To all our Filipino CEAs, Clients and Partners at SatisFIND, we wish you a Happy Independence Day!
Given the current buzz about the Philippines, be it the “It’s more fun in The Philippines” campaign by the Department of Tourism or the positive rating for the country in the financial markets, I am reposting one of my earlier blogs to pay tribute to the greatness of the Filipinos.
Filipinos have always been known for our warm hospitality, so it makes sense that we are also considered world-class in customer service. We leverage on our culture and innate behavior to be able to provide a method of customer service that is uniquely Filipino.
Filipinos have a high value for respect. We see it in how we understand the concept of family wherein we give a great deal of respect to our parents. It’s ingrained in our very language with how we use “po” and “opo” in our sentences. This plays to our advantage because this leads us to deliver service that treats the customer like a human being and not just a potential source of profit. This premise and mindset leads us to form relationships with customers which then leads to customer loyalty.
Of course, our innate sense of hospitality also helps. Filipinos are always sensitive to the comfort of their guests, in-tune with what our customers need and what can be done to make them feel more at-home and relaxed. We give off that friendly vibe that causes people to open up. We are the type of people that a customer will be comfortable asking purchase advice or recommendations from.
Lastly, Filipinos are known to be extremely resourceful. This helps in how we deliver customer service because it enables us to make purchases happen. From offering people payment options to giving them alternate solutions to certain problems (i.e. offering cheaper alternatives that work, understanding the customer’s situation and providing them with a solution that considers his/her needs). By helping the customer, it makes them more comfortable and more inclined to purchase.
Filipino customer service, of course, is not perfect. We do encounter some road blocks but none of them are impossible to overcome. The first step is to become aware of them so that we can plan how to approach it and improve from it.
Filipinos are naturally shy. We hesitate to approach situations head-on when there is a risk of rejection. Hence, when situations occur like when we see a customer who is looking into the store but seems to be unsure, most will choose not to engage the customer until he goes in the store or until the customer approaches the staff. In such cases, however, that hesitation may sometimes cost you a sale especially for customers who actually just needed a little bit of interaction and prodding.
The second opportunity area comes from some business owners’ mindsets on how to go about contractual workers. The common thinking is that since these people won’t be staying that long anyway, we assume that we don’t need to train them as much anymore. We have to remember though that, contractual or not, these people represent your brand and to the customer, it doesn’t matter whether they’re contractual staff or regular employees of the company. They are all the same in the customer’s eyes – they represent your brand. So be sure that every person who fronts for your brand is properly trained on product knowledge and proper customer service that is in line with who you are as a brand.
Perfecting Filipino Customer Service Standards
I salute all Filipino service providers working here and abroad. I truly believe that Filipinos are able to provide top notch customer service because it is in our nature. Given the strengths and opportunities that were listed down, I advise that we build on what is innate to us and overcome what limits us. The Filipino has always been about that. We rise up, we overcome, and we shine. No doubt, I am proud to be Filipino.