Working with international clients presents a range of new challenges. You have to consider issues such as logistics and cultural differences. Here are some tips on how to manage such projects properly.

 

Working with local clients comes with its advantages. You have an easy point of contact that you can actually visit when needed. Minor emergencies get dealt with quicker and cultural differences aren’t an issue.

But international clients present more challenges. Suddenly, you don’t have the luxury of heading over for a visit whenever you need to. Time zones, cultural differences, and the time required to travel combine to make such projects more difficult. Clients must choose carefully to ensure they work with companies that can actually provide the service.

This line of thought led to the president of one of the former Soviet republics getting in touch with us. He’d taken ownership of a brand new summer palace and he wanted our help to make the space sparkle.

The only problem? We had to work to a tight deadline.

Outfitting the Soviet Palace

Our new client wanted us to deck the entire palace out with regal rugs that emphasized the luxuriousness of the building.

Moreover, he needed those rugs in place and ready for a huge conference that he was preparing for.

It was a monumental task made all the more difficult by this strict deadline. All told, we had two months to get the work done.

At first, we didn’t think that we could. We even told the client as much and told him what we could do instead. But he wasn’t going to take no for an answer. As they say in the movies, he made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. We took the job and prepared ourselves for a couple of months of hectic work.

We immediately increased production at our rug manufacturing facility. Our profit sharing idea offered all of the motivation that our rug-making team needed to work as hard as possible to achieve our goal.

All of this, mind you, while we were developing rugs for other clients.

Things were going well until we ran into another problem. The country’s airport was so small that it wasn’t able to accept the big freighter that we needed to use to deliver the rugs. Our Soviet suitor had the answer though, as he chartered a small plane to fly back and forth. This plane picked up and delivered so many different rugs that we almost lost count. We even had to come up with a new way to fold the rugs so that they wouldn’t get creased in smaller crates.

In the end, a combination of our hard work and that charter plane’s relentless journeys helped us to deliver the rugs on time.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go as smoothly as we’d hoped from there. Our client’s inexperienced staff sliced into the crates and immediately damaged the rugs and carpets that we sent.

Always willing to go above and beyond, we sent one of our people on the next charter plane. So, not only did we make the rugs, but we repaired them too. All of this while meeting the tight deadline that we didn’t think was possible.

It just goes to show what a lot of hard work and the right kind of motivation can achieve. We’d impressed an international client of high standing. And we’d enhanced our reputation as a company that can get the job done quickly and to a high standard.

 

The Middle Eastern Healthcare Center

The success of this international project helped us to develop our reputation outside of the United States. Suddenly, clients were appearing from all over the world, hoping to get their hands on some of our work.

Soon after the Soviet job, another international leader got in touch with us. The head of a Middle Eastern country, he had recently undergone treatment in an American hospital. In fact, this treatment had gone so well that it had saved his life, which left an enormous impression on him.

Upon returning home, he immediately set his staff to work on building a healthcare center that would replicate the one he’d received treatment in. Over the course of a decade, his team constructed this center in the middle of a desert. It is a stunning building.

So, where do we come into the tale?

Our desire to work with more international clients brought us to this man’s attention. We spent five years attempting to secure his business. Once we had it, we got to work on the job at hand.

In the end, we developed stunning carpets for the center’s prayer rooms and banquet hall. We also created the carpet for its world-class receiving rooms. A combination of luxurious wool and silk carpets really made the center stand out, ensuring it achieved the regal air that the leader wanted.

Today, that healthcare center is among the most renowned in the country. Treating some of the most high-profile people in the Middle East, it’s a testament to the determination and hard work of everyone involved.

Working with International Clients

 

So, what is the point of this pair of stories?

We want you to know that we understand how to work with international clients. We’ve been there and done it. Most importantly, we’ve delivered exactly what we promised every single time.

Along the way, we’ve learned a few techniques to help us work with people outside of the United States. Here are just a few of the things that we’ve learned.

Tip #1 – Communicate Constantly

 

This is an important tip for any major project. But it becomes vitally important when you’re working with an international client. Constant and high-quality communication lets your client know that you’re ahead of the task. This keeps them feeling confident in your abilities, as well as ensuring you highlight issues ahead of time.

Things have gotten a lot easier since we worked with the Soviet leader. Back then, we had to rely on the telephone and snail mail to keep in touch. Today, we have email, text messaging, and video calling. We can even take a picture of whatever we’re working on and send it instantly to a client.

As a result, there’s no excuse to not stay in touch. International clients want to hear from you. After all, it’s not like they can just hop in the car and visit your location. It’s through regular communication that you’ll keep the client on board and assure them that the job’s going as planned.

Tip #2 – Deal with the Logistics

 

Unfortunately, communication isn’t as easy as picking up the phone and making a call. There’s also the issue of time zones to concern yourself with. In our case, we dealt with clients who were several hours ahead of us in the United States. They were often ending their working days by the time we’d started ours.

As a result, we had to work out the logistics of working with these clients.

Making a phone call or sending an email at the wrong time may lead to a delay in the response. This delay can set you back several hours, or even an entire day. If it happens repeatedly, you create massive delays in the project. That’s not something that you can allow when you’re working to a tight deadline. We time our communications to ensure we get a response as quickly as possible.

Deliveries also present an issue. As you saw in our work with the Soviet republic leader, all sorts of logistical problems can crop up. Solve them early so you know that your deliveries will go off without a hitch. In our case, that meant chartering a plane in collaboration with our client. We don’t always have to go to such extremes when working internationally. But the logistics of deliveries are still a key concern.

Tip #3 – Learn About Cultural Differences

 

The Middle East is a completely different place to the United States. You don’t need us to tell you that, but it’s an important point to make when working with international clients. What you do at home won’t always go over well in international territories.

Even something as small as the way you greet your clients can have a major effect on the relationship. When working internationally, we make it a point to learn about any important customs that we should uphold. This allows us to create a good foundation for the relationship from the start. From there, we can build.

It’s especially important to familiarize yourself with professional etiquette. You need to know how it differs between countries. For example, we spent a lot more time on personal conversation before getting down to business with our Middle Eastern client. We also discovered that it’s important to greet elders before everybody else. It’s a little sign of respect that goes a long way.

Learning about these small cultural differences shows that we’re willing to go the extra mile. This impresses clients who may have a few options open to them.

Tip #4 – The Legal Side

 

Most businesses have standard contracts for their work. But you can’t always use that contract when working with international clients. You have legal issues to consider in both countries, so sending out your standard contract isn’t enough.

This is an important tip for both the business and the client. Sorting out the legalities, and any changes you need to make, allows for the whole process to run smoothly.

If you don’t you run the risk of creating delays in the project that can cause problems later on. With a time-sensitive project, such as the Soviet project mentioned, such delays can ruin the project.

Hire an attorney who can help you to spot issues early on. This protects you in case something does go wrong. It also informs you of any regulations that you must meet in order to do business with the client.

The Final Word

 

We take pride in the exceptional quality of the rugs and carpets that we produce. But we take even more pride in our ability to deliver that quality to every client, no matter where they may be in the world. Through decades of experience, we’ve developed a process for working with international clients. This ensures that everybody gets what they need.

This means we’re here to help you, no matter where you’re reading this from. If you’d like to find out how, we encourage you to do the following:

  • Check out a few more of the projects that we’ve brought to life.
  • Read some of our blog posts to find out more information about us.
  • Contact one of the designers at Dream by MJS Interiors to arrange a free consultation.

We welcome every challenge that comes our way.