Ask the Expert: Managing Clients In The Localization Industry
Client relationship is one of the key aspects of every company. From the quality of the work delivered to the personal touch added to every meeting or e-mail, it’s vital to ensure that the client’s needs are fully satisfied.
But, in fact, is the client always right?
To answer these questions and more about the day-to-day client-vendor relationship, we asked OXO’s Client Success Manager Daniel Jaenes a few things about how to keep the collaboration with different clients healthy and sustainable.
What are the main aspects of your work as a Client Success Manager?
As a Client Success Manager, I usually act as a link between the client and OXO. Ever since the onboarding of a new client, it’s my job to make sure that all client needs are being addressed properly and that the satisfaction level is high on both sides. My job is also to improve the customer lifecycle and avoid churn. I need to identify and address any problems before they grow and could cause bigger issues.
How important is it to communicate in a transparent manner with the client?
Communication is key for any successful relationship. I like to be in touch with our clients and I organize quarterly business reviews to analyze our work and identify improvement points. Transparency is essential to avoid any kind of bad surprises. I believe that it’s always best to be honest with people and make sure everybody is on the same wavelength.
Do you always meet your client’s needs?
It’s impossible to have a 100% success rate, but it’s my job to always try to be as close as possible. Sometimes we have to face problems and we always try to be ahead of it to provide the best possible solution. I have to say that it’s easier when you have an amazing team of project managers and linguists, which is the case at OXO. They always make our work easier!
How do you make the client’s budget work efficiently for both parties?
At OXO we tend to be very flexible and we always think of client-oriented solutions. We try to adapt our workflow to the client’s needs and propose different solutions to fit their expectations. As I mentioned in the previous question, communication is key, so we usually schedule calls with our clients to listen to them and gather as much information as possible and then we prepare a proposal with our best rates and deadlines.
How do you convey to the production team the insights that come up from client meetings?
I like to engage the project managers in the meetings with clients because by doing so they also have direct feedback from the client. If the project manager can’t join the meeting, then I’ll schedule a separate meeting with the project manager to transfer the relevant information. In any case, I’m always in touch with the production team because I need to ask them for their feedback, which is also very important to share with the client for the sake of a healthy relationship.
How important are client satisfaction surveys?
This is one of our tools to measure the client satisfaction level. Surveys can provide us with a lot of information to know how to address the situation with each client and it can also flag issues that we need to address. When receiving the link to a satisfaction survey, the client will feel that OXO cares about them and is open to suggestions. Once we receive the results we analyze with the internal team and decide what actions to take for each client. It can also serve as a tool to evaluate the team’s performance as their work is rated by those who are in direct contact with them and are the most interested parties, the clients.
Former German Chancellor Willy Brandt once said, “If I’m selling to you, I speak your language. If I’m buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen!” Does this rule still apply? What about the Canadian market?
Absolutely! In this globalized world, there are more and more people speaking several languages. But when it comes to buying, everybody feels safer negotiating and making decisions in their mother language. If the translation is not good, clients won’t trust the vendor and will not buy. Localization is therefore key if you plan to sell in different countries or regions. In the Canadian market, it is even regulated by law and in Quebec, every client-facing text, whether it is your website, packaging, user guide or collateral, must be in French; English is optional.
Is the client indeed always right?
I’m afraid no one is always right. We are all humans and we all make mistakes. I like to think that clients are humans, and while communication is our most powerful weapon, it is healthy to question their choices and decisions to reach an agreement. The client will have a point of view that could differ from ours, and we just need to explain ours if we feel that it could bring better results. If we show that our alternative solution is better than the one that they have in mind, they will appreciate it and it will strengthen our ties.