As economic globalization continues to expand, it becomes increasingly important to ensure your brand can speak to customers in their native languages. The Unbabel Global Multilingual CX 2021 Report revealed that this can be the difference between expanding and shrinking your customer base.
Among those surveyed, 68% said they would switch to a brand that provides support in their native languages, and 64% even said they would pay more for products and services if they knew they could get that native-language support.
Simply translating your support into other languages isn’t enough, though. To truly capture customer trust and secure long-term brand engagement, those translations must be accurate. Poor translation can do more damage than no translation at all in the form of confused customers and missed sales. Even worse, it could be unwittingly offensive or legally damaging.
These potential mishaps show why professional translation is one of the most important business services in today’s increasingly interconnected global economy. But how do you ensure you choose the right translation company for your business’s needs?
Who needs translation services?
Any company that does business outside its native environment needs translation services to continue expanding its business base. However, many businesses benefit from translation even in their home environments. After all, research shows that around 40% of internet users won’t buy from websites that aren’t offered in their native language. Making your content available and accessible for more people instantly helps your company provide better, more targeted customer service.
The scale of translation will vary widely by market and business. A global tech company may need multilingual translation for its customer-facing branding and marketing materials and will also need its software and support accurately translated to convey the right message in multiple languages and contexts. Some of these translation needs may be highly technical, demanding an even higher degree of quality assurance.
This is especially true when you’re trying to support users who are experiencing problems with their software. High-quality language services are a key part of guaranteeing high-quality customer service for all of your customers. It can be difficult enough for customers to explain the unique problem they have with your product, making sure they can do so in their own language has an impact not only on their satisfaction level but helps you resolve the issue more fully and quickly.
If a business is small enough, it may be able to handle translation projects with an in-house team or by hiring freelance translators as needed. However, for most businesses with a multicultural presence, the quality of translation and the required turnaround time will demand help from a translation company.
What to look for in a translation company
There are countless translation agencies available today, but not all of them offer equal levels of quality. Some may offer high-quality translations but for a premium price with a prolonged turnaround, while others offer faster translations without sacrificing quality. The key factors in finding a reliable business translation provider include:
Often, companies sacrifice one of these three to satisfy the other. For example, consider those who use Google Translate for their social media posts to save on costs, only to find they’ve lost out on quality.
To find the right mix of value and precision, look for the following five features:
A blend of machine translation and human translation
For many companies, the biggest question is whether to opt for human translation. As noted above, you’ll pay a premium for this — and it will take much longer. Full-blown machine translations, meanwhile, are lightning-fast and extremely affordable but often riddled with errors and subtle translation inaccuracies.
The best translation companies provide services that utilize each approach, blending the speed of machine translation with the precision that only human proofreading can provide. In many cases, this looks like a front line of machine translation backed up with human quality assurance.
A better option, though, is a system that uses humans to improve machine learning so the AI can produce increasingly accurate translations over time that get smarter over time.
Properly certified translation services
Translation is a complex activity that requires specialized linguists. Overseeing such projects can be difficult to find the time or know-how to ensure their work is accurate.
That’s where certifications come in. Quality online translation services will have the proper credentials to show that they can meet all current translation standards, as defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Certifications to look for include ISO 9001, 17100, and 27001. The top translation companies have badges showcasing that they meet these important standards.
A commitment to quality assurance
No professional translation service is complete without robust processes for quality assurance. The details matter when it comes to native-language customer service. Accurate translations help you to avoid frustration and friction when you’re connecting with customers to help resolve their needs.
Before you choose a translation company, ask how they ensure every translation meets the highest quality standards. Especially if there is machine translation involved, it’s important to know how they verify the results for accuracy and build quality assurance into each and every translation.
Ease of integration
However you define your translation needs, one thing is certain: Adding quality translation services shouldn’t require a complete operations overhaul. If you have to upend your business processes and choose entirely different tools than what you’re already using, translation will add far more work to your plate.
Look for language translation services that seamlessly integrate with your existing applications so you can easily integrate the work into your business. The more you can keep your current CRM intact, the easier it will be to hit the ground running and integrate different languages into your customer support materials.
A shared commitment to your customers
Translation is about more than simply converting your brand documents into another language. In this global economy, translation is first and foremost about customer service. Your goal should be to help your customers to connect effortlessly with your brand and have the most natural, engaging experience possible.
A good translation company will also incorporate localization services that adapt to local dialects so that your content connects fully with your customers in the way you intended, regardless of where they are based.
Find the best translation service for your needs
For today’s businesses, translation is a daunting task, and many don’t have the budget to hire native speakers to translate every brand message into every language in every audience segment. You need a translation service that can help you translate efficiently without sacrificing quality and still provide a fast turnaround for your translated text.
Unbabel does everything we’ve discussed here — and more. Our AI-augmented machine translation services can translate faster than you can scale your business, while our team of native speakers continually trains that AI to ensure the highest quality with every round of revisions. In fact, you get a quality estimation score with every translation we provide.
We’re ISO 27001-certified, and our solutions integrate with countless existing tools, from Salesforce and Zendesk to Intercom and more. Most importantly, it’s our mission to break down the language barriers between you and your customers, so they won’t even notice that they’re not interacting with a native speaker.
Curious? Schedule a demo to see what Unbabel can do for your brand.