Thanks to the advancements in communications technology (mostly the internet), it is easier than ever for people in different parts of the world to connect and do business. In today’s global economy, international conference calls are common and very simple to set up. Now, before you go off to arrange your next international conference call, here are 5 international business etiquette tips to help ensure your call goes smoothly and successfully.
1. Time zone differences are key when scheduling an international conference call.
It’s good to be able to schedule an international conference call anytime, but that doesn’t mean anytime is good to schedule an international conference call. When scheduling a conference call between parties in different parts of the world, be sure to keep time zone differences in mind so that no one has to be up at 2 AM in the morning. If you’re setting up a meeting with paying clients, try to accommodate their schedule—even if it means you end up calling outside of your normal working hours. Fortunately, we have our own time-zone management tool here in FreeConference.com that makes it easy to find a suitable time to schedule conference calls between people in different time zones!
2. Provide international callers with a domestic call-in number (if possible).
Although your dedicated dial-in comes in handy for last minute calls it would be nice to provide your participants with a list of dial-in numbers so they can choose one that is a domestic number for them so that they can avoid paying international calling fees from their carrier. This is one of the most important business etiquette tips! As a guest of your conference call, I would gladly call in if you go that extra step and help me save money.
FreeConference provides free and premium international dial-in numbers for over 50 countries including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, and more. See our full list of dial-in numbers and rates here.
3. Learn something about the culture of your international conference callers.
As you may already be aware of, people from various parts of the world tend to express themselves differently. While being direct and upfront is normal in some cultures, it is not so in others. Taking time beforehand to learn about some of the cultural norms of those you will be speaking with can help avoid any potential misunderstandings and could make for a more successful international conference call.
4. Call in on time (from wherever you are).
A universal rule of business etiquette tips is that you should never keep others waiting. We recommend being prepared and ready for your call at least 5-10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time of your conference. While some cultures value punctuality more than others, “my time is more valuable than yours” does not translate well in any language.
I can tell you first hand as a person who holds frequent international conference calls, the “I’m in another time zone” excuse does not fly.
5. Get familiar with the conference call settings and features beforehand.
Conference calling platforms like FreeConference are easy to use and intuitive by design, but it’s always a good idea to take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the various features and moderator controls available. This can help you appear more prepared during your conference call and might save you from the potential embarrassment of looking like you don’t know what you’re doing. It could be distracting (and sometimes embarrassing) when you fumble through the controls during the beginning of the conference call.
When in doubt, FreeConference.com’s dedicated Customer Support team is always ready to help and just a call or email away.