Get out there
OK – our first one is a bit of a cheat as we actually have an office in Australia, so we’re already on the spot for some of our major automotive clients down under. However, even without a local office, you may be able to embed someone within your client team. It’s a great way to work more closely and ensure a seamless connection between both companies. We also do this for clients in South Africa, and it has proved invaluable for both sides of the partnership.
Using the latest collaboration tools like Trello enable us to liaise easily with our international counterparts. Despite the time difference, it makes it easier for us to process, and importantly track, new requests, amends and feedback in a timely manner. Naturally, Skype, Hangouts and other chat facilities mean we can talk face-to-face; and long-gone are the days when document sharing meant sending a fax.
Schedule regular reviews
It would be all too easy to allow client contact to slide into a simple request-response pattern. Your relationship and the strategies that drive your work together are far too important for you to let this happen. We make sure that we hold monthly, quarterly and annual reviews to catch up outside of specific projects and ensure that we’re working together effectively.
Make the time zones work in the client’s favour
Yes, working across multiple time zones can mean that we end up having conferences at all times of the day, which can be challenging (the time difference between here and Australia is currently 11 hours). Yet there is a notable upside. For example, we often work on a brief while our clients are counting sheep (or kangaroos) and can therefore have something ready for the beginning of their next working day. This does mean that we need to be responsive and flexible, but that’s part of who we are and the way we work anyway.
Spread the load
We have dedicated UK Account Managers for each international client. This makes sure that every client gets the attention they need, and nothing drops off the radar when we’re busy (it also means that no-one has to be available 24 hours a day).
With a little sensible planning and some great technology, working effectively with global clients has never been easier!
Check out some of the work we’ve done with our international clients: