The process of gaining the confidence of a client is only the beginning of building a successful business relationship. Once you’ve secured your first freelance translation client, your marketing moves to a new level. Now the emphasis is on providing excellent customer service; you must show your client that their satisfaction is your top priority. This will help open the door of repeat business and referrals for you.
After the agreement is made for the translation work, start off on the right foot with a clearly written work agreement that outlines the nature of the work the translation client wants you to perform, when the work is to be delivered to the client, the format and the amount of compensation you will receive.
Establish your communication channels, ask your translation client what method they prefer, i.e., telephone, e-mails, instant messenger and/or fax. Make note of your clients’ time zone and confirm with them what time is best for them to discuss or receive information about their project. You will find the World Clock Meeting Planner tool at: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/meeting.html is an excellent coordination tool.
Ask your client how they want to communicate about the project. Depending on the size of the translation project, some clients may want an update every day or every week. In addition, you need to know how they want to receive their updates, some clients want to drafts of their projects at each stage, others prefer to review the entire project at once. You should decide whether or not you charge for revisions to the translation and include this information in your work agreement.
When you have received your payment, make sure to send a thank you note and provide a customer satisfaction feedback form that should include an area where they can provide referrals.