Running a global business isn’t easy. Not only do you have to manage operations and employees at a larger scale but also engage with customers from different cultural backgrounds. Customers who are usually comfortable speaking in their native language. And in a lot of cases, this language is Italian.
So, how can your call center team engage seamlessly and build strong customer relationships with Italians? What are the nuances of the language that you need to know so that your team is able to converse fluently and understand expectations clearly?
Here we’ve listed the Dos and Don’ts for Italian call centers so that they can better empathize with customers, provide a seamless experience and improve customer retention over time.
Respect matters. A lot!
Respect. That’s one thing the Italians really care about. No matter which echelons you are doing business with, there’s a strict language etiquette you need to follow. While writing to a man, use
“Egregio” for “Dear” followed by “Sig.” for “Mr.” So, for instance, if you are writing to a certain Alessio Romagnoli, you would say Egregio Sig. Romagnoli. Now, for a woman who is married or whose status you are unsure about, write Gentilissima Sig.ra Romagnoli. In case of an unmarried woman, you’ll say Gentilissima Sig.na Romagnoli.
Additionally, bear in mind that when you’re talking to a customer in Italian, you need to use the formal “you” while addressing him/her. While in English there’s only one way to address a person, in Italian there’s a formal Lei and an informal tu. While conversing with a customer, Lei would be apt.
By doing this, Italian call center agents can set the tone for customer conversations and most importantly, create a great first impression.
Building Relationships is of the Essence
Business with the Italians works on the basis of relationships and trust. If you’re able to speak the language, you’re seen as one of them and that’s where the trust starts to form. At the same time, you need to be friendly (yet professional) and really get to know the person on the other side. Don’t discourage yourself from making small talk. But choose the subjects wisely. Keep in mind to steer clear of sensitive topics and political happenings. That being said, food is something Italians will unite around. From pizzas and pastas to risottos and gelato, there’s never a dearth of dishes that the Italians have an opinion on. In fact, it is often said that the most important business in Italy is concluded at table over a glass of wine or good food. Due to the emphasis on building valuable and trustworthy relationships, hard-selling is a strict no fly zone with Italians.
At the same time, Italians appreciate and acknowledge spontaneity. Italian Customer service agents can indeed come up with ideas and solutions on the spot without the fear of being judged or frowned upon. To help with this, it is important to give your call center team the space to innovate and improvise.
Emotions Fly High. So, stand your ground
Italians and emotions are synonymous. So, if your Italian call center agent is being yelled at by a customer, they need to understand that it is not personal and learn to handle the situation tactfully.
But, dealing with angry and disgruntled Italian customers isn’t as straightforward as it seems. You need to take a step back, assess the incident objectively and then politely talk to the customer. While conversing, make sure to avoid using “Caro/Cara” which means “Dear”. In Italy, it is reserved only to greet relatives and friends. Also, avoid using “Preg.” (for Pregiatissimo), which also means “Dear”.
Native Italian Call Center agents who are well familiar with Italian culture know exactly how to appease a frustrated customer. They empathize with the customer naturally, know what not to say, and articulate everything in a manner that builds trust. This is why, at LiveSalesman we provide you with the Call Center Services in Italian that are delivered by native Italian people. Improve the service experience by enabling your Italian customers to get quick and effective solutions from well-trained Italian call center agents.
Handy Phrases for Italian Customer Service Agents
If you’re a customer service rep engaging with Italian customers on a daily basis, these are some of the most basic phrases that could help you get started!
“Buongiorno, come sta?” – Hello, how are you?
“Come si chiama?” – What is your name?
“Sono….” – My name is….
“Per favore…..” – Please….
“Prego!” – You’re welcome!
Learning and mastering the Italian language can go a long way in helping your call center agents engage with customers and act on their queries on time. That said, it’s a time-consuming process to get your entire team to pick up a new language. Which is why we, at LiveSalesman, we provide high quality multilingual call center support to businesses around the world. No matter what language your customer speaks, we’ve got you covered! If you are looking for an Italian Call Centre, with bilingual agents that are both fluent in English and Italian, contact us today.