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Comcast Opens First Arab-Language Contact Center

May 21, 2008

To deliver the best service one must speak the customers’ language. Comcast has taken this truism to heart by opening its first bilingual Arabic-English contact center, in Dearborn, Michigan to serve the southeastern part of the state, which has one of the United States’ largest Arab populations.

The new contact center has over 3,300 square feet, which could accommodate approximately 30 workstations. Staff has been recruited principally from the surrounding area. They have been trained to handle service requests and facilitate product demonstrations for customers, in person.
The contact center will reflect the needs of its workforce. Comcast has partnered with the American Arab Chamber of Commerce and the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services in the facility’s planning and design. It plans to continue those partnerships to ensure that the center meets the needs of the community as it evolves. For example, Chamber chair Jim Allen reported that space has apparently been set aside to allow Muslims to pray.
"Comcast has long been a strong supporter of the Arab American community and an active participant in many organizations, including the Chamber," Allen said. "This step forward by Comcast further demonstrates the company's commitment to provide convenient, user friendly service in our ethnically diverse area."
Demand for the bilingual capabilities at the Dearborn center grew from the increasing popularity of Comcast’s IP phone, high-speed Internet, and digital cable products. Allen explained that many Arab residents maintain strong links with their origin countries, which are facilitated by Comcast’s services.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported that Arabs make up nearly 30 percent of Dearborn’s residents, the highest percentage of any comparably-sized community in the nation. Wayne County, which encompasses Dearborn, also includes Hamtramck, which has many Arab residents. While Michigan’s population as a whole is 1.2 percent Arab it is 2.7 percent for Wayne County. Michigan ranked third, behind California and New York State, in the size of its Arab population. The state’s Arab community grew 51 percent to 115,000 by 2000 from 77,000 in 1990.
The new center is part of Comcast’s $165 million investment in service in Michigan and its commitment to diverse communities. The firm serves more than 1.3 million customers in Michigan, has three large contact centers plus its Midwest division and Michigan region headquarters in the state, and employs approximately 4,500 people there.

“Continuous improvement in our ability to meet the diverse needs of our growing customer base is a top priority for Comcast,” said Dave Buhl, Senior Vice President, Comcast Michigan Region. “Our customers in the Dearborn area and throughout southeast Michigan now have access to a facility equipped with the advanced technology and talented individuals necessary to provide the highest level of customer service.”

Brendan B. Read is ContactCenterSolutions’s Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

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