Travelling is a unique experience for people. In this blog post, I want to talk about both personal and work-related benefits. One of the oft-requested benefits when people are looking for a new job is the possibility of travelling and visiting new places. The experience of meeting new people and exchanging views about the local culture is among the values we can call priceless and we will treasure for the rest of our lives.
Given the requirements of my job responsibilities, I had the opportunity to travel to some countries in the Americas. In each one of them I met incredible people with whom I remain in contact.
The first couple of times I travelled with Intraway it was as part of my involvement in platform upgrades. Due to the complexity of the project, I was accompanied by other team members. In general for this kind of task we would stay at least a week, and during that period we were together most of the time, even while having dinner. Because of those trips I had the chance to get to know them on a more personal level, and establish a different kind of relationship.
The difficulty and the importance of the project inevitably strengthened the team’s effort, in order to fulfill the final goal and meet the customer’s expectations.
Besides, while in another country, you can learn their idiosyncrasies and based on that, make some important decisions. For example, in many cases, the work rhythm is different and for that reason, the expectations need to be established.
Face-to-face contact advantages
Nowadays all communications are performed remotely, so it is my opinion that periodically visiting the customer’s offices is a key factor for the company. When you have personal contact everything changes. The way that you receive the request or participate in negotiations becomes different.
On many occasions, we go out and have a meal with the customers. We talk about issues that are not necessarily related to the work environment. This generates another kind of relationship. This has a positive impact for the company and, many times, this is the initial point where it is possible to detect new commercial opportunities because people are open to telling you about all of the daily operative problems that they have, or future businesses that they are about to undertake.
Another important issue is that the customer knows that they are important to us and that we are there to find out how the products will work and how we can improve as a company. The result is that we have direct feedback from people who are influential and could sponsor new projects.
Written communication and body language
How many times have we misinterpreted an email? This is one of the most common issues that we have when dealing with written communication. For this reason, a good face-to-face conversation can help us avoid confusion and reach an agreement quickly. Moreover, we can see the reaction and body language of the receptor in real-time. It’s very important to pay attention to these details (gestures, facial reactions, body expressions, lack of attention). Based on that, we are able to change the course of the negotiation and get better results.
As a possible disadvantage or warning, if you are not well prepared to handle all the questions and give an immediate response, the customer will notice your hesitation and get a bad impression. The key is to be prepared. If you are, your negotiations will improve beyond your expectations.
Successful companies make this issue a priority. This is one of the keys to retaining old customers, obtaining new customers, and creating long-term relationships.
For this reason, I believe that all employees should be trained in this aspect to improve work and personal skills.
At Intraway, we have scheduled a visit plan, in which our employees receive the customer’s feedback about the services that we offer (projects, solutions, implementations, sales, etc). The visit plan allows us not only to strengthen relationships amongst our teams, but also to improve our client´s experience with our service, while getting face-to-face feedback and adding a more human touch in order to better our relationship with them. Moreover our clients can be certain that no matter where they are, we will go onsite and help them find a solution to their problems.