Cultural diversity plays a big role in bilingual call centers. Within the company, employees are largely diverse since most of them come from different cultural groups. But aside from this diversity, bilingual agents constantly receive calls from customers who come from different countries and cultures.
For outsourced contact center agents, the challenge is to talk to customers in a culturally respectful manner. Otherwise, this poses negative impacts on customer relations. However, this skill cannot be acquired automatically. Cross-cultural communication may be particularly challenging for agents with minimal exposure to various cultures, making cultural sensitivity training all the more relevant for contact center agents.
By incorporating this type of training, your agents can become more culturally sensitive and tactful in call handling. In addition to this advantage, the following are additional reasons to educate bilingual agents on cultural nuances.
1. Being bilingual is not enough.
In this period of increasing globalization, multiculturalism is the new norm. Of course, to navigate through workplace diversity, bilingualism would play a key role. But it is not enough. More than being bilingual, being “bicultural” can get you far. Biculturalism refers to an individual’s understanding of culture-specific nuances. For agents in bilingual call centers, being bicultural can enhance the way they communicate with customers from different cultural groups.
2. Cultural understanding results in faster issue resolution.
If a contact center agent is familiar with the characteristics of a specific culture, messages are delivered quickly without the risk of miscommunication. Since cultural nuances influence even the way people articulate ideas, bicultural agents can quickly adapt accordingly. They can also respond to callers’ concerns without the risk of offending them unintentionally.
3. Biculturalism fosters trust.
For contact center agents, gaining a customer’s trust can largely affect call handling success. Agents must therefore show customers that they appreciate their cultural background. This will make them appear more trustworthy. This way, customers’ concerns can be addressed more effectively.
Conducting a cultural sensitivity training is a good investment for bilingual call centers. This will train agents to be bicultural, which is a skill that every agent must develop in order to provide quality customer service.