Author: Laura Wyant, content creator and digital media storyteller
In the land of translation and language services, common pain points are centered around quality, customer experience, understanding cost, visibility into translators’ processes, and adherence to a company’s branding guidelines while informing audiences.
In order to deliver high quality translations, clear communication into the minutia of translating is essential. Smartling’s customized technology and data-driven approach to localization sets every project up for success.
So what should you be looking for to help ease the process of translating your projects?
My conversation with Gabi Moore, thought leader and seasoned Account Manager extraordinaire at Smartling, illuminated the importance of accuracy, customer satisfaction and the real-time collaborative nature of the Smartling platform. Gabi is an expert at balancing all the elements that are factored in when a customer is considering both obtaining and expanding existing services, so I phoned her for a little chat.
Q: Hi, Gabi. Thanks for taking the time to connect. I’m calling you from Astoria, Queens and you’re at Smartling headquarters in Times Square, right? What part of the city do you call home? 🏙️
A: Sure! I live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and commute to Manhattan during the work week. I’m an avid Citi Biker, so when I’m not dodging rogue pedestrians on the bike, I take the subway to work.
Q: What’s your #1 pizza/bagel shop you tell everyone out-of-towner to hit up when they’re visiting? 🍕🥯
A: My favorite pizza is Joe’s and the best bagels truly do come from Best Bagel, which Smartling generously provides us each Monday to get our week started right!
Q: How do you bide your time while commuting? Any podcasts or books rocking your world at the moment? 🚆🎧
A: When I’m not biking I love listening to The Moth and How I Built This on my train ride in.
Q: Tell me a little about yourself and what you do at Smartling.
A: I’ve been here for two years and work with all the teams! Smartling is a pretty tight knit organization, and supporting our customers best trickles into all teams including Product, Customer Success, Engineering, and Marketing.
Q: Tell me, as an outsider, how Smartling’s language services differ from the competition? What are you doing that the industry, as a whole, does not?
A: All of our certified translators use the Smartling platform, which enables visibility: customers can see exactly where translators are in the process of completing the project.
Q: So customers are able to make sure the subtle cultural references are implemented in real time before the translator goes way off course?
A: Yeah, exactly! That’s just one way we give our customers the power of making sure their messaging translates in a meaningful way. Visual context help the translators really dig into the work and bring it to life.
Q: That’s an interesting tactic. And I would think that would cut down on opportunities for error?
A: Yup. We also have our SLS managers working with each account to supervise the collaboration and make sure translation jobs meet deadlines and tighten the translation quality feedback loop. And should an error squeeze through, our revisions are free.
Q: Free is good. Cost is often a bottom line for many businesses when selecting a service. Where do customers get stuck within the industry’s standards regarding pricing structures?
A: Honestly, people balk the absence of the Project Management and minimum word count fees! It blows them away. It’s definitely a major advantage for clients when they are considering LS.
Q: How did you manage to eliminate the fees? That’s a pretty big deal.
A: Yeah, we’ve been able to eliminate those fees from our packages by leveraging the platform automation to its full potential, which is uncommon. When you have a platform like Smartling and a bank of vetted human translators you don’t need to lean on classical PM the way most companies do. 🏆
Q: Okay, so if I needed a mobile app or a website translated, what would the process look like?
A: All you’d need to do is identify 1,000 words, select three languages, and provide a glossary and style guide. The deadlines are set by the SLS team based on our standard turnaround times. Then you can submit reviews on translations and provide feedback on quality. Smartling has essentially devised a risk-free model for customers to try out our services. We would take care of ya! 🤓
Q: And what about your translators? Who are they?
A: Great question! We know our translators really well and now you can, too! Our site has backstories on a few of our rockstar translators from rural villages in Spain to thriving cities in Japan and Turkey. Each person brings individuality and talent to every project they work on.
Q: That’s great. Okay, hit me with the numbers- how is Smartling knocking it out of the park with services?
A: Sure! 99% of words were delivered on time in 2018. We translate over 5MM words each month with 98% unchanged words. We can also help projects launch 50% faster due to our predictable translation results and timelines and we guarantee quality 100%. It’s very risk-free to test out working with us.
Q: It sounds like it would be easier and cheaper to lean on Smartling to manage the many moving parts of a project.
A: Totally. Our LS manage the brunt of organizing translators that match the project’s needs- that way the customer isn’t chasing down multiple vendors or dealing with the pain of overpaying for a minimum word count fee. Our set up decreases chances of delaying release cycles that happen when a minimum is required, so our clients are happy to keep their timeline in check!
Q: And when the project is completed, do you want to hear about the customer’s experience?
A: YES. The customer has the final say about overall project work: we want feedback on all aspects of the job and take all comments and thoughts very seriously. We want for it to be a positive experience all around- for our customers and for the translators, too!
Thank you for your time and for dropping some serious knowledge, Gabi!