Although my iPhone app is currently written in English, I see a lot of purchases from non-English speaking countries. These purchases would almost certainly go up if the app was available in other languages, so I'm working on getting the app localized.
Right now, we don't get many non-English support requests, presumably because the language of the UI causes our users to assume that support is only available in English. However, I'm curious what to do if localizing the app causes users to start submitting customer support requests in languages other than English.
Has anyone dealt with this before? Is it bad form to reply (in English) that we can only provide English-language support? Are there services that will do one-off translations when these cases arise?
With our apps (web), we offer languages in the following: German, French, Portugeese, and Spanish.
Although Chinese is the 2nd biggest internet market, we find that we have less than 1% customers from china, and that most of the reason chinese ever buy our product is to nullify, hack or copy it. As a matter of fact we block china.
As for help and support, we translate all our help docs making sure they are available in our 5 top languages. But we only offer help, sales, tech support in English. We draw the line there because most of our customers can communicate in English or find someone that can. We have minimized support quite a bit by making sure our UI layers make sense and follow what clients are used to.
Another note on supporting languages. You may be tempted to support languages such as korean, chinese, japanese, russian, etc. But when you look at the hard numbers, you realize that most serious customers will speak one of the top five languages we listed. Plus, formatting your site to support these languages can be troublesome.
Add one language at a time. Keep your support in English.