Picture by Trey Ratcliff
As announced last Friday, I am going to write a few posts about Customer Experience. This week will be about why you should consider offering a great customer experience to your customers. As we have seen in last week’s introduction, customer experience is the sum of all interactions that a client has with your company and your products (or in our case, services). But why would you go through all this trouble? Well, customer experience is beneficial for your clients, of course, but it will be mostly beneficial for YOU in the long run and here are 4 reasons why.
1. Because it distinguishes your business
So many freelancers don’t see themselves as business owners – and that’s okay, you can call yourself whatever you want as we all have a different and unique vision of what we do. But at the very least, all freelancers should take themselves and their activity seriously. In that sense, they should act like professionals and make (business and marketing) plans, research their market and potential customers before taking major decisions, and consider offering a customer experience. Offering excellent service quality and exceeding your client’s expectations justify higher rates. By doing so, you do not have to compete on price alone, like most of the bottom-feeders do. Indeed, you don’t have to offer cheap and fast services, but rather quality and added value to your client.
2. Because it increases loyalty from your clients
Again, so many freelancers just do the job: they receive the source text, translate the document, deliver it, send the invoice, and voila, end of story. They do not ask any feedback whatsoever after the client had time to look at the final product. The client might be happy about the job they have delivered, but they haven’t been (and felt) engaged. Will this client come back to the freelancer they’ve hired? Maybe. But let’s think of the problem from another perspective. What if you showed your client that you care about their project since day 1 of your collaboration? What if you proved to them your passion for what you do by making sure to ask the right questions at the right time to ensure an accurate translation? What if you erased your client’s fears of outsourcing the translation of the document they’ve been working hard for so long to a complete stranger? All these elements of your behavior will increase the chances of having a happy client. Now, which freelancer do you think they’ll return to? 😉
3. Because it improves your reputation and prevents you from negative word-of-mouth
This is a point that can be seen with bigger companies but it applies to us all too. Businesses that offer their clients a customer experience (by having great interaction with them, going the extra mile for them and having a solid customer support, for example) will highly likely make the client happy because 1) not only did they deliver a good translation service (provided they’re good at their job, of course), 2) they went beyond the core services they offer (and we’ll investigate ways to do just that in two week’s time). Customer experience is thus a way to exceed your client’s expectations and… blow them away by your awesomeness! Now, back to our equation: happy client = returning client = positive word-of-mouth.
Now, let’s imagine there’s something wrong with the final translation you delivered (it happens to all of us). Of course, your client will let you know, maybe not as publicly as McDonald’s customers will scream their indignation on Twitter, but they will. The people behind GetApp wrote a great article on negative reviews for Business2Community and they explain why this is your chance to shine – again – by giving 6 reasons why you should answer a negative review:
1. Fixes the problem
2. Makes the customer happy
3. Maybe so happy they turn into brand ambassadors
4. Publicly shows you have conscientious customer support
5. Gains leads by showing how great that customer support is
6. Nips things in the bud before they get out of control
4. Because it doesn’t have to be expensive
No, you don’t have to buy $1000-gifts to show your appreciation to your most loyal customers. In my experience and opinion, customer experience also covers the little things that you do everyday to assist and help your client – and not only with pure translation. Your client might look for someone with a different language combination for a one-off project, and you can help them find the perfect collaborator thanks to your network. If you have the right skills, you can also offer your client to take care of the DTP of the document, therefore saving them time to find someone reliable. These are just simple examples of what you can do on a daily basis and that will help increase and improve the experience that your client has with you and your business. The bottom line here is to be resourceful. You’re a translator and therefore a problem-solver, right?
Next week, we’ll be looking at a few examples of big brands in order to discover how they implement customer experience and which results they get. In the meantime, feel free to share why you chose to improve your customer experience if you have already done so – I would love to hear your stories!