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Business Process Outsourcing: Japan

Scicom: A Brief Introduction

Great Customer Experience (CX) has always been a priority but in common with worldwide trends, we now see Japanese managers placing even higher priority on customer experience, building loyalty and trust, and ensuring customer retention.  Yet achieving this 24x7 can be a challenge in Japan.
Critically however, as most Asian countries experience sustained economic growth, we are also seeing rising expectations for better customer care across Asia as a whole. This is resulting in increased demand for centralised pan-regional CX services delivered by native speakers using a combination of traditional and digital media, supported by AI and robotic processes.

Scicom has designed services that specifically respond to these diverse needs and opportunities, which are delivered from our centres in Malaysia – Asia’s leading destination for pan-regional multilingual care – where we have been named Malaysian BPO Service Provider of the Year by Frost & Sullivan, and Employer of Choice (Grand Award) by the Malaysian Institute of HR Management.

Leo Ariyanayakam, Founder and CEO, Scicom MSC Bhd

Founded in 1997 with the mission to be become the Asian leader in Multi-lingual customer care and technical support, Scicom have been listed on the Malaysia Stock Exchange since 2005, and have amassed 20 years’ experience delivering excellent Customer Experience (CX) business outcomes to global companies of all sizes and industries.

"Multi-Lingual support isn't just a value add for Scicom,
it's our Core Business"

We provide our services via a wide range of channels, from traditional agent-based support to digital care services incorporating Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Social Media. We take pride in being able to provide support in up to fifty (50) languages, mostly via native speakers, including Japanese, English, Chinese and many other Asian, Middle-Eastern and a range of European languages.   

Now, Scicom has designed a range of solutions which specifically address CX opportunities facing Japanese companies.  These are based on our understanding of CX market dynamics in Japan and across Asia as a whole.

Malaysia's touristic destinations in earth shape

Our Understanding:
CX Dynamics in Japan

On top of the usual challenges impacting Care/CX operations worldwide, Japanese providers face some unique challenges in providing top quality and affordable support:

1. In general, contact centre work tends to suit younger people but the young workforce is shrinking.

  • Japan’s aging population will result in 12m people (20%) being lost from the workforce by 2040
  • There are 1.5 vacancies for every job applicant
  • Providers have to hire more full-time staff and move operations to remote suburbs and cities
  • Providers may struggle to maintain 24x7 services through peak seasons

2. Japan is prone to weather and natural events that can disrupt the provision of services including staffing of 24x7 contact centres.

  • Japan has 10% of the world’s active volcanoes (83 sites) and 20% of the world’s earthquakes at magnitudes of 6 or more.
  • Sustaining 24x7 operations through difficult events can be a special challenge.

3. Generally, it remains essential that Japanese customers are served by native Japanese speaking agents.

  • This limits opportunities to offshore services though as will be seen, there are now attractive opportunities.

4. Provision of English and Chinese language support in Japan can be very expensive.

  • Recent research indicated that quality English/Chinese care provided in Japan can be 50% more expensive than Japanese language care, and more than double compared to offshore care.

Changing Asian Customer Dynamics

Higher economic growth is prevalent across most of Asia, and is changing the lives of billions of people:

  • Twelve (12) Asian countries have y-o-y GDP growth of 5% or more
  • Eight (8) Asian countries enjoy a GDP growth rate exceeding China's
  • Practically every Asian country exhibits GDP growth exceeding that of the EU
  • With the exception of the mid-90’s Asian financial crisis, Asia’s GDP growth over the past forty (40) years has dwarfed that of Europe and North America.

The result is that many Asian countries now have large consumer product and service markets, and as consumer appetites have grown, so have expectations for Customer Care. This has resulted in a huge opportunity for manufacturers and retailers, but also for providers of Care, Support and CX services.

Despite this however, many businesses still only provide only limited Care services for Asian customer markets. For example, it is common to centralise English and Chinese language support (often for extended hours in larger markets), but customer care in other locations or languages is often only provided during working hours and from local offices. Chat and digital services tend to also be restricted to a handful of languages and functions.

Our Value Proposition: ScicomONE Japan

Scicom BPO solutions for Japanese business directly respond to the CX dynamics of Japan and Asia, and are built to enhance client capability to provide around-the-clock care services which support better customer experience, loyalty, trust and retention. We assure better business outcomes which exceed expectations through services based on proven and certified quality management and security processes and highly experienced management personnel

Two Challenges: One Solution

1. For companies providing Care/CX services in Japan, we provide:
  • Top quality Japanese care with native Japanese speakers, 24x7, around the clock and through events that otherwise threaten business continuity (such as typhoons)
  • Extended operating hours for Japanese CX services, inclusive of after-hours, weekends, holidays, peak seasons
  • English and Chinese support at reduced costs 
2. For Japanese companies providing Asian CX services outside Japan, we provide:
  • Services to fully address the opportunity presented by economic growth and the growing care needs of customers across Asia, the Middle-East and Worldwide
  • Support in any language using native speakers
  • Support via any media channel
  • Lower support costs through efficiencies and economies of scale in a manner which recognises and accommodates the socio-economic and linguistic differences in care, and the needs of people from different countries

Our Promise

  • Quality execution: meeting agreed business objectives: first time, every time, all the time
  • Best in class (native-speaker based) Japanese, English, Chinese and multi-lingual care. Achieved through unparalleled understanding of Asia’s cultural and socio-economic diversity
  • To be the most responsive, agile and innovative partner to do business with, and the simplest, fastest, most reliable and secure to connect with Industry leading low rates of staff turnover
  • Reducing costs through efficiencies and economies of scale in a manner which recognises and accommodates the socio-economic and linguistic differences in care needs of people from different countries

An introduction to our japanese team in malaysia

Most of our staff providing Japanese language services are native speakers. Thanks to our Malaysian government MSC Status, we are easily able to recruit Japanese knowledge workers to live and work in Malaysia. These may be Japanese graduates who wish to work in Malaysia for a few years whilst they enjoy South East Asian food, beaches, golf or other attractions. Other times our native Japanese staff are already living in Malaysia (perhaps because their spouse or parent works for a Japanese company) and would like to work themselves. But don’t just take it from us, meet a few members of our fantastic Japanese team:

Maiko-san, who is from Nagoya,  found out about job opportunities with Scicom in Malaysia in October 2018 and started work in February 2019.      

She explains “I was excited at the chance to work abroad and as soon as I got to Malaysia I realised I had made the right decision.  It’s safe and a welcoming country to foreigners and has good weather all year round.  

“Scicom Managers helped me get settled and I soon got to know my colleagues from Japan and other countries.   We come from different countries in Asia and Europe but we nearly all speak a little English and get along well together.  

I don’t regret the move at all. Malaysian people are very friendly and its quite cheap to live here.  The food tastes really good! Malaysia has beautiful beaches but its also easy to travel to other great places like Thailand. I would recommend Scicom to any Japanese person if they want to have some foreign work and living experience, or if they already live here with their family and want a job”.

- Maiko

Yuri-san first moved to Malaysia in 2011 with her husband who was going to work here. She also wanted to work so contacted a local recruitment company specialising in foreign staff. She joined Scicom as an agent on an airline support team but unfortunately, shortly afterwards Yuri had to move to Europe with her husband. However in 2016 her husband was transferred back to Malaysia, so Yuri contacted Scicom and was again engaged to support a leading hotel reservations customer.

As Yuri says “I like Malaysia. Malaysian people are relaxed and easy going and we have a nice life with less stress.  I love the variety of Malaysian food but its also easy to find good Japanese food in KL in restaurants and supermarkets. At Scicom, I work in a team with other Japanese people but also Malaysians, other Asians and even some European people. There is a good team spirit. I can recommend Malaysia and Scicom to any Japanese or foreign person who wants to work overseas. Come and try it yourself!”

- Yuri

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