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August 15, 2010


Terri Williams

This is awesome. I wish more people would provide such substantive criticism of sales and customer service chats.

Unfortunately, a lot of criticisms I read online are transcripts of people berating reps for being nonnative English speakers for minor grammar errors in an attempt to be humorous.

I wonder how much of the empathy run amok is due to cultural difference among the chatters and their management and US consumers. In the US, we tend to just apologize quickly and fix the problem, rather than continue to apologize just because someone is upset. I wonder if before they started to work in their current positions how often they had members of upper classes yelling at them while expecting them to perform, you know? In any case, additional cultural training and better scripting would surely help.

I would think that with chat taking off as a more frequently used customer service platform that these chat centers will be paying more attention to the importance of writing skills in the coming year, and hope that posts like yours are helpful in that endeavor.


Leslie O'Flahavan

Hello, Terri - Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Your reflections on the role of culture in customer service communication are right on. I think we both agree that the agent needs training so she's able to pick up on the cultural clues in the customer's chat and deliver written service that's culturally "transparent," if possible. Thanks for weighing in!

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