We don't claim quality, we provide it.
Simply put, talking in another language doesn't make a translator! You can find today hundreds of people claiming to be translators and claim to have the required knowledge and even the expertise. If you had a terrible experience with translation, you know what we're talking about. If you were lucky so far, then it better safe than sorry. Here's the early signs when you inquire translation service providers. Does the provider have...
a decent website?
As silly as it may sound, but building a website is as easy as 1 2 3 and as cheap as dust nowadays. Not having a website, or a long standing blog at least, and relying solely on Facebook and LinkedIn pages and groups gives you the first hint of non-professional service provider.
Ask the provider for proof of accreditation. There're many websites, social pages and blogs claim to be accredited and list many logos of accreditation and quality standards bodies. If they accquired it, they'll prove it.
terms of service?
If the provider doesn't have a clear terms of service(s), you don't have any rights and will charge you for low quality translations. Know your rights, or clearly state them in writing before you submit anything.
a dedicated project manager(s)?
Project Managers or Key Account Managers are vital in translation services. Without them, your projects will be submitted to the first available translator, no matter what experiences or skills s/he has. A professional agency will ask for a sample, content type, document final destination among other things. If they don't ask, there's something wrong about it.
a translation management platform?
To be most effective, any professional provider will need to use a translation management software and a Computer Aided Translation, CAT, tool. The more professional the provider, the more clients, documents, translators, proof-readers, etc. to manage, coordinate and communicate with. With major providers, you'll be granted access to a platform to manage your documents, projects, tasks and financial documents.
a diverse experience?
A professional provider will have a diverse list of clients in different sectors, industries and using different technolgoies. If a provider sticks only to basic word processors (e.g. MS Word and OO Writer), there's a big change you'll do extra work for them. If a provider, for example, says he can subtitle a movie, they must be able to handle different subtitling and close-captioning software and file formats.