The work of an international company involves communication with clients from different parts of the world. How is the mechanism of professional communication between a specialist and a client thousands of kilometers away from each other built? Thanks to modern technologies and quarantine restrictions around the world, this type of cooperation are rapidly spreading and developing. It has become especially relevant in war-torn Ukraine. Let’s dive deeper into the long-distance relations between the service provider and the customer. It is about the studio of architecture and commercial interior design ZIKZAK Architects and its clients.
Communication with a client who is in another country
Back in the days of covid, the team got used to remote communication. It became commonplace to hold a Google Meet or Zoom meeting instead of a personal conversation. So with the entry into the international market, only the language of communication has changed. In addition, online services for project management, teamwork, and task control allow the customer, as well as the project team itself, to be involved in tracking the stages of work. Thus, the client keeps in touch with the team of architects and designers, directly observing the progress of the project at a convenient time, simply by joining the online service.
In an architectural company, a team leader communicates with the customer. He speaks with the client through video conferencing systems convenient for both of them. Modern means of communication also affect the planning decisions of the office. Meeting rooms have evolved into multifunctional premises. They are adapted both for face-to-face negotiations and for online conferences. Previously unthinkable booths for one person have appeared. And the office of an architectural studio is no different from any other company.
Specialists are constantly improving their English skills to better find a common language with foreign clients. Meetings are organized taking into account the time zones of the countries. With American clients, for example, sometimes it is necessary to communicate at night. Before scheduling a meeting, a prudent project manager looks at the calendar of national holidays just in case. For example, a Cypriot customer may refuse to meet on October 28, because on this day Cypriots celebrate Ohi Day. For many people in the world, this date is unknown, for Cyprus it is a solemn event and an official day off.
In addition to resolving technical issues, it is important to establish an emotional connection in preparation for a competent conversation on the project. It is great when a specialist is able to start an interesting small talk relevant to the client, support a topic that does not relate to purely working moments, or make a good joke. But each individual case requires an individual approach and deepening into the nuances of intercultural communication. With experience, you begin to understand in what manner it is better to communicate with people from which countries. Different clients from different regions of the world have nonidentical mentalities and cultural norms.
Despite the wide geographical coverage of clients and the progress of technology, communicating with the customer, not through the monitor screen is an essential moment of business relationships. Thanks to mobile teams that travel to locations around the world, the project manager finally meets with the client in real-time. The team that makes a quality product and whose specialists communicate with customers in an experienced and highly professional manner does not see any difficulties due to the distance of thousands of kilometers, working with customers around the world.