Wouldn’t it be great if you were available to your clients 24/7? Sounds crazy? Perhaps, but this is just what I’m going to advocate in this post. It’s also a follow-up to my previous article about the best time to contact us for translation services and marks a change in the way I service my clients. Two years ago, I suggested the best times to contact me during the day. Now, I suggest that any time you’d like to contact me is the best time!
As a mother of a 3-year old, I do know that 24/7 availability is excruciatingly difficult and may have a negative impact on your work-life balance. I need to have very strong reasons for doing this. And I think I have at least two:
- Competition in translation industry is fiercer than ever, with low entry costs for new translators, pricing pressure, and machine translation being the three primary driving forces. Going an extra mile for your clients is no longer something that helps you stand out. Rather, it’s a necessity. If you want to remain competitive, it might be a good idea to rethink your work-life balance priorities.
- Because a major percentage of our customers is U.S.-based, there’s a huge time difference between us. To give you an idea of how challenging it gets at times, here is an example: we sometimes receive the first client’s email at 6PM and the last one at 6AM (the next day). If we can’t honor our U.S.-based clients’ requests in a timely manner, this means we’re providing a suboptimal customer service to more than a half of our customers!
With these two reasons in mind, I recognize that one of the best contributions to customer satisfaction I can make as an account manager/project manager is being there for my clients as long as possible during the day. My goal is 24/7. I know it’s a challenge, but I believe a stretching goal like this gives me motivation to go beyond what’s normally expected, especially when I don’t feel like doing it.
Next time, I will provide examples of how extended contact hours add value to translation services.
Please let me know if I am going too far with my goal of 24/7 availability. I think it’s way of the future, but I might be just too optimistic.