Dealing with customers one-on-one can be a rewarding process. Although there's pressure to deliver and ensure you look the part, you can enjoy the benefits of building a professional relationship, expand your network and sell additional products. But when a client lives in another country, it isn't as simple as popping to the local café for a catch-up – you need to rely on technology to engage with them and ensure you're meeting their needs. Below, we've rounded up five ways you can communicate with your international clients.
One of the oldest forms of digital communication is the good, old-fashioned email. Shooting off an email is a great way to keep in contact with your clients, and the vast selection of mobile email apps can ensure you remain organised and efficient at all times. However, with 55% of 55-67-year-olds professionals saying they'll never read an email on their mobile first, this method of communication isn’t always the most reliable and efficient option.
- Phone calls
Although new technology has made it easier to interact in different ways, picking up the phone and calling your client is the simplest and most natural method of communication. While phone call costs are cheaper than they once were, it’s still expensive to call overseas, so it’s worthwhile researching the cheap international calls services offered by companies such as Planet Numbers, where calls to countries like Australia and the USA start from 1p.
- Social media
If you’re not getting in touch with your client to discuss anything confidential, reaching out on a social networking website could be the most sensible solution. Whether you drop them a tweet to ask how they’re finding your service, or you to send them a private message on Facebook, social networking is a powerful tool for business. What’s more, the more public you can make your client interactions, the more free publicity your company will enjoy.
- Messaging apps
Messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp may have suffered some flack regarding their privacy, but they're still a reliable option for business communications. Try to create separate accounts for your personal and professional contacts, and remember that having such apps installed on your phone will mean you're available to clients 24 hours a day – so be sure to switch off and let customers know your ‘office hours'.
- Video chat
Video chatting apps such as Google Hangouts, Skype and FaceTime make communicating with your clients easy. According to TalkDesk, 36% of customers would like to use video chat with customer support, so it makes sense to bake video into your customer service. This form of communication does have drawbacks, however, as it means you’ll always need to look the part – even if it is only from the waist up!
There you have it – some of the most effective methods of communicating with your clients, wherever they are in the world. Remember to factor in internet costs, time zones and busy schedules, and always have a backup plan if one service fails.