Added: 24.01.2011 13:59
Linked challenges: (1)
Eerik: Different accents
Linked visions:
No linked visions.

How to understand other cultures and customs.

How to serve people from different cultural backgrounds?

Finland and especially Helsinki is becoming very intercultural place to live. You see people from different ethnic groups, and hear foreign languages pretty much every day. Of course immigrants and tourists has their own responsibility to addapt on finnish culture. But I think finnish people should also try to understand them, at least people in customer service. So when you meet a foreign people in customer service you should think is there some habits that you consider as a normal behaviour, but which in their culture is condsider as a rude or disrespectful. The foreign person might already know finnish customs, and doesn't take it as a offence. But if he notice that you're trying to serve him like he would be served in his own homeland, he would be very pleased. And it would also take the finnish customer service to the whole new level.

Your idea/solution in one sentence: ability to addapt

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Comments

(01 Feb 2011)
I believe embassies of different countries established in various other countries can play a very important role in spreading/explaining their culture.
They should invite people from their countries to promote their culture!
(28 Jan 2011)
You have a good point but I also think that in customer service you have to be friendly to everyone and try to understand everybody, not just the people from other cultures. Also you can't be sure what kind of culture the customer is used to even if you know where he/she is from.
Thank you for your feedback. Now im going to finalize my idea.
(25 Jan 2011)
I think we have to serve all people in the same way even if they have different cultural backgrounds. Customer service have to be gentile for everyone. Of course it is good if you know many languages and can give service to costumer in their own language but the most important thing is staff`s behavior and what kind of service they give for the clients.
(25 Jan 2011)
Please link this to our campaign mentioned on the first page
(24 Jan 2011)
You're challenge sounds good. Providing adaptive and culturally focused services (probably to tourists mostly?) can really help to promote Finland abroad. I have to say that foreigners who come here to live and work should still mostly adapt to the Finnish culture and customs though cultural diversity is always welcome.
(24 Jan 2011)
You have a good challenge and this topic is very important. It's nice that you tell your own opinion about this and give some advice to those who work as customer services.
But I would like you to tell if you have experienced this behaviour as a customer or the client. Own experience is always good to tell,if there is one.
Other wise your text is good,it's fluent and it's not too long. Keep on going! :)
This is an opinion of a Czech living in Finland: I personnally believe that natives do not have to addapt to anything. Just respect and tollerance to cultural differences is usually enough. In any case, people should treat each other with more respect no matter what nationality they are.
(24 Jan 2011)
A good point. Though considering that we're going to be working in customer service field, and probably with tourists, I think that adapting and knowing the cultural differences can be a strong selling point especially for hotels etc. Of course not every customer service worker has to know the cultural differences but it just might give you an edge in the field.