Working with People from Cross Cultural Backgrounds
India is emerging as a world leader in the outsourcing industry. In the last few decades, we have seen a tremendous increase in the number of companies and startups that cater to outsourcing solutions to the external world.
Let us take the Information Technology domain. The software development industry mainly relies on taking projects outsourced mainly from the US, Europe, Australia, Middle East and the rest of the world.
As an IT expert who has been working with Bridge Global for the past 5 years, I am fortunate enough to have close-interactions with clients from different parts of the globe. Striking up mutually beneficial communication with your customer holds prime importance in maintaining a healthy relationship.
The experience of having worked with customers from different nationalities and cultures has helped me to be a confident authority in my domain with remarkable remote collaboration skills.
Some of the crucial points that I keep in mind during my dealings with clients of cross-cultural backgrounds are listed below:
Know the customer– Take time to have an open talk with the customer, to know each other. It is very important to follow the right etiquettes while communicating with the customer. For that, it is very important to know briefly about the customer’s country and culture. Also explain about the lifestyle, culture, specialties, and festivals of your country to them. This will be an icebreaker for both sides.
Reply to customer’s messages and email on time– Make it as a practice to reply to customers’ emails and queries as early as possible. If you feel some emails need a bit more time to research and reply, it is always better to acknowledge the receipt of customers email and let them know that you will get back soon with a reply.
Don’t ask too many personal things– It is always advisable not to ask too much about customer’s personal life initially. You can ask them once you gel with the customer and you feel that they will take in the right spirit and reply.
Always keep time difference in mind– Please be aware of the time difference between you and customer. Make the best use of the overlapping time with the customer to get your queries answered. When scheduling an appointment, always ask for his availability by specifying the time in his time zone.
Be proactive– Most customers like people proactively taking responsibility and come up with solutions.
Make a friendly bond with the customer– It is always good to ask questions like how was your weekend/ what are your plans for this weekend to maintain a good rapport with the customer.
Try to have a visit to customer’s office– This will make you understand how they work and how they want you to work for them.
Update about your work to the customer– It is a good practice to send an email to the customer about your work done for the day so that he may well informed about the project development
Always follow the golden rule “CUSTOMER IS THE KING”.
I really hope these points will help my readers to foster better relationships with their customers.