A Plea from a Accent Reduction Student Working at a Mobile Service Provider in Australia
A student who has recently finished my 10-hour accent reduction training plead with me to speak up on his behalf. He works in a call center with a mobile service provider in Australia. Although I cannot reveal the name of the company, there are only four major mobile service providers in Australia. They are Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile.
So my student is obviously not born in Australia, but he migrated to Australia a few years ago. When he came to me, he was depressed. He said “people keep calling me, I’m trying to help them out, but sometimes I say things they don’t understand. They ask me to repeat, and I do but they still don’t understand”. So they get frustrated. Some people hang up on him, sometimes they even curse at him because of his accent, which is a very nasty thing to do, but it happens.
So How To Fix the Accent Problem? The Answer is Intensive Muscle memory Training
So he goes “look, what can you do for me? how can you fix my problem?” I said “you’ve got to train, it’s muscle training, you’ve got to train hard”. And he was ready for it, so I gave him a 10-hour accent reduction training. It was very intensive, very rough, but he went through it. He was very happy with what I did for him. He goes “Look, I have a lot of colleagues who need accent reduction training just like me. But they cannot afford it, you’ve got to help them”!
So you as an employer are giving someone a job on the phone. you are asking them to sit there, wait for the phone to ring, and speak on your behalf. That is the job by definition. Now, they’re not able to make sense, not able to enunciate, and not able to articulate. They can’t say what they want to say properly. Well, it reflects bad on you, because those guys represent you, so you cannot ignore the problem. You have to help them. You have got to provide them with formal accent reduction training.
It’s a Moral Obligation
You owe it to your migrant employees to give them the tools to succeed in their career. Investing in their English accent is tremendously critical for their career development. Furthermore, if they can’t do the job properly on the phone, you have to deal with more complaints and escalations. You might be wondering why you’ve been having all those escalations, and I’m not saying that’s the only reason but very likely a big factor.
You can be losing customers because of this
I have had a lot of friends who sometimes get a bill, and they want to dispute it. So they pick up the phone and call. They get through to someone apparently not based in Australia. It’s usually so frustrating to have to ask them to repeat the same question a million times. They sometimes end up cancelling their mobile service with that provider. So you have to address the issue.
What Accent Reduction Training can do for your migrant employees
A 10-hour intensive Accent Reduction Training program will help your migrant or overseas-based call center operators to:
- understand why customers can’t understand their accent
- fix their own accent problems
- speak English more smoothly, more naturally and less robotic-ally
- sound more confident handling complaints and escalations
My student practically begged me to approach his manager, but I refused. I don’t do that, I don’t beg, I don’t need it, I’m booked out, I’m busy as it is. But I just wanted to make that video and put it out there as a favor for my student. So if you are aware of the problem and want to do something to help your employees, click on the link below and I will try to help them out.