Cross-cultural Audit Tool Leveraged to Improve Global Customer Service Operations

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By auditing cross-cultural customer service variables across an organization's global footprint, ITAP International, Inc. is able to identify service and quality gaps caused by cross-cultural misunderstanding. ITAP uses its proprietary Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™ and leverages it's worldwide network of cross-cultural and language experts to repair these gaps through coaching and modification of training programs.

The challenge of integrating outsourced technical, back office and customer service operations in countries such as China, India, Costa Rica, Canada, South Africa and the Philippines concerns many global service organizations. ITAP International, Inc., a cross-cultural consulting company that has helped organizations improve global team performance since 1986, is now offering its proprietary Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™ to perform cultural audits on an organization’s global customer service footprint.

“We have used the Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™ in dozens of organizations to help resolve cultural issues related to doing business globally,” says Catherine Mercer Bing, President of ITAP Americas. “The application of the same approach, with some modifications, to audit customer service performance has proven really powerful. The tool reveals issues that we are then able to resolve through training, feedback and coaching, and modification of training, learning and teaching approaches.”

Joining ITAP as Principal Consultant in support this line of services is Erik Granered, author of Global Call Centers: Achieving Outstanding Customer Service Across Borders and Time Zones (Nicholas Brealey/Intercultural Press, 2005). Mr. Granered background includes extensive call center, organizational communication, and strategic learning experience. “In dealing with customer service performance, culture is the proverbial ‘800 lb. gorilla’ in the room for most organizations,” says Granered. “In addition, customer service performance problems are often internal as the use of shared services and global teaming is increasing. ITAP’s solution to address cross-cultural obstacles to customer service issues is the best on the market and I am delighted to be associated with it.”

ITAP’s services include two unique ingredients that allow organizations to address and resolve cross-cultural customer service issues. The first is the Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™. The second ingredient is ITAP’s global network of Associate and Affiliate consultants. “It is impossible for one consultant to be an expert in every country/cultural nuance and language,” says Bing. “In addressing an organization’s customer service issues, we form our own team of experts from around the world to make sure that we have the right experience and background to uncover and remedy cross-cultural customer service issues,” she continues.

In addition to the Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™, ITAP owns a suite of other proprietary tools, including the Global Team Process Questionnaire™ (GTPQ) Competency Development Assessment and Profiling software suite, which can be leveraged depending on the nature of the engagement. Companies often focus on the resolution of customer service issues as an initial request. ITAP’s response can start at pre-selection to ensure candidates are selected who will succeed and stay. “We often support companies with analysis of job profiles and their management approaches,’ added Bing. “The pervasiveness of national culture requires successful global companies to look at all HR practices through the lens of cultural dimensions.”

About ITAP International, Inc.

ITAP International develops the capabilities of leaders, managers and employees—as individuals, in teams and for organizations working and competing internationally. We provide focused, high quality, innovative and business driven international human resources and organizational development solutions that are precisely matched to the strategic needs of our clients and the professional development needs of their people.

ITAP International and its Alliance members can support your company through our affiliated global network across the major economic centers of the world. We can serve your company in-country locally or internationally almost anywhere. Through our offices in Europe, Asia and the Americas, and the ITAP Alliance of Associates, we offer global reach and delivery, and integrated, value-added expertise across the principal HRD / OD and cross-cultural management development agendas.

To learn more about ITAP’s customer service solutions, please call Erik Granered at 540-349-9187. Also, visit http://www.itapintl.com for additional information.

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