Presentations: It holds many items in its kitty, ranging from appearance to the behavioural style; therefore the professionals have to have knowledge about how to dress appropriately or to behave pleasantly with the visitors. Conflict resolution: This has already been discussed earlier, where it showed that not only the knowledge, but also presence of mind is very much required to tackle such situations, which might occur even from an apparently innocuous situation. Building relationships: There is a whole sea of literature regarding relationship marketing, and this too falls in that category.
It is a known fact that relationship marketing is the key driver of branding, where consumers’ faith on brands drive them to buy products under them. It is even more important issue in hospitality sector, where the visitors depend a lot on human service and therefore, it is the quality of that service grossly influences them to decide on revisiting the establishment or to again ask for the service. There might be some addition or alteration in the above list according to the demand of the hospitality environment of a region, or there may be difference in the degree of importance in the areas mentioned.
But in all, this list looks comprehensive in nature, as it attempts to cover as much areas as possible under the cultural competency education. As it has been mentioned earlier, the concept of cross-cultural competency primarily gained wind to eliminate the possibilities of misunderstanding between the professionals and the foreign visitors or between the people of another culture and the professionals, when the professionals went to serve in that region.
Soon it was realized that it is not the apex body of the organizations, but the main workforce who need to be cross-culturally competent, as they are the ones who directly deal the foreign visitors most of the time and it is their performance builds the first impression in the minds of the visitors regarding the organization or its service (Bitner, Brown, and Meuter, 2000).
Thus the companies, especially the ones in hospitality sector, found that the factor of customer satisfaction comes alive right from the first moment of interaction (Bitner, 1990) and to achieve the same they must have a workforce that would be culturally competent from top to bottom. Therefore the organizations started focusing on the do’s and don’ts of service processes as the primary measure (Bhawuk, 2001) that emphasized the objective elements of the target culture.
However, they also reckoned the fact that both objective elements and subjective behavioural issues are the key drivers of customer satisfaction and the employees need to learn them to achieve cross-cultural competency at the interpersonal level. In some cases there could be conflicts between professionals and the clients belonging to different cultures mostly due to the contrasting perceptions about certain behavioural processes (Cusher and Brislin, 1996). For example, kissing as a token of greeting someone may both be the custom and taboo to the people of two different cultures.
This clearly showed that culture can heavily influence service interactions in multicultural situations (Furrer, Liu and Sudharshan, 2000). Since the companies cannot expect that the visitors would themselves be culturally competent it becomes their responsibility to appreciate and accommodate the cultures of the visitors, who on the other hand, expect that the service providers would understand and value their cultural beliefs, which would be conveyed to them through some degrees of cross-cultural competence (Katrtiel, 1995).
This apparently small expectation, however can play a catalyst to cross cultural conflict, where lack of appreciation of the culture of the visitor can snowball to miscommunication that could eventually influence the visitor to reject the service provider, which spells loss of business (Cushner and Brislin, 1996). This proposition perfectly matches with the researchers’ observations that cross-cultural sensitivity is an attitude that enables the professionals to effectively interact with the visitors belonging to different cultures (Bhawuk and Brislin, 1992).
Researchers have also observed that such attitude enhances employee performance and that can be achieved through subjective training, through which the employees can enhance their performance in the areas like service attentiveness or interpersonal communication, which eventually boil down to higher revenue collection for the company and job satisfaction of the employees (Sizoo, et al. , 2005).