Not asking for feedback will hinder your growth as a translator

December 15, 2014
Not asking for feedback will hinder your growth as a translator

If you’ve previously worked as an employee, you’ll likely be familiar with having annual reviews and general performance checks with your line manager. In fact, perhaps these types of intrusive reviews were one of the reasons you decided to go freelance in the first place! 

Well, unfortunately, having periodic check-ups on your performance is actually a necessary part of freelancing too. Nobody likes criticism, but it’s important to receive constructive feedback so that you’re aware of your clients’ perception of your work and are able to assess whether you can improve your service in any way. These are very important factors to understand if you want to grow your business. 

This post will highlight five useful questions you can ask recent clients in order to receive helpful feedback. The questions are designed to be open-ended, allowing the client to focus on what he or she sees as the most important areas for you to improve on. 

1. “Out of 10 (with 10 being outstanding and 1 awful) how would you rate my service?”

Your client’s answer to this question will only give you a general indication of how highly they think of you. However, this is a good first question to ask because it only requires a quick response from the client, meaning that they’ll be more likely to answer your other questions if they think there’s a chance that they’ll be just as quick too! 

2. “How did I meet or exceed your expectations?”

This question will provide a more detailed answer to how highly your client views your service, and will hopefully give you some encouragement as to what you’re doing right. Whatever your client says in response to this question means that you’re doing well in that area(s), so make sure you maintain the same level of quality in these areas moving forward.

3. “How do you think I can improve my service?”

The answer given to this question is the most important aspect of your service to work on, as the client doesn’t think that it’s quite up to par with other areas of your service. Above all other information gleaned from your feedback, make sure that you make the areas identified in the response to this question your top priority. 

4. “How did you discover me?”

The response given to this question will let you know how well your marketing material is performing, and which areas of your promotional work could be enhanced. For example, if most respondents to this question state that they heard about you from your website or by word of mouth, then this might indicate that you could find even more clients by further developing your social media presence.

5. “Why did you choose me over other translators?” 

The answer to this question will give you an idea of your strengths and how well you publicize your talents. If most clients tell you that they only considered you and didn’t bother looking for other translators, then you should be aware that there are potential clients who consider you but then choose other translators instead – try to concentrate on distinguishing yourself from others. 

On the other hand, if you receive feedback that states you seemed like the best choice out of a group of other translators, then you’re obviously winning people’s hearts and minds with your marketing! The responses to this question will further help you tailor your marketing so that it’s more effective at drawing in new clients.

Summing up

The open-ended nature of these questions allows the client to give you as much useful information as possible, and you can then consider using this feedback as testimonials in your marketing material to attract more clients.

As always, feel free to let us know in the comments if there are any useful questions that you use to ask clients for feedback.

By Ofer Tirosh

Ofer Tirosh is the founder and CEO of Tomedes, a language technology and translation company that supports business growth through a range of innovative localization strategies. He has been helping companies reach their global goals since 2007.



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