International Contact, Inc.—a multi-language communications agency in Oakland, California—celebrates 33 years in business, which is a pretty unusual milestone for a small business. Although the Census Bureau does not have statistics on business failure rates, its SUSB program provides annual data for all U.S. paid employer firms, including establishment and closure. From those figures, business reporters extrapolate that more than 50% of small businesses close their doors after 2 years. Forty percent of those close their doors within 10 years. And the U.S. Census Bureau notes that 2014 was the first time ever that more businesses failed than were established.
Customer satisfaction is obviously a central element that has kept International Contact vibrant. 90% pf their business comes from repeat customers or existing customer referrals! Kymber Umaña, Hispanic Marketing Manager at Sprint, put it this way: “Over the years, we have come to depend on International Contact for our foreign language needs. We can count on them to produce the material to our exact specifications, whether we require a same day translation with a specific word count or having them work with our advertising agency on a long-term campaign to make sure that the concepts are culturally acceptable in the other language.”
Adding to their longevity is the 8% annual rate of growth in worldwide language services for the past 3 years, estimated to reach almost 40 billion dollars in 2015. The company has kept pace in growing its service menu, developing solutions to the customers’ every need in foreign languages. From translating brochures or flyers into one or any of over one hundred languages, it has diversified into providing foreign language voiceover talent for video and websites, creating computer tests to score the language fluency of prospective and current employees, training and providing interpreters for home visits for healthcare providers and multiple other services.
Dramatic changes in technology and systems have been required to continue to service the variety of client needs. Recently the company redesigned its own website, www.intlcontact.com, to include a portal where clients can have secure and individual access through which to request estimates, place orders, upload their projects, track the day-to-day process of their materials, and download the completed projects, thus saving time and expense.
“We are excited to be able to offer a seamless receipt and delivery of projects through the secure portal. It shortens the time required to complete a project and simplifies the tracking of changes or additions to the original document,” says Carla Itzkowich, Executive Director of International Contact. “We are also pleased that, after servicing our clients’ websites for years, we have finally upgraded our own.”
To encourage their clients to sign up for the portal they are offering a discount for all projects opened in November 2015 and lucky sign-up number 33 will win a 2-night stay in Sonoma to celebrate their 33rd year anniversary.