Cultural Competency Training and Customer Service

Significant customer service “competitive advantages” in the marketplace exist for Customer Service managers who embrace cultural awareness training for themselves and their staff.

Many Customer Service managers and their staff in American and Canada are currently experiencing multi-cultural challenges they are not trained to understand and address.

Most of us grew up mono-cultural. We understand and function successfully in the one culture we know – our own culture.

Of the 190 countries of the world, relatively few have cultures somewhat similar to Canada – 15 countries at most.

We are all very culturally conditioned. One’s culture is ingrained strongly in them. One’s culture largely determines how we perceive, evaluate, and respond to things.

People from different countries are typically significantly culturally different. It is not a matter of one culture’s way being “right” or “wrong”. Rather, it is a matter of each culture being different in what they value, believe, expect, and the way they behaviour.

Customer Service managers are increasingly finding themselves responsible for building and managing a multi-cultural staff of employees  Individuals from each culture have a unique set of core values, beliefs, perceptions, expectations, etiquette rules, practices, and attitudes.

Customer service staffs are experiencing the challenges of serving prospects and customers from a wide array of cultures.  People from each culture want customer service aligned with their cultural values, beliefs, and expectations. After all, that customer service is normal to the “native culture” they grew up in and has had a significant impact on making them “who they are”.

Cultural awareness training will result in you and your staff becoming significantly more successful with individuals from a variety of cultures. People culturally different than you will appreciate you being sensitive and respectful to their cultural preferences … rather than wanting to provide service only in “your way”.

People from a different culture usually do not expect you be as knowledge about their culture as someone who grew up in their native country. If you show that you are doing your reasonable best to be “culturally appropriate” with them, they will trust you much faster than otherwise. People from the vast majority of cultures of the world are from a slow trust culture and they only do business with people they trust and with whom they have established a good relationship.

Once that relationship is established, they will typically be loyal, long-term customers.  As well, they will refer to you a lot of business from their cultural group.

In net, cultural awareness training can offer Customer Service staff important cultural competitive edges in customer service.