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How to deal with a culturally diverse customer base

Australia is a multicultural society, meaning that your organisation will likely interact with customers from a range of backgrounds. Unfortunately, many organisations do not take this into consideration and, as a result, the needs of customers remain unmet. 

Having a diverse customer base brings a range of benefits, including:

  • Greater stability
  • More income and profit

So how can you make sure that your diverse customers are catered for? Below are 6 things you need to consider when providing customer service.

 Get to know your customers

Getting to know your customers is essential. Understanding their needs and wants allows you to design solutions and customer experiences that are more suitable. This is especially crucial with customers who may be from a different background, as different worldviews and values may impact the way they interact with your organisation.

With lots of tools available to determine customer demographics, you can see where your customers come from, what languages they speak and more. Customer surveys and consultation may also be beneficial. 

Promote active listening

While the old adage that the customer is always right may be a little off the mark, you can learn quite a lot from listening to what your customers have to say. 

By listening to what your customers need, want and what is (and isn’t working), you’ll be better equipped to serve them and address any problems they may have. 

Keep things simple

For those who may speak little English or English as a second language, it can be hard to have a full understanding of what is going on. Ensure all written and spoken communication is in Plain English, or language that is clear and concise without the use of jargon or complex terms. 

You may also want to consider hiring bilingual or multilingual employees who are able to serve customers in their own native language. 

Focus on emotional intelligence

There’s a reason that emotional intelligence is at the heart of many successful diversity and inclusion initiatives in workplaces around the world. Those with greater EQs have greater interpersonal skills, empathy and multicultural competence.

While emotional intelligence is vital for all employees, you’ll want to focus on honing your customer service staff’s EQ to enable them to better deal with clients from all walks of life. 

Squash unconscious bias

We all have unconscious bias, but sometimes this can get in the way of our interactions with others. To ensure that your team is able to perform its best and provide the best customer service for clients who may be different to themselves, it is important to train them to recognise bias and confront it. 

You can find out more about beating unconscious bias here. 

Diversify your team

Most importantly, having a diverse team allows you to serve a diverse range of customers. By having a customer service team comprised of people from all different backgrounds, you can gain insight into their needs and come up with more innovative solutions. 

According to research, diverse teams are better at solving problems and consistently perform better financially than non-diverse teams. 

It is also easier for customers to connect with your business when you have customer service staff who are like them and who can better empathise with their situation. 

Want to find out more about how you can better serve a diverse customer base? Check out our Customer Service training course or reach out to one of our experts today!



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