Meeting clients’ expectations

Meeting clients’ expectations is a very important part of any business. When you sell a product or service, you must know your client’s needs and you should be prepared to meet them. The client must always be assured they will get quality and professional conduct. But it is also important that both clients and service providers have realistic and reasonable expectations of each other.  It is a balancing act, and it only works if both parts understand each other and have great communication.

The key to a great working relationship

Transparency is the key. Both parts should put all their cards on the table. Service providers should inform their clients of their services, terms and conditions, prices and all valuable information that will help them make a decision. Clients should inform service providers of the service they need, their terms and conditions and also all valuable information that will also help the provider ascertain if they are a good fit for the job.

Such good communication between parties will guarantee a great relationship. Clients will feel empowered to make the right decision and chose the best fit for the job, they will also build a trust relationship with the service provider, as they know what they can ask of them and what they can achieve together. Service providers will get trusting clients, who will know their services and rely on them.

What can go wrong

However, it’s not always like that. There’s a lot of factors that may break this link. Clients may have unrealistic expectations, or may not be flexible to negotiate. The same happens with service providers.

In the translation industry, the most frequent issues found by translators are pricing and turn over. Some clients, expect translators to work 24/7 for very low rates. It is a mistake. Quality comes with a price and every professional has the right to a balanced life.  This won’t help clients get the job properly done and it also won’t help translators provide a good service. An underpaid and overworked professional is never going to do their best job. A few hours can make a difference in the quality of the final product. 

For clients, it may be a lack of understanding of the profession and what to expect of language professionals. Language services are usually devalued. There is an idea that it is a simple job one can do in a few hours, if not less. All you need is speak two languages and you can do it.  Well, it all depends on the job. A simple letter to a friend may indeed fall in that “easy task” category, but the same can’t be said if is a medical manuscript or a legal document.

A good way of avoiding issues

For clients, the best way to avoid any issues is to have a deep knowledge of the job they need to be done and the complexity that job may have. If it didn’t take you 30 minutes to write the document, it will be impossible for someone to translate it properly in that time. Set a realistic budget, understand that every service has a price. Choose a qualified professional, check their specialisations to make sure they will be a very strong match for your job. Ask for 3 Quotes (or even more) and analyse them not only based on price, but also the type of service offered. Sometimes is worth to pay or wait a bit more and have the work properly done.

Translators are no different. Having a deep knowledge of their skills and how far they can go, be confident to express that to clients and price their work accordingly. Being transparent with the client, provide them with all information, so they can decide what it’s best for them. Ask questions, have good communication with clients. This will lead you to meet client’s expectations.

At the end of the day, a good professional will always stand out from the crowd.