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Show full transcript for Language barriers video

Well, straight away, language barriers, it is very difficult because of understanding, a level of understanding. We always think basically word level is very quick to help us get our point across. Being on customer service is being on the reception, where you are going to meet people. You have got to pick up quite quickly that situation, and then you have got to start thinking, "How am I going to be able to explain what I need to use different approaches?" As soon as someone says, "I do not understand", a couple of times, that should be the active listening that we have talked about in other of our videos where we have picked up the person does not understand. And we just repeat back, "So you are not understanding? Okay."

And Nathan did a good job of sitting the individual person down. He was using hand gestures, hand signals, offered to write it down. Sometimes that can still be an issue. It is good that he had a map that he could also pass off because visual, people can see, whereas reading, again English being not first language, may not be able to read English very well, names of streets, all that sort of stuff. So, you have to take that on board as well. So, Nathan did a good job in breaking that down, picked up quite quickly the person did not understand and used different methods to get his point across.

So, in that situation, could any other techniques be used?

In that sort of given situation, we could probably pre-empt, instead of reacting to, by sending this information out. The pickups and deliveries come from the main office, not a branch. So that would have stopped Ruta having to come into the branch to then be directed to the main office. So, it could be that an organisation would look at the information they send up prior. So, it could be a map of a branch office. And so that is given out to the customers, so there is not the issue where they have to come to one place to then be directed to another place.

Again, this raises people's levels of frustration and anger. Along with the communication issues, with English not being the first language, it just can frustrate people more. So as good customer services, information provided is a preventative of this sort of situation happening where you have to then think on your feet and deal with that situation.