My daughter’s flight was listed at the top of my account page and next to it was the word ‘Rescheduled’!

What? I didn’t get an email or text telling me her flight had been rescheduled! By this time, I’m at work and my daughter is on her way to the airport under her own steam.

Perplexed, and rather tentatively, I push the ‘Rescheduled’ button to discover that the travel agents don’t mean rescheduled at all, they mean ‘Reschedule’, as in an action they are inviting you to take, rather than one already taken by an airline.

English as a means to expand your online reach

I live and work in Beijing and use a Chinese travel site owned by Expedia precisely because they have an English version of the site. They usually send me a text in English the day before a flight to remind me of my travel plans. When I hadn’t got a text this morning for my daughter’s half-term flight, I went to check my online account to see if I had missed anything.

I hadn’t – it’s either a conjugation or spelling error – and she’s now safely on her flight. But the professional editor in me was about to dial up, find the person in charge of the English version of the site and point out the huge impact that extra ‘d’ had made on my otherwise peaceful morning!

This time, no harm was done, just an unnecessary flooding of a client’s body with adrenaline, a mother’s anxiety going into overdrive.

Serving your online clients

When your client is in front of you, it’s easy to make sure they understand your message. But so often nowadays, you never even get to meet your client. The only connection between the two sides is the written word – or the content on your website. Which is higher, do you think: the number of visitors to your office/store/hotel/venue or to your website?

I’d say your website wins hands down! Don’t be paying your online clients a disservice by not investing in good quality, understandable writing that reflects the quality of your brand. Shame on you, Expedia!

Enough said – time to head home to a teenage-free house!

Give me more!

Looking for help with your international expansion using English. Check our:

Localisation Checklist: the Right English to Boost your Conversion Rate