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Milkman shows ultimate Cross-Cultural Customer Service


This is a great story in the way in which even the smalled business outlet can boost their reputation and demand by taking the time to understand the cultural needs of their customers.

Let's look at how a sole milkman has become a success story for cross cultural customer service

 "Cemcho bhai, harisani, ano chokra kabar?"

That is Gujarati for: "Hello brother, how are you? Any news about your son?"

Not too unusual as the start of a conversation in the heart of the Asian community in Blackburn, apart from the fact that the words are being spoken by a 69-year-old white, English-born milkman.

John Mather, aka Jimmy, has been doing the rounds in this north-west town for the past 50 years. And as he has gone from door-to-door in the town's large Asian community, he has become almost fluent in Gujarati.

"When I first started the rounds here there were only a handful of Asian families, about eight or 10, in the London Road, Whalley St and Altom St areas," says Jimmy. But as more arrived on the foreign shores from Kenya and Malawi, Jimmy's ability to go beyond delivering just milk - and procure the sorts of foods they couldn't pick up in the local supermarket - put him in greater demand.

"They wanted natural yoghurt, ghee, goats and chickens, the type of things they were used to back home. I'd gone to the dairies here and they said that there wasn't the demand, but they couldn't have been more wrong."

Jimmy's acclaim has been that he has made the effort to undertand the cultures of his customers to deliver a better customer serice. Although many of these products are now more readily available in British shops, Jimmy's personal touch and the fact that he has made every effort to bridge the cultural gap for his customers and to help them feel more at home, has made his name well known - and respected - within the local area. 

Read more > BBC

Photo by Elizabeth Dunne on Unsplash

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