We have repeatedly said that New Zealand is the world’s best country to do business with. We, however, made a caveat that even though the country ranks first in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report, there are contexts that should be taken into because each country is unique. Doing business does not just involve complying with regulatory requirements, it also, more importantly, means dealing with people – people whose culture may be different from the one you are familiar with.
When it comes to business-related interactions, New Zealanders, according to Just Landed, are “somewhat reserved” but can be “friendly, outgoing, and social” once you have established a more personal relationship. New Zealanders also value punctuality. They are straightforward and make decisions based on facts and figures rather than emotions and feelings, the company creating guides for those moving countries wrote. New Zealanders are also averse to exaggerating claims and would rather negotiate using realistic figures. The country has no bargaining culture, so New Zealand businessmen rely on hard data.
New Zealand mainly speaks English but loaded with slang and local languages that can confuse even those who are native English speakers. Facebook is the most popular social media platform and Messenger is the most used messaging app, followed by Skype, WhatsApp, and Viber, in New Zealand, according to Marketing Association. There are 1.9 million people in New Zealand who access Facebook every day, with 1.5 million of these users accessing the site from a mobile device.
WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram’s Direct, and Viber are fast becoming popular tools for international business communications, not only because it is cheap, but also because it is fast, handy, and instant. Time zone is one of the challenges faced by international companies. Communication is slow because one partner has already opened shop in his time zone while the other is still deep in sleep in his time zone. But with messaging apps, for as long as you connected to the Internet, you can call, conduct meetings, or collaborate at any time of the day, where ever you are.
These messaging apps allow a quick exchange of information necessary to business transactions. To cite an example, New Zealand is 12 hours ahead of Paris. If a customer in Paris needs to see a price list of New Zealand’s macadamia nuts at 8AM Paris time, it would be already 8PM Auckland time. But with messaging apps, the Auckland company can easily share that information with probably just a maximum of 3 button clicks.
More than the ease of conversation and exchange of information, messaging apps foster better engagement between two parties, building deeper relationships and allowing both parties to create tailored solutions to their problems. These apps are personal and nothing will be left unsaid, so to speak, when you are talking person-to-person, as opposed to communicating through emails. Especially in customer-centric industries, like the debt collection industry, engagement is most important to achieve the results who want — collect on unpaid amounts.
Conversational commerce using these messaging apps will soon take a new turn, with the integration of other services into one app, similar to what China’s WeChat does, allowing users to shop, pay, book activities without ever leaving the platform. Although users worry about data security when all of their personal information are in one app, developers are coming up with ways to reduce risks so that technology can work to improve people’s lives, and not the other way around. The world is small and fast, you need to get on with the latest technology if you want to maximize your business opportunities.