Language Service Providers usually have a wide range of clients, and there are many ways to categorize them. Clients could be other Language Solution Providers, Multilingual Vendors or end clients (from individual people through to business entities, institutions, and corporations). Depending on the revenue they bring, they could be classified as small, big, or even strategic. Some clients request services regularly, others only occasionally. Some submit smaller jobs and other bigger ones. But no matter the target category of clients, LSPs look for ways to communicate effectively with their clients. Effective project communication is not only clear for both parties. It is also showing your clients the real value of your service. In this article, we present several useful tips to help make your project communication effective in that respect.
Quote request form
One of the simplest, yet often underestimated tools to communicate with your potential clients is a quote request form (QRF). When a client is looking for the right service provider, one of the first places they go is the provider’s website. Potential clients are not always eager to get in touch with salespeople, they often prefer to do the research themselves. That is why it’s not enough to have just your telephone number, email address, or a contact form on your website.
A quote request form embedded on your website offers far more. You can use it not only to collect details about a potential job and request or receive the files to be translated. You can also familiarize your client with the various services you offer and your areas of expertise. A good QRF is easy to fill out for your client, but gives your account or project managers all the data they need to prepare the quote.
What’s more, XTRF’s QRF is integrated with the Home Portal. This means that when the client sends a request, it automatically becomes a quote, with the most essential project and client data already available. All you need to do is enter your estimate and share it with the client.
Professional email and document templates
Once you establish initial contact with the client, you can continue your project communication using email and document templates. Standardized messages and documents always look professional. Since they are always the same in format, you are sure your clients get all the information they need. But the main advantage of using templates is that you save time on repetitive tasks. You can use email and document templates in your communication with clients at various stages in the workflow: sending a quote, confirming a project’s scope and deadline, sending deliverables and issuing an invoice.
Within the XTRF platform, email and document templates automatically populate with relevant project and client data. Templates are customizable, in terms of both the layout and the content. They can be customized for each client or even sent in their native language. Although you send them from the system, clients can reply by email, and their message will end up with the appropriate recipient (typically, the project and/or account manager). Importantly, you can also deliver large files with the templates, as the deliverables are a click-to-download link instead of an attachment.
The Client Portal – ideal for end clients
Templates work well for both new and regular clients. The new ones receive a professional service, with clear and succinct communication. The regular ones, especially MLV clients, also value straightforward and to-the-point communication, because their priority is that you do your job well and on deliver time. However, communicating through templates is not seen all that well by your regular end clients. This is because, to them, your individual approach is key – they don’t like being treated as one of many.
A perfect solution to maintain effective communication with this type of client is to give them access to a portal they can use to communicate with you. XTRF Platform’s Client Portal fulfills this need. Client contacts access their individual accounts. They log in using their own credentials. Not only can they request a quote or launch projects using the service names they are used to, but they can also see the history of their projects and their invoices. They can make themselves feel “at home” by using various widgets and reports (even custom ones) prepared specially for them.
Client Portal is available in several language variants. As well as making your clients feel unique, Client Portal makes your project managers’ lives easier. Requests come to you in a standardized manner and, similar to the QRF, new projects and quotes appear in the Home Portal with the basic data already available.
Last but not least, if you are looking for an even more advanced means of enhancing your project communication with your clients, you can consider using the XTRF Platform’s API. The wide range of REST-API commands available in XTRF gives you the ability to integrate with your clients’ platforms, portals, Content Management Systems or CAT tools. This may be a good investment when thinking of streamlining communication with your strategic clients. It can be particularly beneficial for high volume, high-frequency requests.