Communication is key to a healthy business. I have said this many times, and I keep saying it because I strongly believe that great communication is the key to success in all aspects of life, not just professionally. I have always been a very strong advocate for good communication between people as I believe it helps create great relationships and a more harmonious environment. Unfortunately, most conflicts could easily be avoided if there was better communication and understanding between the parts.
Understand your client
We need to understand our clients well if we want to do a great job. This is part of our AUSIT Code of Ethics. Having great communication with our clients ensures that we have all relevant information about the project and the client, so we cater our services specifically for them.
We start by studying our client. If it’s a company, it is important to read their website, know about their mission and projects, this will enable us to ascertain where we can help that client and how. Then we need to ask questions. Some translators may think that asking questions is a sign of weakness or lack of experience, especially at the beginning of their career. This couldn’t be further from the truth actually. You won’t be able to do a great job if you don’t ask questions. It’s as simple as this!
You need to know what is the translation for, how is it going to be used, which markets is it aimed for, are there any company glossaries they may want you to use. This will help you understand their needs and help them achieve their goals. If you don’t ask, you won’t know and you won’t do a good job for sure. This is part of our professional Code of Conduct.
Make yourself understood
But for this to work perfectly, you must also tell your client what is your mission, your services, your terms & conditions and everything that may be relevant to your professional relationship. In the same way, it is important for you to know your clients in order to do a great job, it is also important for them to know you, so they can trust you and your judgement, and have a continuous relationship with you. It works both ways!
You must be clear in your communication, so there’s no room for ambiguity or confusion. You should provide your client with all information regarding your business, your pricing, your terms and conditions, your availability to work, working hours, services provided, etc. They will then decide if you are the right person for them and what services will they require from you. You can’t choose that for them, you just tell them all the options they have.
In the end
In the end, you have established great communication that leads to a very healthy and trusting professional relationship. You can show your client that you are transparent and well equipped to help them deal with their challenges. This is part of your great customer service that will bring you lots of satisfied clients.