A friend of mine recently started a new job, and was asked by his employer to call existing customers for testimonials for the company website, only to find that they had many unhappy customers. He had recorded the complaints and passed them on to the orders department following his manager’s advice. His manager also told him to copy messages to number of others so that he could prove he had passed them on. As the unhappy customers would not give him any testimonials, he had to continue calling his other customers in hope of a positive testimonial.
I asked my friend whether he would follow up the complaints he received. He said he wouldn’t because it was “not his job”. I then asked if he was going to check with the department in question if they have dealt with the complaints: the answer was “no” as he did not want to make his colleagues uncomfortable. This made me wonder if the complaint would ever be resolved.
Wikipedia describes customer care as “the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase“: any responsible company would of course agree with this statement, but as we can clearly see from my friend’s example, some companies are not very keen on the after sales phase of customer service process.
If we accept Wikipedia’s description, then what is the implication of this in terms of the translation services we provide to our customers? The translation industry is not any different to any other service industry and customer satisfaction is the key to any company’s success.
The key to preventing customers becoming unhappy with our services is focusing on delivering benefits to our customers at all times: all employees need to see this as their responsibility. Delivering benefits to our customers however is not as easy as it sounds, it requires total commitment to customer care, which needs to be incorporated into the translation company’s culture and organisation structure. Only this will provide total customer satisfaction.
Translation company managers/owners need to find ways to measure the progress and make ‘delivering benefits’ their top priority.
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