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COVID-19 LSP 3 Survey Data: Overall Results

For the third time this year, CSA Research surveyed the CEOs of the world’s largest LSPs to gauge

the evolving impact of the pandemic on the language services industry.

We conducted the first two surveys in March and May 2020, respectively.

Following are the results from the August sample of 118 CEOs.

The companies of all 118 CEOs are ranked in CSA Research’s Top 100 and Regional Rankings for 2020.

How has COVID-19 affected your business as of today?

The percentage of LSPs that reported decreases (55%) is down slightly from our May survey (66%), and the number reporting increases (20%) is up compared to May (6%).


Select the statement that best reflects your view about how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the language services and technology market:

Just 3% of the LSPs we surveyed believe that COVID-19 has not changed the market either temporarily or permanently. Almost to a person our respondents see changes on the horizon – we’ve already characterized major changes in “The Future of Language Services.”.


 

 

Quantify the change in your revenue from January to June of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

The average of all responses ranges from a 99% decrease all the way to an increase more than 100%. We will dissect these numbers more in future research.


How long do you expect COVID-19 to have this effect on your revenue?

Nearly half (45%) of LSPs believe the impact of COVID-19 on their business will be over by the end of 2020, down from 63% who responded as such in our May survey. LSPs have less confidence in a quick return to business normalcy that they expected in March and May.


Rate your degree of concern with the following issues.

We asked respondents to rate these issues from “Not concerned at all” to “Very concerned.” This chart shows only the issues for which they responded, “Very concerned.” As it has from the beginning, uncertainty is the topmost concern – no one can say what will happen next.

 


How has demand for language services and technology changed for the first half of 2020?

This figure shows the top five verticals from the 37 that CSA Research tracks where LSPs reported an increase in demand. Respondents were instructed to answer only for those industries in which they currently have clients. For example, among the LSPs that have clients in healthcare, 64% reported an increase in demand for that vertical.


How has demand for language services and technology changed for the first half of 2020?

This figure shows the top five verticals from the 37 that CSA Research tracks where LSPs reported a decrease in demand. Respondents were instructed to answer only for those industries in which they currently have clients. For example, among the LSPs that have clients in travel and leisure, 88% reported a decrease in demand for that vertical.


Enter the percentage of staff in your office(s) (i.e., not working remotely) for the four periods listed.

LSPs on average still have less than half of their staff working in-office than they did prior to the pandemic (35% before versus 77% now). Furthermore, LSPs do not plan to have the same level of in-office staff even after the pandemic is over – that number is down to 57% after the pandemic versus 77% before.


What changes to office space have you implemented (or plan to) because of COVID-19?

While most LSPs (56%) do not plan any changes to the size of their offices, 40% plan to decrease their footprint, which aligns with their plans to have less staff in-office after the pandemic than they did prior.


 

Did you modify your 2020 calendar year sales goal after the effects of the pandemic became clearer to you?

The 55% of LSPs that lowered their sales goals matches the number who indicated a decrease in revenue (55%). However, 38% are standing firm and keeping their sales goals the same.


Thinking about the effects of the pandemic, how prepared were you…

We asked about their willingness to become more virtual, using online exclusively or as their primary approach for marketing, sales, and account management. While just a few percent said they were not at all prepared to go virtual, 28% said they were very well prepared to rely on digital marketing; 18% felt the same about digital selling; and 39% said they were ready for online account management.