Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Do you inform all customers when absent on business
Thread poster: Heinrich Pesch

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 06:00
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Aug 23, 2004

It happened last week, that I was teaching and away from the office for two and a half days. I read my mail and answered it, but was not able to take on rush jobs.
Before I left on Wednesday morning I posted the last translations to a couple of clients and informed them, that I would be out of office till Friday afternoon.
On Friday morning I recieved email from an important client, which had not contacted me for a week, with a request for translation, to be delivered Friday afternoon. The mail was sent Thursday evening.

I replied and told about the situation and promised to look at the file on monday and to deliver the translation at latest Tuesday morning.

After that the boss of this firm sent me his reply and asked, if I had informed them about my absence or if they had missed something. I replied, that I answered their contacts in due time, but that I cannot garantee taking on rush jobs even when I sit in my office.

So I would like to ask you colleagues, how you handle such situations. I you know that you will not be able to take on rush jobs do you inform all likely customers?

One thing about this customer: When I was on holiday for two weeks in June I had informed them three weeks in advanced and still before leaving. But nonetheless they sent me urgent faxes all the time I was on leave.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jesús Marín Mateos  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
Never Aug 23, 2004

I used to but then I realised that I had to remind them I was back. It was a bit messy because they don't keep track on who is where. I just check (very often) my e-mails and decline rush jobs if they come through. I get a lot of requests for interpreting and I never tell them I'm away, I simply tell them I am busy on the date requested.
In your case and as you say even when you are in your office you are who decides wheher you take on rush jobs or not.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Abdellatif Bouhid  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:00
English to French
+ ...
No legal obligation Aug 23, 2004

There is no legal obligation to inform them that you are away.
However, those clients who provide regular work should be adivsed as a courtesy only. If a client wants to know when you are not available, they should pay you a regular 'retainer' even when you are translating anything for them.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Antonella Andreella  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:00
German to Italian
+ ...
Automatic reply Aug 23, 2004

If you're out of office for a couple of days or so, you could set an automatic reply. In this way if a client sends you an email for a rush job or something else, he/she is informed you're away.

HTH

Antonella


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Els Hoefman  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:00
Member (2004)
English to Dutch
+ ...
The trouble with automatic replies Aug 23, 2004

The trouble with automatic replies is that if you have subscribed to a list (e.g. payment practices)and you are sent automatic messages on a daily basis, the automatic mailing system interprets your automatic reply as an unsubscribe message. So that is not an ideal solution either.

I have informed clients I have recently worked with and other people I have recently been in touch with that I will be away for a week next week. But you cannot contact everyone who just might contact you. I will also check my e-mails every few days to see if something important has come up - yes, even on my honeymoon! And even then, someone might still be annoyed if they need me urgently and I don't reply... but that's life.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:00
French to English
To inform or not to inform Aug 23, 2004

As a matter of courtesy you should of course inform all regular clients. You cannot be held responsible for not responding to rush requests when clients have been informed. Nor is it reasonable for a client to assume that you are available, whatever the reason. One-off and occasional clients have no reason to assume availability! Quite honestly, from a purely practical point of view, if a client is really rushed, then he would check by phone whether you are available or not or at least ask for aknowledgement that you have received his e-mail.

My regular clients don't contact me by phone - unless they want an immediate reponse - but just send the stuff through by e-mail as they know when I'm there or not as I keep them informed. I systematically acknowledge receipt of any job.

Your client was probably just not that well organised (on that particular day?). Apparently you are better organised that your client was!

Regards,

Nikki

[Edited at 2004-08-23 09:26]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jana Teteris  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:00
Latvian to English
+ ...
Inform them out of courtesy Aug 23, 2004

I agree with the previous comment (Nikki) that you should inform customers out of courtesy. Whether or not they make a note of it all boils down to how organised they are!

When I allowed myself to take a few days off this summer, I informed my regular customers and those for whom I had been working, say, one month prior to taking time off.

Having to be 'on call' is perhaps one of the downsides of freelancing. Thank goodness for mobile phones!

Jana


Direct link Reply with quote
 

lien
Netherlands
Local time: 05:00
English to French
+ ...
Automatic reply Aug 23, 2004

Els Hoefman wrote:

The trouble with automatic replies is that if you have subscribed to a list (e.g. payment practices)and you are sent automatic messages on a daily basis, the automatic mailing system interprets your automatic reply as an unsubscribe message. So that is not an ideal solution either.



No, you can have an abonment with a mail service provider (you can find them on the net)and you get the automatic reply in the package.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:30
English to Tamil
+ ...
This is what I do Aug 23, 2004

I educate my clients in such a way that they phone me as soon as they send an email with attachments for translation. And when I go out, the incoming calls to my landline get transferred to my cell. In that way I get my calls wherever I am. If a client asks me about the possibility of taking up a rush job, I will be in a position to offer him a defintive reply after downloading the file in the nearest cyber cafe and check the wordcount. I will tell my client when I will be back and when he can expect his finished job. If he finds the reply satisfactory, I take up the job at the earliest. If not, nothing is lost.

Regards,
N.Raghavan


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Antonella Andreella  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:00
German to Italian
+ ...
To Els Aug 23, 2004

Having an email address for mailing lists and another one for clients might solve the problem.


Antonella


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mónica Machado
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:00
English to Portuguese
+ ...
always:-) Aug 23, 2004

Hello,

I always inform my clients if I have to be absent. For clients that give me plenty of work all the time I inform them I will be away if I am to be absent for more that one morning/afternoon. Also, they all know that if they have an urgent issue and their e-mail is not answered in 1 hour they would better call.

This works fine.

All other clients are informed whenever I am away for more than 2 days. Also, I keep an eye on every e-mail (every two hours)when away and give them a ring is something needs to be dealt with. A phone call when you are away is much nicer than a simple e-mail saying you won't be available.

Everybody seems to be happy with this system and never had any complaints:-)

A boss never sleeps, really... and has no real holidays.

Regards,
Mónica Machado
English into European Portuguese Translator
Member of APT, IOL and ITI


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Els Hoefman  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:00
Member (2004)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Thanks Antonellla Aug 23, 2004

Good idea.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

nettranslatorde
Russian to German
+ ...
Autoresponder and inform all regular clients in advance... Aug 23, 2004

...is what I do when I'm absent for more than one day. Otherwise, when I leave for some hours only, I will only switch the autoresponder.


Best regards,
Kerstin


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Elena Miguel  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:00
English to Spanish
+ ...
Add a tag to your e-mail messages Aug 23, 2004

I always add a "tag" to my e-mail messages a couple of weeks (or less) before my absence to let them know I won't be available.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 05:00
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Thanks for the idea Aug 23, 2004

Delelis wrote:

I always add a \"tag\" to my e-mail messages a couple of weeks (or less) before my absence to let them know I won\'t be available.


Thanks for the idea.
Have always relied on e-mails which, mysteriously, "they'd never received" when they had an urgent job on their hands.

Saludos,
Andy


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Do you inform all customers when absent on business

Advanced search







Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs