We have recently secured our first international client and they just happen to be at the other side of the world! As you would expect we have had to take into account time differences but more importantly how we choose to communicate with the team.
We could have chosen to ring them and to hold regular conference calls but it is difficult to build a relationship with clients without putting a face to a name, which is why we always hold regular on site monthly meetings with the brands we work with.
In this instance a monthly meeting was obviously out of the question – mores the pity – however the wonder of modern technology has come to the rescue with the well-known social tool Skype. Not only are we able to see the team but we can build a relationship with them and our calls can include the usual banter you would expect from our monthly meetings.
The fact that Skype is a cost effective option for business makes it all the more appealing and an obvious choice for those who want to work with clients that are based across the globe. Better still you don’t feel that you have to keep the calls short, or that you can’t engage with some general chatter as well as the business you have to deal with.
Of course this is not the first time we have used Skype for business, we have had calls with suppliers in Croatia who use it as a common tool to connect with prospects and brands in the UK. I have to admit that at first it was a little strange but now it’s just an alternative to the standard telephone call and if I’m honest a far more appealing option.
For all those considering Skype for business I would suggest that you try it out. Not only are you able to connect and communicate with your clients but the system also gives you the option to widen your scope, after all if your prospect list could span the globe as opposed to the UK then why not?
We are currently looking at other ways that we can use Skype to benefit our clients so if anyone has any examples or suggestions please feel free to comment.
When I was growing up my Dad always used to quote a phrase from Bambi, the children’s film. He would say ‘Remember what Thumper said’, which was ‘If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say nothing at all’.
Even though the quote is taken from a children’s film the fundamental theory behind the phrase is very relevant and in particular to young people who are growing up with more choice about how they communicate with each other (and the rest of the world) than ever before.
In the news again today there is a startling example of why people need to be very careful about what they share and how they choose to communicate. Kent Youth PCC, Paris Brown, has learnt the hard way that tweets and Facebook updates she is alleged to have shared when she was 14, 15 and 16 have come back to haunt her.
As someone who has taken on a responsible position she should have known better. It goes without saying that some people will think it’s unfair that Paris is being reprimanded in a very public way as a result of comments made years ago however she should have realised that the nature of the comments she was sharing was inappropriate irrelevant of her age.
As is the nature of some social media tools, anyone was able to access her comments about drink and drugs, which then gave her employer the chance to check her twitter feeds and Facebook page to find out just what she had chosen to share with her friends when she felt it appropriate to brag about her antics.
I hope that this sends out a very real warning to anyone who is looking for work. It is common practice to check social media feeds or ‘Google’ a candidate before an interview takes place. How silly to jeopardise your chances at securing a job for the sake of a tweet or inappropriate status update.
Many people use Facebook socially and twitter or LinkedIn for work but it’s worth always keeping in the back of your mind that anyone can search for your comments and opinions and that if you are willing to share your thoughts on social media tools expect that they will be shared by others and possibly accessed by a future employer.
There’s little doubt that Paris will be very conscious of her comments from now on.