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Poll: Do you communicate with clients on the phone?
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 00:25
Sep 23, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you communicate with clients on the phone?".

This poll was originally submitted by Jerome Duquene. View the poll results »


Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:25
German to English
+ ...
Not as a rule Sep 23, 2014

Occasionally clients will ring me if they have an urgent job or if I haven't responded to an e-mail. I will ring customers once in a blue moon (if my e-mails are bouncing back, for example)! E-mail is my default method of communicaiton.


Platon Danilov  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:25
Member (2014)
English to Russian
+ ...
Not as a rule Sep 23, 2014

I will definitely ring a client, especially new one, if I feel like miscommunication.
Sometimes a client may call me in case of urgent job (it has been only once).


neilmac  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, some Sep 23, 2014

However, I prefer to conduct most communication by e-mail. When I'm busy, I often switch off my phone to avoid distractions.

Funnily enough, this morning one client asked me about a file they had sent me on Friday to translate. However, it turns out I'd forgotten all about it (something unforgivable, this should never happen, but hey, nobody's perfect) as I'd been distracted by having to deal with some technical problems over the weekend with a PPT file they'd sent me, as well as another one converted from InDesign (don't ask!)... so my reply email to them started off with "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Mea culpa..."* , which is exactly how I'd have responded by phone....

[Edited at 2014-09-23 11:08 GMT]

[Edited at 2014-09-23 12:57 GMT]

* Translation for non-Spanish speakers: "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! My bad..."

[Edited at 2014-09-23 13:00 GMT]


Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:25
French to Spanish
+ ...
Only one client rings Sep 23, 2014

In general, most of my clients communicate only via e-mail, which is better for me (no time lost). Only one uses to ring when starting a job, to set general conditions. But I always send them an e-mail back with a summary.


Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:25
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes Sep 23, 2014

But in almost 100% of cases, it is the customer/client who calls me, which is better since daytime telephone charges over here are outrageous and the majority of my customers/clients are based in Tokyo.

And, I always ask them to send me an e-mail summarizing the phone call conversation if it was about a new job that I provisionally accepted (I never give firm acceptance of jobs over the phone), changes to an ongoing job, etc.

From past experience, I've learnt that it's always best to leave a paper trail (i.e. e-mail) to prevent misunderstandings later on.

Gone are the days when a deal was sealed by a nod and a wink.


DianeGM  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:25
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
NO ... Sep 23, 2014

Happens occasisonally when someone calls me for a job - but mostly could be a brain in a jar for all my clients know.


Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:25
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Other Sep 23, 2014

Not in general, but sometimes I get called by a regular, or more often a potential client, when they have an urgent job.

Those never turn out to be the best projects.


Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:25
English to Spanish
+ ...
What's a phone? Sep 23, 2014

Can you imagine this poll 100 years ago? Do you telegraph your clients?

What about American Indians? Mister translator, your smoke signals had a typo. Please respond.

As a “loner” (i.e. introverted) translator, I generally cherish those impromptu, out-of-the-blue phone calls from regular clients. Those calls usually mean a particularly large or interesting project. But, like most of you, I prefer emails.

Some qualifiers could render this poll question more interesting. Example: Do you communicate with trepidation with clients on the phone?


Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:25
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
When they ring me Sep 23, 2014

Like others, I find clients call me quite often. If they need a quick answer about my availability, then it saves time - yes, no, you try and tweak the deadline and I'll tweak my less urgent job... OK, send me the files, and I'll mail you as soon as I have seen them...

I have been known to call a client about a question, but often it is easier to use e-mail.
They can then look at the written version and see what it is all about.
I can send the section of text with the problem.

That is often more useful than the instant contact, especially if they have to look up an answer or ask someone else.

I am a visual, in-writing person, not very audio-focused.


Teresa Borges
Local time: 08:25
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No, except for one client... Sep 23, 2014

In general, my clients prefer to communicate via email, but I translate a lot of medical devices certifications for one of my clients and she always sends a courier to pick them up, so we always talk over the phone to sort out what time is best for both of us.


M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:25
English to Polish
No Sep 23, 2014

My phone isn't publicly available.

I wouldn't accept a translation without seeing the text first, so email is the way to ask me questions. I normally promptly answer my emails. If something is very urgent, I would ask to send the email with the text first anyway, so phoning me first would actually be wasting time. And if I don't answer an email quickly, that means I'm not in my home office, which in turn means I would not talk about work on the phone either, because... I'm not at my computer to check the client's files. Certainly I wouldn't talk about translation on a noisy bus or queuing at a supermarket.

On top of all that, I just dislike phone conversations, especially with strangers.


Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Clients? Sep 23, 2014

Only when they want me to talk dirty


ventnai  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:25
German to English
+ ...
Very rarely Sep 23, 2014

A client may phone me to ask about availability for something urgent, but generally communication is by email or intranet.

Client is perfectly correct.

[Editat el 2014-09-23 12:56 GMT]


Sabrina Bruna  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:25
Member (2013)
English to Italian
+ ...
No, always by email but with two exceptions Sep 23, 2014

Once the customer contacted me directly on my mobile, then we went on communicating by email; at another time I exchanged a few text messages with the customer for details about an important project.

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