Poll: Problems with clients: how much are these due to poor communication?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:23
SITE STAFF
Nov 26

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Problems with clients: how much are these due to poor communication?".

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Abdio Muhumed
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
25-50% Nov 26

I would normally assume that when communication is good between freelancer and client, things should run smoothly. For example, last night I opened the document a long-standing client has sent me to translate, and found that it was full of mistakes in the original, which took me almost 15 minutes to rectify. Being tired and grumpy, I sent them a "gentle reminder" to pass a spellchecker before delivering their texts in future. This morning I got an equally polite "mea culpa". Are they all lived h... See more
I would normally assume that when communication is good between freelancer and client, things should run smoothly. For example, last night I opened the document a long-standing client has sent me to translate, and found that it was full of mistakes in the original, which took me almost 15 minutes to rectify. Being tired and grumpy, I sent them a "gentle reminder" to pass a spellchecker before delivering their texts in future. This morning I got an equally polite "mea culpa". Are they all lived happily ever after (until the next time)… Collapse


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 05:23
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Nov 26

I haven’t had a single problem with a client for some time. Most of my work is repeat work from clients I've worked with for more than XY years, so usually our communication is limited to: “Are you available?”,“When will you deliver”? “Thanks very much”. Two or three years ago I had a few problems with a British agency (conflicting emails, late POs, etc.), over time things changed for the better and then last year they lost their account…

Michael Harris
Philip Lees
 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 06:23
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
1-25% Nov 26

Rarely. Maybe as little as 5%.

Angie Garbarino
 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:23
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Communication is not among the worst issues Nov 26

Poor communication can, of course, cause problems. But there are worse problems in that relationship. Right now I think the worst one is the end client "inventing" non-existing problems with one's translation. This is, by far, the most irritating one. Than comes the non-existing mistakes corrected by revisers, another catastrophe of out profession.

Angie Garbarino
Ian Keith Jones Williams
 

Khanya Ncube
South Africa
Local time: 07:23
Afrikaans to English
+ ...
what do i do if you send an invoice and the client does not reply Nov 26

Hi all
please help i did some urgent work on a document and afterwards i sent a invoice to the client but the client has not responded to my emails and the client has passed the payment deadline twice.thank you for your help


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
99% Nov 26

Communication is the process of sharing information between people within and outside a company to reach organizational goals, improving organizational practices and reducing errors.

The definition may be so deep and broad that it goes beyond business and professional communication and covers almost everything:
Business communication (or simply "communication," in a business context) encompasses topics such as marketing, brand management, customer relations, consumer behavior, advertising, public relations, corporate communication, community engagement, reputation management, interpersonal communication, employee engagement, and event management.
Even seeking, assessing, contacting, and leveraging counts, so only 1% of possible issues is not related to communication, perhaps.


Jaime Oriard
 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 06:23
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I don't know Nov 26

Good communications can certainly sort out issues before they develop into serious problems, and poor communications can make simple problems very difficult to solve.

I think sometimes the problem goes much deeper - before they even start to communicate, some clients do not know enough about translation, and translators are not always aware of what clients believe or expect.

The amazing stories of clients who assume translators ´just type´ with a Russian typewriter, o
... See more
Good communications can certainly sort out issues before they develop into serious problems, and poor communications can make simple problems very difficult to solve.

I think sometimes the problem goes much deeper - before they even start to communicate, some clients do not know enough about translation, and translators are not always aware of what clients believe or expect.

The amazing stories of clients who assume translators ´just type´ with a Russian typewriter, or expect them to translate thousands of words in a couple of hours, show that there may be a huge gap in understanding, not just a need to communicate better.

Poor source texts, culture gaps, technological problems... like illegible handwriting, and does anyone remember those smudged faxes that had been sent back and forth several times? Or tiny print on coloured backgrounds, Tag Soup when a text is loaded into a CAT tool… Formatting that goes mad when you try to work on a file...

There are all sorts of possible problems, and I would not try to guess what percentage are due to poor communications.
Collapse


Philip Lees
 

Alexandra Hirsch (X)  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 06:23
English to German
+ ...
The time lag Nov 27

Poor communication happens but it's not the real issue. I consider myself a service provider and as such it is part of my job to be proactive in terms of aiding and supporting clients. The real problem for me is the time lag that often occurs, i.e. the delay until the client replies.

 


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