I am a firm believer of good customer service and try hard to provide just that to my translation and localization customers or just potential customers. This includes responding to email within one to two hours during my office hours, politely declining when I cannot do a job and referring a colleague instead, communicating all questions and comments in a timely and friendly manner, educating the client in a polite way if needed and going out of my way to fulfill the customer requests. Today I received yet another proof of why this paid off.
Here is the comment from a potential client:
“I contacted you before regarding the XXX website translation project, which was eventually decided to be done by one agency and in cooperation with our head office in XXX. Out of all the quotes I got last spring, you were the most responsive and seemed most credible. Therefore I have another translation offer for you…”
This shows that customer service starts well before you start the project. I have a lot of proof that customer service pays off during the project and it does not end with the delivery of a translation either. After the delivery of a project I can follow up with an email asking them if everything was to their liking and if they have any questions before I send the invoice. I thank the clients for payment on time and send them notes with updates of projects in other fields. I also inform my clients of my absences and have referrals on hand that can stand in for me during these periods. I am happy to say that I have kept most of my clients in the translation and localization field since starting to freelance almost ten years ago. If I have lost any, it is usually due to price increases or lack of jobs in my fields of expertise.
Do you have any other ideas for providing customer service? Or perhaps proof of the value of customer service for you? Do share!