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Tips on how to deal with an international customer

Tips on how to deal with an international customer

If you want to deal with an international customer, you may face considerable challenges. When you are trying to expand your customer base, there is no reason to stop at geographic boundaries. Today, with the popularity of high-speed Internet services and low-cost communication services, connecting with customers in other parts of the world is as easy as it is in your country. There may also be financially solid motivations for working with international clients – if your currency strengthens, they won’t be surprised to pay your higher rate.

 Note the time zone

 Don’t just pick up the mobile phone and call your client in London, or you can wake him up during a good night’s sleep. Track your customer’s time zone using online tools, such as the world clock, which will tell you the present time in countries around the world. Serving global customers requires focus.

Make an advance payment plan

International customers who do not have a bank account in the US cannot send you checks without incurring huge fees. Instead, develop a standard policy for receiving foreign payments: your best option may be a Paypal transfer or a bank transfer; make sure you know the processing fees involved and adjust your price accordingly. Suppose you frequently transfer payments to or from specific countries or regions. In that case, you may need to set up a foreign currency balance in your bank account to avoid paying currency conversion fees.

 Take great care when interpreting emails and other communications

 Regardless of whether your customers are from an English-speaking country, you may notice differences in local language and slang. If you are unsure of what your customer is saying or asking for, be sure to request further clarification by email, stating what you think the customer is saying, and then ask if your explanation is correct. This is an important matter when you deal with an international customer and show your international customer services.

 Please specify your requested currency

 When you bid for a project, be sure to give your client exactly what currency you want to pay in; otherwise, the customer may automatically think that they should pay you in their local currency. You may consider requesting only US dollars; however, you can also customize the rate based on the customer’s currency.

 When you deal with an international customer, pay attention to legal issues

When it comes to foreign clients, your standard contract may not be enforceable. Talk to a lawyer before signing a binding contract with a foreign client, so you know that the law will protect you if a problem arises.

Pay attention to cultural differences

Before serving global customers, study their local customs and etiquette. Some cultures may not like to talk about pricing in advance, so you may need to customize the way you analyze your project budget. Similarly, in some countries, “forced marketing” is seen as a detour-for example. In Australia, if you give a self-destructive speech instead of a self-promotional speech, you may be better received. Also, do not forget international customer services; each country requires something a little bit different.

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