How would you thank for great and timely customer comments?
Thread poster: Ronja Addams-Moring

Ronja Addams-Moring  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 21:11
Finnish to Swedish
+ ...
Apr 8, 2010

I am doing a translation of three similar reports for a customer. This morning I received a carefully commented and slightly edited version of the tentative translation of the first of report, which I had sent in a week ago. At least two people had put considerable time and very useful expertise into those comments and suggestions. Those comments will help me very much with finalizing the two other translations.

I have already sent the people involved a short and simple email, thanking for both the quality of the comments and for that the comments were sent early enough in relation to the project deadline.

However, a simple email seems so little. I really feel like hugging these people, sending them flowers, or something like that. Their work seems like such a gift! But this is business and theirs is an expert organization in engineering and safety/security authority, so too wild gestures would likely not be appreciated.

If anyone has any creative ideas or good experiences to share about how to thank Really Good Customers, please do tell.

Today I am a very happy translator, and hope you have a good day, too!

Ronja


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 15:11
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Value teamwork! Apr 8, 2010

From your version of the story, you are a professional working with professionals. Above all, you and them are all proud of the outcome, and feel fully rewarded from each one having given their best and that having paid off.

There is no reason for you going overboard in thanks, nor them in praising you. This was the initial outburst of mutual surprise at the fact that yes, both sides have done good work, but together you were able to accomplish something really great. Preserve this relationship with minor signals of recognition every time there is a chance to give them.

I've had this kind of relationship with a few clients and colleagues for years. We've stricken out the word "impossible" from our dictionaries, and we are always looking for improvement opportunities. We work together for a common goal, the best possible outcome at the lowest feasible cost. Payment - which is often the vendor's main goal - in this case is merely a natural consequence, so both sides are eager to get past such a bureaucratic issue, and proceed to the next challenge.

Occasional flops, mistakes, are taken lightly, as each side will know for sure that the other has tried their best. So in this case, a simple Ooops! I missed this one! will be enough, no extensive apologies and explanations will be required. To err is human is enough.

I'm never unavailable for these clients and colleagues, no mater how much rescheduling or overtime I'll have to do. Rates are the standard, as that's not the issue. However if they need something special from me, they'll certainly have it.

To illustrate, years ago one of these clients called me: "We are in a fix. Someone here goofed on an estimate, and we'll need a job done for free and as quickly as possible. We'll compensate for that in future jobs. My response was immediate: Send it to me now! Don't bother about compensating, you've done that already.

Yesterday this same client sent me an order. Out of nothing, I taught them a way to save money in this specific case by not ordering one part of the job from me, but having it done by another vendor who will enter the process later, and will have to work on that anyway. It's an all-win outcome, more intelligent than simply giving them a discount.

So, value teamwork and nourish that professional relationship. They'll follow suit.
(If it's the case, a well crafted Blue Board entry - i.e. making the recognition public - will always be welcome.)


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