Welcome to Authentic Journeys - ഓതെന്റിക് ജെർനീയ്സ് - US-India Cross-Cultural Training

   
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    Welcome to Authentic Journeys - ഓതെന്റിക് ജെർനീയ്സ് - US-India Cross-Cultural Training

September 23, 2020

Teach Kids to Code - Webinar Sept. 24, 2020

With coding boot camps and certificate programs popping up all over the US, have you ever considered how young is too young to get your kids started with learning how to code? 

We are here to address these concerns, plus many others about the importance of teaching children of all ages how to code.

Did you know children as young as five or six can learn to code? 

It is possible, and we can show you how! 

We will fill in the all the blanks and answer all your questions.

Join the team at Talking Chalks on Thursday, September 24 from 5pm - 6pm PDT (9pm-10pm EST). 

Prasad Pillai, CEO, will discuss how the idea for Talking Chalks formed and how the team can help your children learn to code and be ready for the jobs of the future, so, they, too can take hold of their own American Dream.

Talking Chalks - Coding Classes for Kids

Dr. Chitra Mohan, Teaching Expert and Tutor will discuss Talking Chalks unique teaching methods and show you with a real life example how children respond to learning coding. 

Sharat Nair, Marketing Extraordinaire, will share a deeper insight how learning to code will help children in job security into the future as more and more jobs become automated.

This lively and thought provoking discussion will be hosted by Jennifer Kumar, Cross-Cultural expert for Talking Chalks and Managing Director of Authentic Journeys. 

We hope you can join us. Take a look at the Facebook Ad below. Click on the down arrow next to the word "Interested" on the post below, then choose "Going." 

Join me as I host this webinar tomorrow along with the team at TalkingChalks. Feel free to like their page so that when we go live here on Facebook, you will get the notification!

Posted by Jennifer Kumar on Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Also, don't forget to LIKE the Talking Chalks page, so that when we go live, you can get the notification in Facebook to join us!!


Posted by Jennifer Kumar on Wednesday, September 23, 2020
We can't wait to see you!

September 17, 2020

Building Trust & Good Relationships with US Clients - Special Offer

Is your software team based in India? (Or outside of the US?) 

Do you work with US Clients? 
Building Trust & Good Relationships with US Clients




If you are wondering how your team can better connect and work with US counterparts, look no further! 

Let's learn simple tips you can apply in your daily interactions that will dramatically improve your comfort level in interacting with US clients in a wide variety of situations from small talk to more difficult interactions such as talking about timelines, deadlines, feature changes, and so on. 

We will talk about:
  • the three types of small talk
  • where and how to use these different types of small talk
  • the dos and don'ts of small talk
  • how to push back or say no, not only in a face-saving way (to both sides), but in a way that improves your technical know-how and consulting expertise

Strategies we share will help you to build your visibility and profile with your US clients. 

Building Trust & Good Relationships with US Clients 


If you are a company:
Program Details 1. The charge for 2 hours (delivered all in one session or over 2 - one hour sessions). Rs. 2,750 plus GST. 
Number of participants: No limit - we can have the entire team attend if desired. 3. This is being marketed toward start ups and teams, so HR or company heads will get in touch with us to get started. 

Individuals:
Rs. 650 per individual plus GST
Minimum 5 participants to run the session

All payments remitted via bank transfer within India or instamojo.

Jennifer Kumar, facilitator, has been working with professionals in the Indian software and outsourcing industry for the past 10 years. She builds you and your teams to work effectively across cultures with US Americans. The programs builds confidence in interacting with US Americans in a wide variety of daily work situations which build credibility and enhance your profile and credibility with US clients. See a list of our completed projects with testimonials or learn more about Jennifer here.

Contact us using the form below or via WhatsApp (+91 95 39347529), US SMS/Voice: (385-218-0947). 
 
Thank you to the over 150 people who have liked our post on FB.





Valid until: Jan. 1, 2021

September 12, 2020

Meanings of Words Used in Software Development in Ordinary English

Words Techies Use - For the rest of us!
This glossary is a work in progress. As I post this in September 2020, I have a list of over 130 words and phrases used by techies in daily conversations at work (with only about 1/3 defined). As I know there are plenty of people like me out there who interact with techies, but may not always get the technical language, I have decided to put together this dictionary of terms that are used in the industry so we can learn their language! This glossary may also help techies to talk about technical concepts to non-technics in more of a conversational English, or a non-industry English to help build context with their clients, stakeholders and others they interface with everyday. 

This glossary not only includes technical or industry jargon many use in the software industry, but also includes vocabulary (buzzwords, corporate speak, etc.) used in professional, office settings that may or may be recognized outside of the software or IT realm as well. 

The purpose of this glossary is to try to define the technical terms in English that can be understood by anyone. If you have ideas to help me fill in the blanks for the words not yet defined or to update the definitions of words already defined, contact us through our contact page to share your insights. If your business website/blog has definitions we can use here, we are happy to quote your resource and link back (we also hope for a link back to this post or another post on this blog). 

Let's get started!

Meanings of Software Developers Use 

A Dictionary For the Rest of Us!


Action/Actionable

Adherence

Agile

Agile Manifesto

ASAP: Short form of “as soon as possible.” 
Cultural Tip: May be used in place of “at the earliest convenience” (Indian English). However, use with caution, as some may find this to be “not so polite.” 
Acronym expansion: As soon as possible

Avail: (short for available) free at the moment

Average handling time

AWOL: May be used in a meeting to inform the rest of the attendees someone is absent. (MIA is another similar term.) These terms derive from military culture, but are often used in corporate speak as well. 
Pronunciation Tip: When saying “AWOL” it is pronounced as a word, which sounds like “a wall.” MIA is pronounced as separate letters – eM – eye – ay. 
Acronym expansion: Absent without leave



Backlog: tasks not yet done by the team for the duration of a project, during a sprint, during a release (it’s like a to-do list of things that need to be done – features, bugs, etc.) May also be known as a PBI or a Product Backlog

Bandwidth: time and/or energy to help out or get involved (synonym: cycles) Sample question: Do you have the bandwidth?

Batch

Billable

Billable staff

Billed hours

Bio break: A euphemism for stating one has to go to the toilet or use the restroom. 
Cultural Tip: In the US the word “toilet” refers only to the toilet itself and not the room the toilet is in. So, in the US, people may use the word bathroom (even if there is no bathtub in the room), restroom, ladies room, men’s room, etc.).

Bottlenecks

BRB: Short form of “be right back.” Frequently used in chat conversations. However, note in more formal business chats, short forms should be avoided.

Bug /Bug fix

Burn down/burn down chart

Buy in: Get someone to agree to something 
See this blog:  Getting "Buy In" When Delivering Constructive Criticism 

C-sat Expansion of short form: customer satisfaction

Cascade: pass it down, share with others 
Sample use: Could you cascade this information to the team? Please feel free to cascade this as deemed fit. (Nidhin Joseph)

Cloud

Cloud enabled

Cloud native: A digital product that is created and maintained in the cloud. No servers are needed for cloud native apps or software. 

Coding Language

Concall: Short way to write or say “conference call.”

Constant

Core competency

Crack team: a team of experts who ‘spearheaded’ a transition through to ‘pilot’ 
Synonym: core team. (Nidhin Joseph)

Creative Interface: It is the creative user interface design which is the graphical layout of an application.

Cron: a job scheduled to run at a specified time

Cross-functional team

Deadline

Debug

Deck: A PowerPoint (PPT) slide deck

Deep dive

Delivery

Demo: As elements of the software are completed and are functional, the developers demonstrate the functionalities of what has been completed so far (also may be called ‘sprint demo’) 
See our program "Wow US Clients at the Demo" 

Dependence

Deployment

Deprecate

DevOps - the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organization's ability to deliver applications (faster time to market) and services at high velocity: evolving and improving products at a faster pace than organizations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes. (The development and production environments would be identical.)

Development Environment: the developer’s workstation (which may or may not be the final target environment – which could be a mobile device, embedded system, data center, etc.). Some call this the ‘sandbox.’

Digital Design

Drill down

Due diligence

EOD: Short form of End of Day or End of Business Day (EOB). 
Communication/Cultural Tip: When using this word, it’s not always clear to the receiver what time this refers to, as we may end our working days at different times. This is even more important when working across time zones. It may be helpful to add an actual time with a time zone identifier (EOD, by or before 5pm EST).

End users/users: end users are the actual people using the app or website. The end users will be referred to by different terms based on the business: college (students), store (customers), consulting (clients), hotels (guests), etc. 

Escalation

Estimates

Feature

Fire fighting

Functional specification: “A functional specification is a formal document used to describe a product's intended capabilities, appearance, and interactions with users in detail for software developers. The functional specification is a kind of guideline and continuing reference point as the developers write the programming code.” From TechTarget Network   

Functions/functionality

Go live

Hard copy/soft copy

Heads up

Holistic

Impediments: See "road blocks" 

Iteration

Issue resolution: outcome of the problem and/or the process of how a problem needs to be resolve 
Acronym or short form: IR 
How to use it in a question: What was the issue resolution for that enquiry from the customer? 
How to use it in a sentence: We did use the IR before the closing the call.

Log

Logged in hours

Login time

Loop

Low hanging fruit: something completed or obtained with little to no effort 
Cultural note: This idiom is used outside the offices in ordinary conversations as well.

Migration

Milestone

Non-billable

Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

Offshore
See more: Terminology of Outsourcing & Outsourcing FAQ

Online

Onprem: On premises – hosted onsite vs the cloud

Onsite

OOO: out of office

Pilot

Ping: A full description of the meaning of "ping" and "ping me" is here.

Pipeline

Pragmatic

Probing

Product Owner

Production Environment: This is the actual live version of the app or website that the end users (customers, clients, students, general public) can access. It is in the production environment where features ‘go live.’

Proof of concept (POC)/Prototype

Quick Fix

Rebuttals

Recovery work

Red flag: A warning about something

Regroup: meet again later How to use it in a sentence: We are running out of time today, let’s regroup tomorrow at the same time.
This word could be used in a question form if the client wants to extend the meeting, but you have another meeting to get to: “This is an important matter that we are addressing. Unfortunately, as it’s near the top of the hour, I have a meeting with my manager now. Shall I meet with her now, discuss this with her, and we can regroup later?” 

Release: A series of sprints 

Retrospective: the last ceremony in a series of sprint ceremonies where the team ‘regroup’ to review the project; what went well and things to improve for the upcoming projects 

Revert/Roll Back Roadblock: something that is causing us to get stuck when solving a problem, an impediment (“blockers” is also a common shorter form of this word I have heard) 
Cultural note: This is an actual word used in conversation out of work, which means a physical roadblock in the road- such as the picture below. 
Synonyms: I have heard “speed bump,” “bump in the road,” “hiccup.” 
Cultural Note #2: When working with US clients, it’s not a good idea to always only talk about roadblocks without discussing any possible solutions that have been tried (and why they may not be the right solution), or possible solutions that have not been tried yet, or open the conversation up to the clients to see if they have ideas. In coaching we practice how to articulate this in a quick and succinct way during stand-up meetings

A literal roadblock! We can't go any further - ROAD CLOSED!



Roadmap: a plan about how a project will be undertaken 

Robust 
 
Roll out: software development process of introducing a new feature to a set of users  

Rota: schedule for a group of people (Origin: British English, may not be used in the USA) 

Scalable 

Script 

Scrum Master 

Self-organizing team

Service Level Agreement
 
Short form: SLA

Shell

Showstopper

Snapshot

Sprint
: Used in a question: Will there be any spill over after this sprint?

Spill over: Spill over are the stories which did not meet the criteria of the current sprint. 
Sentence example: It looks like we will have some spill over after this sprint.

Stories/User Stories

Scrum

Scrum Ceremonies: the series of “meetings” that constitute a sprint- Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum (aka daily stand up), Sprint Review (aka iteration review), Sprint Retrospective (Also known as “scrum events.”)  

I’ve also seen them termed as sprint ceremonies or agile ceremonies. The word ‘events’ can be used in place of ‘ceremonies’ (scrum events, agile events, sprint events).  

SDLC: This acronym seems much more common than the expansion, below. It refers to the methodology or process chosen by a team or company in executing a software development project. The most common types are agile and waterfall, which can sometimes be combined, though there are conflicting viewpoints about this. A few other SLDC approaches are: DevOps, iterative model, V shaped model, big bang model, spiral model Long form: Software Development Life Cycle

Server

Shippable product

Stand up meeting/daily stand up meeting

SOP
 
Long form:Statement of Purpose

Sprint: the shortest amount of time to achieve tasks in a backlog (a way of time and task management in the agile methodology)

Staging/Staging Environment: A staging environment is a clone of your deliverable/shippable in a semi-private environment. It’s a clone of the real thing, but not ‘live.’ So, for example, for a website, it could be “staged” on a URL that is not available to the public. Staging helps the team and stakeholders interact with the product in a simulated environment to identify the usability, bugs, interactivity and other functionalities of the site before it is made public. In this stage, unlike the development stage (where the code is on a local machine), the code will be on a server or in the cloud (if it is cloud native). 

Suite: (as in software "suite") Read about the differences in the words suite/sweet (definition and pronunciation) 

Sunset - And if you are getting rid of an application you are “sunsetting it”.

Sunset means "it's time to say good bye"

Technical Debt: the process of prioritizing speedy delivery over perfect code. Technical debt may be more relevant to agile development than waterfall development.  Also known as: tech debt or code debt

Test cases

Test reports

Time sheet

Time to market

Traction

True/False

UI Long form: user interface

Upgrade

Upscale: increasing size/scope of operations or improving the quality of a service or product

User Experience

User interface

Variant

Wireframes

Work around

Author of this post, Jennifer Kumar, provides leadership and communication coaching to offshore teams in the software industry in Kerala and throughout India. She specializes in working with those who work with US Americans from anywhere in the world, with a focus on US business cultural know-how and English fluency (for ESL and non-native speakers). Get in touch with her to help upskill your team to work more impactfully with US Americans to build, scale and grow your business.

September 3, 2020

Wow US Clients During Demos & Sales Presentations

Land, Retain and Expand Your Reach with US Clients

  1. Do you sell to or work with US clients from India? 
  2. Are you wondering why they are not connecting with you the way you anticipate? 
  3. Do you know you have a good product or service, but feel the US prospect doesn't get the message the way you present it in your sales call or webinar? 
  4. Are you on a software or development team and wonder why the US client is often not interacting with the demos and releases the way you anticipate? 
  5. Did you know the US Americans and East Indians approach these presentations in different ways, and that approach and the delivery would need to be tailored to the US way of thinking to be more easily convinced about what you are selling, proposing, or demonstrating? 

This program will help both sales teams and client facing development teams to effectively structure their programs for more impactful sales before and client retention during the engagement.


Influence and convince during demos and sales calls with US Clients


How you will feel better after working with us  



Strategy for Landing Clients in the USA

My Team Managed the Client Demo!
Getting More US Clients


How this helps your team and why it's important 
As Manoj KP, CEO of ThinkPalm stated when sharing 10 tips in working with US clients, he stressed the importance of, 
"...[the ability] to articulate your accomplishments and positions – not only in the selling process, but also during the engagement." 

This clearly highlights the importance of being able to communicate with poise, confidence and leadership at any point of the engagement- be it a sales presentation or a demo of a software rollout.  

I am here and ready to help you achieve new heights with your US clients.

Have you ever?

....Spent too much time preparing only to get a garage of questions from the client that make you feel they did not understand your message.

We are here to help you solve this.

....Wondered why the US client doesn't get as easily motivated with your message, when your local counterparts are amazed by your charisma and eloquence. 

We have helped many others in your situation find a way to wow the US clients.

...Maybe not spent enough time preparing because you "know the technology" and are the "expert" all your team mates come to with doubts, but in front of the US client, there is a disconnect?

We help you to learn how to articulate your expertise to technical and non technical clients alike with convincing power (see this case study for more). 

...Believed... "I can never answer all the questions anyone asks. I freeze when I am asked a question, whether I know the answer or not. How can I prepare for a wide variety of questions that I am confident to answer, and even those I may not know how to answer?" 

We help you break old thought patterns, forming new ones which help you handle these situations with confidence. We do this through brainstorming and preparing common objections and questions lists WITH ANSWERS that you can use in most situations. 

[Keep in mind, we neither give you the questions or answers, you must create the lists, we can help you fine tune your answers. We do not want you to treat these interactions like a viva voice. You should not memorize answers, nor someone else's words that you don't own. When you communicate, you will sound like YOU!] 

We practice the delivery of these with you to improve your confidence and fluency. While we can't anticipate every single question or every single way a question is asked, we are confident in helping you to have a good base of questions, answers and approaches that can work with almost any question you are asked. 

....Thought to yourself.... "Why don't they understand me? Am I not speaking clearly? Am I using the wrong word? Or, why do I forget what I want to say in the middle of a sentence? Why does my manager or colleague always repeat what I have to say? Why do others talk in place of me?" 

We help you figure out why the US client or prospect doesn't understand you. Is it your clarity? Is it how you sound (accent)? Is it grammar? Is it how the sentences are structured? Is it the use of some words that are not common in American English? Or, is it some other reason that prevents full clarity? We help you gain conversational fluency and mastery over your topic through mock sessions, peer and facilitator feedback. 

....Lost your prospect's or client's attention during connection problems or dead air? 
We help you keep track of your place in a presentation and fill dead air with small talk or other types of interactions that keep the prospect or client online and engaged in your presentation.


Ready to Start Working With Us?




...Keep Reading...


Audience Profile

Who attends this training? 
We tailor our approach to help you interact and build relationships more effectively on your global, virtual team with U.S. Americans. 

Though we specialize in working with professionals in India and the U.S., we have also worked with many professionals who require these skills on cross-border, international teams with an added focus of English as Second Language (ESL) fluency skills.


Job Titles of Participants Include

  • Business Analyst, Business Development Manager, Business Development Executive, Business Development Lead
  • CEO
  • Delivery Manager
  • International Sales Manager
  • Junior Software Developer, Senior Software Developer
  • Marketing Executive, Marketing Research Analyst
  • Project Lead
  • Team Lead



Duration
As we tailor the intervention to the individual or small group, duration varies from:
5- 20 hours in 1:1 coaching sessions

a few to 20 sessions
over a period of 3-4 four months
with a one hour follow up after one month after completion

Syllabus Overview
The syllabus is tailored for the individual chosen. Typically, in the intake session we speak to the candidate, manager and stakeholders (optional) to assess needs and set learning objectives. Based on these conversations, a road map for our work together is created. 

Topics can include (but not limited to): 

  • How to structure your presentation for maximum impact
  • How to prepare for any type of session - routine or one-off sessions
  • Learn and practice body language for individual and group presentations.
  • Importance of body language in virtual as well as face-to-face presentations.
  • Voice presentation tips for presentations over the phone or in person.
  • Learn how to create an engaging discussion around your presentation.
  • Tips for clean and non-distracting PPT slides discussed. 
  • Tips on using PPT for virtual or face to face presentations as a single presenter or as part of a group.
  • Prepare for interactive question and answer sessions. 
  • How to handle technology problems.
  • Tips for convincing Americans in presentations.
  • Participants will demo a mock presentation based on current business needs and get feedback

Facilitation Method:
Our method is a blend of coaching, advising, and training. This not only offers you a flexible approach, but an approach that is not dependent on traditional training or classroom learning.

As a learner, you will take responsibility for your learning objectives and outcomes based on the highly interactive and individualized approach of our sessions. 

Our goal is to make each session have tangible, practical outcomes that you can use on the job today with clients, colleagues and stakeholders.



Options/ Customizations

Add these bells and whistles: 
  • Before & After: We can record your presentations before and after learning new techniques to see and hear how it's changed. 
  • Mock Presentations: Bring your presentation to our session. I will be your audience and critic, providing valuable insights to make your presentation more convincing, interactive, and culturally engaging. 
  • Certificates: A digital certificate you can showcase as part of your career portfolio can be issued upon completion. 
  • Small Talk Newsletter: This newsletter, delivered to you about 10 times a year, just before most major U.S. holidays and observances will build context for non U.S. Americans to make connections with their US counterparts. Try it out for free below! 

U.S. Small Talk Newsletter











Related Training Programs:


Let's start the conversation....



...Thank you for considering working with us!...

August 26, 2020

Tackle Challenging Project Conversations with US Clients with Ease

Are you part of an IT or software development team in India that is struggling to have conversations with US clients about extending deadlines, adding or removing features from a project or any change in the scope of the project? Maybe, you could be dealing with scope creep?

I'd imagine almost every offshore development team has encountered this problem, and wondered how to solve it or tackle it with finesse.

Tips on managing client expectations during difficult conversations

Some years ago, I consulted with a team in India that was struggling in how to communicate to a US client the need to prioritize features in a product release of an e-commerce website. There were three features left to complete, the client was requesting the release date to be moved up by one week though there were some elements of the project they were having a challenge communicating to the client about. 

I got involved meeting with the team investigating the situation and trying to figure out project milestones, deliverables, and their understanding of their client's business, among other aspects to help them formulate their own communication plan.

The video and the script are below along with a few questions to ponder. 

In the video where do you notice:
  1. Small talk being used with the client? (Hint, it may not be the normal 'How was your weekend?' kind of small talk.) 
  2. How the India team weaves in knowledge about the client's business, their customers (end users) and their client's concerns about the project? 
  3. Notice how the conversation with the client can be conversational, casual, yet professional. This helps build rapport with US Americans.

Case Study: Understanding Clients Business/End User to Negotiate Changing Requirements/Deadlines



Before getting into the transcript, I'd like to stress on the fact that each situation, each team has different communication and personality dynamics. How each team structures client engagements also impacts this communication strategy. How each team in India 'drives' the meeting is critically important. There are a few factors I look at specifically to see if you or your team tackle the client-service provider balance in a way US Americans appreciate. Some of those tips are found in the video found here

Another way of looking at the scenario in the video is that if user stories are applied properly, this can also help in the "negotiation" process. A great "formula" for user stories is given in an article from Scruminc dot com on User vs. System vs. Job stories

User story formula:
As a *role/who* I would like to be able to *action/what* to achieve *business value/why."

Or, if applied to our example, one user story could be: 
As a customer, I would like to be able to pay using a secure payment gateway so that my transaction is safe and secure. 

What are a few other user stories you can grab from the case study? (In coaching programs, I help you to articulate these user stories with more ease and confidence.) 


Video Transcript:

[00:00:01] Hello, everyone, this is Jennifer Kumar. I would like to share with you a case study. Now, this case study has two main players. One is an IT consultant team in India and the other is a US client. Obviously, with people working across cultures in a virtual environment, there are going to be cultural differences. I'm not really focusing on that for this case study.


[00:00:23] What I would like to focus on is what.... where does the I.T. consultant team have leverage in a challenging conversation?


[00:00:36] What is the US client looking for in this relationship?


[00:00:42] And how can that kind of be used to create meaningful conversations where both parties feel good, especially when we have to tackle some difficult conversations like extending deadlines or adding resources to a project, or maybe adding a feature that the client didn't know about. And, you want to be able to convince them about that... Or, the opposite, convincing them of removing a feature and how, you know, how that will actually still create a viable and successful end product.


[00:01:24] So, how can you, as an I.T. consultant team, use that information from past projects to leverage current conversations?


[00:01:35] And, how can you get into the mind of your client so that they understand that you know their business and because of that, that's why you're proposing certain solutions?


[00:01:47] So, it's not just your expertise in your software development skills, but it's also the understanding that you know their business, you know what they're trying to achieve by creating this product with your team.


[00:02:01] So, here's a case study. The two main players are the IT consultant team in India and the US client. I never talk to the US client.


[00:02:10] So, all of this discussion is based on my consulting with the I.T. consultant team in India and helping them create a communications strategy to extend the deadline of a launch of an e-commerce website. So, that was the original intention, actually, which was to extend the launch date by one week or five business days of this e-commerce website. But, however, after I sat down and brainstormed all of the details with them of this project, we realized we didn't need to extend the deadline, but we would need to do a little convincing on something.


[00:02:47] So, the three elements we looked at here were what were the things left to finish for this website launch? There are three tasks left to do. What were the timelines and time needed for each of these tasks? And the priority level, too, was their technical. The technical elements of the discussion, which I'm not going to get too much to at all on this in this case study and also talking about the customer's business and their customers using the website, their understanding of that whole process that I will touch on.


[00:03:26] So like I said, the original intention was to launch this e-commerce website, let's say, five business days or one week from the time of this call that they were going to have, let's say, May 1st. But they wanted to extend that to, say, May 7th. But we actually realized that they could launch it on time on May 1st. And this is how the conversation with the US client went.


[00:03:48] So Hi, US client. We have some really good news. As you know, we've been kind of debating whether or not we can launch this website on time. We've had some technical challenges and some other challenges that we want to talk with you about on this call. And after reviewing and brainstorming all that, we actually realized, you know, hey, we can deliver this. We can launch this on time for you on May 1st with the login page and the payment gateway done. What do you think?


**Note - To "buy time" in a difficult conversation, or when you don't know an answer, use the phrase "I'll think about it... and get back to you in the next call..." In fact, the team used this phrase while wrapping up the previous call, which "bought them time" to consult with me!" 


[00:04:14] These were the two... two of the three things that needed to be done so they knew the client would come back with...


[00:04:21] Well, that sounds good, but, you know, we still need the product reviews. Where's that? And, how can we possibly launch the website without that?


[00:04:31] Well, this is what the the team in India said as a response to that.


[00:04:37] Yes, it's very important to have a review section. However, that was the thing that we've been having a challenge with. As you know, many of your products are new to the market. Even websites like Amazon don't have any reviews of these products or they don't have these products on their website yet because they're new to the market and other websites that sell products like this or sell these products already out there are also lacking reviews or good reviews or reviews that would make your website look good. We didn't want that kind of problem, also. I mean, we can definitely share a report with you of what we found. If you're wondering about that. As you know, two of our team members have been working diligently on that. And, actually, that was something else we wanted to ask you about is if know, we could actually use, you know, kind of move those two team members over to working on the payment gateway and the login page... That will really ensure that we have enough resources and time and people on those two tasks to get that done by May 1st. And then after the launch date on May 1st, we'll move everyone over to working on that review section because it's a little more complicated. What do you think about that?


**TIp, ending your ideas with a question not only turns the conversation back to the US client, but makes them feel you are giving them options and control. The CEO of Suyati in Kochi, India would agree


[00:05:50] The conversation went back and forth for a while and of course, the US client was quite worried about the testimonial section.


[00:05:59] And, this also came from our brainstorming session. So, at some point in that conversation, that I.T. consultant team came back with, "Yes, we still understand that you're very concerned about the product review section and you would like... It would be ideal, obviously, to have that on the website with the launch. But, also keep this in mind that, you know, a lot of your customers who are going to purchase these products, we know they found the demographic of around 30 to 35 five years old all the way up to maybe 50 years old. So these are mid-level career professionals. They tend to have busy lives. They work long hours. They probably have, you know, one to three children. So they're busy after work, you know, shuttling them to various sporting events and school activities and all of that kind of stuff. So, because of that, even if they were to purchase something on day one, let's say they went on to the on the website on the launch date and they purchased something because it is an e-commerce Web site, it's going to take two or three days for them to get that if they decide to go with priority shipping at the earliest. So they would get it, let's say, at the earliest, by Thursday, maybe Wednesday, Thursday of that first week after the launch. Now, we know that they're busy, like we just said, so they probably won't even open it till the weekend will take some time for them to figure out how to put it together or where they're going to use it or how they're going to use it. So, by all estimate, best estimates that review could be written by Saturday or Sunday, which gives us plenty of time to get that review section code in and out the door with with whatever modifications you would like. What do you think about that?"



**Knowing the cultural context of your clients and their needs is important to negotiating project scope and deliverables (time frames). The CEO of Techolution, based in Hyderabad will agree



[00:07:52] So, the client was actually pretty impressed with this, that, you know, hey, here's the team that actually now they understand my business. They have something to say about how my customers are behaving, what they're doing and everything. So, the US client was duly impressed... but actually said, "You know, but we are worried about what will go into that section and each product page. What do you think we should put there?"


[00:08:17] So, they said, "Well, you know, how about we talk about that offline? We could come up with some kind of disclaimer or some other wording, whatever you would like to put there in its place, you know, until that that module is ready. What do you think about that?"


[00:08:33] So, the client was actually really happy with all of these ideas and solutions. So, the client was said, OK, yeah, we're happy with this. Let's launch it on May 1st, the original date, but with only the log in page and the payment gateway, because obviously people need those two things to order anything online. Meanwhile, one of my team members over here, this is US client talking, will reach out to one of you maybe tomorrow and have a discussion for around an hour or so to kind of think of what we're going to put in as a placeholder where that review section is going to be. But, I think this is a really good alternative and I think we're pretty happy with this. So, let's go with this. We're so happy that you took some time to think about this and understand the complexity of the project and also understand our customers behavior. That really means a lot to us. So, yeah, let's go ahead and extend what we need to extend, but still launch it on the original launch date of May 1st.


[00:09:34] So keep in mind that my brainstorming session with them actually took about three or four hours and their call with the US client took around an hour or so. So, when you're not used to going through this process, it will obviously take some time. But then once you do it a few times, you start building up the skills to actually identify these points as you're going through a project.


[00:10:04] It will become easier and you won't need to spend so much lead time brainstorming and coming up with a communication strategy. So I hope you found this case study interesting. 


[00:10:16] And I definitely use this as a base for coming up with your own case studies or ideas for communicating better with your client. Thanks for listening



Do you fear offending or, worse yet, losing your US based client? We provide consulting and coaching to help your teams provide culturally relevant customer service, teaming approaches, and communication strategies to build rapport with your US client from day 1 throughout the program lifecycle. If you feel you are struggling building that connection with your US client, get in touch with Jennifer Kumar (blog author and video host) today. 


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Authentic Journeys: Bridging Culture on Virtual Teams

We help build effective, culturally competent global teams with focus on the cultures of the USA and India. Jennifer Kumar, Managing Director, an American citizen, has almost 10 years experience living, studying and working (owning a business) in India. Authentic Journeys Consultancy is registered as a Private Limited in India (Kerala) and an LLC in the USA (Salt Lake City, Utah). We provide onsite and live-online instructor-led courses, facilitation and corporate coaching.