Turning over more than US$40 billion in 2016, businesses offering global language services have seen incredible growth in the past few years thanks to more businesses than ever seeking to expand their horizons and target a global mass of consumers. Better still, a typical language service provider now offers a rich index of services – it’s no longer just about translation.
In addition to translation services, it’s not unusual for a language service provider to offer services in proofreading, transcription, software engineering and testing, and localization for both digital systems and printed materials such as instruction manuals.
Challenges currently facing Global Language Services
With the fantastic growth currently being observed in the language services industry, there are also several threats affecting the industry that may stunt growth in the near future, including challenges in maintaining margins and keeping up to date with the latest tech.
Balancing sales and output
With the expansive growth in the industry, it’s important that a language service provider keeps up with the workload which means employing more language specialists to tackle a host of unique client projects without stunting team output. The more work that comes in, the more tasks being juggled by a team – for some, this may result in lesser quality work. It’s essential that employment in the language service provider market is increased to handle demand without compromising on quality.
Language service providers are in more demand than ever and some have seen the quick growth in the industry as a means to make a quick buck, which has led to thousands of new language service provider businesses opening on the market and, often, stealing work from competing businesses.
In addition to more large companies offering global language services, there are also thousands of freelance professionals eating into the market share. Consequently, client retention is more important than ever – businesses are having to invest heavily in the best technology to knock competitors out the water to retain business and, consequently, margins.
The importance of CRM
It has never been more important for a business to have a CRM system in place and maintain customers’ data. By keeping track of data and results, you are giving yourself an opportunity to harness the power of your data when attaining new clients. For instance, if you have worked with a customer with a particularly successful result or have brilliant testimonies, you can compile that data to show prospective buyers to seal the deal on a new contract. Better still, if a customer has required your services once, it’s likely they’ll require them again, which means you should strive to regularly be in contact with former clients for new work, helping to balance and, possibly, increase your margins.
Technology and why it matters
Using the latest technology in the language service industry, you are not only enhancing the productivity of your team but you’re also keeping clients happy and return customers coming back.
Technology such as translation management systems (TMS) allows you to store and manage projects effectively and with ultimate security, giving your customers peace of mind. In addition, this allows clients to sign-in and monitor progress to keep everyone in the loop throughout the project.
Translation memory (TM) is a particularly popular innovation that has been proven to increase productivity within the language service industry as it allows employees to find previously translated sentences and terms quickly, meaning knowledge from previous translation tasks can be adapted and used for new tasks.
Translation automation, also known as machine translation, helps to reduce the cost of producing great translated content as it works digitally and translates text to a high-quality without the need for human interference.
All these services and more are helping language service providers to grow to new heights.
Finding new markets
Typically, language service providers were particularly popular in the West as a means to translate and optimise content for Eastern markets. However, this has now changed. While Western businesses continue to use language services, it is now businesses in Eastern Asia that are striving to localize for other areas of Asia – for instance, China is one of the largest growth markets in the world.
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