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 Outcomes8-4 Determine actions for dealing with various types of people.8-5 Identify a variety of factors that make people diverse and that help to betterserve 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 diversityLO 8-1 and 8-2The impact of diversity and defining diversityDefineDiversity is the characteristics, values, beliefs and factors that make people differentCan include not only religion, values but also age, size, sexual orientationCultural diversityRefers to the differences and similarities attributed to various groups of people within a cultureWith a global market, it is much more likely we will come into contact with people different from usDiversity is encountered everywhere in our work and personal livesWe can grow through understanding diversityThe 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 misunderstandingsLO 8-3Customer AwarenessApplying your own beliefs to every situationResults in lost business, anger frustration and poor service
6 Values Define Characteristics of values Examples of values Modesty Expectations of privacyForms of addressRespect for eldersImportance of relationshipsLO 8-4Impact of Cultural ValuesDifferent values areNot better or worse, just differentValues dictate which behaviors are acceptable or notValues can have influence on customer wants and needsValues are the rules that people use to evaluate issues or situationsValues may be based on the deeply held beliefs of a culture, which can include religions or politicsSome examples of valuesModestySome cultures “cover up” more than othersNonverbal communication such as too much eye contactCovering mouth with hand for exampleConsider modesty in a waiting room with magazines and sexy covers, this may be inappropriateExpectations of privacyDepending on culture, may be more or less comfortable expressing personal informationNorth Americans tend to be more comfortable expressing more freely; just be aware that this isn’t ok in many culturesForms of addressRefers to the way people are addressedCan be formal or informalNorth Americans tend to be more informalImportance of titles and use of titlesFor example, use of Dr. Ms or ProfessorBeing too informal could offendRespect for eldersMost cultures respect elders, but in some cultures it is more important to do soImportance of relationshipsDoing business in other cultures means there is a high regard for the interpersonal relationshipAgreements or contracts do not always come quicklyMany meals and meetings may occur to build the relationship firstObviously 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 timeLevel of punctualityOwnership of propertyLO 8-4Impact of Cultural ValuesSome examples of valuesGender rolesAre continually evolvingWomen in many countries have not gained respect and creditabilityIn some cultures, men are more important than womenEven though you may not agree with this, consider your reaction with the understanding it is their norm and valueAttitude toward conflictIndividualistic 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 issuesConcept of timeMonochromic time and deadlines as a central focusPolychromic refers to the perception of time that shouldn’t interfere with relationships and elements of happinessLevel of punctualityIn 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 problemOwnership of propertyAccumulation of worldly goods is viewed differently depending on where you areHow cultures view the amassing of material goods
8 Providing Quality Service Language differencesOnly 20% of the population speaks EnglishTips for non-English speakersLO 8-5Providing quality service to diverse groupsLanguage differencesOnly about 20% of the population speaks EnglishObviously, this has customer service impactIdentify people in your organization who speak more than one languageLet customers guide conversationBe flexibleBe patientSpeak clearly and slowlySpeak at a normal volumeUse open ended questionsPause frequentlyUse standard EnglishAvoid slang, technical terms and avoid language that doesn’t include proper grammarDo not make assumptions that someone can’t speak or understand the languageUse globally understood referencesFor example, no sports analogiesWatch nonverbal cuesParaphrase the customers messageTry writing your messageAvoid humor and sarcasm-it doesn’t always translate wellUse questions carefullyKeep your message briefCheck for understandingKeep smiling!
9 Providing Quality Service Customers with disabilitiesHearingVisionLO 8-5Providing quality service to diverse groupsCustomers with disabilitiesAmericans with Disabilities Act protects people from discriminationHearing disabilitiesHearing loss is commonStrategiesFace your customerSpeak louderProvide written informationUse pictures, and objectsUse nonverbal cues such as gesturesSpeak slowlyReduce background noiseRelay serviceOperators who act as go betweens people who are deaf, speech disabled or deaf and blindTelecommunications device for the deaf (TDD and TTY)A technology that allows a deaf person to see what is being saidVision disabilitiesCould be someone who is blind, or someone who doesn’t see wellTalk to them in the same way you would talk with anyone elseDo not raise your voiceDon’t be embarrassed by using common phrases such as “Do you see what I am saying?”Give specific information and directionsOffer your arm, but don’t take theirs as it may startle themLeave doors either completely open or completely closed
10 Providing Quality Service Customers with disabilitiesMobilityLO 8-5Providing quality service to diverse groupsCustomers with disabilitiesCustomers with mobility or motion impairmentsRefers to a disability that means someone cannot move around without assistancei.e. walkers, wheelchairs or crutchesBe conscious of leaving space for such devicesDo not assume someone can’t perform tasks
11 Providing Quality Service Providing service to diverse groupsElderly customersYounger customersLO 8-5Providing quality service to diverse groupsElderly customersBe respectfulBe patientAnswer questionsDon’t be patronizingRemain professionalGuard against biasesYounger customersKnow the wants and need of each generationDon’t talk down to younger customers
12 Communicating with Diversity Tips for verbal communicationConsider nonverbal communicationi.e. pointing, facial expressionsLO 8-6Communicating with diverse customersAppropriate language is importantBe careful with remarks and jokesUse inclusive languageRather than Mailman use mail carrierRespect personal preferences when addressing peopleUse general termsJust say supervisor instead of “black supervisor”Recognize the impact of wordsUse care with non verbal cues
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