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Poll: How long has your longest working relationship with a client been?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 08:22
SITE STAFF
May 6, 2011

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How long has your longest working relationship with a client been?".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 16:22
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other May 6, 2011

25 years! Since 1986...

 

Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:22
Member
German to English
+ ...
> 10 years May 6, 2011

I am currently working on a project for my first ever customer. I've been working with them for nearly 14 years!

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
> 15 years May 6, 2011

Maybe nearer 20 now... so long I don't really remember. I have a few clients of more then 10 years' standing. Which is nice

 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:22
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
In memoriam
35 years May 6, 2011

My first customer for whom I worked from 1965 supplied me with work regularly up to December last year. Since then, nothing.
Reminds me of the joke about the officer cadet undergoing training as a drill instructor. The squad under his command is marching towards the edge of a cliff and he panics and can't remember the command. The sergeant in charge says: "For Christ's sake say something, even if it's only goodbye!" But they didn't.

[Edited at 2011-05-06 10:37 GMT]


 

Interlangue (X)
Angola
Local time: 17:22
English to French
+ ...
> 10 years May 6, 2011

I still work occasionally for customers I started with in the 1980s.
One client I started working for in 1992 is my best again; second best being one who contacted me in 1995 for the first time.


 

Ana Cuesta  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:22
Member
English to Spanish
Since the very beggining but... May 6, 2011

In my experience, getting clients when you first start up is hard but afterwards it is very easy to keep them as far as you keep them satisfied. So I have been working for the same regulars for quite a long time, although I cannot boast 25 or 35 years as Teresa or Jack since I've only been at this business for 13 years (11 full-time).

But another thing I find much harder than keeping clients is keeping their rates up with inflation (and, more recently, with exchange rate variations
... See more
In my experience, getting clients when you first start up is hard but afterwards it is very easy to keep them as far as you keep them satisfied. So I have been working for the same regulars for quite a long time, although I cannot boast 25 or 35 years as Teresa or Jack since I've only been at this business for 13 years (11 full-time).

But another thing I find much harder than keeping clients is keeping their rates up with inflation (and, more recently, with exchange rate variations) so I would greatly appreciate any comments from those colleagues working with the same clients for such a long time as to how do they manage, I mean how often do they update their rates for a given client and how much resistance they find...

Thanks a lot in advance for any insight!

[Edited at 2011-05-06 09:34 GMT]
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Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:22
Italian to English
+ ...
still going strong May 6, 2011

I began working with my oldest regular direct client in June 1987.
But every now and then an even older one creeps out of the woodwork where he's been lurking since about 1976.

The agency I've been with longest dates back to 1986.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:22
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
25+ years May 6, 2011

There's one client I have been working together since 1985.

Most of my other clients are fairly "new", between 2 years and 3 months.


 

Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:22
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
4 years May 6, 2011

But that's because I've been in the business for 4 years. In other words: I work with some clients since the very beginning.

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:22
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
43 years - sort of May 6, 2011

I started free-lancing for "them" in 1967;
then "they" hired me;
then I married and moved to Mexico for 2 years and "they" sent me a heavy load of free-lance work the whole time I was there;
then "they" hired me back again;
and finally I took early retirement and became a permanent free lance in 1992, and I'm still working for "them" - different players, but it has always been the same organization: Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization.


 

Patricia Charnet
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:22
English to French
over 20 years May 6, 2011

21 years!

quite a few over 10 years
some over 15 years


 

Marlene Blanshay  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:22
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
5 years May 6, 2011

there's one agency that was the first to start sending me regular work and i'm still working with them! Lately, not as much, but there are times when I get nothing from them for months. However, they are still the longest standing consistent clients. Others have come and gone or don't do much in my language pair anymore. And new ones emerge all the time!

 

Hilary Davies Shelby
United States
Local time: 10:22
German to English
Almost 8 years May 6, 2011

I just did some work yesterday for an agency I've been working with since 2003 - they were one of my very first freelance clients.

 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:22
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
24 years May 6, 2011

A direct client, moved out of town, not far, a few years ago. Today I mailed them two subtitled DVDs I made for them.

My longest-standing international client, a translation agency in the USA, will complete 5 years we've been working together next October. I e-mailed them a finished translation some 10 minutes ago.

It would take me some research to find out who is the client with the longest time span ever between jobs. Some of them reconnect years later, asking, Do you still remember me? possibly checking on which side of the threshold of senescence they'll find me.
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