Tip of the Day: How to get clients to confirm receipt of translations
Thread poster: LegalTransform

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:52
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Feb 19, 2016

I have found that the addition of a single word will result in a 90% increase in the likelihood of receiving a confirmation of receipt.

Instead of the usual:
"Please confirm receipt"

I started writing:
"Please confirm safe receipt"

Seems to work wonders. I can only surmise that it emphasizes the need for the confirmation (I want to make sure that you received it).

Anyone else have any similar tips regarding communications with clients?





[Edited at 2016-02-19 18:35 GMT]


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Sometimes I think we do too much confirming. Feb 19, 2016

I recently accepted a job, and the customer said OK, please go ahead.

When I sent the translation they said oh, we gave this to someone else because you didn't confirm our go-ahead.


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
I like the word "safe". Feb 19, 2016

It makes me think of a guy on a horse carrying your translation through the night, warding off marauding highwaymen with his flintlock pistol.

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Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:52
Romanian to English
+ ...
Confirming the confirmation Feb 19, 2016

philgoddard wrote:

I recently accepted a job, and the customer said OK, please go ahead.

When I sent the translation they said oh, we gave this to someone else because you didn't confirm our go-ahead.


I do confirm receipt of the client's go-ahead. If I didn't, how could they be sure I did receive their purchase order? Of course this often results in a comical exchange of Can you? / Yes, I can and will, please confirm / I confirm / Alright, will send on X / Enjoy the work! messages, but better safe than sorry.

One client of mine specifically asks for a second confirmation of their orders after I give them my firm confirmation of deadline and price.


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:52
Member
English to French
I could use Outlook options to automate acknowledgement Feb 19, 2016

But I never require agencies to acknowledge the safe receipt of my translations. Some PMs do, others don't, and there are benefits and drawbacks to each stance (more/less e-mails, knowing/not knowing it's received)

If they don't have it on time, I sure can rely on them to let me know!

I only request acknowledgement for invoices for obvious reasons, and solely for first-time customers or one-offs.

On the other hand, I always acknowledge receipt of files, enquiries, requests, feedback, heads-ups, follow-ups et al. from known customers because I think it's more polite.

With returning customers, the ordering process is very streamlined, along the lines of:
Can you job? - Yes - Files attached - Files safely received.
Only with a lot more words because we're educated and pleasant with each other.

Your observation is interesting though. Why that? Are three words too small a sentence to get imprinted in a busy reader's mind? Does the word "safe" trigger sympathy towards your waiting for an answer? It's weird.

Philippe


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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:52
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Safe Feb 19, 2016

LegalTransform wrote:
I started writing:
"Please confirm safe receipt"

I don't have anything to add myself, but that is an interesting little snippet.

It shouldn't, after years of observing such things, but it still surprises me how humans respond involuntarily to such subtle cues.

Dan


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:52
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I find I need to train each new client Feb 19, 2016

I'll try adding 'safe'.

With new clients I often have to send a reminder when I do the second job. The first time, they're on best behaviour and actually reading my emails carefully; second time around they pay less attention. So my reminder says their confirmation of receipt is an absolute requirement of my quality procedures. They respond well to that.

I don't require confirmation when I send the invoice. Non-delivery is very rare and I take it that the invoice has been received if I don't get notice of non-delivery. Come payment date, they'll be asked to pay by return. I'll send a second copy but I won't extend the payment deadline. They got the goods so they know they have to pay for them!


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 16:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
Individually written messages Feb 19, 2016

In all areas of my business I am convinced that I send a better message to my recipient if I write, as in compose, it individually each time.

This is indeed very time consuming, but I have observed that I am far less likely to get a response from a standard/set/automated message than from a personally written message. Thank goodness I'm a fast typist! In fact, this is one of the things which might push finally towards voice technology.

And I think this could well apply even to the shortest of messages.

Edited to add the explanatory "as in compose".

[Edited at 2016-02-19 22:48 GMT]


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:52
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
To philgoddard Feb 20, 2016

Talking of highwaymen, I was looking for synonyms for "bandit" the other day and found a site which included "highwayperson" and "gunperson", but not "highwayman" or "gunman".

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Jacqueline White
Austria
Local time: 16:52
Hungarian to English
+ ...
Politeness Feb 20, 2016

Do most clients (including agencies) not write to say thank you at least?

I guess project managers are busy and sometimes forget, but to my mind it would be common courtesy.


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Sebastian Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:52
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
RE: Individually written messages Feb 20, 2016

Noni Gilbert wrote:

In all areas of my business I am convinced that I send a better message to my recipient if I write, as in compose, it individually each time.

This is indeed very time consuming, but I have observed that I am far less likely to get a response from a standard/set/automated message than from a personally written message. Thank goodness I'm a fast typist! (...) And I think this could well apply even to the shortest of messages.



I second that.

Best regards,

Sebastian Witte
www.jwstrans.net

[Edited at 2016-02-20 13:57 GMT]


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Texte Style
Local time: 16:52
French to English
it's in their terms Feb 20, 2016

Jacqueline White wrote:

Do most clients (including agencies) not write to say thank you at least?

I guess project managers are busy and sometimes forget, but to my mind it would be common courtesy.





there's an agency I have worked for that puts in its terms that you can only consider the translation delivered if the PM has acknowledged receipt. I don't think that's really on, in that e-mails do sometimes get lost (I think it's less common nowadays but still). And most of PMs only bother to acknowledge receipt when they're actually going to deal with the file to send it on. So if I hand something in early but they wait till they've received all the target files it may be days before I get that confirmation. So I don't much like their system.

It seems like their rates are spiralling downwards, they've already tried to pressure me and I reckon we will be parting ways over rates, not to mention late payments, pretty soon, so it's not worth the hassle to try to change anything. I was too new to freelancing when I first started working with them to feel confident negotiating anything, and I've had some very interesting work from them, but all good things come to an end.


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Tip of the Day: How to get clients to confirm receipt of translations

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