What makes a good LSP client great?
A good LSP is one that pays on time. End of story? For some, perhaps. But if that’s all it takes to be good, is good really enough? Shouldn’t all LSPs be striving to be great clients? And what separates the good from the great, anyhow?
For 20 years, STP has worked almost exclusively for other LSPs. Some of our regular freelance translators have stuck with us since the start, and many of them say very nice things about us. So we know what it’s like to work for great LSPs clients – as well as what it takes to be one.
We’ve distilled it into 10 essential traits. And it all starts with a little…
A great LSP client never forgets that without your suppliers, you have no product to sell. It pays, quite literally, to keep your vendors on your side – and it’s as simple as treating them as you would want to be treated.
Translation vendors are people, with human feelings, flaws, needs and desires. They also have a life outside work, with all the ups and downs that go with it. A great LSP knows that a little understanding goes a long way.
3) Brilliant PMs
If an LSP were a sports car, then project managers would be its supercharged engine. No, not because they’re noisy, high-maintenance and prone to breakdowns. But because without them, the business would go nowhere fast. That’s why, for a great LSP, only the best PMs get hired.
To a great LSP, vendors aren’t just faceless drones who churn out work, get paid and slip back into the shadows. They are central to the business’ success. A great LSP client seeks ideas, builds relationships and gives vendors the chance to grow with them. Because to them, collaboration is progress.
Do what you said you would. Do it on time and as agreed. And if you can’t do it, don’t promise it. A great LSP knows that without honesty, there is no trust – and without trust, there is no translation industry.
6) Expertise from the top down
Translation is big business and, like it or not, the people at the top aren’t always there because of a burning passion for languages. Even so, there are still agencies, like STP, with translation experts in every single department. And it’s little wonder that those LSPs tend to make the greatest clients.
A good LSP client embraces technology. A great LSP lives and breathes it, always seeking new ways to streamline the journey from project start to final delivery. And when things go wrong, their help and advice is always on tap.
Payment issues. Project-critical queries. Technical meltdowns. Urgent job set-ups. Vendors need swift action on all of these. A great LSP client never keeps them waiting.
Nothing sinks a translation project faster than miscommunication. And in a profession conducted almost entirely by email, the threat of calamity is never far away. To a great LSP, clarity is always king.
Translation can feel like a thankless trade sometimes, but only if you work for the wrong people. Great LSP clients praise good work, keep mistakes in proportion and greet every delivery with gratitude. In return they get loyal, motivated vendors who will always go above and beyond.