Article : How Contact Centers Can Best Serve Customers in China & the Asia Pacific Region
If you or your clients are planning to expand into China or other growth markets in the Asia Pacific region, there are a number of issues to consider when offering contact center services.
The first of these is that of language. If you would like to cover all of China, agents should be able to communicate in both Mandarin and Cantonese. If you plan to reach out to the region as a whole, you should include Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese and both Malaysian and Indonesian Bahasa too.
Second, it is important that customers can call in by means of a domestic regional telephone number. Making an international phone call remains a psychological and economical barrier not only in emerging markets, but in established ones like the United States too.
Like us in the West, the Chinese are voracious consumers of social media, but twitter and Facebook are irrelevant in China, whereas Sina/Tencent Weibo, Renren, Qzone and WeChat are not.
Of these, WeChat is fast becoming defacto the standard way to communicate in China, and already boasts a user base of 600m and growing. Furthermore, Its number of international users is also growing exponentially, so a WeChat Channel should be integrated into any contact center activity.
Whilst the concept of the virtual office is nothing new, for western companies looking to expand into China, the benefits of a virtual office versus the costs and risks associated with establishing a real one are particularly attractive. They instantly help bridge the cultural and linguistic challenges associated with overseas expansion.
Those involved in the contact center industry probably already have clients that are using their services as part of their globalization efforts. Rarely do such companies wish to focus on just one market. By offering multi-lingual voice and data solutions, or by teaming up with a company that does, you will be able to add value and help clients grow and prosper internationally.
Doing so, will help customers grow domestically too. After all, there are over one million Chinese speakers in the UK alone. Mindful of the fact that the vast majority of the Chinese population worldwide cannot read or speak English, those companies that interact with them in their own native language stand a much better chance of benefiting from the enormous opportunities afforded by the Chinese market than those that do not.
Finally, when working with your clients with regards to promoting any new engagement channel, it is best to engage in the services of a native speaker for translating purposes, since automated translation tools can sometimes do more harm than good.
Given that China is set to become the World’s largest economy, contact centers that look eastwards will be able to add value both now and in years to come.
In his bestselling book ‘The World is Flat’, Thomas Friedman describes it as a level playing field in terms of commerce, where all competitors have an equal opportunity.
That metaphor is particular apt for those involved in the contact center space.
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About Marc Jarrett:
English/German dual national business development professional.
About CallNovo Contact Center:
Callnovo is an established Canadian-managed multi-lingual offshore contact center service provider with over 3000 agents located in China. A wide range of services are on offer, including Customer Service, Virtual Assistant, Outbound Lead Generation, Outbound Appointment Setting, Inbound and Outbound Sales, Back Office, Tech Support, Social Media Management, Data Entry, Desktop Search and Virtual Office. Languages provided include: Mandarin, Cantonese, Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese, Bahasa, Korean, and Japanese – helping companies throughout the world in their sales and customer support efforts in the Asia Pacific region. Callnovo work with a diverse portfolio of clients, ranging from SME’s to multinationals in a variety of sectors including Telecoms and IT, Insurance, E-Commerce, Energy, Food, Real Estate, Luxury, and Fashion, as well as with Governmental bodies seeking a cost effective, cloud based one-stop solution for all their customer contact needs over multiple platforms.
Published: Monday, May 4, 2015