We may not understand everything about the cultures of foreign tourists, but is it important to make an effort and to treat customers in a friendly, professional and respectful manner.
Consider the following:
• Is the African who looks down when speaking to you being untrustworthy or respectful?
• Is the Japanese person who bows to you being respectful or subservient?
• Is the German who responds to you abruptly, simply being rude or simply businesslike, as Germans tend to be?
It is not essential that you understand everything about a person from another culture.
However, it is important that you are re-accepting of people of other cultures.
Having some knowledge about the cultures of tourists and customers has a direct influence on the relationship we are able to establish with customers and depends very much on first impressions.
The impressions we project can result in a satisfied or dissatisfied customer.
These impressions are the results of a combination of the following:
• The extent to which one feels understood.
• The extent to which one feels acceptable and even liked.
What you can do in order to build your understanding of people from other cultures is to talk to them about their
cultures and ask questions.
Practice talking to your customers and build your understanding through conversation. You can also build cross-cultural understanding by reading about people from other cultures.