Bilingualism: A call center’s way to cultural competence

Cultural competence is a trait that multinational companies must possess in order to serve their diverse clients well and promote harmony within the workplace. In a bilingual call center, this is all the more important because of how it’s workforce is mostly made up of people from different races and cultures. But how do contact centers achieve this? The answer can be through bilingualism.

Culturally competent agents


Being at the frontline, customer service representatives lead the company’s engagement efforts with the customers. It’s their duty to make customers feel at ease regardless of the language they speak or the culture they belong in. It takes a deep understanding of the customers’ communication practices, buying behaviors, and consumer traditions.

Being able to speak their language well is only a portion of it, but it’s an ultimate start. With lingual understanding, the agents can build rapport faster by making it known upfront that the customers won’t have a hard time articulating their issues.

Culturally competent organization

With cultural competence being a key asset to maintaining a strong bond with customers and between colleagues, call centers develop this among its workers by integrating it with certain activities and processes such as:

•     Recruitment

Leaders try to look for traits of competence in their people as early as the selection and job interview stage. Aside from gauging the candidates’ mastery of the language, they test how well the applicants can fit with their possible team and interact with their foreign customers.

•     Training and team building

Infusing cultural education with training sessions sharpens the agents’ knowledge about the brands they represent while strengthening their bond with coworkers hailing from various backgrounds. The same can happen if the team building activities encourage embracing diversity.

Bilingualism is a powerful skill to have if a company aims to position itself in the international scene. Not only can it equip its people with strong communication skills, it can also pave the way for a harmonious relationship in a culturally diverse workplace.



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