In a world that is increasingly interconnected, language plays a pivotal role in communication across borders, cultures, and industries.
Whether it's for businesses seeking to expand their global reach, government agencies aiming to bridge linguistic gaps, or individuals seeking to connect with a diverse world, language services have become an indispensable tool.
However, amidst the plethora of language service providers, one crucial aspect stands out above all else – quality.
In this blog post, we delve into the significance of quality in language services and how it can make or break success in any endeavour.
The primary purpose of language services is to enable effective communication between parties that speak different languages. Quality ensures that the intended message is accurately conveyed, eliminating the risk of miscommunication or misunderstandings. Whether it's in the context of business transactions, legal proceedings, or personal interactions, the importance of precise and reliable language services cannot be overstated. For businesses with an online or digital presence, language services directly impact the user experience. High-quality translations of websites, applications, and customer support materials enhance usability and accessibility for diverse language-speaking audiences, thereby increasing customer satisfaction and retention.
So, what does quality mean in the provision of language services?
It means several things and it’s multifaceted.
Firstly –any vendor you choose must work with language practitioners that are qualified. In the Australian context, this means only working with language practitioners (interpreters and translators) that hold a current NAATI qualification. This also means interpreters and translators need to participate in Professional Development that continually builds their capabilities as professional language practitioners as well as complying with industry best practice with regards to Code of Conduct/Ethics. This ensures their credentials and ability to continue practicing as language practitioners remains current and at a high standard.
Second – quality monitoring is important as it provides an additional layer of compliance for quality of service. Your customers need to have a positive experience when using an interpreter therefore it’s up to the language services vendor to ensure there are measures in place to independently audit interpreter performance.
Third, the vendor needs to have a robust Complaints Management System in place to ensure any feedback or complaint received is handled adequately. Ask to see their complaints management framework including SLAs as well as incident response templates so that if you need to customize this for your own internal business needs or reporting, it can be accommodated.
Fourth –the vendor needs to have a Corrective Action System in place which encompasses incident reporting from clients and consumers as well as internal escalations from quality monitoring activities. This will ensure that there is a 360° actionable performance plan for incident mitigation.
What about ISO?
Sure, having ISO 9001:2015 is great and speaks to quality management across a business’ operations however as part of your due diligence, you must get into the detail of your potential vendor’s quality management framework and how they have built an operational delivery model that supports best practice.
The importance of quality in language services cannot be emphasized enough. Effective communication, professionalism, cultural sensitivity, and risk mitigation are just some of the pillars on which quality language services requires. For organisations, investing in language solutions is not merely an option but a necessity in today's globalized world. And, by prioritizing quality, we pave the way for meaningful connections, sustainable growth, and success in every endeavour.