Dealing with Diffferent
Sharing a few tips I have learned in my over 22 years of client management, especially when dealing with clients of different cultures.
When it comes to dealing with different client cultures, it is important to start with empathy and understanding. Take yourself outside of your own experiences and just swim in what your customers are saying. Mirror back to them what they're saying in your own words. Study their body language. Study what they're talking about. Frequently stop and explain your thought processes of how you understand them.
If it's a culture that you're not familiar with, whether you're talking about nationality or business. Check in. When they say something that you think is important, let them know you heard.
Let's take a look at the client side...
So how does this translate into business or clients? Let's take a look at client culture. Whether you're talking about nationality, or talking about IT versus marketing versus advertising, sales. There are five things that you can map out when talking to clients to help understand their culture.
- How does a client value the timelines? Are they more interested in hitting the deadline or being flexible.
- How does a client value format over context and relational aspects of how you communicate with them?
- Does a client value pedigree of past work over your current interaction?
- Are they more worried about themselves or a win for their community or their team?
- Are they somebody who is very straight to the point or are they somebody who looks at things from many different angles?
Takeaways from WordCamp Europe, Vienna
- Dealing with nationality or business units, client culture can vary greatly
- Listen and take your context out of what you hear
- Understand “How” they are telling you the information. Details matter
- Continually affirm expectations with polite yet assumptive direction
- Avoid jargon and employ body language
- Avoid yes or no questions while in discovery with the client