BP18 Translation Conference, Vienna, Austria

Freelance translator client satisfaction surveys

While wondering why the flow of work had suddenly stopped during an unusually slack period, the speaker hit on a way of finding out if his clients had been shopping around for other language service providers without actually asking them the rather embarrassing question straight out: with the declared aim of offering services more in line with his clients’ requirements, he sent out a satisfaction questionnaire. The research he did in order to understand the philosophy behind this kind of survey and choose the right questions to ask gave him a totally new perspective on how his clients perceive the quality of the services he offers.

The speaker discusses the kinds of questions typically asked and how appropriate they are to the translation industry. He then illustrates the purpose of each of the questions he actually chose, the answers received and the conclusions he draws. He closes the talk by saying what he has learnt from doing the survey and what he would do differently next time. The presentation is aimed at freelance translators who mainly work with end clients (or intend to do so in the future).

Michael Farrell is primarily a freelance translator and transcreator. Over the years he has acquired experience in the cultural tourism field and in transcreating advertising copy and press releases, chiefly for the promotion of technology products. Besides this, he is also an untenured lecturer in post-editing, machine translation and computer tools for translators at the International University of Languages and Media (IULM), Milan, Italy, the developer of the terminology search tool IntelliWebSearch, a qualified member of the Italian Association of Translators and Interpreters (AITI) and a member of Mediterranean Editors and Translators.

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