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Language Barrier

Lord_Gawkerbane

Aug 21, 2004, 10:30 AM
I'm pretty sure this ends up happening to everyone in the retail sales end of things to some degree or another.

Someone comes over and wants to buy a phone and they don't speak english very well, so a friend or relative turns into a translator. You work through the translator and answer a question which sparks a seemingly endless conversation in a language that's incomprehensible to you before another question, or an "Okay, thanks," followed by a wave and a walk. Similar things can happen with people, mostly couples, who do speak english well enough, but discuss things at length in a language you can't understand.

Some of the ones I've run across at my current location: Spanish, portuguese, hindi, chinese (not sure what dialect), and...
(continues)
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Mobile-El

Aug 21, 2004, 11:03 AM
Learn spanish if you want to be successful. Just get the basics. I have been behind the counter for 10 years and it comes in handy at least a few times a week. Just the basics, enough to give an acesory price and explain some of the plans, I am not conversational, but can get thorugh an activation and close the sale. Also, get it touch with your Carrier reps and see if Bilingual point of sale materials are available. Here in NJ/NYc we have all the ATTWS stuff in Spanish and English, Cingular also makes stuff available in Chinese, this was done simply at the request of the Asian Dealers who represent a strong market share in Chinatown and in Queens, NY.
Good luck
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BowWowWow

Aug 21, 2004, 12:07 PM
Verizon provides their dealers with Spanish language materials as well. I think any carrier would be stupid not to. I just read something in Wireless Week about how the Hispanic market is traditionally very underserved & the things carriers are doing to service them.

When I worked for Radio Smack, I worked in an area with a lot of Vietnamese & Cambodian fishermen. There was this one super-hottie Cambodian girl who came in all the time to pay her dad's Sprint bill. I learned how to say "good morning" & "thank you" in Cambodian, and you should have seen this girl's face light up the next time she came in. Then she told me that my pronunciation was atrocious, and we had a good chuckle.
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cellphone gurl

Aug 21, 2004, 8:35 PM
we have a joke in care. we always say when everything else fails transfer to spanish. we only really do it if the customer requests
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tater94

Aug 22, 2004, 6:22 PM
That must be a Convergys thing because we always said that in my center as well...
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cellphone gurl

Aug 22, 2004, 7:32 PM
which center was that?
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cellphone gurl

Aug 21, 2004, 8:33 PM
it happens in customer care too. so of them are hard to understand when they are calm. try having them yell at you. then we get employees from aws that call us when they have customers that can't talk well and they try to have the cust talk. some sound like robots and you don't want to ask them to repeat themselves
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SammyJankis

Aug 22, 2004, 2:54 PM
yep, i run around the center to see if someone works there that can speak their language. lol... actually when i worked for cinglar we used to get that a lot, especially when we started taking calls in nyc. i once had a guy call from new orleans and only spoke creole. we used to have a guy work with us that spoke several languages, spanish, french, thai, even arabic, i think he was a linguistics major. we sure did miss him when he quit.
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Mobile-El

Aug 22, 2004, 3:19 PM
I am cracking up thinking about a call coming in Creole. Just makes my day, something funny about that.
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SammyJankis

Aug 22, 2004, 3:26 PM
whats funny is when the greeting comes on in english and they immediately start speaking thier language. i'm like whoa whoa... what?
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