Where do you start when looking for an Over-The-Phone Interpretation (OPI) company that can instantly provide interpreters for you as your business expands? You want a company that’s reliable, that you can trust, and that’s operated in your industry.
Sounds easy, but at LinguaLinx, we know this can seem daunting. As a Language Services Provider (LSP), we work with a wide variety of clients who lack confidence in communicating effectively with clients and suppliers who speak other languages.
However, once you do find the right OPI partner, then you’ll never look back, and you’ll realize that calls in other languages are easy, cost-effective, and will allow your business to grow.
In this article, we’ll look at the key things to consider when looking for an LSP to help you with OPI.
Do They Have Experience in Your Industry?
Choosing an OPI company that can provide interpreters with industry knowledge is crucial. Industries such as legal, technical, and medical require specialized knowledge, and an interpreter without that knowledge may not be able to provide accurate translations.
It's important to choose an OPI company that can provide interpreters who are not only bilingual but also knowledgeable about your specific industry. The use of slang, jargon, acronyms, and other industry nuances makes it necessary to have interpreters with industry knowledge.
Therefore, an OPI company with a pool of qualified interpreters who have experience in your industry will ensure accurate communication and conveyance of your message.
How Easy is the Process?
When it comes to OPI, time is of the essence. You don't want to waste precious minutes trying to navigate a complicated process just to make a simple call in another language.
A reliable OPI partner should provide a hassle-free process that is easy to understand and use. Look for a supplier that offers a user-friendly platform and has customer service in place to answer any questions you have along the way.
This will ensure that you can focus on your business and not waste time trying to figure out how to make an OPI call.
Remember, efficiency is key in expanding your business, and a streamlined OPI process is a crucial component of that efficiency.
Are There Any Hard Costs?
Do you need to purchase hardware? Or can the system operate from any phone?
When you’re in foreign territories, often you’re in hotel rooms or working in places other than your office.
Ideally, you’ll want a service that is operational from any phone in the world (especially mobile or cell phones) by using a simple PIN.
What is Their Quality Assurance Process?
Quality assurance is the lifeblood of the language services industry. You should be looking for a partner that has international certification. ISO 17100 is the standard for LSPs.
Any company that doesn’t have this accreditation is shying away from having themselves and their roster of interpreters properly vetted.
Ask yourself…is there a reason for this? For example, you’d probably think twice before eating at a restaurant that doesn’t have a government hygiene certificate, wouldn’t you?
How Easy Are They to Work With?
What account management system do they have in place? Will you get your own point of contact if you’re having issues?
Someone who knows you and your business and can come and iron out any problems? Sure, it should all be simple, but what if it isn’t?
Are They Available 24/7?
You might be dealing in multiple time zones. If you’re based in California and you need to speak to someone in Singapore, there’s a 15-hour time difference.
Your 9-5 normal operating hours in the two regions never align.
If your OPI provider and their interpreters clock off at 5:00 pm California time, you’re going to struggle to do business in Singapore. Make sure your supplier has 24/7 capabilities.
How Many Languages Do They Cover?
Sure, your current need of OPI is so that you can talk to a new supplier in Tokyo, but your future plans are to build warehouses in Madagascar and Colombia.
Can your LSP help you as you expand into these territories? How many of the world’s languages can their roster of interpreters facilitate?
You don’t want to be going through this process again in a year’s time, and you also don’t need to be juggling between two LSPs.
What Are Their Rates?
OPI rates vary depending on a number of factors, such as:
- What is the language?
- How rare is the language?
- What is the industry?
- What are the timelines?
- How frequently will you need OPI?
The rate is usually between $1 and - $3 per minute. Of course, you want a low rate, but if the lowest rate is much lower than competitors, this could be a red flag.
If you ask the other questions we’ve outlined here, then you’ll get a feeling for whether you should go for that low rate or not.
Does it Feel Like Business as Usual?
In the end, if you make sure that the process is easy, quick, available 24/7, within the usual rates, and with an LSP that treats you with the customer care you’d expect – whether you’re doing one call a month or a hundred - then you’ll be in a good place.
And once you’ve made this important decision, and found the right partner, then you won’t need to do it again.
You’ll have found a company that is easy to work with, who wants to understand your business, and is happy to help you grow.
Get a Quote for Your Over-The-Phone Interpretation Needs
If you need OPI services, we’d love to sit down and talk with you about it.
Consultations are free, and there’s no obligation.
With LinguaLinx, you won't ever have to worry about your message getting lost as it’s translated. You know you're in good hands with our ISO 17100 compliance, twenty years of professional translation experience, and the organizations whose trust we've earned.