June 20, 2020

Xmas day in Japan

Japanese Customers celebrate Xmas even though they really don't understand the key concepts behind the day, that is, celebrating, sharing and rejoicing in the gift of life. They pick up the commercialization side, buying gifts, going out for dinner, romance, etc.

The culture has absorbed the santa outfit, the tree, xmas cards, and gift giving. Supermarkets are crammed with xmas related goods yet traditional items such as custard, plum pudding, xmas cake, mince tarts, bonbons with party hats are nowhere to be found. Unless a major search is undertaken online, for example Foreign Buyers Club have a great range or by patiently visiting hundreds of shops and finding each item one by one.

Roast chickens sell in supermarkets for 1680 yen, one piece of chicken for 250 yen. People line up at my local Kentucky Fried Chicken store to collect their pre-ordered chickens. The crowd is made up mostly of under thirty adults who wait patiently in the cold and shuffle each time the line moves towards the cash register.

So today being Xmas Japanese Customers work like every other day of the year.

I received a visit today from a new salesperson from my local Toyota dealer.

New salespeople who have recently joined car dealerships, mount their bicycles and ride the local neighborhood dressed in suit and jacket. As the weather is around 10 degrees celsius, they are heavily rugged up in winter clothes. They ride all day and go door to door pushing intercom door chimes and introducing themselves with photo business cards. Smiling profusely they start their speal in polite Japanese and bow slowly and deeply after they have offered their card to you.

Business in Japan is personal and relationships are deep. This is often described as wet. Japanese companies hope that by doing this their salespeople can forge a link with the local community and when the time comes to replace your existing car you will think of the friendly salesperson who visited your house and introduced himself. The same car dealer keeps a record of when you last had your car serviced for a shaken, (a yearly roadworthy inspection) and calls you by telephone to remind you that it is due to expire.

A business practice long since forgotten by western businesses and maybe a cause as to why traditionally excellent companies like Ford, GM and Chrysler are losing market share and customers. They have lost the personal touch of doing business? They know how to do it but cost-cutting has eliminated the basics and they have lost their focus. They have to now relearn customer service from companies like Toyota.


Learn more about study in Japan at Study Abroad Japan

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