Communicating with customers /

Why communication is key

At Gengo, we believe that communication with the customer is an integral part of the translation process. We make it easy to ask the customer questions directly while you translate, simplifying collaboration and ensuring your translation meets the customer’s needs.

Communicating effectively and providing good service to our customers is as important as providing top-notch translations. Communication makes the difference between a good customer experience and a great one and ultimately improves translation quality.

  • In this guide, we’ll teach you when and how to ask customers questions, communication best practices and what to do in a pinch.

Communication tips

Keep these 3 basics in mind for all your customer-oriented communication.

  1. Be courteous, polite and professional
    Ensure your comments are always polite and professional, no matter the situation. This basic rule is the first step to building trust with the customer and a way to show them real people, not machines, are taking care with their text.
  1. Give the customer options
    If you’re unsure on how to translate a term, ask for clarification and offer different options to the customer, explaining the nuance of these differences. Remember that customers may not understand the target and may not know the difference themselves.
  1. Proofread for errors
    Customers will be more receptive to well-written, error-free comments, which will also help build trust with your customer. Proofread before submitting!

When to ask?

It is always best to ask the customer for clarification if there is something in the source that is unclear. One frequent issue is a lack of context for the translation – is this a button in a menu on a website or will this be printed and used in a pamphlet? Here are some examples of how to approach these situations:
  1. More context required
    “Hello! Could you please provide more information about the text? Where will this translation be used? If this will be used on a website, would it be possible to provide a link to the website?”
  2. Clarifying terms
    “Hello! In the German language, there are different levels of politeness that can be used to address your audience. Since these look to be instructions, I would recommend using the polite form, as the informal form may sound too friendly and is not usually used in these types of texts. Could you please confirm that I can go with the polite form?”

When in doubt

Every translation has its challenges, be it new terminology or complex ideas. Communication with the customer is one way to get out of a difficult situation, but what if…

Q. I asked a customer for clarification, but they’re not replying and my deadline is approaching. What do I do?
If the deadline is approaching and you haven’t heard back from the customer, translate using your best judgement and submit the translation. Some customers are unable to answer questions. However, if we see you tried to get clarification, we’ll take that into consideration if the job is reviewed.

Q. The customer is asking to cancel their order, but I already completed half of it, what do I do?
If you’re in the middle of a translation and the customer has a request you’re unsure how to handle, contact We’re here to help both you and the customer with any issues you might be having, so don’t hesitate to ask!

How to contact the customer

Because communication with the customer is the key to the best quality translation, we make it possible to contact the customer directly from the translator workbench. Here’s how:

  1. Click on the comment button in the top-left corner of the workbench to open up the comment panel on the left side.

  1. Write your comment in the comment box, using the customer’s preferred language of communication. Clicking submit will send it directly to the customer.

Wrap up

Main takeaways

1. Quality focus
Work together with the customer for the best quality translation.

2. Professional & error-free
Always communicate in a professional manner, even in difficult situations, and proofread your comments before you hit send.

3. Helping hand
When unsure about terminology or context, always ask the customer, with other issues, contact Gengo support.