If connection and collaboration is everything in the world of business, there’s no better place to see it in action than in Japan.
In fact, building trusting relationships with counterparts, fostering mutual respect and goodwill – just consider the cherished art of bowing, handshakes and exchange of business cards – and forging genuine connections is a key cornerstone of Japanese society and a core fundamental tenet of its cultural business practices.
It’s against this backdrop that Webex by Cisco is aiming to help build a more cohesive, open workplace that benefits everyone – and to help bolster a company’s customer experience (CX) journey.
Certainly, one of the tools enabling the brighter future of CX is the cloud contact center, such as Webex Contact Center (also known as CCaaS – cloud contact center as a service).
Gartner recently gave it a nod, naming Cisco in the Magic Quadrant for Contact Center as a Service – a significant debut for a solution that was built from the ground up just under two years ago.
In Part 1 of our story, we discuss Webex’s exciting passage into the Japanese contact center world – particularly the CX market – and how local companies are eager to embrace the cloud contact center, and have a growing appetite for the game-changing future of customer experience.
Just consider some local market numbers. According to Statista, businesses operating in the call center solution market in Japan generated close to 514 billion Japanese yen in fiscal year 2020. Meanwhile, revenues of call center agencies were forecasted to grow continuously and expected to reach a market size of approximately 1.04 trillion yen by the end of this year.
But first let’s take a look at some of the traditional forces at play. It’s been said that the main four elements of the Japanese business environment are: formal; hierarchical; loyal; and harmonious.
Putting the spotlight on the latter, harmony, for example, requires balance and coordination. What’s more, in a business context, working together – and in a successful and meaningful way – can be the difference between harmony and discord.
Better still, developing a culture that encourages teams to work better together; and fostering harmonious relationships with customers are essential ingredients in creating harmony across any organization and workplace – and a value creator and primary differentiator.
Being in business, by its very nature, means being in service to others; therefore, to create harmonious and connected companies, people and society, organizations must rely on modernized tools to meet customers’ needs and pave the way for innovation.
If anything, organizations can now go ‘full cloud’, and focus on building a CX pipeline for customers, and create harmony in delivering ‘memorable’ customer experiences.
Japan’s key market drivers of the contact center include: digital transformation; multi/omni-channel; data analytics/management; security/legislation; and UC integration.
What all of this means is there’s a growing need for the adoption of tools and capabilities that transform CX by empowering companies to deliver a more connected customer journey.
Certainly, ‘journey’ is the pivotal word – and one that Japanese companies can relate to. With hospitality and service of paramount importance in Japanese culture – even considered a privilege – it’s never been more important to bolster CX experiences and to meet customers where they are.
Indeed, in the age of hybrid work – which is irrevocably changing the face of modern workplaces – companies need to deliver a mix of ‘delightful moments’ for customers as organizations continue to embark on vigorous digital transformations programs.
Undoubtedly, the CX pursuit has never been more important – particularly for a country like Japan that continues to maintain strict travel rules, strong adherence to social distancing guidelines, and tough workplace enforcements due to the global pandemic.
Catering to this desired mix, Webex tools are helping organizations – through the power of data-driven insights – deliver personalized CX experiences (while paying close attention to potential disconnects); creating a seamless work experience (regardless where employees choose to work); and enhancing workplace culture.
Buying locally is a strong philosophy in Japanese business practices – and Cisco is no stranger to the local scene.
In Ina City, in the Nanago Prefecture, for example, Japan’s first ‘mobile city hall’ service has come to life on a bus thanks to Webex, along with Meraki MR, that recreate natural, face-to-face communication.
Over at Mitsui Chemicals, meanwhile, the manufacturer wanted to improve the productivity and safety of on-side workers and so deployed Cisco’s video communication infrastructure (and wearable cameras).
Not to be outdone in its collaboration and connectivity tale is Aozora Bank. The financial institution rebuilt its communication infrastructure to support business transformation – and adopted a Cisco cloud phone system catering to the new era of hybrid work.
These and many other stories of transformation reveal there’s a growing appetite for advanced tools in the Japanese market – and for solutions that create smarter, more connected journeys for customers.
Keen to explore the Japanese market even more? In Part 2 of our story, we’ll discuss the thirst for AI, automated journeys, digital orchestration and self-service – and how the Webex suite is offering a new and advanced level of support for agents.