The New York Times covers a fascinating story on how Japanese companies are outsourcing calls centres abroad in order to save costs. However, the companies used have no other choice other than to hire Japanese staff in order to deal with the clients at the end of the phone. Why? Because they cannot do without Japanese workers for reasons of language and culture. Even foreign citizens with a good command of the Japanese language, they say, may not be equipped with a sufficiently nuanced understanding of the manners and politesse that Japanese customers often demand.
“If you used Japanese-speaking Chinese, for example, the service quality does not match up with the expectations of the end customers,” said Tatsuhito Muramatsu, managing director at Ms. Natori’s employer, Transcosmos Thailand, a unit of Transcosmos, which is based in Tokyo.
So why are the Japanese taking these jobs? Despite earning less than 50% what they would in Japan, their money stretches a lot further in cities such as Bangkok, Beijing and Dalian.
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