Everlasting Engagement: 3 Groups You Need to Engage for a Healthy Business
It’s engagement season!
That’s not the engagement we mean, though. We’re talking about business engagement
And when you’re a thriving global business, it’s always engagement season.
So what does it mean to engage your business’s different constituents? You’re probably already thinking about how to engage customers, but what about your partners and employees? Here at Venga, we’ve been thinking about ways to make engagement a central part of all we do. Below, we take a look at some ways to engage these three key groups and share some of the strategies that worked for us.
Helping customers feel like they know your company intimately is one of the strongest ways to ensure they stay engaged. Customer intimacy might seem like an intangible thing, but it’s easily measured through metrics like word-of-mouth, social sharing, and product adoption rates. When your customer knows that you align with their values and needs, they feel a sense of intimacy. In turn, this can drive smoother processes and innovation within your company.
So how do you get to know your customers? You get to know your customers! Talk to them–whether that’s through surveys, feedback boards, live customer support, or real-time visits–and ask questions about their experience. Recent research by American Express has found that customers are willing to pay more for a better experience throughout their business relationship.
But you shouldn’t do it just to raise your revenues. Customers are also extremely savvy and can tell when businesses are authentically interested in their experience or more interested in the money. Instead, if you want to build customers who care about your products or your work enough to give you feedback and help drive your innovation, invest in improving your customers’ experiences.
At Venga, we take a personal approach to each business relationship. Even if you’re a large company, you can make each relationship feel personal. We invest in personal relationships first, listening to our clients’ needs so we can present custom solutions to our clients’ processes. We engage with customers to help them improve their businesses and processes, with the end goal of helping their company grow and get ahead.
Our clients know we’re looking out for them, because we want them to develop in their own roles:
“Our Venga rep not only makes sure she understands our requests, I think of her as my guardian angel. More than once she has caught something in one of our projects–and even in our copy–that was potentially a problem and alerted me immediately. In terms of service, this is light years beyond our former translation house.” – Martha Simpson | Writer, Marketing Communications, WatchGuard
A vendor is a one-way relationship, where you trade money for goods or services. But if you think of your vendors as partners, you’ll find that the relationship is actually reciprocal. Instead of one of you working for the other, you’re working together.
So how do you engage your vendor-partners?
For us (and for Amazon), it starts from day one. We start by clearly outlining the framework of our partnership through the Working as a Venga Vendor Guide. We let our partners know what they can expect from us as a company, what type of accounts they will be working on, and what they can expect from our clients.
We make sure our onboarding is clear, and then we introduce our partners to the production teams they’ll be working with. Our production teams host kick-off calls with each partner on their main accounts. Throughout the relationship, production teams will continue to share updates on accounts, to enable scalability and planning on our partners’ side.
We bring our partners into the translation and localization process wherever possible. Partners interact with our clients through language leads, client reviewers, and in some instances, even client (software) developers. We’ve found that engaging our partners in the whole process produces more engaging work and quality–on both sides!
For Maria, our Global Supply Chain Director, partner engagement is a whole-company project:
“We see partner engagement as a holistic process, that every department at Venga continuously contributes to. Production does this through daily interactions with our partners, Finance through timely payments, Technical Support though prompt technical query resolution, and so on.”
When everyone is on the same page, work happens efficiently, and so it’s key that we maintain good communication with our partners too. We provide our partners with ongoing feedback: sharing LQA results, client feedback, and holding Quarterly Business Reviews calls with key partners. We also try to meet our partners in person at industry conferences and events, where possible.
And don’t worry, we take our own advice! Our partners’ experience is important to us, and we’re always thinking of new ways to engage with them and listen to their needs. For example, in addition to sending out an annual newsletter, we conduct a yearly Venga Partner Satisfaction Survey, which allows our partners to provide feedback, highlight what works well and where we can improve. We share this feedback with the respective Venga teams as well as the entire company.
This feedback has shaped some of our practices and content. For example, we’ve started engaging with our partners on social media through our Venga Translation Partners & Talent LinkedIn Page by sharing blog posts geared towards translators, providing recruitment updates and information on what’s happening at Venga.
Furthermore, we involve our partners in content creation by inviting them to write blog posts which we share on Venga’s social media pages. We recognize partners who go above and beyond, by sending gifts as a small token of our appreciation.
What does a successful partner relationship look like?
A successful partner relationship, to us, is transparent, supportive, and collaborative. It’s a partnership in which our partners are not afraid to raise concerns or share ideas on how to address challenges. Our partners take ownership of their work and take feedback on board, and we aim to mirror that attitude.
Employee experience is found in everything from the physical environment to the culture to the way work happens in your company. Do employees know they’re working for a purpose? Does their work align with their values and contribute something meaningful to the world?
You can collect this data at various points throughout the employee life cycle, from onboarding to regular check-ins to exit surveys. Then, use that data to engage honestly with your employees and design a more engaging employee experience.
It helps to think of your employees like customers, too. This means that all the advice we gave you above can be leveraged to develop a better employee experience.
When we onboard new employees at Venga, we think about ways to help our employees immediately feel like a team, even when they’re remote. This means picking forms of communication that allow for the feeling of real-time conversations and thinking about ways to have face-to-face interactions even when we’re on opposite sides of the world.
Our new European Program Director, Jo, spends most of her time working remotely. As part of her onboarding, we encouraged our employees to make 5-minute “getting to know you” videos to introduce themselves to Jo.
Jo says that:
“The videos are a lovely way to “meet” your remote colleagues and get to know a bit more about the people behind the names and faces!
I’m also impressed by the tools and platforms that we use at Venga. In particular Slack and Asana are both such a great way to work and collaborate efficiently and transparently. Slack allows every person to feel and be part of the company and Asana just takes project management and cross-department requests to another level. The all-inclusive and collaborative nature of the various platforms makes a big difference in both the organization and company culture.”
Translation and workflow options can help your business engage all three of these groups. Find out how by checking out Venga’s library of resources, or contact us to see how we can help you boost your engagement.