by Philip M. Anderson
Alright, this might not be politically correct to write but, seriously, anybody in a customer service profession should stick to the language that is locally spoken.
I was getting a haircut the other day and the person cutting my hair DID speak English and it wasn’t broken and her accent didn’t hinder the communication. All that was good. She also was very friendly AND she did something that I was very impressed with and that was calling me by name, once she knew my name, as if we’d known each other for years. I really liked that and it made me feel very welcome.
This might have even been a “HOT” post had she not done the following: Spoken in Vietnamese with her co-worker while cutting my hair. There really is no way to candy coat this becaue it’s just plain rude to do that. I was in an area where English is vastly spoken, an urban white neighborhood, so there was no “mis-reading” which language should be spoken. But there she was with her male co-worker speaking “their” language and making me feel completely left out.
“What could they be saying”? I was thinking to myself (in English, by the way). “Are they making fun of me being bald? Maybe they were laughing at my bushy eyebrows.” All these thoughts could have been going through my mind and more. Good thing I was able to tune them out as I tried to enjoy my haircut but many people won’t be able to do that and will feel self conscious.
If you’re in the customer service industry, especially when you rely on tips for added income, your job is to make the customer feel as comfortable and welcome as possible. These employees did not do that. America IS a collection of many cultures and diverse backgrounds that come with different languages. I understand that. But English is the main language of this country and everybody, especially people in the customer service industry, where you have face to face contact with your customers, should know how to speak it fluently. That doesn’t mean you can’t speak your language when you are away from the customers.
I will add one more positive, although, it’s more of a personal thing. When she shampood my hair she did a FANTASTIC job of massaging my scalp, something that I really need, love, want and desire when I’m getting a hair cut. Many people either don’t care or don’t want that but I am not one of those and this lady did a marvelous job of that.
But even with these two positives, the one negative outweighed them. It’s like most cases where you can do EVERYthing right except for one little thing and that’s what the customer remembers. It’s not right nor is it fair but it is reality. You can’t control everything but you can control what language you communicate with your co-workers in and that should be a language that is predominately spoken locally.
Thank you for visiting and reading this post. I have so many things to write about so keep stopping by. You can also give me some of your biggest customer service complaints by making a comment. I welcome any and all topics.
Posted by admin - 23/03/09 - 0 comments