Many things have already been written on the specific aspects of a business relationship with your customers – but let’s focus here on just those specific to the translation and localization industry. Keeping in mind today’s trends for smaller and quicker job requests from your customers, it’s impossible not to think about what influences a good relationship between your translation agency and your customers. You need to up your marketing game to attract new customers, keep being as attractive to them as to your established base and you need to be like a magnet for talented, hard-working translators – your vendors. They’re the ones who will make your customers happy and, as a consequence, your new clientele will keep you in their circle and enrich your existing portfolio.
Here are six tips to help you better nurture relationships with your customers:
1. Work on your empathy
All your projects are unique – at least in the eyes of your customers. If you look at things from their perspective, try to feel what they feel in order to satisfy their needs and build trust, this will help them return to and improve your business results. So listen, treat them how you would like to be treated if you were in their situation… and empathize.
2. Build trust through transparency
The common base for all relationships in any enterprise is trust. The same applies to the successful relationship between a translation agency and its customers. Even more so, since they do not understand the translated language and completely rely on the language service provider. They trust that their requirements, settings, and target market are understood and catered to. They trust that the service they receive will be exactly what they need.
Transparency is a way to build that trust – use technology that shows your customers the progress of your work and involve them in the review process. Always answer all questions, no matter how obvious they may seem to you.
3. Deliver what you promised
Global brands are well-experienced translation buyers and they need suppliers who continue to prioritize innovation, allowing for scalability in the service they provide. More companies will cooperate in a “program-based, not project-based” model which offers a more comprehensive, reliable, and round-the-clock services to meet their demands. It also means that you need to set achievable expectations in order to show integrity to your customers.
4. Stand your ground
Today, it is not enough to be proficient in your area of expertise. A competitive edge comes from technology. It will help you be responsive, quick and flexible to all your customers so they can feel taken care of. If you use a Translation Management System with an integrated CRM, it will help you and your customer to quickly clarify and resolve project-specific complaints and issues. Such an integrated system contains project requirements, objectives, conditions, project files, as well as the history of its progress.
Also, such a TMS will show you who your VIP customers are (those who generate most of your business). You can treat them accordingly and with more flexible conditions.
5. Ask them if they like what they see
Satisfaction surveys are the key to guaranteeing high satisfaction when dealing with both customers and vendors. They are the statement of your care and readiness to respond to their expectations, to improve and deliver exceptional service. You can use a few free tools for surveys or ask for their opinion in a simple email.
6. Say “Hi” from your Ivory Tower
Staying in touch is so important and yet so easy with today’s technology. The choice is yours: phone call, e-mail, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blog, events… the possibilities are endless. Social media algorithms will thank you for your daily involvement, improving your reach. Your customers will appreciate the effort, which goes a step further than your Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan or New Year’s Greetings. And who knows? Maybe you’ll get more than just a corporate calendar or some chocolates in return.