- January 24, 2017
- Posted by: Uta Nelson
- Category: Translation
We all look for it, the wow-effect. Whether we are selling chocolate-covered pretzels, cars, or language lessons. We want our customers to walk away in awe with our product or service.
In my twenties, I signed up for Spanish lessons at the Latin American Institute next to my apartment. My teacher, Victoria from Ecuador, made the lessons such a terrific experience that I could not wait to go back for the next one. This reminds me of my digital marketing professional, another Victoria, who provided such excellent service that I was looking forward to our bi-monthly update calls. And then there is Jill, my hairstylist, and the list goes on.
In what areas do you have such an excellent customer experience that you can’t wait to go back for more?
And how does this happen, what does it take to create such and experience?
How to Make It Shine
Four key elements seem to make the difference:
- Competency: high skill level of the professional offering the product or service, which usually comes from a combination of education and experience;
- Communication: good articulation of expectations and of how these can be met, exchange feedback about previous experiences with the product or service;
- Right pricing: the consumer needs to feel that his money is well invested and the provider that he is not underselling his offering. The right pricing isn’t usually the lowest pricing on the market, but a healthy middle;
- Personality: a good relationship and personality fit between customer and provider helps everything else, communication in particular.
How to Score a Winning Translation
How can we apply this to the translation field? How do you know if your translated message will wow your audience and sell?
The first requirement, is to choose highly skilled language professionals. Whether you are working with individual providers or with an agency, ask for certifications and a list of past work. Then ask if they have testimonials or references who could endorse their services.
Once you have selected your Language Service Provider (LSP), follow these specific steps when possible:
- If available, provide your LSP with examples of previous translations that met your quality standards, or with some that did not. Have a clear conversation about your goals and expectations.
- Supply branding guidelines to help your LSP understand your brand identity and voice. If previous translations into the same target language are not available, look if there are some into closely related ones that could be of help.
- After choosing a lead translator, find a reviewer to check the work. Ensure that the two work well together in creating the highest quality translation possible. At least one of them should reside in the country of the language and be up to date on latest language use and its nuances.
- Make sure that both your certified linguists, your translator and your reviewer, fully understand the corporate style guidelines and collaborate on further developing the glossary, or on creating one if there isn’t one in place yet.
- Ensure high quality of the source content you provide for best translation results.
- Clarify if you just need translation or if copy writing services are needed as well. Additional copy writing services in the target language are usually recommended for advertising.
- Ask your LSPs how much time they need to complete the work. If you cannot accommodate the given timeline, obtain a break-down of the estimated time requirements, and discuss alternate solutions with your providers.
- Try to accommodate your providers’ pricing when possible. Try to understand how their rates were set and discuss any budget requirements on your end as needed. Respect for rates and budgets on both sides contributes to a healthy working relationship.
- Communicate regularly with your LSPs regarding project status and be available to answer questions. Determine who the main point of contact is on both sides to ensure and smooth and efficient communication flow.
- Work toward a long-term relationship with your LSPs: the more familiar they become with your business, content, and terminology, the higher the translation quality and the smoother the path to successful project completion.
Are your source files ready and are you looking at starting the translation process?
Your high quality, translated message can shine, fluidly crossing language barriers and wowing an entire new audience. And the process can be smooth for both customer and language service provider.
If you have any further questions or need a co-captain to navigate you there, the Tell team is here to help.