6 Top Tips for Nurturing Client Relationships

Language service providers (LSPs) and translation agencies have a lot on their plate. In the context of heightened competition and smaller jobs with ever shorter turnaround times, you need to work hard to keep your current client base loyal. You need to up your marketing game to attract new clients. And you need to draw in talented, hard-working translators – your vendors – so you can deliver for your clients. But how do you go about building and nurturing good working relationships with your clients? To get you started, we’ve pulled together six top tips.

1. Work on Your Empathy.

All projects are unique – at least in the eye of the client. Listen to what they have to say. Look at things from their perspective, try to feel what they feel, and understand what they need. And treat them how you would like to be treated. This will not only help you meet their business needs but will also help establish that all-important human connection. Because after all, people are what matter most in business.

2. Build Trust through Transparency and Technology.

Trust is essential in any business relationship. But it’s even more important in the translation and localization industry, where the translation buyer often doesn’t understand the source or target language. They need to trust you to understand and cater to their requirements, settings, linguistic and stylistic preferences, and to render a translation that is both accurate and resonates with the target market. But how can you build this trust? Transparency. Communicate with your clients, answer all their questions, show them the progress of your work, and involve them in the review process. Technology can help here too, as the right platform will give them easy access to the progress and status of their project, and give them the opportunity to ask questions or raise issues.

3. Meet Their Needs and Deliver as Promised.

Global brands are looking for translation and localization suppliers who prioritize innovation and are able to scale their services as needed. Many are now working to a “program-based, not project-based” model. This approach offers more comprehensive, reliable, and round-the-clock services to meet their needs. But be careful not to set unrealistic expectations. Always make sure that you’re able to deliver what you promise.

4. Be Responsive.

Being an expert is not enough. To compete, you need to be flexible and responsive. Technology can help. For instance, a Translation Management System with integrated Customer Relationship Management functionality will typically contain project requirements, objectives, conditions, project files, project history and progress. It’s a one-stop-shop for project information. Which makes it the ideal place to go when asking questions, clarifying, and resolving project-specific issues. And it means you’re able to respond and react faster. A TMS can even help answer questions before they’re asked. Plus, systems like these can give you valuable business insights, like identifying who your most profitable clients are, so you can allocate your resources accordingly.

5. Ask for Feedback.

This is an oldie but a goodie. Satisfaction surveys and feedback requests are key for keeping both your clients and your vendors happy. They help you identify and resolve issues, and improve what you do. And they show your clients and your vendors that you care about them, what they think, and are willing to make changes where needed. There are plenty of free survey tools you can use, or simply ask for feedback in an email.

6. Stay in Touch.

Staying in touch is crucial. And it’s even easier with all the technological options at our fingertips. But no matter the medium, just make sure you go beyond sending seasonal greetings a couple of times a year. Reach out regularly so your clients know you’re there for them. Stay front and center in their mind and they’ll think of you when the next relevant project comes along. And if you keep the lines of communication open, they’ll be more likely to flick you a quick message about any small niggles they’ve encountered. That way you can deal quickly with the molehill, before it becomes a mountain.