5 Tips For Dealing With Clients In Different Time Zones

The internet has made it easier for companies to connect with clients from around the world. There are now many forms of instant communication such as video calls, VoIP and instant messaging that are much cheaper than overseas phone calls. However, while communication is easier, there is still the challenge of time zones to consider.

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Some companies that are new to international interactions can forget about this – occasionally leading to embarrassing moments such as accidentally calling a client in the middle of the night. By learning how to work around time zones, you can keep customers happy and communicate the information you need promptly when necessary. Below are 5 tips for dealing with clients in different time zones that could be worth a read.

Use time zone converter tools

There are many useful time zone converter tools online that are worth using if you need to schedule a call or virtual meeting. It’s better to use these in the early days than to try to memorise time zone differences – especially if you’re taking on clients in a range of different countries. You can also get apps for your phone that you can easily use on the go.

Factor in clock changes

In many countries around the world, the clocks will go back or forward an hour at some point during the year. This can sometimes catch people out when scheduling meetings and calls. Most time zone converter tools will account for these daylight savings clock changes, which is why it’s useful to always double-check these tools rather than trying to memorise time zone differences and clock changes of different countries.

Limit working out of hours

There may be times when you need to conduct a work call late at night or even on a weekend in order to communicate with someone on the opposite side of the world. However, you should try not to make these calls too commonplace, as you’ll be sacrificing your own free time. Where possible try to conduct all international calls between 9 to 5 hours on weekdays. If you run a B2B company, try to also stay within your client’s working hours where possible so that you’re not inconveniencing them.

Hire/outsource local reps

Another way to get around time zones is to hire or outsource a representative who is based in another time zone to conduct calls for you. This could prevent you from having to get up early or stay up late to accommodate international clients’ time zones. Outsourcing is generally the cheapest and most practical option – outsourcing a virtual receptionist could be useful simply for providing a 24/7 point of call for clients in out-of-hours time zones. Alternatively, if you need someone to take on lots of different tasks while you’re asleep, it may be better to hire a full-time remote employee.

Use 24 hour time

To be safe, it’s always better to use 24 hour time when scheduling a call. You don’t want to ask to conduct a call at 8 the next day, and have them call you at 8am instead of 8pm. By using 20:00 it clears up exactly which time you mean.

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