Addressing customer complaints is difficult no matter what the context. But it’s particularly challenging when the customer perceives that he/she is talking with someone from an entirely different location who may not understand them or vise versa. This IT company believed that keeping their call centers in India and the Philippines was the right way forward but they needed to better equip the middle and senior-level managers to handle customer complaints with cultural intelligence.
The company contacted the Cultural Intelligence Center to design and facilitate a program that would help the leaders address the challenges of supporting culturally diverse customers, most of whom were not from India or the Philippines. The solution was a comprehensive 6-month program.
The program was designed as follows:
- The 100 managers took the CQ Multi-Rater Assessment
- All managers participated in the Leading with Cultural Intelligence workshop offered at multiple sites (1-day)
- Participants were responsible to review the job-aids received in the workshop and read Expand Your Borders. In addition, they were responsible to discuss a couple take-aways from the workshop and readings with those they manage.
- Participants completed their CQ Development Plans
- Managers participating in the program met one-on-one with an internal coach to review their CQ Development Plans (Coaches had previously been through a session on cultural intelligence).
- Managers read Leading with Cultural Intelligence and discussed it with a small group of other managers in the program
- Managers had team meetings with those they manage to share take-aways from the reading and ongoing learnings.
- Participants took the CQ Multi-Rater Assessment a second time and completed the CQ Development plan in light of the new feedback.
- Participants met with a coach one-on-one again
- Participants attended a two-hour final wrap-up session
The participants were enthusiastic about the relevance of the learning to the challenges they were facing. In addition, they reported better team meetings as a result of the discussions relevant to the 6-month program. Specifically:
- The group of managers saw a significant increase in CQ Drive, indicating the program equipped them to more effectively handle the frustration and conflict that is inevitable in their roles.
- Customer satisfaction ratings increased 20% from the average ratings received prior to the program.
- The company estimates the program saved them millions of dollars by allowing them to find a way to sustain the call centers rather than moving them to more costly markets.