Navigating Conscious and Unconscious Bias in Customer Care

90-minute Workshops

Day 2

Session Code: S3-D
When: April 17, 2019
Location/Room: 101 FG
Level: Intermediate
Track: D&I Strategy
Presenters: Leslie Aguilar, Diversity & Inclusion Center  |  Riikka Salonen, BCT Partners


The goal of this interactive workshop is to identify and address bias in customer care in order to move toward equitable, high-quality service, free of disparities based on social divides. To intervene and mitigate bias, we must first recognize where bias is likely to occur in the customer realm, when it is actually occurring, and how best to respond. This workshop enhances your ability to accomplish this.

We will begin with a model depicting bias in the customer/employee interaction to understand the ways bias influences service delivery—affecting the customer, service provider, organization and larger community. We will pinpoint specific biased behaviors so that we can recognize them in all their forms and take steps to diminish bias in the customer experience. We will explore the full spectrum from the sensational news stories of overt bias—refusing to serve and physically removing customers who look, speak, worship, live or love differently—to the acts of unconscious bias that happen every day in the workplace and marketplace. And, we will explore individual choices and organizational responses to bias in customer care, thereby gaining strategies for potential application to our own workplace challenges.

Customer care and guest service examples will come from diverse consumer-facing sectors, including healthcare, retail, finance, hospitality and public services.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Gain a framework for understanding the four directions of bias in customer care
  2. Explore examples of intentional or unintentional bias in customer service and practice effective ways to respond
  3. Access resources and best practices to navigate these biases and enhance the customer experience

The Forum on Workplace Inclusion®
2211 Riverside Ave, CB 54
Minneapolis, MN 55454
(612) 373-5994

Photos by Sarah Morreim Photography
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