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Concrete Business Advice for the Modern World

Doug Lipp in his book, The Changing Face of TodayÆs Customer, gives a wealth of common sense advice for those U.S. companies stepping into the world market place and dealing with customers from different cultures. Throughout his book, the major theme is to know your customer, and accommodate as necessary to their culture. Lipp recognizes the importance in the world marketplace of being able to identify customer behaviors, not just in American terms, but in the cultural terms of the client. He points out at the very beginning that providing good customer service to individuals from different cultures is not just good business, but is a powerful way for a company to gain leverage against competitors (Lipp 2). The ôone size fits allö mentality no longer applies with the globalization of the world market.

Lipp says it is necessary to understand certain things about culture, such as each culture has its own internal logic which affects individual behaviors, perception is culturally determined, and cultural self-awareness and cultural other-awareness are critical tools for enhancing effectiveness (Lipp 36-37). He points out that values held in one culture are not universal, and behaviors common in one culture are not necessarily acceptable in another. For instance, U.S. Disney theme parks were not prepared for mobs of Japanese tourists, particularly in the stores (Lipp 44-47). They had neatly roped off lines to cash registers, not realizing that the Japanese, used to overcrowding, do not stand in lines, but are used to pushing to the front to get service wherever they go. This resulted in disaster every afternoon as busloads of Japanese tourists flocked into the gift stores before boarding buses back to their hotels and overwhelmed staff, none of whom spoke Japanese. The problem was eventually resolved by hiring many more staff, particularly bilingual staff who spoke both English and Japanese. This is a simple demonstrati...

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Concrete Business Advice for the Modern World. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 20:03, June 19, 2019, from