It's easy to forget sometimes, but translation is only one part of the job. Communicating effectively and providing good service to our customers is equally important. At its best, communication makes the difference between a good customer experience and a great one, and ultimately it can improve translation quality.
If in doubt...
Great communication helps us ensure translations are spot on, both in terms of accuracy and tone:
Use Gengo's in-built comments feature to clarify any parts of the job that aren't clear. Even the most experienced translators find that they can't make sense of particular terms, acronyms or corporate jargon from time to time. Requesting more context from the client is the best way to avoid an error (or worse, leaving part of a job untranslated!)
The best translators can emulate a client's house style perfectly. We use the Gengo Style Guide as our default, unless customers specify otherwise. However, occasionally you might find yourself being pulled in different directions by a customer's text and the Style Guide – for instance should that be “LEGO” or “Lego”? If in doubt, just ask your customer!
Of course, customers may not always be available to respond promptly to queries. When in doubt, translators should use their best judgement rather than allow the job's allotted time to expire. The customer will see your original comment upon reviewing the job and can still respond if they wish!
Sometimes, translators include notes in-line in a job, to clarify particular terms. We generally advise against this, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, some customers use our API system to translate large-scale web content automatically, and won't necessarily review the job in person. Equally, there's a good chance the customer won't speak the source language well and could therefore miss your note when reviewing the job.
Using the comment function is a great alternative here, as you can ensure your message goes direct to the customer.
It probably goes without saying, but it's worth mentioning that customer communication should always be friendly, professional and polite. It's important to stay professional at all times, even if customers request corrections to a job or ask for a tight deadline.
Finally, we should always speak with customers in their preferred language. Gengo's new interface makes this easy – the comment box prompts you to write in the language of your client's choice.
You can find out more at:
- Gengo Style Guide: http://gengo.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/style-guide-en.pdf
- Communication skills lesson: http://gengo-lessons.s3.amazonaws.com/07-communication-skills-lesson.pdf