Poll: When a client is dissatisfied, I can usually correct the problem to their satisfaction.
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 17:07
SITE STAFF
Nov 26, 2017

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "When a client is dissatisfied, I can usually correct the problem to their satisfaction.".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 01:07
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Nov 26, 2017

Touch wood, I haven’t had a single complaint for a while! I always check, double-check and triple-check each translation and a good percentage of my work is reviewed by another translator. But if the client believes there is a problem, I’ll be happy to discuss it, clear things up fast and explain my terminological choices. Usually, it just takes a bit of tact and diplomacy for that client to end up satisfied….

 

Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:07
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It depends... Nov 26, 2017

If it is a QA-related issue, I will revise it right away. Although, I never had formal or informal complaints regarding my translations. One of my working principles is 'readiness'.
I have translated for a specific client for 7 years and they always send QA reports for all jobs final checking, and I find it is very useful.

icon_smile.gif


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:07
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
how many are going to admit to dissatisfied clients? Nov 26, 2017

My clients often ring up with queries and I welcome, even encourage, this. I prefer them to ask why I used a certain word rather than just change it to what they were expecting. It gives me a chance to explain my reasoning, show that I'm not just using the first word that pops into my head but thinking carefully about the client's message.
They are very often dissatisfied at the point in time where they contact me, but I usually manage to explain things to their satisfaction, or come up with a compromise in which I suggest a synonym. Sometimes I deliberately suggest something silly as "the only alternative" in which case they realise what I put originally was better. I'll often say something along the lines of "this is why you need a professional native speaker, because otherwise you'd have walked right into that classic mistake"

It works much better with direct clients than with agencies. The PM often gets my point but fails to get it across to their client. Once, when working in-house, I had a PM who kept transferring stupid demands from a client who previously had been highly satisfied with my work. We'd had a change of management though and the new manager decided that clients were to have a "single contact", ie a PM, and translators were not to deal directly with clients. Things came to a head at a meeting and I asked for permission to deal directly with the client. Turned out that it was a new person dealing with the translations, who didn't know she could trust my translations, and who didn't trust the PM either. The PM happened to be Russian so of course in the client's eyes she knew nothing about English. Her English was actually far better than the client's, but she was young and lacked confidence. I talked with the client for ten minutes on the phone, and explained everything that I had already explained, and that was it, no more complaints from that client.


 

Pascale van Kempen-Herlant
Local time: 02:07
Dutch to French
+ ...
For me the same, Teresa :-) Nov 26, 2017

Teresa Borges wrote:

Touch wood, I haven’t had a single complaint for a while! I always check, double-check and triple-check each translation and a good percentage of my work is reviewed by another translator. But if the client believes there is a problem, I’ll be happy to discuss it, clear things up fast and explain my terminological choices. Usually, it just takes a bit of tact and diplomacy for that client to end up satisfied….


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:07
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Types of dissatisfied Nov 28, 2017

Every now and then, a supposedly dissatisfied client shows up.
Sometimes, they complain:

1. about simple errors or word prefences
2. about specific terms/jargon, mostly preferences as well
3. about something you didn't comply with in their style guide or glossary
4. as a means to try to put your work down and perhaps get a discount

In situations 1 to 3, no problem. It happens, and we can solve that easily, being nice to the client, saying "you're right", etc. Although, I'm not sure why they don't simply fix the damn thing instead of bothering us and asking us to send the whole thing again after changing three letters in 20 pages.

In situation 4, unfortunately not so rare in Brazil, you have to be smart, stand straight, and don't give up. If they notice it "didn't work with this guy", they'll give up. If you give them any reason, you're screwed.


 


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