Multiple Languages for Automotive Customer Service
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” - Nelson Mandela
Malaysia is a multi-cultural society, which means that we live in a very unique customer service environment. Having different cultures in any geographic area also means that there are different languages being spoken by people who live there. In the Malaysian context, this generally means that there are those speaking Chinese dialects, Indian dialects, and in certain states, even different dialects of Bahasa Malaysia.
Even though most people in this country are able to speak Bahasa Malaysia or English as a unifying language, it is still a very good idea for an automotive business’ customer service team to be able to go beyond just those two languages. By being able to do this, the automotive customer service professionals are able to deliver a much better experience to the customers they interact with.
For starters, being able to speak the primary language of a customer seeking help from the automotive business allows for much clearer communication. For example, even though a customer may be able to speak English, if they were able to comfortably speak Mandarin with the customer service professional, the customer could probably describe the problem they face in much better detail. When the customer service professional who speaks the same language has this discussion, then they are able to better match the products and services needed to solve that problem. All-in-all, the customer receives a much more personalised experience from the automotive business.
Additionally, having customer service professionals who can speak the languages of people from different ethnic backgrounds makes it a lot easier for the business to position itself as the preferred choice of customers from those ethnic groups. An easy example is if an automotive business was known for its Japanese-speaking staff, it would not be long before the Japanese expatriate community notices this and starts to patronize this automotive business. The reason is quite simple: when the same language is spoken, people feel much more comfortable and are therefore more willing to spend their money at the business.
However, don’t just view all of this from the perspective of the automotive business. You yourself as an automotive customer service student can also benefit greatly from sharpening the languages you already know and taking on at least one new language. The best way to do this is to first think about your long-term goals.
Where do you think you will be working in five years from now? If its a German automotive company, or a Japanese one instead, those languages would make a very good addition to your resume for once you graduate and start looking for internships or job openings. If you plan to work in a locally-based automotive business, then of course in addition to Bahasa Malaysia and English, understanding Mandarin for example can also increase your hireability as a graduate, and your future ability to demand a higher salary.
In conclusion, think about this: in life there are many things you can learn that might not be useful to you in the end. One exception to this is when it comes to languages. No matter what language you choose, there is no loss, only benefit. Being fluent in any language allows you to communicate better and connect with other human beings much more effectively. When you’re able to do that, it will make it much easier for you to achieve success in whatever you choose to do with your life.