Last Updated: March 10, 2020 6:28PM
When evaluating localization providers, you’re likely to inquire about features and functions or the need for machine translation versus human translation. Make sure to ask about the onboarding process as well. Its importance is sometimes minimized, but it’s crucial for success.
In fact, onboarding, the act or process of familiarizing a new customer with one’s products or services, is vital to your partnership. The more time you spend upfront on onboarding, the faster and more streamlined your translation projects will be. While you may associate onboarding with training, it involves so much more than that.
#1 What are the Components of Onboarding?
There are three main components to localization onboarding:
- Technical onboarding is for those who use Marketo, Eloqua or a similar content management system (CMS). During technical onboarding, your CMS is connected to your localization provider’s portal so you can have an automated translation workflow. This increases efficiencies and reduces time spent on projects.
- Advanced linguistic technology onboarding involves the use of artificial intelligence and machine translation as well as the creation of glossaries and memory translations. This part of onboarding ensures a consistent brand voice, drives efficiencies and speeds up deliveries.
- Operational onboarding involves financial management, reporting and support when unforeseen obstacles arise. Operational onboarding simplifies the relationship so you can move quickly.
These three components of onboarding remove barriers to doing business, so you and your localization partner can work together even more efficiently.
#2 What’s Needed for Effective Onboarding?
Careful planning, exceptional communication and a multidisciplinary team assembled by your localization provider are needed for effective onboarding.
While the onboarding team should be equipped to handle all aspects of the process, it’s incumbent upon you to be very clear about your goals and expectations. That’s the way to build a strong partnership at the outset of the relationship.
#3 How Will My Onboarding Team Help Me?
Your onboarding team should take on the complexity of the onboarding process by:
- Setting up and configuring the software package that will connect your CMS to the language provider’s portal, when applicable
- Providing consulting services to help you position your brand correctly
- Defining your needs around quotes, approvals, purchase orders and invoices to make these issues easy to manage
- Providing customized reporting to enable you to evaluate localization services
Your localization provider should be flexible to accommodate your specific needs and deliver a seamless onboarding process.
#4 What Happens if There are Setbacks?
Despite working your hardest to make good on goals and onboard quickly, sometimes unexpected things can happen along the way. Imagine for a moment that your files are not being delivered properly. Who can you turn to?
Make sure your localization provider will promptly resolve your issues through proactive customer service. At Lionbridge, your onboarding manager will pull in internal resources to help as needed. This will often involve multiple departments from around the world to ensure a successful outcome. Additionally, the support team speaks 8 languages to provide service to clients in their native tongue.
You can expect a positive experience if your onboarding team is equipped to address unforeseen issues.
#5 What are the Pitfalls of Inadequate Onboarding?
When time and attention are not devoted to onboarding, connectivity problems may arise, and translations may take longer.
When onboarding takes too long to execute, one potential downside may be the reliance on email to meet tight deadlines. While this approach may be appropriate in some cases, working via email can sometimes be challenging. This is particularly true when there is a large volume of translation projects. When files are transferred manually:
- Documents are more prone to being lost
- There’s a greater likelihood that versions are confused, resulting in an unfinished draft being returned to you instead of the final deliverable
- Invoices may be sent haphazardly
With adequate onboarding, projects can be localized faster and simpler
#6 What if It’s Time to Seek a New Partnership?
If you’d like to start a new relationship with a localization company, you might be worried that the transition will be too time consuming, especially when you’re working fast. Be rest assured. Transitioning to a new partner is easier than you may think—if the onboarding team is topnotch.
An effective onboarding team will assist you every step of the way. They will even provide guidance on how to retrieve important assets from your outgoing localization provider, and how to best manage legacy assets moving forward. That way, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain from the new relationship.
The Bottom Line
Whether it’s your first time working with a language provider and you need to demystify the localization process, or you are turning to a new partner and require a smooth transition, be sure to fully investigate how the onboarding team operates.
A localization partner who takes onboarding seriously will have experience and expertise they will be willing to share with you. Taking a little time to invest in the onboarding process will pay off in dividends and position you for success for the long run.
Get in touch
If you’d like to learn more about our onboarding process, contact a sales representative today.