They say that a puppy is for life, not just for Christmas, but is the same true of a translation agency? Should you put everything into finding and then sticking with the perfect translation agency partner? Or is it better to shop around and change agencies regularly? Here we look at the advantages of each approach, to help you decide which is the right strategy for meeting your business translation needs.
Finding the right translation agency can be a lengthy process. Doing so takes staff away from their day to day roles and acts as a distraction. As such, many companies want to do it once and once only – they are happy to commit the time once in order to find the perfect translation partner and then stick with that agency for life (or at least, for several years).
Sticking with the same translation service means that the translation agency has the time and motivation to become intimately familiar with your house style. The agency will also have a sound working knowledge of any specialist terms and technical details that relate to your products. This positions them well to offer flawless translations without having to keep asking questions about the technical content of your documents. As such, sticking with the same agency can lead to you saving money and time in terms of fewer interruptions for your staff during the translation process.
Using a regular translation agency can also provide you with a smooth, consistent tone of voice across your translated documents. By using the same agency/translator, you can transfer your preferred tone of voice from your source language documents to your target language. This is much harder to achieve if you keep chopping and changing the translator who provides your copy.
Maintaining an ongoing relationship with a professional translation service also means that you will be familiar with that company’s processes and timescales – you will know what to expect, when and in what format. You’ll also know who to speak to should you have a query in relation to an existing job or a new translation project on the horizon. The whole process becomes familiar and, therefore, less time consuming that constantly dealing with new services and contacts.
Having said all of which, there are also advantages to regularly changing your translation agency. Playing agencies off against each other when they are bidding to take on your translation jobs means that you can sometimes enjoy discounts that wouldn’t be available if you stuck with one agency. This can be a great way to save money on your business translation requirements.
Some agencies also provide introductory offers in order to tempt new customers to use them. This can be another way to cut the cost of your translation spending.
Working with a new translation service also means that the agency in question will be pulling out all the stops to ensure you are a happy customer. As their goal will be to convert you into a long-term client, it’s in the agency’s interests to ensure that the service you receive is absolutely tip top – they’ll want to show that they are a cut above the rest. This means that you can benefit from highly attentive customer service as the company tends to your translation needs.
Clearly, both approaches have their benefits. Ultimately, the needs of your business will direct whether you prefer to stick with one long-term translation partner or whether chopping and changing from company to company suits you best. Either way, be sure to check the quality of your translations regularly, to ensure that your translation service is of the highest quality.
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