Clients of translation companies can be segmented according to an almost limitless number of criteria. Establishing segmentation categories can be helpful to translation vendors in the process of creating marketing plans to target and effectively attract clients in one or more segments/categories.
Often translation vendor clients fall into either a ‘transactional’ or ‘relational’ category. The differences are usually distinct. Here are a few ways to distinguish between transactional and relational customers.
Transactional: Will often consider translation services to be a commodity differentiated only by the price of services. The lowest bidder gets their business.
Relational: Will more completely examine service pricing and consider the level of services, including the extent of quality control measures. Relational clients will pay a little more for services to improve translation quality and reduce project risk.
Transactional: Minimal interaction occurs in the course of translation projects and little or no personal connection is established.
Relational: An established client-vendor relationship exists which facilitates understanding of the client’s project needs and expectations. Higher quality interactions lead to enhanced project outcomes for clients and vendors.
Others things being equal a relational client will typically be a more attractive client than a transactional one. We accept all clients no matter their status. Our objective is to establish close professional relationships with as many clients as possible over time.
Transactional: Clients are many times ‘one and done’. A single translation project is the extent of the interaction.
Relational: Translation projects occur regularly (or periodically) as ongoing needs arise. The longer the client-vendor relationship has been in place the more mutually favorable the interaction is.
Transactional: Clients may be satisifed or unsatisfied but in either case there’s little understanding by the vendor which sentiment dominates.
Relational: Clients appreciate having a go-to resource to address their language requirements as they come up. Being a resource to clients include providing services for actual projects but also advice and sometimes consulting on language issues as a courtesy when needed.
Transactional: Translation clients in this category may be just starting out with language services and have not learned enough about translation services to be informed on the most important considerations.
Relational: These clients tend to be the more savvy and informed consumers of language services. Translation vendors help educate them over the course of performing numerous projects.
Others things being equal a relational client will typically be a more attractive client than a transactional one. We work with clients in both categories. Our objective is to establish close professional relationships with as many clients as possible over time.