Last week while I was facilitating a retreat, one of my colleagues mentioned how our blog theme for the month complemented the customer service training she was using with staff at her college. The training program is called, “At Your Service: Working with Multicultural Customers.” While we usually don’t promote training programs on this blog, I thought that this one was worth a mention.
Created by the University of Minnesota’s Extension Service, the program helps participants understand the significant role that culture plays in any service encounter. For example, did you know that customers’ wants, needs, thoughts, and feelings are shaped by their culture? If you accept this premise, it naturally follows that in order to truly serve your customer (i.e., student, parent, community member, colleague, boss), you need to look at the following questions through the lens of their culture.
- What does my customer want?
- What does my customer need?
- What does my customer think?
- What does my customer feel?
Taking this one step further, you can also ask:
- What is important to my customer?
- What are they trying to accomplish?
- What are their goals?
Understanding the answers to each of these questions and then helping your customer reach their goals or accomplish what they want, can go a long way to providing stellar customer service no matter what culture they are from.