You Get What You Pay For – A Look Into Today’s Language Service Climate

In the small Spanish town of As Pontes, Google Translate is being held responsible for a rather embarrassing error, after its annual local culinary fair was renamed the Clitoris Festival. The name was then printed on its website for several months before being noticed. Can you imagine this happening to your business?

Your response may be “that would never happen to us.” We would like to counter that argument and say it could happen if your language access service decisions are based on price rather than value. Cheaper (in the example above, free) is not always better for your bottom line. How so? There is a distinct difference between value based professional language offerings and price driven services. Beginning with customer quality driven decisions vs price based drivers, to the real cost spent handling errors or complaints, we will help you understand these subtle, yet important, differentiators that may impact quality language services and, ultimately, your business.

The pressures of cutting budgets have initiated a price-driven trend which has, unfortunately for many, become a decision-making factor when choosing a language service partner. This has created an economic incentive for some language service providers to focus on quantity of contracts rather than quality of service. The client suffers, the language service provider suffers and ultimately the consumer suffers.

At Metaphrasis, we define quality in a holistic way. It begins with establishing a trusting and collaborative partnership with our clients while meeting their language access needs. From our comprehensive suite of offerings, to the availability and friendliness of our team, to how efficiently we schedule requests, to the quality of the translations, to how we respond to concerns: every touch point of our business is as critical as the next.

The Hidden Cost

Before you decide to partner with a language service company because their rate is $5.00 per hour less than another provider, ask yourself what is the real cost? You may find yourself working with a company that really isn’t doing what was initially promised. If you selected the lowest priced company, watch out for things like lack of quality assurance, utilizing untrained individuals, slow or lack of response to your concerns and daily incidents. Whatever the issue may be, assess how much time it is taking your staff to respond to those complaints or poor quality deliverables. Ask what kind of impact it had on your customer experience and outcomes. Ask what the company is doing to improve on their service deliverables if at all? Now was that worth the $5.00 savings?

In Part II of You Get What You Pay For, we will examine the factors that determine price, operations and the specialized nuances of highly trained professional interpreters and translators.