When it comes to international customer service one size does not fit all.
When providing international customer service, it is vital to understand that different cultures experience the same situation according to their own cultural values and a failure to appreciate these differences can lead to misunderstandings and a poor experience for both the customer and your business. For example, when dealing with a customer from Singapore, it is essential that you understand that patience is a valued quality, whereas a customer from Russia is used to being able to vent their frustrations in a much more open way!
Cultural differences are even more vital to understand in face-to-face situations where the ability to read your customer’s body language will give you vital clues as to how you are being received and how they are feeling. Factors such as perceptions of time, how you phrase a question and a myriad of other cultural nuances play a vital role in how you are received by your customer and these will be different for each market you enter, so when it comes to international customer service it is very definitely not a case of “one size fits all” and you will need to adapt your approach for each market you deal with.
The up-side to all this is that dealing with a new culture can be very enriching on both a personal and business level offering the potential to make new friends and contacts across the world and exposing you to ideas and possibilities that might never have occurred to you had you remained solely in your home market.
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