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Chapter 8: Customer Service in a diverse world

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1 Chapter 8: Customer Service in a diverse world

2 Learning Outcomes 8-1 Recognize that diversity is not a bad thing.
8-2 Describe some of the characteristics that make people unique. 8-3 Embrace the need to treat customers as individuals. This chapter discusses diversity and the importance of it in a customer service setting.

3 Learning Outcomes 8-4 Determine actions for dealing with various types of people. 8-5 Identify a variety of factors that make people diverse and that help to better serve them. 8-6 Communicate effectively with a diverse customer population. This chapter discusses diversity and the importance of it in a customer service setting.

4 What is diversity? Definition Diversity Cultural diversity
Importance of diversity LO 8-1 and 8-2 The impact of diversity and defining diversity Define Diversity is the characteristics, values, beliefs and factors that make people different Can include not only religion, values but also age, size, sexual orientation Cultural diversity Refers to the differences and similarities attributed to various groups of people within a culture With a global market, it is much more likely we will come into contact with people different from us Diversity is encountered everywhere in our work and personal lives We can grow through understanding diversity The platinum rule means instead of treating people how you would like to be treated, treat them how THEY want to be treated

5 Customer Awareness Your awareness of diversity
Ramifications of misunderstandings LO 8-3 Customer Awareness Applying your own beliefs to every situation Results in lost business, anger frustration and poor service

6 Values Define Characteristics of values Examples of values Modesty
Expectations of privacy Forms of address Respect for elders Importance of relationships LO 8-4 Impact of Cultural Values Different values are Not better or worse, just different Values dictate which behaviors are acceptable or not Values can have influence on customer wants and needs Values are the rules that people use to evaluate issues or situations Values may be based on the deeply held beliefs of a culture, which can include religions or politics Some examples of values Modesty Some cultures “cover up” more than others Nonverbal communication such as too much eye contact Covering mouth with hand for example Consider modesty in a waiting room with magazines and sexy covers, this may be inappropriate Expectations of privacy Depending on culture, may be more or less comfortable expressing personal information North Americans tend to be more comfortable expressing more freely; just be aware that this isn’t ok in many cultures Forms of address Refers to the way people are addressed Can be formal or informal North Americans tend to be more informal Importance of titles and use of titles For example, use of Dr. Ms or Professor Being too informal could offend Respect for elders Most cultures respect elders, but in some cultures it is more important to do so Importance of relationships Doing business in other cultures means there is a high regard for the interpersonal relationship Agreements or contracts do not always come quickly Many meals and meetings may occur to build the relationship first Obviously not understanding the value of this can make you seem pushy or aggressive

7 Values Examples of values Gender roles Attitude toward conflict
Concept of time Level of punctuality Ownership of property LO 8-4 Impact of Cultural Values Some examples of values Gender roles Are continually evolving Women in many countries have not gained respect and creditability In some cultures, men are more important than women Even though you may not agree with this, consider your reaction with the understanding it is their norm and value Attitude toward conflict Individualistic cultures where the emphasis is placed on the individuals goals versus collective cultures where people are viewed as part of a group can create customer service issues Concept of time Monochromic time and deadlines as a central focus Polychromic refers to the perception of time that shouldn’t interfere with relationships and elements of happiness Level of punctuality In North America, we tend to be on time, but in other places, showing up 15 minutes or even an hour late isn’t considered a problem Ownership of property Accumulation of worldly goods is viewed differently depending on where you are How cultures view the amassing of material goods

8 Providing Quality Service
Language differences Only 20% of the population speaks English Tips for non-English speakers LO 8-5 Providing quality service to diverse groups Language differences Only about 20% of the population speaks English Obviously, this has customer service impact Identify people in your organization who speak more than one language Let customers guide conversation Be flexible Be patient Speak clearly and slowly Speak at a normal volume Use open ended questions Pause frequently Use standard English Avoid slang, technical terms and avoid language that doesn’t include proper grammar Do not make assumptions that someone can’t speak or understand the language Use globally understood references For example, no sports analogies Watch nonverbal cues Paraphrase the customers message Try writing your message Avoid humor and sarcasm-it doesn’t always translate well Use questions carefully Keep your message brief Check for understanding Keep smiling!

9 Providing Quality Service
Customers with disabilities Hearing Vision LO 8-5 Providing quality service to diverse groups Customers with disabilities Americans with Disabilities Act protects people from discrimination Hearing disabilities Hearing loss is common Strategies Face your customer Speak louder Provide written information Use pictures, and objects Use nonverbal cues such as gestures Speak slowly Reduce background noise Relay service Operators who act as go betweens people who are deaf, speech disabled or deaf and blind Telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD and TTY) A technology that allows a deaf person to see what is being said Vision disabilities Could be someone who is blind, or someone who doesn’t see well Talk to them in the same way you would talk with anyone else Do not raise your voice Don’t be embarrassed by using common phrases such as “Do you see what I am saying?” Give specific information and directions Offer your arm, but don’t take theirs as it may startle them Leave doors either completely open or completely closed

10 Providing Quality Service
Customers with disabilities Mobility LO 8-5 Providing quality service to diverse groups Customers with disabilities Customers with mobility or motion impairments Refers to a disability that means someone cannot move around without assistance i.e. walkers, wheelchairs or crutches Be conscious of leaving space for such devices Do not assume someone can’t perform tasks

11 Providing Quality Service
Providing service to diverse groups Elderly customers Younger customers LO 8-5 Providing quality service to diverse groups Elderly customers Be respectful Be patient Answer questions Don’t be patronizing Remain professional Guard against biases Younger customers Know the wants and need of each generation Don’t talk down to younger customers

12 Communicating with Diversity
Tips for verbal communication Consider nonverbal communication i.e. pointing, facial expressions LO 8-6 Communicating with diverse customers Appropriate language is important Be careful with remarks and jokes Use inclusive language Rather than Mailman use mail carrier Respect personal preferences when addressing people Use general terms Just say supervisor instead of “black supervisor” Recognize the impact of words Use care with non verbal cues

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