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Swarnalakshmi Janakiraman   |     |  Beyond Tech...

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When was the last time you used google translate to try and understand something in a foreign language? There is a good chance that the result displayed was a bunch of unrelated words!

Now picture a studio trying to translate its movies to a different language. It’s easy to imagine the pain!

Recently I came across an article which says that, in Europe, television series are commonly dubbed into different languages for broadcasting across different countries. One might imagine that translation would be the biggest challenge here.

But no! The article says, one of the biggest hurdles is the different censorship boards. In this endeavor it is not uncommon to see a series with the same content being rated as 12 in one country, 16+ /TV-MA in another country, seriously? Check out the IMDB page of the popular European TV series ‘Generation war’ to see if for yourself!

Why a different rating, when content, dialogue and visuals are all the same?

According to the article, cultural tolerance to content in a series or a movie differs from country to country. Which means, some countries accept a bit of violence and strong language but have very little tolerance to nudity. On the contrary some countries are perfectly fine with nudity and consider it common in their movies, but even the least a bit of violence is a strict no; and yes, there are places where both are given a green flag.

With Zifo working with an array of customers from different cultures across the globe, we decided to take a page out of this book and see if these cultural differences impact one of the most important metrics we collect from our customers – The Customer Feedback.

After analyzing around 200 customer feedback forms, we decided to use Continent as the cultural differentiator to segregate.

In this attempt there were some unavoidable gaps like variations in the structure of projects, experiential and knowledge gaps between teams, involvement of mediators, etc. Also, no attributable link was observed between the feedback scores and factors like profitability and repeat business, which sometimes, interestingly grew despite low scores. We proceeded with our analysis with a curated sample with all these variations, with the true spirit of academic and business interest.

This continent-wise analysis turned up some interesting results. It was found that on an average, scores given by Americans are 7 percent higher than those from Europeans. This corroborated with our knowledge of the background of the scores. In general, our American customers appear to be of a more liberal school and prefer to express their positive outlook and satisfaction by providing high scores. Europeans, on the other hand, in cases of similarly satisfactory experiences, seem more inclined to give a lower score, to put across the point that there is always room for improvement and to settle for nothing short of perfection.

With this cultural difference established across continents, we are attempting to create a ‘Normalization Index’ to neutralize this effect and help us compare the scores from customers across continents in a logical manner.

This work on the Normalization Index has given us a lot of perspective and an improved outlook of the benefits of figuring out a good way to analyze customer feedback. It is no surprise, therefore that we strongly recommend such analyses!

Have we piqued your interest? Have you attempted such a thing and have experiences and inferences to share? Have you got data but would like some assistance in sifting through it? We are only too willing to collaborate with you on this knowledge sharing exercise and would love to hear from you!