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A Healthy Client-Vendor Relationship

What Are Clients Looking For?

6 May 2020 

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With the ever-increasing pressure of an impending product launch date, it is quite frequent for clients and language partners to get caught up in day-to-day activities. The focus is on the deliverables, naturally. The important factors that help make a healthy client-vendor partnership get less attention.

As a language services provider (LSP), have you ever felt you could benefit more from your relationships with your clients? Do you believe you could serve your clients better and be more than a localized file button-pusher? If so, the following paragraphs might help take your client relationships to the next level.

What are clients looking for?

Clients want to be understood. One of the first steps you can take to level up your value to a client’s organization is investing more time to get to know their needs, instead of explaining your virtues as an LSP. Make an effort to:

  • Get to know your clients as much as possible.
  • Ask relevant questions.
  • Be genuinely curious about their goals and needs.

Afterwards, take time to reflect on the knowledge gathered and how you, as an LSP, might support a client’s goals.

Clients expect transparency. Getting clarity and alignment in the following areas will help create transparency in  your partnership: 

  • Turnaround times 
  • Quality expectations 
  • Pricing models 
  • Escalation paths
  • Payment policies

Clients seek proactivity. When an LSP really makes a genuine effort to understand their customers’ needs, they are very well positioned to offer ideas on how to improve certain processes. An LSP generally works with dozens or even hundreds of clientsthey face many situations with great localization challenges and find a way to overcome them. It is very likely that some problem a client is trying to solve has already been dealt with in the past by an LSP. For this reason, an LSP should not be afraid to tap into their expertise and be proactive about offering suggestions to the client on how to work more effectively or efficiently. 

Clients look for flexibility. The best LSPs are the ones who:

  • Are able to mirror client needs (not the other way around).
  • Set up a team that replicates the way a client works, with people in locations globally ensuring around-the-clock coverage.
  • Adapt invoicing models and requirements to their financial needs.
  • Make an effort to adapt to a client’s tools and workflows.

Clients assume accountability. The inability of an LSP to simply own up to a mistake, suggest improvements and move forward is one of the main barriers in delivering value to a client.

As a seller of language services, you can be more than a group of translators and project managers who deliver words to a client. Sharing goals and a common approach will help build a solid partnership. Being transparent, accountable, flexible and proactive will put you on the right track to move from a relationship of request and delivery to a true partnership.

Nimdzi Finger Food is the bite-sized and free to sample insight you need to fuel your decision-making today.

If you are looking for more tips and best practices on vendor management, contact us today to become a Nimdzi Partner and benefit from unlimited Office Hours.
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