ULG's Language Services Blog

How to Switch Interpretation Vendors with Minimal Disruption

Are you settling for a “good enough” interpretation provider when exceptional service is within reach? The idea of switching interpretation vendors can feel like more trouble than it’s worth if your current provider is doing an okay job. But okay isn’t outstanding, likely not even good enough, and the right provider can unlock untapped potential for your business with smoother processes, a wider range of languages and services, and innovative approaches. Let’s explore when you should consider switching interpretation providers and how to make the switch as seamless as possible.  

Why to Switch Interpretation Vendors 

Switching to a new interpretation provider can bring significant benefits to your business. Let's break them down: 

  • Better Processes: A different provider may offer smoother, more efficient processes. This can mean easier scheduling, more user-friendly technology, shorter connection times and an improved customer experience.  
  • More languages and services: As your business evolves, your language needs will evolve, too. Switching to a provider with more depth and breadth can unlock access to more available languages and more specialized services like video remote interpreting. Breadth of services help to make sure your business can communicate effectively in any situation. 
  • Innovation and technology: The field of interpretation is rapidly evolving, and new technologies like AI are shaking up the industry. A different provider might offer more innovative solutions, such as cutting-edge remote interpretation technologies, better integration with existing business systems, or more advanced call center technology. Vendors with upgraded call center tech can offer shorter connection times, skills-based routing to match customers with the ideal interpreters for their queries, and more. 
  • Improved ease of doing business: If you’re currently juggling multiple vendors for different language services, consolidating to a single provider can be a game-changer. Your business will spend less time managing different vendors, and your vendor will have the opportunity to better understand your business’ unique needs and tailor their services accordingly. This allows for more strategic partnership and support as your business scales.  
  • Budget optimization: It’s possible that you aren’t getting top value for your money.  Switching vendors can drive more value for your interpretation budget because all of the factors listed above. When you have better processes, more service options, more innovation and the ability to consolidate multiple vendors, you’ll get a higher return for your interpretation dollars.   

Switching interpretation providers isn’t necessarily about solving problems with your current service—though there may indeed be problems to solve. A big advantage is that it presents a chance to save time, get more value for your spending, upgrade the quality of services, and improve compliance.  

How to Switch Interpretation Vendors Smoothly 

Switching to a new interpretation vendor doesn’t have to be painful. A smooth transition is all in the onboarding. Here’s how to switch without so much struggle:   

Document Your Needs, Goals and Anticipated Scope  

To avoid miscommunication, make sure everyone is on the same page by documenting your specific needs, goals, and the anticipated scope of services you expect from your new interpretation provider.  

This should include:  

  • The language pairs you require.
  • The types of interpretation services you need (on-site, over-the-phone, video remote interpreting, and/or remote simultaneous interpreting).  
  • Specific industry-related needs, like medical interpreting or legal interpreting.
  • Information about your organization, your brand, your products and the customers you serve.
  • The expected volume and frequency of interpretation services.
  • Any software or technological integrations you need.

Do a Post-Mortem on Your Previous Interpretation Provider and Share the Results   

Get your new vendor relationship off to a strong start by identifying what worked well and what didn’t with your previous vendor.  

Sharing this information with the new vendor will help them understand:  

  • The challenges you faced with the previous provider. 
  • Specific areas where you’d like to try a different approach this time.  
  • What you expect from an interpretation vendor and how you measure service quality. 

Create Detailed Process Documentation 

A clear guide to your existing processes helps the new vendor integrate seamlessly. Document how you currently handle: 

  • Requesting and scheduling interpretation services .
  • Feedback and quality control.
  • Communication flows between your team and theirs.

Ideally you have already had your current interpretation partner document and share their processes and procedures. If not, then it’s time to ask.  

Decide Who Owns This Relationship 

Establish who in your organization will lead and manage the transition. Start by: 

  • Assigning a project lead or a team responsible for the vendor switch. 
  • Defining roles and responsibilities for internal stakeholders. 
  • Establishing a point of contact for coordination with the new vendor. 

Make the Transition with a Plan 

Make sure the handover goes smoothly with a detailed plan of action. A strong transition plan will include:  

  • Reviewing completed tasks and pending deliverables from the previous vendor. 
  • Transferring all relevant project files and documentation to the new vendor. 
  • Creating clear documentation standards and making sure everything is compliant with applicable regulations.  

Keep the Conversation Going with Your New Interpretation Provider  

Communication is the key to starting the partnership with your new interpretation vendor off on the right foot. Once the transition is in progress, schedule regular meetings between your team and theirs to discuss the progress you’ve made and address any challenges. 

Nip potential issues in the bud with open and honest feedback to the new vendor on their service delivery and any areas you believe improvement is needed.  

How ULG Helps Customers Make the Switch  

Thinking of switching interpreting services? We get it – the idea can seem daunting. But there’s no need to let that stop you from making the switch and reaping the benefits. At ULG, we've crafted a well-oiled process designed to ensure a smooth switch.  

Here’s what sets us apart:  

Dedicated Support Just for You 

We understand that every client is unique. That's why when you switch to ULG, we assign you your own account manager and project manager. They're your dedicated support, there to guide you through every step and make sure your needs are always front and center. 

Tailored Training for Flawless Integration 

Your brand, process, and product are key to us. Our teams undergo quick but comprehensive training to get up to speed with what makes your business tick. This way, we ensure our interpretation services feel like a natural extension of your brand. 

Done-For-You Transition Planning 

Worried about moving your projects or content from your old vendor? Don't be. We help you develop a custom transition plan. Whether it's ongoing projects or specific content, our approach is designed to make sure you have a smooth migration from your previous vendor to ULG, without any hiccups. 

A Partnership Built on Communication and Collaboration 

A successful switch to a new interpretation provider hinges on thorough communication of your needs, a collaborative spirit, and ongoing monitoring to ensure everything is on track. We're committed to open, continuous communication and partner with you to align our services with your business objectives. 

Ready to Make the Switch? 

 Interested in seeing how ULG can transform your interpretation services experience? Our team is ready to guide you through every step, ensuring a seamless transition. Connect with our experts today and let us show you the difference dedicated support and tailored solutions can make for your business. 


Topics: Interpreting