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How to prepare for successful multilingual customer experiences while controlling your translation agency costs

In uncertain economic times, ensuring that each customer is happy becomes even more important than usual. When you work internationally, delivering successful multilingual customer experiences often means relying on the services of a high-quality translation agency. But how do you get the specialized translation that you need while also ensuring that you’re accessing the most cost-efficient services? Read on to find out!

Using a top translation agency to enhance the customer experience

The role of a translation agency in delivering a slick, professional customer experience to your international clientele is not to be underestimated. Ofer Tirosh, CEO of language service provider Tomedes, advises that a translation agency should be able to understand your market and deliver specialized translation, which can make a major difference to your customer satisfaction rating. It can thus have a significant impact on your bottom line.

What is the best translation agency to meet your needs? It is one that will deliver quality translations swiftly and that will take the time to understand your business needs. Asking for recommendations for a decent translation agency is a good starting point. Your professional contacts may well have used services before that they would be happy to point you in the direction of.

Bear in mind that cost-efficient is not the same as cheap when it comes to choosing your translation agency. Cheap translations that deliver poor quality can irritate your customers and leave them with reservations about buying from your company. As such, they can end up costing you far more than if you had just paid the going rate for quality translations. This is why using machine translation should be avoided for professional purposes – it’s cheap and fast, but it doesn’t deliver the same value that human translations can.

Why specialized translation is important

When it comes to your business translation needs, you need to decide whether to opt for general translation or specialized translation. What is general translation? It is a service that will seek to translate more ‘standard’ items, such as letters, emails, certificates, and documents.

However, when it comes to certain sectors, more specialized translation comes into play. You can use medical, legal, marketing, financial, and many other kinds of translators who will be experienced at working with the kinds of documents you need. They will also be familiar with the specialist terminology that your sector uses.

Such expertise comes at a price. Glassdoor reports that the average translator salary stands at £12/hour, while the average medical translator earns £16/hour. Just something to bear in mind when doing your due diligence on which translation agencies might meet your needs.

When your focus is on delivering outstanding customer experiences through quality translations, you’ll need a translation agency with outstanding customer support. Given the number of call centres that deliver multilingual customer support, finding a suitably experienced individual is not as hard as you might at first imagine.

Much depends on whether you are happy to use an online service or want to use a local one. Say you want a local translation agency, London is your base, you need Arabic as the language, and you require customer support experience. Your pool of available translators will be fairly shallow. However, if you just specify customer service skills and Arabic translation, London no longer needs to be the limit of your search. You can scour the globe for the right translation agency. London is taken out of the equation, meaning that you have a far greater number of potential translators to work with.

Devise your translation strategy to keep costs low

The key to delivering successful multilingual customer experiences while also controlling costs is planning. Mapping out your goals, and how you plan to reach them while building in measurable targets, will help you to precisely plan which translation agency you need – whether general translation, specialized translation or both – and why.

Having measurable targets is important, as they will tell you how successful your approach to customer engagement has been. Devise them at the outset so that you can tweak your strategy if you need to once your multilingual efforts are underway.

Consider the customer experience as a whole when working out your strategy. Where are your key digital touchpoints? What do your customers need from their interactions with you? How coherent is your social media approach with your other customer engagement methods? How user-friendly and intuitive is your website?

Understanding all of this before you start translating is crucial if you truly want cost-efficient translations. You need your strategy firmly in mind when appointing a translation agency. Otherwise, you risk ordering translations that don’t meet your needs, and that don’t serve to drive up the quality of your overall customer experience. Even the highest quality translations won’t be effective if their content isn’t suitably targeted at the intended audience.

Why are multilingual customer experiences a big deal?

It’s worth quickly pointing out the value of putting effort into delivering quality translations as part of your customer experience. According to Customer Experience Futurist Blake Morgan, 84% of companies that focus on improving their customer experience see their revenue increase. They also drive revenue 4-8% higher than their competitors.

Clearly, customer experience matters. It becomes more complicated when delivering it in multiple languages, certainly, but the principles remain the same. If you put your customer at the heart of what you do, then complement that with specialized translation, you stand a good chance of seeing the impact on your bottom line.