16 October 2017
Better understanding for better business
Aotea Gifts is one of a growing number of New Zealand businesses that knows the value of embracing Chinese language and culture.
“To be able to talk with our customers in their own language, understand their needs and explain our products, makes for a much better customer experience,” says company director Donald Hanson. “The story and the experience is often as important as the physical product.”
The family-owned and operated business has eight stores around the country. It offers a range of New Zealand-made goods including clothing, skincare, healthcare, and lifestyle products. Around half of their 150 staff are Mandarin speakers.
Aotea Gifts manufactures many of its own products. Mr Hanson says the sale of New Zealand-made goods in its stores helps provide employment for more than 1,000 people in the wider supply-chain.
ANZ’s Managing Director Commercial & Agri, Mark Hiddleston, says Aotea Gifts is a perfect example of a New Zealand business telling the rich stories of New Zealand and New Zealand products in the language of their largest number of customers.
The bank is a proud sponsor of New Zealand Chinese Language Week, a New Zealand initiative that aims to bridge the cultural and language gap between our two nations.
“To understand a language is to understand a culture. Speaking to Chinese customers in their own language enables New Zealand companies to communicate on a deeper, more informative level, as well as understanding the customers and their needs better,” says Mr Hiddleston.
“At ANZ we understand that as a business we need to invest in cultural diversity and build teams accordingly. We encourage privately owned businesses to understand that as well.”
ANZ has 15 migrant banking centres throughout New Zealand with more than 600 staff who can speak another language.
ANZ’s Head of Migrant and Asian Banking, Jack Hou, says “Businesses are increasingly recognising that more Asian tourists and local customers want to be able to speak in their native language.”
As the largest bank in New Zealand, ANZ plays an important role connecting New Zealanders to Chinese businesses, and also encouraging local business to better cater for the cultural diversity that is occurring in this country.
“China is an increasingly important market for New Zealand exports and a growing source of tourists. Understanding Chinese culture and basic Chinese language will be an important factor for our future prosperity,” Mr Hou says.