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Article : Does Culture Affect Customer Service?

When it comes to customer service, different parts of the world may have different views on what it constitutes exactly. We asked industry professionals if they had noticed any differences in customer service by people from different cultures.

- A survey by Joss jalbert, ContactCenterWorld.com

Darren Young
Business Development Director
Customer Service Network
United Kingdom

"I think its fair to say that different cultues do customer service in a more committed way. I have always found the culture in the US much better than the UK, because people seem to get the fact that they are providing a service. I think Asian cultures also see the link very clearly. In the UK its unfortunately possible to buy petrol at a kiosk without a word being spoken by customer or provider!"

About Customer Service Network

CSN was founded in 1997 to bring together managers, directors and customer service personnel from across the UK who were striving to improve customer service. The aim was for members to learn from one... (read more)
 
Sharon Lensky
Support Manager
The American Physical Society
United States

"Phone reps from India (at least I think that's where they're from) tend to go through more scripted sentences and launch into dialogue that Americans think is unnecessary because we do away with a lot of the flowery pleasantries."

About The American Physical Society

The American Physical Society strives to:
  • Be the leading voice for physics and an authoritative source of physics information for the advancement of physics and the benefit of humanity; (read more)
     
David Morris
Consultant
Sharphill Management Services
United Kingdom

"I think the biggest difference I have come across is that certain cultures are reluctant to tell customers that their requirement cannot be met. This is great if it is true but often they cannot deliver. This leads to broken promises and damaged reputations. It is essential that a promise, once given, is kept."

 
Arnold Ward
Management Consultant
ACW
Canada

"I haven’t noticed differences from a cultural perspective as much as I have noticed a difference from language or speech perspective. Regardless of the cultural background, when the agent you are speaking to is not clear, hard to understand, or speaks with a very strong and unfamiliar accent, it is an added challenge to providing good service. I have been called by sales agents, and for the life of me, I don’t understand what they are selling. They are obviously reading a script as they are speaking very fast and they want to ensure they tell me everything before I have the chance to say I am not interested. I respect those agents, as their job is not an easy one. In a lot of cases they have to be good at dealing with rejection as most of the time they will not have a successful sale at the end. However, there is a greater chance of "no thanks" if the person you are talking to, does not understand what you are telling them."

 
Toshiko Ikawa
Supervisor & Trainer
Fujitsu
Japan

"The phrase "The customer is a god" is in Japan. I think that the service industry of Japan fills the customer requirement politely and kindly like the above-mentioned phrase. However, there is what felt in friendly more rather than the politeness in the service of other countries. For instance, the operator of the service industry says, "Thank you for your calling" without fail in Japan. However, I often hear, "Have a nice day" in another country."

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is a provider of customer-focused information technology and communications solutions for the global marketplace. Since Fujitsu 19 19s establishment in 1935, we have maintained a commitment to... (read more)
 
Carl Lobaugh
Director of Quality
Abbott
United States

"I would assume it would depend on the context of the term culture. I understand the question may reference employees environmental conditioning based on where they grew up, currently live, etc. The society from which they come from should not matter as much as a strong focus on an organizational culture of which the employee is part. It should not matter which culture a person comes from as long as the organization maintains the appropriate melding of their own culture and how it expects their employees to behave. Again, it goes back to the organization and if they appropriately cultivate, motivate and compensate the employee will convey that which the organization expects."

About Abbott

CRB Engineers and Builders is an engineering and architectural design and construction firm specializing in the biotech, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, nutrition, and mission critical industries.... (read more)
 
Madeleine Sykes
Head of People
Amdocs
United Kingdom

"I have dealt with contact centres from around the UK and there is not much difference in the level of service. Scotland and other places often have more soothing voices which avoid tension building. I have experience frustrating off-shore services where there is a language barrier making it almost impossible to complete a call."

About Amdocs

Amdocs Limited is a provider of software and services for billing, customer relationship management (CRM), operations support systems (OSS). Its traditional clients are telecommunications "Tier-1" and... (read more)
 
Russell Schmidt
Ceo
Extenda Communications
United States

"Living in Los Angeles, I have done business with people from across the globe. I am amazed at how fast the American model of "the customer is king" sinks in with people, no matter the background. I notice a bigger gap with age - typically younger people are not taught the basics of customer service and are not being managed properly."

About Extenda Communications

Started in 1970 by Cyril and Sheldon Schmidt, Extenda has grown and adapted with each wave of change sweeping the communications industry. No other company can provide the depth of experience or the t... (read more)
 
David Aplin
MI Business Analyst
Comet Group PLC
United Kingdom

"English call centre know the culture and despite the call centres abroad trying there best we still have lauguage and culture issues they dont understand the way we work and need."

 
Nuno Periquito
Business Consultant
Altitude Software
Portugal

"Yes, in North America, in the restaurant business, tips are a significant part of a server salary so based on the service provided the tip can be good or not. In Europe, tips are extra so the motivation is lower to provide an outstanding service. Regardless of the customer service provided, their salary will pretty much be the same."

About Altitude Software

Altitude Software is a global provider of omnichannel solutions to deliver great customer experiences. Its solutions help companies and organizations unify all customer interactions and become more cu... (read more)
 
Sarah Bolton
Manager
Ernst & Young
United Kingdom

"I'm afaid so. It's great to be served by individuals who are knowledgeable and curteous, but if I struggle to understand the advice I'm being given because it is delivered in heavily accented English, then it's incredibly frustrating and often detracts from the positive aspects of the interaction."

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young (or "EY") is one of the largest professional services firms in the world and one of the Big Four auditors, along with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (Deloitte) an... (read more)
 
Probir Geoffrey Dutt
International Sales Director
Concentrix
Australia

"Not really. There are good and bad customer service people from all cultures. Country Australians seem to be more empathic than metro Australians but as far as offshore centres are concerned some are fantastic and some are terrible. It's down to the training and recruitment more than the culture."

About Concentrix

Concentrix is a technology-enabled global business services company (Nasdaq listed: CNXC) specializing in customer engagement and improving business performance. Every day, from more than 40 countries... (read more)
 
Jennifer Anderson
Director Client Support
Manpower
United States

"I think that the service in India Call Centers is not as good as it could be. Once again, listen to your representatives on the phone and if they cannot get the point across without a couple of adjustments on how they are describing things, they need more language emersion."

About Manpower

ManpowerGroup is an American multinational human resource consulting firm headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Manpower provides recruitment and assessment, training and development, career man... (read more)
 
Richard Blank
Ceo
Costa Rica's Call Center
Costa Rica

"In today's highly competitive outsourcing market, a closer proximity to the United States , Central Time Zone and Spanish language capability as an added value are now considered almost basic requirements when making a decision on what call center to use for our clients. Leaving this to chance is not even an option anymore. Many of the offshore call center agents are bilingual in their native Middle Eastern or Asian language which is difficult to the North American ear. Whereas Spanish is more useful and practical as a second language for potential untapped markets throughout the North, Central and South American populations as well as those countries where Spanish is either a primary or secondary language."

About Costa Rica's Call Center

Costa Rica's Call Center (CCC) is a telemarketing outsource company located in the capital city of San Jose, Costa Rica. Our main focus has been, and will always be to personally train each and every... (read more)
 
Cristian Perez
Socio Director
Adoria Consulting
Spain

"Comparing UK and Spanish contact centers, I find that agents in Spain are less customer friendly when dealing with complaints. Answers like "it's not my fault", "there is nothing I can do" or "that's the companies procedures" are frequent with no hint of empathy at all."

 
Geoff Langston
Managing Director
GL connects
United Kingdom

"I have noticed a significantly better level of service from a number of Asian nations, and many Eastern bloc service providers are also very good. My recent experiences in the USA have shown that service levels have dropped away"

 
Nina Kawalek
CEO
RCCSP Professional Education Alliance
United States

"What American callers are most likely to recognize when being serviced by contact centers around the globe, is not cultural diversity, but the effects of divergent managerial philosophies, "management from afar", or hands-off (lack-of-) management practices.

Sometimes, extreme managerial practices are imposed by parachuted-in expatriot managers, akin to cultural ducks out of water, out of frustration. It’s not their fault. Global literacy is a skill learned over years or a lifetime, not days; and local management practices are often best left to local in-country managers. Hands-off management practices are equally doomed, but for a completely different reason having nothing to do with cultural intelligence.

The most successful global outsourcing call centers are those that work with the US call center counterpart as a team. Would anyone hire a qualified new employee, leave them on a college campus somewhere apart from the team, and expect them to be equally successful as their in-office counterparts? No, of course not. Everyone on the team needs to communicate equally as part of the team to be an equally successful contributor. A contact center’s outsourcing services provider needs to be part of the corporate team, too. Including the offshore team members in regular team meetings is a must. Today’s global conferencing technologies have made it possible.

Many companies expect outsourcing to be somewhat turn-key: contract it and watch it work there from over here. That’s just unrealistic."

About RCCSP Professional Education Alliance

RCCSP, celebrating a quarter century of service to the contact center industry, provides access to a portfolio of professional contact center industry certifications and accredited certification train... (read more)
 
Marcelo Boarin
Contact Center IT Manager
Oi (telecommunications)
Brazil

"Quanto mais competitivo é o mercado, maior a enfase em serviços"

About Oi (telecommunications)

Oi is Brazil’s telecommunications service provider, with a fully integrated nationwide presence and 70 million customers. Oi offers fixed and mobile, broadband, pay TV, data transmission and internet... (read more)
 
Ann Mayer
Ceo
Telephos Ltd
New Zealand

"I am generalising, but Pacific Island people love to help people and normally give excellent service. Bhuddist people also love to help and therefore give good service."

About Telephos Ltd

Telephos provides Call Centre management, consulting and outsourcing. Our work with past clients identified the specific need within the New Zealand Contact Centre industry for these skills on a set t... (read more)
 
Ankur Bhatia
Founder & CEO
Navigant Technologies Inc
India

"Yes, I have noticed difference in service from people of different cultures. As an example, in India, I have seen much better customer service from the people of south compared to north. I strongly feel that culture and heritage play a big role a persons approach and overall service delivery. With my personal experience, I can say that anyone with a strong and healthy cultural background will behave with respect while a person lacking this would show respect to only those he could benefit from."

About Navigant Technologies Inc

Navigant Technologies Inc. International Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Company We are an International Business Process Management (BPM) Company, with specialisation in Demand Generation fo... (read more)
 
Srikanth Sesh
Founder & CEO
SmartConnect Technologies
India

"Yes, the reason I found is due to the fact some people have an inane attitude towards customer service, others are just being mechanical in their approach, hence the output differs."

About SmartConnect Technologies

A unique IP-led initiative, addressing the convergence of omni-channel communications, as part of the various "Experience Management" theories, involving, voice, digital, social, mobility etc. UNF... (read more)
 
Chee-wai Ho
Business Analyst
SingTel
Singapore

"Yes. For English speaking agents in the Asia-pacific region, Filipino agents provide the best service. I don't think it is a coincidence that we also see many Filipino providing good service in many service industries, e.g. retail, restaurants, entertainment etc."

About SingTel

Singapore Telecommunications Limited, commonly abbreviated as SingTel, is a Singapore telecommunications company
 
Sima Bracken
President
Simatry Inc.
Canada

"Perhaps of different age groups, not of different cultures."

 
Divyan Gupta
Founder and CEO
Keshiha Services
India

"Yes. However there is a huge difference even within cultures based on the organization's culture. Usually companies at an advanced stage of customer appreciation display better service culture as against companies which are yet to understand the value of their customers fully. The former have better processes in place which ensure that the level of service being offered is reflecting a certain standard."

 
Randi Busse
President
Workforce Development Group, Inc.
United States

"Not necessarily. However, I have noticed a difference in service from different generations. In general, younger employees don't seem to care."

 

About ContactCenterWorld:
Company LogoContactCenterWorld is The Global Association for Contact Center & Customer Engagement Best Practices. Today we have over 205,000 corporate 'individual' members have joined the association's website 'ContactCenterWorld.com'. We were established in 1999.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Ask How Can I Help..

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2021 Buyers Guide Training

 
1.) 
CTCOMM

Call Centers
Contact Centers
Admin Training
Supervisor Training

2.) 
Davis-Mayo Associates

"Service Excellence" Customer Service Training
Live onsite training for your teams. Experienced by more than 450,000 people in 48 US states and 18 countries. No-nonsense approach by our experts with field-test content customized to your situation and using your scenarios.

3.) 
Happitu

Happitu
Happitu is your customer support team’s personal coach. It guides your team through every interaction with custom workflows, responsive scripting, and dynamic help topics. As a result, Happitu slashes training time, delivers higher resolution rates, and reduces handle times.

Documentation in Happitu is automated, detailed, and consistent. Go beyond handle times and service levels with the rich insights of Happitu – from granular interaction data to aggregate data and trends – you get the complete CX journey!

We intentionally built the Happitu Workflow Designer with your customer support team in mind. Using our intuitive tools that provide quick and safe iteration, you eliminate the...
(read more)
PH: 833-427-7488

4.) 
Lieber & Associates

Training Executives, Managers, Supervisors, and Reps
Lieber & Associates provides training for all levels of the contact center team. The firm customizes its off-the-shelf trainings to meet your specific company needs,

Executive and manager sessions address topics such as customer experience, metrics, technology, AI, and video calls. Supervisor sessions train your leaders to better coach and motivate reps. Phone staff modules include sessions on customer service, order-taking, cross-selling, handling difficult calls, phone "soft skills," and more.
PH: +1-773-325-0608

5.) 
Manitoba Customer Contact Association

Making Training and Development Part of Your Corporate Landscape

Organizations are always on the look out to save money and make more profit. Usually when it comes to crunch time some leaders will scrap training in order to tighten the belt. The downside of this is the cycle it creates.

Because some employers see training as a flexible benefit, employee development is often taken off the table. When employees don’t feel valued it becomes easy to see a revolving door. The constant need to hire goes up which ultimately means costs go up; we know that hiring costs more than retaining the right people.

Start the conversation: Explore our Training Page http://www.mcca.mb.ca/train...
(read more)
PH: 204-975-6468

6.) 
Navedas

CSAT.AI
CSAT.AI Scores Better Customer Service with Gamified Guidance!

CSAT.AI lets agents know when they’re on the right track by predicting CSAT scores in real time (when they’re fixable!) - because most customers don’t leave feedback, they just leave.

Agents have the immediate positive feedback that reinforces good behaviors for self training.
PH: 323-380-8555

7.) 
OMNI HR Consulting (Pty) Ltd

Human Capital & Organisational Development
Omni HR Consulting provides business and people development solutions through Training and Consulting services.

We work across a number of sectors to provide solutions from both a Skills Development / Business perspective.

Skills Development: accredited & non-accredited learning solutions including Learnerships, RPL solutions and Skills Programmes, including a curriculum for developing future skills.

Business Solutions: are designed to be customisable, relevant and industry-related to support businesses to achieve their strategic objectives and needs.
PH: +27 21 685 9160

8.) 
Orion Learning Services Inc.

Learning & Development
Learning & Development for Agents, Supervisors, Managers and Administration/Support Staff

Orion Learning is a global leader in providing accredited learning and development solutions for organizations globally. We offer call/contact center certification programs for Agents, Supervisors and Managers, business certifications and examinations for wide range of topics including project management, change management and service management, leadership soft skills and a full suite of assessment tools which can be used for recruitment, talent management, succession planning and coaching/mentoring. We deliver our solutions to global community and all of our solutions are delivered digitally.
PH: 1-416-992-5158

9.) 
Vads

VADS Training Center
PT VADS Indonesia as a Learning Center provides trainers, modules, development programs for individuals and teams. VADS Indonesia owns a vast curriculum for training provided by local trainers with flexible training locations that can be arranged at the client's place or PT VADS Learning Center. VADS Provide knowledge process, transformation consultancy, customer service training, leadership training, interpersonal development, and training for trainers.

Benefit :
- Customizable training by experienced trainers
- Increase motivation and engagement
- Improves customer service skills and knowledge
PH: 0217991445

10.) 
The Forum

Get connected to raise standards. Established in 2000, we are celebrating 20 years of best practice, our community of professionals is recognised as the ‘go-to place’ for innovation in customer operations, from contact centre and digital to field, back office, branch & retail services, working across all industry sectors.

We offer an independent and trusted space for learning and sharing, proud to welcome members are into a thriving and active community to network with other like-minded professionals. Benchmark against the best in class and learn from innovators and pioneers. Our team of independent experts can also offer bespoke advice, consultancy and training. We have helped many organisations develop the capability of their vital support functions.
PH: +44 (0)3331235960
 

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