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9 tips for choosing a translation agency

In this week’s blog, we share 9 of our top tips for choosing the right translation agency for you.

In this week’s blog, we share 9 of our top tips for choosing a translation agency that's perfect for you.

Want to break into an overseas market? Drive international sales? Or simply need to get your message across in another language? Then you’re going to need to bring a professional translation agency (aka a Language Service Provider or LSP) on board.

But with access to thousands of LSPs at your fingertips, how do you go about choosing the right one to partner with?

That is not forgetting that even with multiple vaccines developed, we are still very much in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that purse strings are having to be tightened and budgets have been slashed. This means that, if you are choosing to invest in language services, then you should be demanding the highest-quality services at a competitive price.

Man signing a contract

Choosing a translation agency: A relationship of trust

In short, trust has never been more important than it is today. It is essential that you can fully trust your chosen LSP to deliver accurate, expert-led, and sector-specific translation and localization services that are tailored to your very requirements.

Without further ado, here are our 9 top tips for choosing a translation agency that you can trust – not only to get the job done but to do it excellently.

  1. First impressions count: Your initial impression of a translation agency should give you a great insight into how they might deal with your project. Trust your gut on this. Is their blog regularly updated with insightful thought leadership, or is it filled with sporadic self-advertising? Do they engage with conversations about industry news on their social media? When you reach out to them, do they ask to know more about your project, or do they give you a cookie-cutter response? All of this could serve as an indicator of their values and the way they operate.
  2. Check their sector experience: Does the translation agency know your sector well enough to deliver an excellent service? To figure this out, you should ask how they intend to go about selecting linguists for your project. Will the linguists working on the project have relevant experience of your sector and knowledge of its terminology and technical jargon? Will they have access to a relevant Translation Memory to assist them? You should also find out if the agency has dealt with previous or current clients also in your sector.
  3. What is their linguist vetting process like?: Following on from tip #2, it is essential that you find out more about the agency’s linguist vetting process. There is a huge difference between speaking a language and being a professional translator. What is more, you should insist that the agency only uses translators working in their native language and are preferably based in their native country, where they can keep up to date with any cultural or linguistic changes which may affect their work.
  4. Look out for client testimonials and case studies: One of the most important indicators of the quality of a translation agency is happy clients. Do they have strong testimonials and client lists? Look at the specific qualities that are highlighted in their testimonials to learn more about what makes this agency different. The agency should also be able to provide comprehensive case studies, in which you can learn about how they improved an aspect of their client’s business in a tangible way.
  5. Ask for the stats: Quality translation agencies should be regularly asking for feedback from their clients. This means that they will have a client satisfaction rate to hand, as well as key stats about complaint rates and how many projects they have delivered on time. If these stats are great, they will usually be in a prominent position on the website. If they are nowhere to be seen, there is no harm in asking to share them with you.
  6. Understand their security and confidentiality offering: All translation agencies based in the EU must be GDPR-compliant as standard. But we understand that for many projects, confidentiality is absolutely key. That is why you should understand an agency’s security offering. An information security audit is usually a good place to start. Do they insist on their staff and linguists signing NDAs? Does their cloud-based platform have end-to-end TLS 1.2 secure encryption as standard? These are the questions you should be asking the agency that you will be handing over your hard-earned cash.
  7. Do they offer tailored service levels?: No two projects are the same. That is why no two services should be the same. Look for an agency that wants to take the time to fully understand your requirements and offer a solution that fits your needs perfectly, instead of just someone who is trying to upsell something that you don't need.
  8. Find out how they guarantee quality: Asking an agency about their quality assurance process could be a key decision-maker. You should be clear about whether your service includes quality assurance checks, or if this is an extra you can opt for. What is more, you should research the agency’s procedure if they receive a client complaint – How do they go about resolving it? Will handling translation inaccuracies be part of their service?
  9. Go and get a quote: Along with all the tips mentioned above, actually going and getting a quote is a great way to find out if a translation agency is a good fit for you. Be aware, though, that cheaper is not always better. Consider instead how your quote request is dealt with – Was the agency responsive, commutative, friendly, and efficient? Chances are this is how they approach their projects, too. This could be the clincher in deciding which agency you will go with.
People shaking hands after choosing a translation agency

Why Wolfestone?

Here at Wolfestone, we have a track record of complete client satisfaction, boasting a 99.15% client satisfaction rate in 2019.

Our bespoke translation and localization services put the client at the very heart of what we do.

Get in touch with our friendly team and find out how we can help you get your message across.

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