Good customer relations are not a one-way street. We translators can do plenty to oil the wheels.
How translators can facilitate the translation process.
Getting a quote
1) Confirm that you received the query and will send out a quote soon.
2) Start preparing the quote without delay.
3) Be honest and refer job offers outside of your specialty areas to more suitable colleagues.
During the translation
4) Write down questions/unclear segments and mark them in the translation.
5) Collect your questions and avoid sending out a separate email for every single thing that crosses your mind.
6) Double-check your translation to ensure that nothing is missing or incorrectly translated.
7) Proofread your translation. No one wants annoying typos or missing punctuation.
8) Keep your customer in the loop. If you can tell that there will be a delay let your client know.
9) Stick to the deadline (or see no. 8).
After having sent the translation
10) Send your invoice (either along with the translation or as soon as possible).
11) Be available and open for questions, remarks or even complaints. Always be polite.
Then lean back and bask in the glow of a job well done.