Successful Localization Client Management Realignment Practices

by David Serra, Senior Business Development Manager at Commit

A localization client-vendor relationship is one of the most important facets of client management. Translation Programs for clients are always evolving in and out of a client’s organization. And of course, the goal is a strong business partnership that lasts the test of time and naturally leads to same account revenue growth.

The initial goal when taking on an account in transition is to create an enterprise translation program based on KPIs from localization industry standards. For example, clients with a multiple-vendor model without centralized systems tend not to have integrated terminology management and little to no Translation Memory maintenance. For the sake of a client’s content, that content needs to be leveraged across all translation vendors. Without this example, client translated content can contain inconsistencies, which could result in increased costs and poor translation quality. This is often referred to in the localization industry as one of the steps of taking your clients through a localization maturity model and continuum. Client Management always needs to be prepared with a plethora of solutions, with cyclical business review meetings, glossary maintenance, value-add linguist participation with terminology management and on-site client-vendor localization strategy meetings. Good communication between key stakeholders is essential to a productive collaboration and business partnership.

Below are some examples of how to realign client localization accounts:

Step 1: Define critical challenges – Assess how to produce high quality translations for specific market needs

Step 2: Avoid defensive retort or rationalizations – Identify only issues needing fixes.

Step 3: Agree that any account realignment is not done in one meeting – Outline goals and schedule follow-up sessions as a systematic assessment of the account.

Step 4: Analyze project resources – Determine areas for improvement (People, Tools, and Processes).

Step 5: Develop transfer of knowledge – This includes TMs, glossaries, style guides, and quality review of legacy translations.

These initiatives are part of a wider industry trend from providing services to providing solutions. There is always a strategic need for translation quality to contend in competitive markets and localization service providers need a multi-layered understanding of client’s business needs and to provide solutions tailored to those specific localization business needs. Communication is one of the building blocks of a fruitful business partnership, along with assembling the best team to deliver localization services coupled with the right business objectives, the right tools and the best localization business practices.

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