The Role of Inbound Call Centres in Facilitating Access

Running a business in Canada involves dealing with customers across various races and cultural backgrounds. As such, cultural alignment in call centres is necessary for Canadian companies to provide global customer service.

Cultural alignment means understanding and respecting diverse cultures and ensuring agents are aware of cultural nuances to deliver the best service.

This article discusses the importance of cultural understanding and methods to achieve it.

Importance of Cultural Understanding in Call Centres

When speaking to someone over the phone, it can be difficult to understand the context of their culture. Some cultures are direct and assertive, while others require you to read between the lines. Other cultures are very emotional and expressive, while others hold back on displaying emotion.

Making an accidental mistake can result in a negative experience, creating the impression that the company doesn’t value its customers. Call centre professionals must make sure that customers aren’t just satisfied with the products and services but also develop a lasting positive impression of the company.

Cultural alignment means understanding differences in behaviour, practices, beliefs, and expressions that are associated with race, ethnicity, or national origin. It ensures agents are equipped with the knowledge and skills to navigate diverse cultural landscapes sensitively.

It goes beyond language proficiency to encompass understanding cultural norms, values, and communication styles.

Methods to Ensure Cultural Alignment

Achieving cultural alignment may sound difficult, but it’s possible with training and the use of technology. Here are several strategies:

  • Adopt a global mindset that emphasizes awareness of personal and cultural differences. Agents should always listen with an open mind and understand the perspective of the caller.
  • Conduct training and workshops to learn about various techniques for dealing with different cultures. For example, learning which cultures demand formal language can help agents adjust their communication style depending on who’s on the line.
  • Always focus on delivering a satisfactory resolution that will solve the callers’ issues.
  • Treat clients as individuals and make them feel special regardless of their cultural differences. Agents should learn to adjust their approach to match the customer.
  • Take advantage of call centre technology, such as a CRM system that shows previous information about the caller. This will help agents infer the caller’s culture. You can also use technology that enables skills-based routing, so callers speaking a particular language can go to a bilingual agent.
  • Encourage cultural diversity and manage cultural differences within the team so that each member feels understood and valued. This will translate to higher cultural sensitivity over the phone.

Benefits in a Global Context 

The truth is we live in a multicultural and diverse world. Being culturally competent leads to cultural alignment and creates a competitive company that can operate on a global scale. With cultural competence, you can delight customers regardless of their cultural preferences.

Cultural alignment also fosters trust and rapport between agents and customers. It improves customer satisfaction and loyalty since customers who feel understood and respected are more likely to return for future interactions and recommend the business to others.

Furthermore, cultural alignment enhances brand reputation on the global stage. Customers have a favorable impression of businesses that demonstrate a commitment to cultural sensitivity and inclusivity. This positive perception can translate into increased market share and revenue growth.


Cultural alignment in call centres reduces the risks of cultural faux pas and misunderstandings. It requires agents to exhibit Canadian call centre values of resilience, adaptability, and diversity. By understanding and respecting diverse cultures, call centres can enhance the customer experience, build trust, and foster positive relationships with customers worldwide.

At On Call Centre , we deliver exceptional customer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year—sometimes 366. On Call Centre has been providing tailored, fluently French/English bilingual answering services and call centre services to small business owners (professionals, trades) and customer support departments (government, high tech, property management, healthcare, emergency clients) serving Ottawa , Montreal and Toronto —and all over Canada —for almost 50 years.

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