I am in Lebanon this month working with the IT team to get an important new release of our translation management system, gvAccess, out of the door. After a long week of technical discussions and testing, the weekend came, allowing me to take advantage of the 35⁰ Celsius (95⁰ F) temperature and to enjoy the serenity of the Mediterranean Sea.
A friend of mine has a boat docked at La Marina; he invited me to join him. So, in the land of the Phoenicians, why not act like one for a day? When we set off to the marina, my friend called them to notify them of our pending arrival.
When we got there, the boat was uncovered, the ice box was filled and a person was standing at the dock by the boat waiting to greet us, hand us the keys of the boat, and see us safely off. He made sure to remind us that if we needed anything, even while at sea, to not hesitate to call!
After an outstanding day in the wind, sun and water, we called La Marina by phone informing them of our imminent return. As we sailed into the marina, three people greeted us at the dock. One threw us a line and proceeded to secure the boat, another helped us and our personal items off the boat, and a third immediately started rinsing the boat to rid it of the accumulated salt, before he wiped it clean and covered it. They thanked us for our visit and wished to see us again soon!
In Lebanon, whether it is at marinas, restaurants, hotels, stores or cafes, we are often reminded of what customer service is all about. It is the secret of success in this country, and the reason tourists and expats keep coming back, despite the many issues that face the general area.
Why am I writing this? Perhaps there is an analogy here to draw interesting insights from. The translation and localization industry is a service based industry and as such its success relies on customer service and satisfaction.
Does your language service provider greet your promptly and cordially when you call or email them? Do they have the necessary translation, localization, desktop publishing, engineering or project management resources available when you need them? Do they anticipate your needs before you even utter them? Do they deliver your urgent localized projects before you had a chance to complete the projects’ purchase order form, or get the necessary signatures?
Think about it and if many of the above questions are answered with a resounding no, perhaps it is time you consider a change. Choose someone who has not lost sight of the importance of customer satisfaction in a service industry. The art of customer service is indeed not lost!
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