Business culture features of Indonesia that a call center must know

Friday, April 25, 2014

As one of the most populated countries in the world, Indonesia has sparked a high demand for multilingual call centers that can cater to the needs of its massive number of consumers. Bahasa Indonesia, the country's official language, has also become a widely spoken language worldwide because of the large Indonesian population.

For call centers, this means efforts must be made in ensuring quality service is given to the Indonesian clientele. This process involves taking Bahasa Indonesian customer service to a higher level by learning more about the target demographic.

Here are four interesting guidelines about the business culture of Indonesia every call center must know:

1.   Indonesians are willing to wait for the "right time"

Unlike Western cultures that follow a definitive timeline of tasks, Indonesians generally have a more relaxed approach towards job completion. They believe that some tasks should not be accomplished by imposing a deadline. Rather, a business chore must only be done upon assessing whether it's the right time to do it or not. Being too pushy in situations like sealing sales deals may lead to the dissatisfaction of Indonesian customers. Patience is, after all, a virtue.

2.  They base their decisions on consultation and consensus

One of the customary business practices of Indonesia is making decisions based on deliberation and consensus locally known as "musyawarah dan mufakat." Decisions are only made after long and careful discussions among business entities. For them, a viable solution to a business concern must be something that merits the agreement of everyone involved. This collective decision making value must therefore be applied when negotiating with Indonesian customers.

3.  They rarely say "no"

Since the Indonesian culture is influenced by the principle of consensus and harmony, Indonesians do not often show their disagreement openly. When talking to an Indonesian customer over the phone, you may think that your instructions are successfully conveyed to the other person after you get a "yes" from him or her. But in the Indonesian context, a "yes" may not necessarily mean agreement or affirmation, but rather just a way of showing courtesy.

4.  They build good relations with people they do business with

Indonesians treat their business partners as friends since they believe a good relationship is key to having a successful business deal.

They may ask questions about personal life, family, hobbies, and others to establish rapport. Call centers must take advantage of this situation by training sales agents to present themselves as relatable persons rather than profit-driven product sellers or moneymakers.

Being knowledgeable about the business culture of Indonesia is a fundamental step in building stronger ties with the highly promising Indonesian market. By understanding these unique characteristics of the Indonesian culture, you can be successful in performing business services such as customer care or sales and marketing with the Indonesian clientele.

Open Access BPO is a Philippine-based outsourcing firm that provides Bahasa Indonesian call center services. Our multilingual agents undergo extensive training, including Indonesian culture training, to make sure there's a deeper agent-customer connection made. Know more about us by visiting our website and Google+ page.