How a bilingual call center can improve cultural competence

The Philippines has always been one of the leading outsourcing destinations when it comes to call center support solutions. The cultural compatibility shown by Filipino call center agents towards almost any foreign culture has become the country’s edge over other countries in being the top outsourcing destination. This strong feature is evident especially among bilingual call centers in the country.

Because of cultural competence, Philippine-based bilingual call centers have gained credibility over the years by offering exceptional customer service that can be catered to all international customers regardless of the culture they belong to or language they speak. But how exactly does a bilingual call center cultivate cultural compatibility among its agents?



How agents do it

Call center agents are the outsourcing firms’ frontline when engaging with their customers. Bilingual call center agents are trained on how to make customers feel at ease when talking to them over the phone. This hospitable nature enables Philippine call center agents to show genuine concern to any caller regardless of their country of origin.

Bilingual call center agents are also oriented on how to establish rapport with international customers despite the differences in beliefs. They present themselves as relatable persons and show utmost respect to any person they talk to. Bilingual call center agents are usually either native speakers of the foreign language or have undergone special language courses from learning institutions. Because of this, they do not have any difficulty in fully understanding the customers’ concerns.


How call centers do it

Profound knowledge of the foreign culture is usually first assessed by bilingual call center managers before recruiting agents. This is a measure taken to ensure that call center agents do not only offer customer service in the language that their customers speak, but also in the cultural context that they operate.

Conducting culture and language training sessions is one of many best call center practices that aim to improve their agents’ cultural competence. Language and culture enhancement exercises in the form of games, coaching, or daily trivia are used to make agents more knowledgeable about their target demographic.


Manuals and training modules are also readily available for supplemental information and easy reference. All of these measures are beneficial to agents who may not be native speakers of the language, but have undergone training from universities or language centers.

The Philippines is known for offering quality bilingual call center services. By following these practices, a call center can enhance the cultural competence manifested by its agents. When cultural competence is enhanced, better customer service and satisfaction will follow.



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