Have you considered using translation companies in 2012? Here are some top tips for success.

Do a quick search for the company on Google. Do they have their own website? Does it look professional? Only use translation companies that have their own professional website as it shows that they are a credible business. A blog is also a good sign as it means they are contributing to the knowledge base within the translation industry.

Look for recognisable memberships, awards and accreditations, as these prove that the organisation meets the expected levels of quality assurance required by the industry. The best translation companies will be registered members of the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) and have obtained ISO 9001 and the Investors in People award.

Find the company on Facebook or Twitter. Sometimes it is good to follow the company on social media networks to see how they work on a day-to-day basis. Even though the person running the social media accounts won’t necessarily be a translator or project manager, it will still give you a better idea of the company’s public face and how they portray themselves.

Gather together all the necessary details before you contact the translation company directly. Most companies will require an idea of the type of project, the length of the document, the source language and the language being translated to and some contact details. It is rare for companies to give out prices over the phone, so make sure you give them the correct contact details!

Give the translation company a call or send them a short email. Do they seem knowledgeable and friendly? How do they respond to questions or queries you have? Use your instinct and decide if the person at the other end of the phone sounds like somebody you would be willing to work with for the foreseeable future. Ensure that you speak to the relevant person before you decide!

After the initial phone call or email, wait a day or two before following up your enquiry. The best companies will respond to you straight away, but sometimes translation companies like to gather as much information for you as they can before getting in touch. This might mean finding specific prices or ensuring that they have translators free to take on the work.

Remember that cheapest is not always best. Some translation companies will deliberately set out to undercut other companies on price, even though they are unable to cope with the volume of work provided or source the most qualified translators. Feel free to shop around for quotes, but the price should not be your only deciding factor.

If you would like more good practice when using translation companies in 2012, get in touch and we will provide you with free advice.