Improving customer service through cultural sensitivity

It’s not enough for bilingual call centers to invest in getting the best customer service representatives. You must also consider training your call center representatives to be respectful of the culture of the customer.

Culture is defined as “the set of assumptions, traditions, and values a community develops over time.” Cultural sensitivity is being aware and sensitive of one’s cultural background. With most call centers handling clients from different cultures and subcultures all over the world, it is important for contact center agents to be sensitive to the culture of their customer.

Why the need for cultural sensitivity?

middle eastern farsi customer service agents at work

Being culturally sensitive tells your customers that you’re not just helping them through this hump, you’re also sending a message that you care for them. That you’re going the extra mile. This improves both the interaction and the quality of customer service you give your customer.

It breaks, not just the language barrier, but the cultural barrier as well. It is a given that agents must speak the language fluently, but cultural sensitivity adds to an agent’s effective communication. Despite being well-intentioned, being unaware of your customer’s cultural nuances may offend them and will result in poor customer experience. For example: directly refusing an Iranian customer’s request may be interpreted as rude and impolite, so you must be careful in how you deliver your refusal.

Of course, not everyone subscribes to their culture. Know when to apply your cultural knowledge and sensitivity in a particular situation to prevent being accused of stereotyping. Treat your customers as an individual and not as a group of people.

Being sensitive to the nuances of one’s culture not only improves the customer experience, it also fosters customer loyalty and a culturally aware team.

 

 

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