Claudette Roch Agrees with Study That Shows Accents Impact Customer Service

Studies continue to show that an employee’s accent can impact the level of satisfaction a customer may experience with a business.

Online PR News – 08-September-2015 – Los Angeles, CA – Studies continue to show that an employee's accent can impact the level of satisfaction a customer may experience with a business. This is not limited to the US as a study conducted by the University of Adelaide that was published in the European Journal of Marketing showed.

Another survey conducted by Zendesk demonstrated this same sentiment by saying that call centers that are located outside of the US only received a satisfaction score of 58 out of a possible 100. This differs from the score of 79 given to American customer service representatives. When the results are broken down even further, the Zendesk report showed that it took a higher percentage of non-US call center agents more than one person to deal with the customer issue.

Understanding the person was another issue. While US agents received 85% for being able to be understood, only 62% of foreign agents were understood. Both US and non-US agents received high scores for being courteous and being able to resolve the problem. The issue lies in efficiency for the business in how much effort was required and customer satisfaction because of the communication issues.

What these numbers reveal for many businesses is the need for adequate training. For some, it may include hiring a speech coach to work on communication skills. Other businesses may work with an accent reduction coach to help staff members reduce their strong accents when speaking on the phone. Still others may invest in a higher-quality phone system that reduces distortion that can limit understanding.

The important thing to note in these and other studies is that no one scored 100%, which means that there is room for improvement for all customer service agents. Developing stronger speech skills is just one aspect.

"Businesses must focus on helping their employees develop better communication skills to improve customer satisfaction," says Claudette Roche, renowned speech coach. Part of this education includes teaching employees to speak clearly and helping them learn how to be more effective in what they say.

Improving customer satisfaction goes beyond accents though to understanding the difference in cultures and languages. Many companies outsource their call centers to people in other parts of the world or even just across the country. When doing so, they must ensure that the agents are properly trained to achieve excellent customer satisfaction.

Whether a business provides in-house call center agents or outsources to other companies, communication is an essential component to enhancing the customer experience and developing customer loyalty. Customers that become frustrated because their needs are not addressed or they are misunderstood will not continue to do business with the company. The organization that provides the best customer service will win their loyalty, and much of that is determined by the effectiveness of the communication skills of all employees who interact with those customers.

Any business that wants to excel in the area of customer service must focus on developing communication skills in their staff. This may be achieved through improving their speech skills or developing their ability to relate and understand the customer, but the result of this focus will improve the bottom line for the business.

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