It might not be at the forefront of every content creator’s mind, but terminology is crucial for successful, effective communication. Businesses may have dozens, hundreds, or even many thousands of unique terms that they use to describe what they do. That includes the names for their products and services. The problem is that when teams use different terms to describe the same thing, it can lead to confusion and higher costs. All of that while lessening the impact of your communication efforts.
By contrast, defining, managing, and ensuring consistent use of terminology can bring an array of business benefits. Let’s take a closer look at four of the benefits of actively managing your company’s terminology. We’ll also examine some of the pitfalls that can happen when you don’t.
1. Creating a Better Customer Experience
When companies fail to use terms consistently in their content, it can be very confusing for customers and employees alike. For example, imagine a customer who buys a computer, based on the description of its features and components on a website. When she receives the computer, the manual that comes with it uses different terms to describe the same things. Confused, she calls customer service, where a representative tries to help using yet another set of words.
This kind of confusion erodes trust in the business, degrades the customer experience, and can drive potential sales to competitors. People want simplicity, clarity, and information they can understand. There’s no need to confound customers (or your own employees) when it’s easy to create consistent, simplified content.
2. Better Translation Results
If you’re translating your content into other languages, using consistent terminology is key. Ideally, you select a particular term, translate it once, and then reuse it. Mandating the use of particular terms saves time and money. That’s especially true if you’re translating similar content again and again, or you’re translating your content into lots of different languages.
Using different terms for the same thing makes the translation process harder, and can lead to confusion, inaccuracies, and messaging that’s off brand. Using the right terminology, on the other hand, will help ensure your content is consistent and that the terms it contains are accurately translated.
3. Driving Down Costs
Good terminology management makes it clear to everyone who is creating content which terms they should and shouldn’t use. When content is consistent, there’s less editing and revising time involved, and no debate about whether something should be described using this term or that. Furthermore, when the source terms are consistent and translation teams use their approved translations, localizing content is faster and more efficient, driving down the cost of what can otherwise be an expensive exercise.
4. Reinforcing Brand Voice
A clear, identifiable brand voice is important for any business. Carefully defined terminology can help employees and customers alike understand and recognize brand voice. While companies might need to adjust their messaging when they venture into different markets across the globe, their core voice should stay the same. By starting with a defined set of terms that is used across the board, companies can promote a unified brand and attract greater customer loyalty and attention.
Choosing the Right Words
By clearly defining terminology, you create approved terms that should be used universally across an organization. If you want to create high-quality, effective content that can be easily scaled and drives down costs, then terminology management is the key. It enables content creators across industries to communicate clearly, more quickly, and more efficiently. Localizing content and connecting with global audiences becomes easier and, with effective terminology management, the translation process is cheaper, faster, and produces better results. Quite simply, managing terminology means better content all around.
To learn more about terminology management, check out our report on how companies use the words and phrases that matter most to their business.