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Swiss Cheese and Customer Experience

In the late 19th century my great-grandfather, Otto, smuggled the culture for Gruyère cheese from Switzerland to the United States. Thinking about him reminds me of the “Swiss Cheese Model,” an approach to accident prevention that focuses on putting up multiple barriers that should collectively prevent major mishaps even if one or more of them has a hole in it. A similar “Reverse Swiss Cheese Model” applies to international customer experience. To see how, imagine an English-centric company ...
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Software Developers – Yes, You!

To put it bluntly, your latest and greatest product feature or code fix may only be applicable for a minority of your customers. If your company’s international revenue is approaching or has already surpassed 50% – but customers outside of the home market cannot use all product functions – there’s a problem. The product that you work so hard to perfect can’t be considered world-class until the world beyond your primary market can gain 100% access to features that make sense for their user e...
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How to Perfect Your Cold Emailing Technique

Cold emailing is the equivalent of cold calling – the solicitation of a potential customer who had no prior interaction with a salesperson – and is simply handled by email. It means you reach out to a sales target without them having made the first move. And that’s why it amounts to shooting an arrow in the dark. Why? The prospect doesn’t know you. Your email may land in a spam filter or remain unread even if it was delivered. Cold emailing is a tough exercise. Sometimes your arrow will hit,...
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Headless Global Content Doesn’t Happen by Magic

In recent years, there’s been a lot of buzz around “headless” systems – whether for content creation and management or for the translation workflows that feed the global customer experience. The concept being that rather than having a traditional front- and back-end (publishing and creation), these systems allow content to be magically managed, extracted, repurposed, and delivered through a myriad of end points, from mobile apps to corporate websites integrated with a partner’s own custom p...
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Do B2B Buyers Value Localized Experiences?

“Would you pay more for a localized product?” That’s been a core question in CSA Research’s long-running “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy” (CRWB) series of survey-driven reports. Since our first analysis in 2006 we’ve seen a strong preference for local language and localization, even if it costs the buyer more. That partiality for a user experience persisted in our 2020 survey for B2B buyers of technology products but was less of a factor for our B2C respondents whom we quizzed on more than 20 pu...
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MT as a Platform Service

Last August when I delivered the opening keynote at the MT Summit on “responsive MT,” one trend that I identified was the emergence of MT as a platform-level service provided by creators of enterprise ecosystems. Although this move has just started, it will be one of the biggest drivers for growth of language services in the coming years as it creates an expectation of ubiquitous multilingualism across a wide variety of services.
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When Localization Audits Aren’t Enough

CSA Research is well-known for its Localization Maturity Model™ (LMM) and Localization Maturity Assessments, based on 15 years of longitudinal data collection and analysis from observing organizational behavior around the translation and localization functions within global organizations. The LMM has enjoyed widespread usage and validation ever since its release as evidenced by its many references and adaptations throughout the localization industry. We have enhanced the original model based on...
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Planning a Strong Account Management Framework for 2022

In January, language service providers are often busy planning the year ahead. This year, we observed that many are putting special emphasis on improving their client care function. We’ve been busy holding online workshops with LSPs to help them refine their approach. Here’s an overview of the core concepts we typically discuss during these sessions.
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Changing Language – Inclusive Terminology in the Enterprise

Language constantly evolves. We all know words from our childhood that today’s kids don’t understand (or laugh at), and teens constantly introduce us to new slang and acronyms. Marketers develop new concepts; community and culture drive changes in what is current, acceptable, or outdated. People working in localization know that this translates to human effort in finding the right way to convey the same concept in a multitude of languages.
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Flurry of Language Industry Investments and Mergers & Acquisitions Wrap Up 2021

Four noteworthy announcements over the last two weeks provide several object lessons in how the language services and technology industry works and is evolving: Smartling and Lokalise both received substantial infusions of venture capital (VC), while Summa Linguae Technologies and Unbabel each revealed an acquisition (M&A). Although each announcement was individually interesting, in aggregate they are instructive. In this post we focus on global content management and full-service LSPs, tying th...
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