overwhelming majority of businesses in Wales say that using the Welsh language
is a way of attracting customers and adding value to their product or service.
Here are the findings of a new research published by the Welsh Language
independent research company was commissioned to ask large businesses and SMEs
in Wales about their attitudes towards using the Welsh language, and a
significant majority said that the language is beneficial to them:
- 76% agree strongly or partially agree that using Welsh attracts customers
- 82% agree strongly or partially agree that using Welsh adds value to a product or service
- 80% agree strongly or partially agree that using Welsh is important to the ethos of the business.
- 84% agree strongly or partially agree that using Welsh enhances the business brand.
Welsh Language Commissioner has an experienced team of staff who work across
Wales to provide practical support and assistance to businesses and charities
to develop their Welsh language provision.
Edwards leads the team’s work. He said: “Research we have published in the past
shows that Welsh and non-Welsh speaking customers across Wales value businesses
using the Welsh language. This new research shows that businesses themselves
also see the benefits of doing so.
is encouraging is that the research reports the opinion of many businesses we
are yet to work with, therefore shows that there is a growing appetite to use
Welsh as a commercial tool and to stand out in competitive markets.”
Two of the many companies the team have
helped to introduce the Welsh language are Lidl and Santander. In these cases,
the relationship was established after shortcomings in their Welsh language
services became appartent, through complaints from customers and through the
Commissioner’s research. The initial contact led to action plans to increase
the use of Welsh.
Gareth Davies, Lidl’s Regional Director, Wales said: “We are
incredibly proud to be part of the communities that we operate in, and are
continuously exploring opportunities to enhance our customers’ shopping
experience. We know, both through cutomer feedback and the invaluable work of
the Welsh Language Commissioner’s Hybu Team, that our customers want to see the
Welsh language more prominently placed in our stores. This is why we have
conducted a full rollout of new bilingual signage across all Lidl stores in
Wales, which we’re pleased to confirm is now complete.”
Santander is another business that has recently set out to
introduce the language to its activities. With the support of the
Commissioner’s Hybu Team, the bank has installed software on its cash-machines
that remembers language choice, thus enabling people to have a Welsh language
service by default. They are also encouraging employees to learn Welsh phrases
and vocabulary that relate to banking services to enable them to support
customers in Welsh. Christian Dalton, Santander’s Regional Manager in south
Wales, said: “The Welsh language is one of the treasures of Wales and is part
of what defines Wales as a nation. It is important that we at Santander reflect
the customers we serve by enabling colleagues from our Welsh branches to learn
and speak Welsh for the benefit of our customers and the local community.”
will be an opportunity to hear more about the research, the work of the Hybu
team and the response of businesses they have worked with in a special event in
San Marino, Cardiff Bay, 3pm on Thursday 9 August 2018.