Loyalty is an important part of the translation business. Translators and interpreters hope and trust that their clients and agencies will be loyal to them and put work their way, otherwise life would be one long round of searching for jobs and learning new terminology… a real waste of time. Higher up the chain, translation agencies and language service providers expect loyalty from their translators and from the clients to whom they supply translations. Then there are the final clients, who place their trust in everyone involved in the project to do a good job for them.
A feeling of loyalty is defined as a consistently positive emotional experience, physical-attribute based satisfaction and perceived value of an experience, which includes the product or services. So, if you want your customers to be loyal to you, there’s no use being brilliant only part of the time. Consistency is where it’s at and we all know that we can never let our standards slip… after all your competitors are just a quick google search away.
Loyal customers are worth up to ten times as much as their initial orders, so giving great customer service is really worth the effort. What’s more, the market is flooded with competitors that can come up with the goods, so one way you can stand out from the crowd is by providing a superb level of service that nobody else can match.
Naturally, delivering a perfect piece of work on time, every time is the goal, but to give your customers an ‘experience’ you need to exceed their expectations. In my experience, connecting with your customers on a personal level is crucial for creating a network of loyal contacts. There are PMs I have been working with for more than 20 years. I may never have met them personally, but we certainly have relationships, in fact we’re growing old together! As well as genuine respect, friendship and professional collaboration, the idea is to get them to favour you over other ‘outsiders’.
I know, we don’t have much time. Our work is time consuming and requires great concentration, but making your contacts feel like they’ve made the right choice goes along way to developing your relationships with them. Unlike waiters, we can’t offer them a drink on the house, but as in so many areas of life, a friendly email, a quick phone call, or a thank you can go a long way to boosting loyalty, and it makes everyone’s day nicer.
Writer: Juliet Allaway