Whether you are requesting an Uber Ride or hiring a professional translator, you are taking part in the sharing economy. Shouldn’t you expect the same transparency from your professional services as your taxi app?
” The sharing economy is booming, with a fast-growing list of online services offering consumers a chance to meet part-time needs… for cars, bikes, vacation homes, jewelry and more…without busting the budget with a full-time purchase.”- The Kiplinger Letter, Oct. 3, 2014
Chances are that you have heard of, or even used on-demand services like Uber and AirBnB to order a taxi ride or book a room for your next vacation. These services have been credited for being highly disruptive by bringing distant buyers and sellers together in global marketplaces and making it easy to match nearby supply and demand via geolocation and mobile devices. For consumers, this means on-demand access to services at a better price and experience than ever before. At VerbalizeIt, we believe that businesses deserve the same ease of use and transparency in hiring a professional translator as consumers do in hailing a taxi.
But what really makes Uber a “disruptive” experience for customers? We believe that beyond providing access to high quality cars and drivers, Uber has leveraged technology to enable customers in answering three questions, making them comfortable to step past status quo and to take part in the sharing economy.
1. Who is My Driver?
Would you ever order an Uber taxi knowing that the company had no visibility to or control over whether the person who showed up at your doorstep was actually an Uber driver? By leveraging the power of mobile and putting both its customers and drivers on the same online platform, Uber knows and takes accountability for the driver you are taking a ride from. Simply having this information available for you to see and share creates tremendous comfort with getting in a car with a stranger.
Traditional translation agencies have operated “offline” for years, giving customers (and frequently the agencies themselves) no visibility to who is actually translating the content. Unfortunately, this is at least in part by design- unknown to customers hiring a professional translator, agencies frequently outsource work to outside translators, whom in turn may outsource it to others in their network. VerbalizeIt overcomes this lack of visibility by taking these translations “online”- meaning that content is translated on an online platform, rather than on individual’s desktops, VerbalizeIt and in turn our customers can achieve accountability and comfort associated with knowing exactly who is handing their content.
2. How Far is My Car?
If you need to get somewhere on time, standing on a street corner and hoping for a taxi to show up any minute is an anxiety most customers would rather avoid. Again, Uber has leveraged technology to build the “killer feature” of showing customers exactly where and how far their taxi is.
Much like knowing who is translating your content, having visibility on progress and delivery times should be top of mind while hiring a professional translator. Of course, you can request frequent status updates from translators via email and take their word on it, eventually making desperate calls to ask about your translations when approaching a deadline. Alternatively, hire professional translators that have this visibility baked into their process, preferably through a web or mobile interface you can ping at any moment to get a true status update.
3. Can I Rate My Driver (And So What)?
What happens when your Uber driver knows that you are likely going to leave feedback on your ride, which will directly impact their reputation and future opportunity? First, it creates an incentive to going beyond doing what is necessary to take you from Point A to B, and to providing you with an exceptional experience. Second, it allows Uber the opportunity to react quickly, in the event of a sub-optimal experience. Finally, and very importantly for a sharing economy, it allows the “system” (the platform and its customers) to learn more about a provider and improve all subsequent customer experiences.
Real-time user feedback is a simple and incredibly powerful concept, yet one often missing from professional services. When hiring a professional translator, ensure that there are incentives in place for your translation partner to exceed your expectations on your current project, and that there is infrastructure in place to improve your (and others) experience on subsequent interaction with these translators.
What else do you think companies like Uber have done, that would improve the way in which companies are hiring a professional translator, and provide them with greater visibility and confidence in the process?