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Hello, 

I seems to me like the current implementation of the preferred translator system is not very intuitive and in many cases not productive.

For example customers might think that the system doesn't work at all because they don't realize they have to add another preferred translator, or they might shy away from the "work" of having to assign a second one when they have just found  one translator they are happy with. (Not trying to imply that there are actually jobs that can be only done by one special translator, but in some cases the customer might want to have just one translator e.g. if consistency is especially important.)

Also it seems like some customers will promptly remove you from their list of preferred translators when you aren't online for a day or so and their translations take longer than expected. (This is just a guess, though, I'm not 100% sure how the system works.) 

So my suggestion would be that the preferred translator system works from the first added translator, but the customer can set a deadline after which the translation is open for all. (Which should be visible to the preferred translator(s) so they can individually judge if they expect to be able to start the job within this deadline or release it immediately.) 

It might also make sense to send out a special email to the preferred translator if a preferred job is coming in, so he can filter these emails accordingly. 

 

Best,

Chris

 

 

 

 

8 comments

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    Chris

    Well, I somehow managed to completely overlook the "feature requests" forum. My apologies. 

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    KevanSF

    No need to apologize. This is an interesting topic, and being here may increase its visibility.

    Four or five times over the past year I've received an e-mail telling me that a customer has chosen me as a preferred translator. I never once received any job offer based on any of these PT designations except one time, a couple weeks ago, when I was out of town, and saw that I got an e-mail for a PT job (that wasn't the auction work, which I also do, but that's a different flavor/flavour of PT, as we know). Unfortunately, traveling, and without a "real" computer and my translation resources, I didn't feel able to take on a translation job.

    Bottom line, I agree with you. It may be tough for a client who has maybe only 5 or 10 documents to be translated to select two PTs. They may really like the job the first translator did, and select them, but as we know, that doesn't mean anything until they've selected the second.

    I believe that once a client selects a PT, they should get an informational pop-up explaining the system and allowing them to select an additional PT in the future (if they plan on having a lot of work over a long period), or simply stick with the one they've selected, and add a certain period of time (ie one hour, one day) for which the jobs are offered exclusively to the PT. That way the client can decide how to prioritize speed over consistency. If they have, say, 5 articles, they may want to allow 5 days of exclusivity in order to give their PT time to do them all, so that the client receives uniform quality and terminology. On the other hand, maybe the client will realize they must have all the work done in 48 hours, so they may have to open up the work to all comers sooner.

    Of course, the translator should have an easy way (one click) to immediately notify the client if they won't be able to take on the work for whatever reason, so the client can decide what to do next.

    Obviously, it's a slightly complex situation, but my bottom line is that the current system could be improved.

    Perhaps your post will start a conversation and some interesting ideas will emerge, ideas which Gengo might be able to use to improve the situation for client and translator alike.

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    Alexander

    One obvious improvement could be that translators tell the system when they are available. E.g., on your Account settings page (http://gengo.com/account/profile/) you would enter your usual hours and specify any exceptions in the nearby future like when you are out of town.

    Thus, when the customer assigns a PT to a job, the system can give an estimate when the work will be done and the customer can either agree to wait for the estimated amount of time or pick a different/additional PT (or none at all).

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    Chris

    Thanks Kevan!  (I think I didn't do the "double-login" for the Community page, so I didn't see the hidden forums.)

    @Alexander:  I think that would be an interesting feature as well ( I recently thought about what would happen if you want to do translations in the days before a holiday or vacation without internet. As things currently are, you had to stop working a couple of days earlier, or any revision request during your absence would result in a rejected job. So it might make sense to be able to schedule/register vacation days and allow other translators to handle the revisions - which of course opens another can of worms. (Payment, responsibility etc. However, since this is mostly important for bigger jobs, it might make sense  to pay the revising translator  a certain percent of the reward.)

    For the preferred translator problem I'd personally prefer the deadline solution, though, since I can't always predict when I'll be free to take jobs over the day or have to leave or if I maybe rather take another job. 

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    Alexander

    @Chris - The basic idea is to collect as much relevant data as possible to make an informed decision. Even if you cannot state exactly when you are available, having a rough picture would be better than nothing.

    Of course, the estimate of the pickup time and the deadline can be combined. It is even possible to refine the approach, using 2 or more deadlines: "initially, show the job only to preferred translator PT1; after 24 hours, show it to PT2 and PT3 as well; if after 36 hours the job has still not been taken, show it to all translators" (where the choice for the 24 and 36 hours deadlines is based on the availability info of PT1, PT2, and PT3).

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    Chris

    " Even if you cannot state exactly when you are available, having a rough picture would be better than nothing."

    That's true, of course.

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    Lara

    Hi everybody,

    Thank you for all your suggestions!
    You have all raised some interesting points, and we will be using them as reference to look into ways in which we can improve the current Preferred Translator system to provide a better experience for both customers and translators.

    As always, I cannot promise immediate changes, but I will keep you all updated!

    Lara

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    Chris

    Thank you very much, Lara! 

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