Case

Arab customer service
- utilizing internal cultural diversity competitively

In April 2005 the Danish telecommunications company TDC launched a new initiative called Arab customer service. The idea was to utilize the internal diversity to approach the corporate strategy of “getting closer to the customers” in a different way. 

By offering Arab customer service TDC would be able to address a market of 68.000 Arab speaking people in Denmark. Some of the rationales behind the new service were that TDC would have a much better chance of locating potential needs among this group of customers if the company was able to communicate in the customers own native language.  

Another incentive for addressing the Danish Arab speaking market was the fact that the segment represented a major growth potential in relation to some of the most popular services offered by the company. 

Three already employed Arab speaking TDC employees took on the challenge of pioneering this new service segment. All the three employees had an Arab background and were very familiar with the Arab culture. 

The imitative turned out to be a great success and one of the unintended results was that the Arab speaking segment became very loyal to the company. 

TDC’s experiences with the new initiative led to the implementation of other initiatives. For instance the company utilized the cultural knowledge of some the employees to develop new recruiting methods for the Arab community.

The company
TDC is the leading provider of communications solutions in Denmark with a strong presence also on the Swiss and Nordic market. 14.000 people are employed within the organization and the company has nearly 8 million customer relations in Denmark. One of the major characteristics of TDC is the extensive history of the company. As several other old telecom companies TDC used to be a state owned monopoly before it became a privately held company.