Many of us do business in a global marketplace and that means you could be dealing with customers from different parts of the world who might not speak your language.
Your lack of linguistic skills should never be a barrier to communication and doing business, which is where a translation company can provide that vital go-between and help you understand each other.
Here is a look at some of the key points to consider when you are choosing the right translation service for your needs, including why it pays to make a list of your requirements, why the translator’s geographical location matters, what quality and confidentiality controls they have in place, plus an overview of why great customer service can point you in the right direction.
Make a list of your specific needs
The dilemma you are faced with when it comes to choosing the right translation service is that this company might offer one thing and another is providing something slightly different.
The key is to know exactly what you need and use that checklist as a way of narrowing down your choice of providers to a shortlist of translation services that most closely match your specific requirements.
If you are creating promotional material that also contains a reasonable amount of technical detail, for instance, you might be better served choosing an agency who has previous knowledge and experience of producing these documents in a professional way.
Ask to see samples of their previous translation work so that you can gauge whether they have the necessary skills that you need.
How do they deliver their translation service?
It is highly relevant to know whether a translation service provider uses the more traditional method of using individual linguists or if they rely on using AI and other computer technology to help deliver the translation service.
Despite major advancements in technology with computerized software becoming much more reliable when it comes to translation work it is still generally considered that human linguists should provide a greater level of accuracy and fluency.
It is also more likely that you will be able to find a person who has the required ability to translate complex medical and legal documents more accurately than a computer if that is something that you need.
The cost of labour varies substantially across the globe and you could find that some translation services might be using translators who are offering their services to an agency at a cheap rate but can’t provide the same level of experience or quality that others might.
Price is always a consideration when you are selecting a translation service to use but it is definitely worth asking the question about where the translators are located and what previous experience they have.
Also, ask the translation company what quality controls are in place to check the accuracy of the work that they are providing to you.
Another important point to consider and ask the translation agency about is what steps they take to ensure that any documents or conversations handled remain confidential.
You might need the agency to translate something that is commercially sensitive or it could be something more basic that you need help with. Regardless of what it is you want to translate into another language, it needs to be handled with sensitivity and professionalism.
Check whether the translator is subject to a nondisclosure agreement and ask if signed confidentiality agreements are standard practice amongst their network of editors and translators.
Some translation services might also be HIPAA compliant. This is a recognized standard for privacy in relation to sensitive health information, which may be relevant to the translation work you need them to do.
Fast turnaround times
Speed might be an issue of want something translated in a hurry and it would be very useful to know if the agency you are considering using can respond quickly to your requests.
It makes sense to ask what the standard turnaround time for translation work normally is and whether they offer the option of being able to respond to urgent requests outside of normal office hours and within different time zones.
In can sometimes be a good indication of the strength and reputation of a translation company if they are able to offer you access to a network of different translators around the globe at very short notice.
There are likely to be scenarios where you need urgent translation assistance and knowing that you can get the help you need when you need it, is good to know.
Great customer service
Most companies are ultimately defined by how well they treat their customers and positive feedback is the lifeblood of any business, which is why you should take the time to find out a bit more about the translation service you are intending to use.
You can often get a good idea of how switched on and consistent they are with their customer service by the way they respond to your enquiry and the interaction you have once you make contact.
Customer service covers a multitude of different aspects and there are a few additional points to consider beyond getting a fast response when you call or email.
One example of this would be your preference for consistency. If you find a translator you get on with and want to maintain the same tone and style each time you need to use the agency, check whether you can be assigned the same translator to handle your work each time.
There are a lot of translation companies to choose from but if you ask some pertinent questions and do some research such as checking on the existing customer for the agency, it should help you make the right choice at the first time of asking.
If you are putting your company’s communications with customers in outside hands you want to be sure that you have found a translation partner that is right for you.