October 02, 2015

Japanese Customer Service - How can it be improved?

Japanese customer service copyright peter hanami 2015

Picture: Japanese customer service 



Japanese customer service like any offering is always able to be improved. Japanese customer service is often standardized in that all customers are given the same service without looking at the individual customers needs. Often Japanese customer service may not be able to handle special requests very well as it may be outside the scope, training provided to staff. Staff may see and understand a problem but may not be empowered to solve it.

For example: In a retail shop, there is a set pattern for greeting customers as they enter a store, a set pattern for handling the transaction, (remove product from tray, wrap individually and then put all packages in a carry bag, gently hand it to the customer and bow. But what if the customer makes a request outside the parameters set by head office?

Imagine this, you order take away food at a fast food restaurant. The service staff misunderstand your order and instead of asking you to repeat your order, just try to guess it. They don't confirm your order but imagine what you might be asking for, that is, on hearing your first words they start processing the order before they have actually stopped speaking? Imagine the customers face when they see the staff have made a mistake with their order but they the staff couldn't not confirm it.The customer actually gets mad three times, once, as the staff guessed their order, two, they didn't confirm and repeat back the order before preparing it and thirdly, they present the wrong order. Yes, it is easily fixed by staff but can leave the customer tired and worn out and wondering if they will visit the store again.

Another point to consider is that sometimes customers are given a level of service based on how much they spend in the store. In coffee shops, it is common in my experience, if you only buy one item you are rarely given a tray to carry your purchase and must carry your hot drink a long distance to your seat without spilling it. If you order a drink and food, you will be given a tray automatically. Higher spend equals higher level of service.

Japanese customer service is generally excellent but like anything can always be improved particualarly for non - Japanese customers.

Had an experience with Japanese customer service?

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