How Contact Centers Can Best Serve Customers in 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.

Next, consider the communications channels available to you.

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, and 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 and more than two million in the USA.

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.

According to the IMF, China is now the World’s largest economy, with the US relegated to second place. Therefore North American, Australasian and European contact centers that look eastwards will be able to add value for their customers 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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Top Three Markets Of South East Asia

The mood seems to be quite upbeat for ASEAN capital markets and investing in South East Asian ETFs (a visible trend of the past year) will rise further in all likelihood. The region which will inhabit more than 300 million middle class families by 2015 is attracting a fair amount of foreign investments through institutionalised channels and interestingly through the broader options. Foreign Investors including Americans vested in South East Asia markets are now looking beyond exclusive Singapore ETFs and towards wide spectrum products that are centric on fast emerging markets like Indonesia, Malaysia and even frontier nations like Cambodia which has posted one of the strongest economic growth figures for 2012.

This side of Asia has remained indeed very strong even during the Global economic crisis. European distress and despair in terms of its overall economy still continues to top the news and even in the United States unemployment figures remain significantly high. China too, may remain slower for all current year’s quarters amidst weak exports and low investments in the country and a testimony to that is World Bank degrading China’s growth rate by 2 %. South East Asian economies and their consolidated returns on the other hand may outperform with higher growth rates than Brazil, China, India or even Russia in the coming fiscal year.

A cross border trading platform and aggressive M & A activity will go a long way in stirring investor’s interest. Good corporate governance ensures strong fundamentals and the players of the ASEAN community seem robust. Indonesia and Malaysia, both should very well suffice their real growth outlook of +6% for the current year. The newest country of the region, Myanmar along with Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam is poised to display highest growth rates in Asia, which will reflect profitably on their most active trading partners like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Business Activity of the area is well represented by a united body called ASEAN – The Association of South East Asian nations. It comprises of 10 nations namely – Indonesia, Laos, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines and the majority of economic activity is concentrated in four of these nations – Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. According to International monetary fund (IMF) the GDP growth rate for Malaysia is expected to be 4.7% for the year 2013, Indonesia is expected to grow at the rate of 6.3% in 2013 and for the same year Thailand and Singapore’s growth level is predicted to be 7.5% and 3.5%. In fact this entire region has a strong upward future GDP growth rate.

Investors, who have experienced nothing but a perpetual gloom form the Euro Zone and American exchanges may mull a focus on to other emerging economies in Asia especially the ones that form the ASEAN League where a better growth forecast in the near term is thriving on increasing domestic consumptions and demands backed by good governance of the policy makers.

Buying into ASEAN 40 Index ETFs is encouraged on the pretext of their immunity to the western crisis, and United States on the road to its recovery has added more favorable conditions. In order to avoid certain risks like market volatility, geopolitical and liquidity problems; an ETF approach seems the right way to go. This is due to its basket methodology and overall flexibility when it comes to trading. Invest in Southeast Asia tracking the performance of the FTSE ASEAN 40 index encompasses the largest and the most liquid companies of the five vital nations of the said region (Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore). These funds that normally charge an expense fee up to 65 basis points annually also benefit their participants in form a dividend yield along with high annual value growths.

Dish Network International Channels – Dish Network in Your Language

If you live in the United States and are looking for television programming in your native language, Dish Network International may be the perfect solution. Over 28 different languages and various programming packages make Dish Network the number one choice for international viewing.

Here’s just some of the Dish Network International Programming Packages:

The Ukrainian Package: This package offers Inter+ which delivers movies, sports, music, and children’s programming in both Ukrainian and Russian languages.

For native Russian speaking individuals, the Russian Mega Pack is a perfect solution. It provides an array of Russian-language programming including the most recent news coverage, documentaries, children’s programming, movies, and talk shows.

Dish Latino – Follow the link below for more information

Italian Language: PANORAMA ITALIANO. Included in this package: RAITALIA, Euro News, Video Italia, RAITALIA Radio, RAI News, and much more. Some examples of what you can receive through these channels are: Travel shows, sports such as live soccer, music, mini-series, entertainment programs, cuisines, fashion shows, religious programs and concerts, and more. You also get free installation and DVR Upgrade.

Greek Language: Dish offers up Greek Elite Pack. This package contains ERT World, ERA Sport, ERA-5, and NET 105.8. You’ll be receiving a wide variety of sports, movies, entertainment shows, children’s programming and more. You also get Free installation and a DVR upgrade.

Chinese: The Chinese Super Pack offers multiple channels through ETTV and are all broadcast in the Chinese language.

French: 3A TELESUD. This French language channel is intended for viewers of African and West Indies descent. You’ll receive 24 hours of documentaries, news, magazines, live concerts, music videos, and more.

Japanese: TV JAPAN offers up news, documentaries, movies, sports, children’s programming and many more NHK programs.

Arabic – The Arabic Elite Super Pack and Arabic Elite Pack delivers movies, sports, dramas, 24 hour live news coverage, Egyptian Soccer League, documentaries.

German: DEUSTCHE WELLE (DW-TV). This is a German and English language channel direct from Germany. This channel provides news, sports, business, arts, politics, and many entertaining shows.

Armenian – The 24 hour Armenia TV Channel delivers movies, historical and cultural programming, news, talk shows, children’s programming, Armenian Football League and other sports programming, and much more.

Filipino – ABC, NBN, Philippine Multimedia Systems Inc. (PMSI), CCI Asia Group, Viva Entertainment – The Mabuhay Channel delivers a variety of programs such as movies, documentaries, sports, travel shows, news, music, and much more.

These packages are only a small example of the Dish Network International Programming offered by Dish Network.