Running any business involves a variety of balancing acts between different aspects of its operations. As perhaps with many other translation agencies, one of our major challenges is making sure we maintain top-notch quality while also nurturing customer relationships and meeting our financial goals. This balancing act can be represented as a conflict between three values: quality vs. customer service and bottom line. It’s mainly about deciding whether to accept an English to Russian translation project we are not completely comfortable with in terms of the subject matter. To resolve this conflict requires taking into account several considerations:
If we accept a project that we don’t have the expertise to translate, quality takes a hit.
Customer Service and Bottom Line
1. Rejecting the project, however, creates a headache for our clients, in particular those who rely on us heavily. If repeated often, it damages the relationship.
2. Without the required expertise, we are likely to take more time to understand and research the source text than reasonably expected. This extra time translates into either a financial loss for us or an increased rate for our client. Increasing the rate isn’t always fair because should the client contact someone who does have the expertise and can, therefore, handle the job more efficiently, the rate could be lower.
3. Rejecting the project can also have a negative impact on the financial performance. This is especially true with new clients. Acquiring a new customer requires an intensive investment of time and energy in marketing. But if we reject an order when the customer finally decides to place it, we end up losing both the profit and the marketing investment.
Our team tends to resolve this conflict by making quality our priority. Although putting the other two values second in such cases is bad for business, we believe that it’s the quality of translation that makes the biggest difference in the long run. Our company wants to project an image of a highly professional and dependable vendor, delivering the highest quality that our clients have come to expect from us every single time. We love the feeling of pride that comes when an agency client entrusts us with translation of its own website or engages us to work on an especially important job for a new and promising account, and we wouldn’t trade it for anything.
We realize this policy does occasionally impact the level of customer service by causing inconvenience to our clients such as having to look for another vendor, extend the deadline, or pay a rate higher than expected. We work to minimize this inconvenience, but some clients do get understandably disappointed. Before you do so, though, we ask you to kindly consider the message of this post. It really boils down to one thing—we are thinking long-term and having your best interests at heart. The sustainable result will be your unbreakable trust in the quality of our work and integrity.