Canada has long been seen as an easy option for U.S. retailers hoping to market their goods internationally. While our two countries have a shared language and some pop culture in common, the differences between American and Canadian consumers is vast. Customer relations must evolve if you’re hoping to find success in Canada.
How American and Canadian Customer Service Differs
At face value, American and Canadian customers may seem identical. With the exception of some slight accent differences, you might not be able to differentiate between the two. Delve a little deeper into a conversation with a Canadian customer, though, and you’ll start to notice key differences. Canadians think and shop differently than Americans. Customer relationship management strategies must account for those differences if your organization hopes to find success up north.
Americans are known for their consumer culture and emphasis on brand names. Canadians tend to be less brand focused and more interested in quality products and services. It’s human nature to want to spend money wisely, but Canadians take this mission more seriously than their American counterparts. As you build customer relationships with Canadian callers, make your value proposition a priority. If you can make customers see the value of your offerings, you’re likely to win them over for life.
Of course, these are far from the only differences between American and Canadian consumers. A deeper dive in Canadian customer behavior can reveal even more about their spending habits and priorities.
When managing customer relations with Canadians, it helps to remember that many Canucks tend to be cautious with their money. As a culture, Canada has been slow to embrace online shopping the way Americans have. Whether due to higher costs of living or a decreased focus on consumer culture, Canadian spending habits are definitely more conservative than those of Americans. Customer service agents would do well to keep this in mind as they assist callers from Canada.
Canadian customers have different priorities than Americans. It’s not that they’re unwilling to spend money on goods and services – they’re simply more hesitant about pulling the trigger on purchases. Not easily won over by splashy advertising campaigns, Canadian consumers are eager to get to the heart of a purchase. They want to feel confident that their investment will indeed be worth it. The next time you’re on the phone with a Canadian customer, skip the salesmanship and lead with your value proposition. If you can convince callers that their money is wisely spent with your company, you’ll likely earn a customer for life.
Driven by Quality
Canadians want products that are built to last. While Americans are eager to cash in on the latest trends and the flavor of the week, Canadians prefer to invest in quality products that they can use for years to come. This dynamic may cause your organization to rethink your customer relation management approach. Rather than cash in on quick and easy sales, you’ve got to hone meaningful connections with callers and meet them where they are on their buyer’s journeys. Only with patience and high quality service offerings can American companies truly court Canadian customers.
Of course, quality customer service can only get you so far. It’s not enough to offer helpful customer support to Canadians. Instead, you’ve got to deliver on expectations every step of the way. If the product they order turns out to be cheap or underwhelming, Canadians aren’t likely to patronize your business ever again. A “buy it for life” mentality is pervasive throughout the Great White North. If your goods and services can’t hold up to a bit of scrutiny, you’re unlikely to find success with Canadians.
Once you’ve convinced Canadian customers to give your business a try, you may have just one chance to win them over. The good news? If your products impress Canadians, they’re likely to stay loyal to your brand. Canadians tend to be very loyal customers, and if you can provide reliable, high-quality offerings, they’re likely to share their experiences with friends and family. Of course, loyalty is not uniquely Canadian, but it’s important to remember what’s at stake with each sale. You don’t get a second chance at a first impression, and failing to impress Canadian consumers may have long-reaching consequences for your brand.
If you do manage to win over Canadians with your offerings, expect them to continue to patronize your business for years to come. They’re likely to share their enthusiasm for your brand with friends and loved ones, too. Word of mouth marketing is incredibly valuable, so nurturing your relationships with Canadians can pay off in big ways. Just make sure those relationships are genuine. Canadians are savvy consumers, and they can usually sniff out saccharine customer service experiences from a mile away. The last thing you want to do is come off as disingenuous. Instead, lead with honesty – you’ll foster more meaningful customer relationships that way.
Rethink Your Approach to Canadian Customer Service
If you’re eager to break into the Canadian market, your company would do well to update its customer relations strategies. Treating Canadians the same way you treat Americans is a recipe for disaster. Instead, create new policies and procedures for speaking with Canadian callers. A customized call script can help bridge the gap between the American and Canadian customer experiences. Though the differences may be subtle, embracing them can have a serious impact on your bottom line.
Not sure how to start courting Canadians? Allow the MAP Communications team to assist. Our highly-trained virtual receptionists and call center employees have experience working with customers from all around the world. This experience counts for a lot when you’re trying to woo customers from Canada. To see how we can help your organization get started, click here to sign up for a free week’s trial of our live answering service.