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How to know if the costumer is satisfied?
Thread poster: Juan Pablo Sans

Juan Pablo Sans  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:01
Member (2011)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Apr 4, 2012

Hello guys,

I am writing here because I have had three cases (one as recent as January 2012) in which the client sent me an awful amount of work (I did it on time), paid me and then simply will not answer my e-mails asking them if everything was right and that I would like to continue working with them again. I would like to know if that has happened to you and what it means. The translation was of good quality and no compliances were raised, so I suppose it is not the quality.

Please, tell me if this has happened to you and what I can do (if anything).

Thanks


[Editado a las 2012-04-05 15:00 GMT]


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:01
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Many possibilities Apr 4, 2012

  • They might have simply run out of material to translate, either temporarily or definitively.
  • Your contact may have left the company.
  • Your contact may be on vacation.
  • Your contact may be in hospital.
  • Their in-house translator may have returned from vacations.
  • They may have found someone cheaper, but don't want to tell you until they are sure s/he is good enough for their needs.
  • They might have gone out of business.

Sometimes such vanishing clients call me with "You did some translation work for us three years ago. Are you still translating? Would you be available?"


 

Juan Pablo Sans  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 05:01
Member (2011)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Another quesiton Apr 4, 2012

OK, so, nothing to worry about? THat is great! How would you know if a client is not satisfied with your work?

 

Libero_Lang_Lab  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:01
Member (2006)
Russian to English
+ ...
how would you know...? Apr 4, 2012

juanpablosans wrote:

OK, so, nothing to worry about? THat is great! How would you know if a client is not satisfied with your work?


The obvious answer is: they'd probably tell you.


 

Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 11:01
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Maybe Apr 4, 2012

they got offended, 'cause you call them "costumer"?icon_confused.gif

 

xxxK S
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:01
It happened to me just this week Apr 5, 2012

There is nothing to be alarmed about! In most cases, if they don't like the translation, they tell you immediately. Also, it's always a good idea to include in your terms and conditions of business (or in small print at the bottom of your invoice) that any concerns/disputes in relation to your translation should be raised within 7 days from invoice delivery. This will definitely save you headaches!

I delivered a very good translation last week and the client only confirmed its receipt after my 2 e-mail reminders. I suspect they were simply busy because it was a multi-language project. Well, very often our work goes unappreciated.

As the old Italian proverb says, No news is good news! So try to focus on the quality of your translation and getting paid on time. And don't worry about the lack of feedback. It happens very often!

Kasia

www.slobodzian.co.uk
www.facebook.com/Slobo.Language.Solutions


 

Annett Hieber  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:01
English to German
Nothing to worry about Apr 5, 2012

In my experience it's normal business not to hear back from clients, particularly from agencies. Direct clients are more likely to give you a (positive) feedback. If you don't hear any complaints about your work from them, everything is okay.

And, as José already stated, there are a lot of reasons why they don't come back to you with another order. I've got regular customers who come back with more work after longer periods of time - when they have new work for me.

I think that's enough confirmation that they are satisfied with your work, so don't worry!

Annett


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
Second opinion - (o pedir un acuse) Apr 5, 2012

If you are unsure about the quality of your own work, why not ask someone else to evaluate it for you?
For example yesterday I translated a job advertisement for one of my most valued clients. I wanted to make sure it sounded as slick and professional as they would like to it to be, so I asked a friend/colleague on Skype to take a look at it. It was only around 250 words so she checked it out in a minute or two (the verdict was thumbs-up).
She is only too happy to help me out this way because she is translating too, part-time for an insurance broker who is very picky; the texts are varied, technical and dense, so she's asking me for help or a second opinion at least once or twice most days with awkward sentences or unfamiliar concepts.

There is also the option of preparing a brief evaluation form for clients to fill in when you deliver the job, which you ask them to agree to return before you accept the translation order. Here's a sample customer satisfaction form about a SIN download site (whatever that is):
http://www1.btwebworld.com/sinet/happy.htm

I reckon you could quickly put together something similar for translation with even fewer points for the client to fill in and return, since I assume you just basically want a "thumbs-up" or "acuse" rather a detailed, glowing personalised reference.

[Edited at 2012-04-05 07:34 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-04-05 07:36 GMT]

In fact, I might prepare one myself for my own use, along similar lines:
"Now you have received your translation, we would be grateful if you could take a few seconds to complete this customer satisfaction form. Please tick the relevant box below to indicate your satisfaction with the translated document. "

[Edited at 2012-04-05 07:39 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-04-05 07:40 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-04-05 07:40 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-04-05 07:48 GMT]

NB: I lifted and modified the sample above from an open website so it is public domain information and not copyright, just in case anyone's bothered about that.

[Edited at 2012-04-05 10:13 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:01
Member (2008)
Italian to English
No news Apr 5, 2012

juanpablosans wrote:

.... will not answer my e-mails asking them if everything was right and that I would like to continue working with them again...


No news is good news. If your customers have made no comments that means they're 100% happy.

Your job is not to pester them. When they need you again, they'll get back to you.

[Edited at 2012-04-05 07:55 GMT]


 

Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 11:01
English to German
No news is no news Apr 5, 2012

Tom in London wrote:

No news is good news.


I don't think so. Good news is good news, no news is no news.

If a water tap is dripping, anybody can discern that, even the unqualified plumber who installed the tap one day ago. So you'll probably complain to that plumber, and the plumber will fix the tap.

But with translators and translations things are different. Very different. Will an unqualified translator be able to assess his or her own work? Or will he start a lengthy discussion on what is just a matter of taste and what is simply scrap? Will he stubbornly insist on his certificate and his experience? Will the client want to be dragged into such discussions? Why?


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:01
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
You never know Apr 5, 2012

juanpablosans wrote:
OK, so, nothing to worry about? THat is great! How would you know if a client is not satisfied with your work?

Often you never know.

But basically if they were dissatisfied you would know for sure. Normally our profession works on a no-news-good-news basis.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:01
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Absolutely Apr 5, 2012

Tom in London wrote:
Your job is not to pester them. When they need you again, they'll get back to you.

Seconded. If you chase them for feedback too much they might think that you don't have any work to do, and that is felt as a bad omen for potential future work.


 

Sebastian Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:01
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
'Costumer' Apr 5, 2012

I think it takes a genius to make up such a word. They hide behind a costume when you try to findem towards the end of the payment deadline ("Hellooo? Anyone out there? It's payday Sirs") ... it's costly working for them ... me cuesta entenderlos ... Interesting associations spring to mind here.

 

Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:31
English to Tamil
+ ...
Well, let me ask you something Apr 5, 2012

//and no compliances were araised//

No doubt you wanted to say, "and no complaints were raised"?

Regards,
N. Raghavan


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:01
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
An inherent frustration of being a freelancer Apr 5, 2012

Many of the previous points made about no contact not necessarily indicating dissatisfaction are entirely valid although I would say, to echo Tomás, that the only way you can be reasonably sure that you have not fallen out of favor is if you do again hear from the suddenly vanished client at some point (whether it be in 3 weeks or 3 years).

The ever-present possibility of having a steady and profitable flow of work from a given client suddenly dry up (through no fault of my own) is to me--and surely to many others--one of the great frustrations of being a freelancer. It is also testimony to the highly competitive nature of the field, especially for those working in the most common language pairs. This issue was the subject of a forum thread that ran last week.

[Edited at 2012-04-05 15:14 GMT]


 
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