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Going the extra mile(s) to provide a personalised translation service

When it comes to financial services translation, it’s not surprising that many clients want the best of both worlds. An easy online ordering system, with back-up support outside normal office hours? And how about personal service, with a dedicated Project Manager available to answer any questions face-to-face?

That’s exactly what Baloise, one of Switzerland’s largest insurance and financial providers, wanted in an ideal world. Not surprisingly for a country with four official languages, working multilingually is part of daily life at Baloise. And with more than 200 translation projects a month, they wanted to make sure they got the right balance between quality, speed and customer service.  Lingo24 is a global company, but we don’t have an office in Switzerland – just yet! However, our Project Managers are always ready to go the extra mile – or couple of hundred – for a customer. We came up with a plan where Iulia, their lead Project Manager would be based at Baloise’s office in Basel for three months. She could be on hand to make sure everything was on track with their projects, and deal with any issues that came up straight away.

This worked so well that Iulia and fellow Lingo-ist, Minola, completed three-month stints at Baloise, and Iulia is planning to return in January. Both they and our client were pleased to have the chance to get to know each other better. While global operations are handy when you have an urgent request at 11pm, there’s also nothing like having a friendly face right on hand. At the same time, when you’ve got 200 employees placing translation orders, having a smooth, easy-to-use system is essential.

When we first started talking to Baloise in 2012, it was clear that an online ordering system was one of their priorities, along with high quality and quick turnaround times. Our technical team was able to incorporate their feedback to develop a bespoke system that worked for them, and by June 2013 it was all up and running seamlessly. We built direct links to our translation software, providing an easy way of uploading, translating, receiving and checking translations.

We also created a function to upload PDF documents which would normally be rejected by the system. With dozens of users placing orders each week, we needed smart ways to manage this. The system includes levels of hierarchy, so more senior users (“coordinators”) can approve or disapprove orders placed by more junior colleagues. And we also fixed rules for setting deadlines, so these are realistic even when different people are ordering large quantities of translations. Separate invoices can be sent to different departments to keep administration simple.

Each person ordering has the chance to add an extra internal review stage. Reviewers are automatically notified when the translation is ready, and can log in to our software to check it. And of course, all projects are carried out by translators with specialist knowledge of insurance and banking. We’ve set up dedicated teams for Baloise, with enough linguists to cope during peak ordering times.

We manage their translation memories and terminology databases, which ensure consistency across all their translations. Baloise Group prides itself on its “safety solutions”, going beyond the traditional role of insurance companies to reduce risks, while providing a fast, professional response if things do go wrong. With our customised set-up and workflow, we’re glad that translation is another thing they can rely on.

Steve Griffin

Steve Griffin edits and writes for the Lingo24 blog. After studying Drama at Exeter University and completing a postgraduate diploma in Management at Durham University, he worked in Marketing & Communications in a global recruitment company for five years, before spending some time as a freelance copywriter and marketing consultant. Steve enjoys bringing his creative flair to writing and marketing projects, and has always been a passionate student of language.

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