How I work with clients from the other side of the world
Working remotely has allowed me to connect with other online entrepreneurs from different parts of the world. I used to get confused when potential clients are in PST zone because they are 16 hours behind my time. I am located in the Philippines.
One of my services is scheduling blog posts on social media platforms. My clients prefer to post in specific hours of the day to get the most engagement from their followers and readers. I have made mistakes in scheduling my clients’ posts because I was not able to determine the correct time zone difference between my clients and me. I apologized to them and made sure that my succeeding posts will be correct. If you’d a mistake, accept it and find a solution immediately. I am sure that your clients would understand.
I have been improving my system so that I can manage my tasks more effectively. I like to have long-term clients and I value their support too.
Here are some of the ways that I use to work smoothly with my clients:
1. Know the time zone difference.
Choose a time converter such as World Time Buddy. It is easy to use this. It allows me to see multiple time zones at a glance. It has helped to be more organized.
2. Use an online scheduling tool.
I like my Acuity scheduling account. I always love to have virtual coffee chats with potential and current clients. I usually send them my Acuity link so they can schedule an appointment with me at their preferred time. Then, they can see my available dates and pick. I do not need to convert our time zone difference because Acuity does that already.
3. Ask their preferred communication platform.
E-mail is my number 1 choice as a means of communication with my clients. There are clients who have created a Slack account to chat real time with their team members. This is pretty cool too because I would be able to connect with the other Virtual Assistants and contribute my ideas if they need someone to brainstorm with.
4. Ask their preferred software for project management.
Asana and Trello are the ones that I have used to coordinate my tasks with my clients. They have apps too so it is great to be able to see what I am working on via my mobile phone. I also get notifications when clients tag me and write comments on my tasks.
I allow myself to be available at night so that I can accommodate my clients’ emails. I am used to this and have adjusted accordingly. It works for me because I like to work at night too.
6. Set boundaries.
I share my work schedule with my clients and I do ask them about this too. I like to know when are the best times that I can reach out to them. I prefer not to work on weekends. We all need rest and time to spend with our family and friends.
The most important thing is that I communicate with my clients consistently and clearly. I want to be able to manage my clients’ expectations and provide a quality service. There was a time when I had to cancel my client’s invitation for an video call. I was at the hospital and taking care of my mother. I sent an email to my client and explained about my situation. She understood me and I was grateful for her consideration. I also want to say that if both of you and your client can be friends online, that would be awesome! This is what I want. I am happy with my clients because I know that we are communicating well even though we are working in different time zones.