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  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language

    • Join Date: Nov 2010
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    How to use English correctly

    Dear Teacher,

    I'm a sales in a travel agency, and I'm learing English. I like my job as well as learning English.
    Sometimes, I called the clients, who are mostly the tourists from UK. When I asked: "How is your trip going on? How about your English spoken guide and the driver with you? " I normally got an answar like this: "Fine, it's Ok. " But when they got back to home, I might get a complaint from the office in UK, they did not like the guide, the food is awful....
    My question is - How could I use the correct phrases to ask my clients when they are in China, and how could I find their unsatisfied when they talk? Or is there any culture difference between us, which let my clients could not tell me the truth.

    Thank you for your help in advance!

  2. Munch's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 479
    #2

    Re: How to use English correctly

    It is difficult to be sure, but these are my thoughts.

    I think your problem may be that “How is your trip going?” sounds like polite small talk, so people want to answer in a polite way. The questions about the guide and driver are similar. Many people don’t like to complain or be negative in response to this type of question. It is like when someone asks, "How are you?" - we usually just reply with, "Fine thanks" or something similar.

    Personally, I would be more direct. Be clear about what you want to know and why. You are asking because you want to fix any problems immediately, right? If so, tell your clients that.

    Perhaps:

    Hi, this is Marinacat from the Top Tour company, I am calling to see how your trip is going. (You can make some small talk here or just move on). If you have time, I would like to ask you specifically about some of our services, so we can fix things if there have been any problems.

    Then you can get into specifics about the driver, food, tour guide and so on. Let them know that no matter how small the problem, you want to know about it.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #3

    Re: How to use English correctly

    Quote Originally Posted by marinacat View Post
    Dear Teacher,

    I'm a sales in a travel agency, and I'm learing English. I like my job as well as learning English.
    Sometimes, I called the clients, who are mostly the tourists from UK. When I asked: "How is your trip going on? How about your English spoken guide and the driver with you? " I normally got an answar like this: "Fine, it's Ok. " But when they got back to home, I might get a complaint from the office in UK, they did not like the guide, the food is awful....
    My question is - How could I use the correct phrases to ask my clients when they are in China, and how could I find their unsatisfied when they talk? Or is there any culture difference between us, which let my clients could not tell me the truth.

    Thank you for your help in advance!
    The better your English is, the more likely they are to complain to you (if they need to). When a person complains about something, they like to feel that they are being understood and, to some degree, sympathised with.
    For example, if you ask "How is your English spoken guide?" (instead of "English-speaking guide"), especially over the phone, they know that you don't have the level of English to be able to deal with the nuances of a good complaint.
    If the complaint is urgent and serious, no doubt they will call you. But they're less likely to complain if you just call them to check how things are going. I don't think there are any secret phrases that you're likely to be lacking.

    Also you should understand that, for some people, part of the experience of a good holiday away is complaining about it when you get home.
    Just my opinion.

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