Client satisfaction survey
Thread poster: Elke Fehling

Elke Fehling  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:38
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
Oct 25, 2018

I translate a lot of client/emplyee satisfiction survey lately, and now I ask myself if I should try to do one with my clients?

I have about 10 clients (translation agencies) I work for on regular basis, and they are obviously happy because they always come back, but I sometimes wonder what my most important qualities are for them and if or how I could improve my services.

Did you ever think of something like that? Did you ever do it? If yes, what were the results? Why
... See more
I translate a lot of client/emplyee satisfiction survey lately, and now I ask myself if I should try to do one with my clients?

I have about 10 clients (translation agencies) I work for on regular basis, and they are obviously happy because they always come back, but I sometimes wonder what my most important qualities are for them and if or how I could improve my services.

Did you ever think of something like that? Did you ever do it? If yes, what were the results? Why wouldn't you do it?
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Angela Rimmer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:38
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
Yes, it's very useful Oct 25, 2018

Yes, I've done this before. It was really useful and also very motivating. I got a lot of great feedback, which was a self-esteem boost. But also one client in particular raised the point that my messaging wasn't super clear for some areas of my specialisations, so they were never sure if they could send me work in those fields. That was really useful information, and I was able to clarify the situation and ultimately improve.

Feedback is always useful. And also when you ask your cl
... See more
Yes, I've done this before. It was really useful and also very motivating. I got a lot of great feedback, which was a self-esteem boost. But also one client in particular raised the point that my messaging wasn't super clear for some areas of my specialisations, so they were never sure if they could send me work in those fields. That was really useful information, and I was able to clarify the situation and ultimately improve.

Feedback is always useful. And also when you ask your clients for feedback you can take the opportunity to ask them if they know of anyone else who might be interested in your services, and either ask them to recommend you or ask them to get you in touch with them, so you can expand your client base at the same time.
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Elke Fehling
Morano El-Kholy
Wioleta Kwiatkowska
 

Morano El-Kholy  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 17:38
Member (2011)
English to Arabic
+ ...
A very creative and a good idea! Oct 25, 2018

Yes, I think that this could be a very creative and a good idea!

Angela Rimmer wrote:

Feedback is always useful. And also when you ask your clients for feedback you can take the opportunity to ask them if they know of anyone else who might be interested in your services, and either ask them to recommend you or ask them to get you in touch with them, so you can expand... See more
Yes, I think that this could be a very creative and a good idea!

Angela Rimmer wrote:

Feedback is always useful. And also when you ask your clients for feedback you can take the opportunity to ask them if they know of anyone else who might be interested in your services, and either ask them to recommend you or ask them to get you in touch with them, so you can expand your client base at the same time.


I agree with Angela.

[Edited at 2018-10-25 09:13 GMT]
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Wioleta Kwiatkowska
United Kingdom
Member (2018)
English to Polish
+ ...
General Feedback or satisfaction survey Oct 25, 2018

Angela Rimmer wrote:

Yes, I've done this before. It was really useful and also very motivating. I got a lot of great feedback, which was a self-esteem boost. But also one client in particular raised the point that my messaging wasn't super clear for some areas of my specialisations, so they were never sure if they could send me work in those fields. That was really useful information, and I was able to clarify the situation and ultimately improve.

Feedback is always useful. And also when you ask your clients for feedback you can take the opportunity to ask them if they know of anyone else who might be interested in your services, and either ask them to recommend you or ask them to get you in touch with them, so you can expand your client base at the same time.



It is a very instereting what you are saying Angela. It is something I have never done myslef before and I wonder if you ask your clients for a general feedback or do you use a set of specific questions or a satisfaction survey.


Morano El-Kholy
 

Morano El-Kholy  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 17:38
Member (2011)
English to Arabic
+ ...
I wonder if there exists this set of specific questions! Oct 25, 2018

I really wonder if there is a well-known set of questions/survey that we can follow to be easier for us to have this useful feedback from our clients!

Wioleta Kwiatkowska wrote:


do you use a set of specific questions or a satisfaction survey.


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:38
Member (2018)
French to English
Don't want to be a nuisance Oct 25, 2018

I'd be afraid of importuning my clients, who all seem to be very busy people. I hate it when I get asked to fill in surveys. For example, I bought an umbrella online, and then received an online survey about my satisfaction level. I just bought an umbrella, if there was a problem I would have contacted you!

Chris S
Teresa Borges
Vanda Nissen
Sheila Wilson
Michele Fauble
Stuart Hoskins
 

Angela Rimmer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:38
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
My experience Oct 25, 2018


It is a very instereting what you are saying Angela. It is something I have never done myslef before and I wonder if you ask your clients for a general feedback or do you use a set of specific questions or a satisfaction survey.


I had specific questions, where were:
1) What do you like about working with me?
2) What do you think I am good at?
3) Where can I improve? Is there anything I am doing wrong?
4) Are there any services that I do not provide, but you wish I would?

I'm sure there are better questions out there. I just tried to keep the survey very short and quick, and I tried to avoid yes/no questions so I'd get fuller responses.



I'd be afraid of importuning my clients, who all seem to be very busy people. I hate it when I get asked to fill in surveys. For example, I bought an umbrella online, and then received an online survey about my satisfaction level. I just bought an umbrella, if there was a problem I would have contacted you!


Fair enough -- but I would only send this survey to clients with whom I have an ongoing relationship and regular contact. I also made it clear in my request that there's no obligation to answer the questions and I would not be offended if they chose not to. I appreciate their time and thoughts, and all feedback, even the negative stuff, is a valuable learning experience and an opportunity to improve my services to their benefit.

In my case, every single client I sent the questions to took the time to respond to them, and it only helped my relationships with them.


Morano El-Kholy
 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:38
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Right. Totally agreed. Oct 25, 2018

Kay Denney wrote:

I'd be afraid of importuning my clients, who all seem to be very busy people. I hate it when I get asked to fill in surveys. For example, I bought an umbrella online, and then received an online survey about my satisfaction level. I just bought an umbrella, if there was a problem I would have contacted you!


Asking people to fill out a survey can be annoying. In fact it can be considered as a burden. Not to make your hard-established and happy clients feel bothered is a basic principle, at least to me.

[Edited at 2018-10-25 17:15 GMT]


Elke Fehling
Chris S
Teresa Borges
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Don’t you think that... Oct 25, 2018

... if they weren’t happy they’d either say something or stop using you?

Philippe Etienne
Teresa Borges
Kay Denney
 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:38
Member
English to French
I like unprompted congratulations Oct 25, 2018

but I wouldn't dare send surveys or even ask how I fared on a sensitive project.

I see the point of customer satisfaction surveys from large companies for them to get an overlook about their operations from the customer perspective, but I don't think it applies to a sole trader. We know everything that occurs on our desks.
Then again, it certainly boosts confidence when the outcome is positive, which is never bad. And for continuous improvement, it must be very helpful.
... See more
but I wouldn't dare send surveys or even ask how I fared on a sensitive project.

I see the point of customer satisfaction surveys from large companies for them to get an overlook about their operations from the customer perspective, but I don't think it applies to a sole trader. We know everything that occurs on our desks.
Then again, it certainly boosts confidence when the outcome is positive, which is never bad. And for continuous improvement, it must be very helpful.

Philippe

[Edited at 2018-10-25 18:43 GMT]
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Chris S
 

Angela Rimmer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:38
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
Yes... and no Oct 26, 2018

Chris S wrote:

... if they weren’t happy they’d either say something or stop using you?


Yes, if they really were unhappy they'd find a new translator, I presume. But let's say your work is fantastic but you always do That One Annoying Thing, or something about your messaging is unclear and they keep meaning to ask about it but never get around to it because it doesn't come to mind in those moments when they're talking to you about something else. Asking for feedback in this way is a good opportunity/reminder for them to raise those things.

From my project management experience, as well, I know of quite a few translators who do great translations, so you use them, but invariably they can't seem to put together an invoice that doesn't have mistakes in it, so as a company you end up wasting a lot of time going back-and-forth trying to get the paperwork corrected. That can be annoying. And you raise it with them, and they apologise, but then the next invoice comes in and once again there's some error on it. And they don't seem to realise that when you keep raising the issues with their invoices, you are complaining, actually, about their admin processes. They just apologise in the moment and then keep doing that annoying thing. If their translation work is really good, or if an end client insists on having THAT translator, sometimes you just bite the bullet and use them even though you know it will be a headache later -- but if that translator is YOU, wouldn't you want to know and then fix that once and for all, so you don't inadvertently cause hassle for your clients?

Someone else in this thread said that as sole traders we know everything that happened at our desks. Yes, but there are more perspectives in a relationship than just yours. You know what happened at your desk, but you don't know what actually happened at your client's desk outside of your email conversation, as they mumbled under their breath or complained to a colleague about That Annoying Thing You Keep Doing.

Our relationships with our clients are more than just our translations. And some translators are really, really good at translation but their soft skills (client relationship management, accounting, marketing etc.) need work. THOSE translators are the ones at the greatest risk, in my opinion, of having clients who keep using them despite niggles -- and I think the goal for all of us is to have loyal, happy clients who have NO niggles. We are responsible for getting rid of the niggles but first we have to identify them, and we aren't mind readers so we have to ask.

Yes, positive feedback is a great boost -- but negative feedback is the real treasure trove of improvement. And lots of people won't complain until a problem has grown into such a big thing that now it's a real threat to the relationship. So I personally think there's no harm in asking how things are going so you can iron out the little things before they turn into big things.

Caveat: I literally sent a survey one time, two years ago, and only to my five or six top clients with whom I have a vested interest in keeping happy and who I knew wouldn't be too annoyed to answer a few questions. I wouldn't send a survey to clients with lower priority or to clients who I don't talk to often enough to know how they might feel about receiving a survey or to clients who are definitely too busy. I'm not advocating for annoying people with Amazon-style customer surveys.


Evgeny Demin
Philippe Etienne
 


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