.”
“If our customers can understand and engage in their own tongue, it makes their life easier.”
Francois Imhof, European Content Marketing Manager
Language interfaces make life easier
“Our customers talk about quality over quantity,” says Eliane Poey-Lafrance, Product Manager for Valves.
“I am sure we have all picked up an instruction leaflet with many languages that, on closer inspection, seems to have been translated by a robot. When Pentair commit to deliver communications in a European language, it is thorough, comprehensive and delivered across the full suite. We partner with a leading translation house with professional linguists who understand our business and the technical terms it uses.”
These are exciting times for product interface development, and language support plays a vital part. Pentair is leading in this area too.
“As screen technology and connectivity improve, there is an inevitable trend for valve controllers to have more descriptive and helpful text interfaces, rather than icons and buttons,” continues Eliane. “It makes installation and programming so much easier and quicker. For example our NXT2 and XTR controllers support multiple languages with more planned across the range. And as we move further towards the ‘Internet of Things’ more of our product interaction will be from apps. They will soon allow features like offsite control and diagnostics … and of course these will be supported in multiple European languages.”
“For our systems resellers and integrators these are great features as they make things easier … for them and their end customers. So, it’s not just a good time to be using Pentair products in Europe, it’s a good time to be selling them too.”
“We partner with professional linguists who understand our business and the technical terms it uses.”
Eliane Poey-Lafrance, Product Manager for Valves
Training the trainers
Graham Tennant heads up the European Service and Technical Support Operation for the Pentair Filtration Business, which extends Pentair language support to human interaction.
“We say Pentair is ‘Made in Europe for Europe’ but I would add it is supported by Europeans,” he says.
“Across Europe, technical support for Pentair products is more usually provided by our outstanding network of distributor and reseller partners. But they in turn need input from us and, when they do, there is a Pentair local language speaker ready to help. We call it ‘training the trainer’ – ensuring product specialists in our partner community are fully up-to-speed so they can pass that knowledge onto their end customers.”
“Like our comms team, we converse in all the major European languages including Dutch, Polish and Russian. It’s a great help to our partners ... and to us. In the filtration business, we have a team of 14 in customer service and seven more in technical support. From a simple question like “where’s my stuff” to a more complex system conversation, our team can help and usually in the local language. And when you are talking technical, that counts for a lot.”
“Our team can help in local language. And when you are talking technical, that counts for a lot.”
Graham Tennant, Head of European Service and Technical Support
Being Made in Europe for Europe is not just about manufacturing. It’s about how Pentair trade, respect local legislation and of course how it communicates. Supporting the majority of local customers, in their native tongue, shows Pentair commitment to building its European business and better serving you, wherever you may be.
Discover more at pentairaquaeurope.com
All in a day’s work. Go behind the scenes with a Pentair Technical Support & Application Engineer here.
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