Retaining clients seems simple enough on the face of it – do a good job and they will stay with you, right? Sadly not. With professional translation being such a competitive industry, translators have to strive constantly to ensure that they retain their clients.
For those who are struggling to retain their clients, we take a look below at five common reasons why this might be and what to do about each of them.
The problem: Clients were happy with your price initially, but over time have become tempted by cheaper offers, as the competition tries to win them away from you.
The solution: Offer clients a discount on their rate when they spend over a certain amount per month with you. Clients will feel they are getting great value for money and may even send more work your way in order to trigger the discount.
The problem: It may be that you are doing everything right – providing high quality translations at a competitive price – but suddenly a new competitor appears who tempts your long-term client away with a promise of lower rates or an introductory offer.
The solution: Keep your clients engaged through loyalty offers and bonuses. Whether it’s the first 100 words translated for free on their next job or a ‘translate two, get one free’ type offer, mix and match your promotions to keep clients interested. Sticking with just one promotion can lead clients to simply see that as a part of your core service, so shuffle them around to keep your clients feeling that they are benefiting from new offers every month or two.
The problem: Even the highest quality professional translator can lose clients through poor customer service. Clients need more than just their translated text, so if your customer service skills are letting you down, you may find it harder to retain clients, even if your work itself is flawless.
The solution: Brush up on your customer service skills by reading online about what’s important. Ensure that you are friendly, reliable and quick to respond to emails at all times. Even if you’re having a bad day, don’t let your clients know – keep your communications upbeat and professional at all times and it will pay dividends.
The problem: Everyone makes mistakes, but too many can cost you a client, so unchecked or rush work must be avoided at all costs.
The solution: Team up with a proofreading professional who will agree to go over all of your translation work at preferential rates. Ensure that the partnership works both ways by finding a professional proof-reader who has clients who regularly need translation work – that way the partnership will ensure that both of you benefit.
The problem: In any industry, clients may be tempted away from a quiet, reliable service in favour of one that seems more exciting, so be sure to avoid a lack of sparkle leading to your clients feeling that they get a dull service from you.
The solution: This doesn’t mean don’t be dependable – far from it, in fact. Continue to provide flawless translations and super customer service, but add a little something extra in as well. Whether it’s a monthly competition for your clients with a cool prize or a surprise box of chocolates for a client who has spent far more than usual in a month, keep your business fresh and exciting to retain your clients for the long haul.
What are your top tips for retaining clients? What has worked particularly well for you? Let us know by leaving a comment in the box.