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Showing posts with label Article. Show all posts

June 28, 2022

What I learnt living and working in Japan. Lessons, insights and tips

What I learned living and working in Japan. Lessons, insights, and tips



Working in Japan #japanesecustomer

                                                     Working in Japan #japanesecustomer




Copyright JapaneseCustomer.com.2015. All Rights Reserved

Japan’s economy with an annual gross domestic product of US $5.405 trillion (2017 est.), a population of 126,451,398 (July 2017 est.), and a GDP per head of US $42,700 (2017 est.) according to the CIA Fact Book.

Why Japan

As a kid growing up in Australia, watching Japanese anime cartoons on television after school was a daily ritual along with eating a slice of bread spread with Vegemite and jumping on the couch. Drawn by the mystique, we acted out the stories after school. These experiences created an interest in Japan that lead to an opportunity to live and work in Japan for a Japanese company.

The job

My key responsibilities were customer satisfaction and business development, for a privately owned company in Kyoto. The company which began in 1972 had its own publishing division, travel agency, and an annual turnover estimated at 75 billion yen.

The hiring process

The interview process consisted of three interviews with three interviewers. It was customary for two interviewers at a time to ask questions while a third would observe and take notes. This was real psychological interviewing, where every word was recorded, questions were repeated and your answers were checked for accuracy. It felt like you were being totally dissected.

Your ability, mood, qualifications, experience, personality, and character were all thoroughly analyzed over and over again. Interviews lasted an average of 40 minutes at a time. In between interviews you were asked to perform a range of practical tasks. Tasks were written on a piece of paper and once issued had to be performed with no preparation. You had a few seconds to read the scenario, collect the materials you required to perform it and then start the task. For example: "What would you do in this situation?" 

At the end of each day, attendees were given a phone number which had to be called at a certain time that evening. It felt like a 007 movie. This was to ascertain if you had passed the day's training. If you were invited the next day your interview continued, if you were not it ended abruptly on the phone, a phone call that you paid for. After three eight-hour days of interviews, impromptu activities, and secret phone calls, five out of three hundred and fifty were selected to enter Japan Inc.

Arrival in Japan

On arrival in Japan at 10 pm on a Sunday night, we were met at the airport by the head of the region and individually escorted to our hotel. After checking in we went to dinner at a local restaurant where we met the staff and managers of our section. The next day, the manager met us at the hotel and escorted us to the office where we were allocated a workspace, work schedule, and seventy-five clients. I started work immediately.

Organization

Japanese companies are known for their long-term plans, scheduling months in advance and planning minute details. My impression was that Japanese companies aim to improve their operations by continuously fine-tuning their approach as they better understand the market and their customers. For example, the sales process at my company was as smooth as a well-oiled machine.

How did it work? Simple advertising with a clear message and a genuine money-saving offer, exceptional customer service (phone or drop in inquiries) and benefits presented in a casual but convincing way. Sales interviews took up to six hours, at which time the manager would call out for lunch and the presentation would continue. The result of the system was that 95% of new business was signed.

Time

Punctuality is everything in Japan and is a skill you learn very quickly if you want to get ahead. Being early isn’t rude but lateness is inexcusable. In my company, if you were late more than three times you were not eligible for a promotion that year.

Timecards were the norm and head office analyzed each imprint on your card. In Japan, you can't say the train was late as it is a rare occurrence and if they are, your manager will call the station and check. If a train is late, an employee must get a statement from the station staff that explains the situation officially. A chiensho meisho. This note must be given to your manager and will account for your lateness on your work record.

Time is accounted for like money, very carefully.

Loyalty

As an employee of a Japanese company, you put in extra hours each day as a sign of respect and loyalty to your employer. My job started at 12 noon but I was expected to be in by 11 am and use the hour before to prepare, making sure I was 100% ready for the start of business. The same applied at the end of the workday. 
We officially finished at nine but stayed on until 10 pm doing our individual paperwork and after that helping other staff. We all took turns cleaning the office, reporting information to head office, and undertaking management requests. On top of this, we all had our only daily routines for setting up and packing away business materials.

In return, the company paid for our transport to and from work, subsidized our rent, and paid for our health insurance and annual health check-up. A health check-up consisted of a visit to a local hospital where you had a number of tests done all during the one visit. These consisted of a blood test, ECG, chest X-ray, urine test, height, weight, BMI, blood pressure, etc.

Results were sent out to the following week and you had a summary on a one-page sheet that could be easily compared to the last year's check. This system allows the doctor to quickly identify any changes and to send you for more tests. In my opinion, this is probably one of the reasons why the Japanese have one of the longest life expectancies.

Value of Money 

In Japan, you really learn the value of money. Money in Japan is sacred. As there is no welfare system as we know it in the West, you work to survive. No middle ground. Money is your key to life in Japan and is taken very seriously. Contracts you write are checked by three or four people for errors before being approved, refunds are tripled checked before being issued and your change is repeatedly counted in front of you in stores. 

When you eat at a restaurant, it is custom for everyone to pay for what he or she ate, this is known as betsu betsu.

In terms of sales performance, every yen must be accounted for. During a normal workday, head office would telephone constantly asking for our sales figures. Long faxes would stream throughout the day motivating us to sell more and meet our targets. They would be pinned up around the office, so all employees could see them.

Birkenstock Super Birki Clogs could just about be the ideal shoes for working and travelling in Japan.

Management style

The management style of the company could be best described as close. All staff worked together to ensure customer needs were met. Every day I would report seven or eight times to my manager and at least once a day with the branch office regarding sales, customer preferences, and my progress in relation to targets.

A typical day would start with a meeting in Japanese, to ascertain the goals and schedule for each person for that day. Every member of staff would report what they planned to do that day, for example, which customers they would speak to regarding re-signing their business, targets set and the amount of sales they hoped to make. This was recorded and questioned by management and by the other employees.

A large part of my job was to manage seventy-five clients and to ensure that they re-signed their business with the company. This included using a range of techniques including phone calls, postcards, entertaining them, visits to their office or home, and anything innovative that kept them satisfied and happy to renew their business. My manager of our branch knew all the four hundred plus customers and had all their details memorized including their likes, dislikes, children’s names, etc, and knew exactly when their contract would expire and the value of their business. As a team, we worked to maximize customer satisfaction and ensure high retention.

Customer service

Customer service started with how the phone was answered, how walk-in customers were greeted and made to feel comfortable with a fresh cup of green tea and it continued when you called clients at their homes if they were running late or missed an appointment. We lent customers an umbrella if it started to rain outside or walked them to the station with an umbrella so they would not get wet. 

Customer service in Japan means 150% focus on anticipating and meeting customer requirements, even if they are unrelated to the business at hand. Any chance to make a favourable, lasting impression is sought after.

Mental discipline

The Japanese have a skill that allows them to focus on something so well that they can block everything else out. For example, the pressure you are put under in Japan is enormous, for example: you must always be on time, be polite, be well presented, remember the company rules, think of others first, work with others in harmony, work long hours without complaint and get things right, (what you say, what you do and your paperwork with no mistakes). To do this every day, six days a week is a powerful skill and they do it very well.

Work-life versus private life

Japanese people are often described as being unemotional. My experience is that they have the same emotions as you and I; the difference is how and when they show their emotion. Work takes up a lot of your time in Japan and because you’re expected to perform at your best at all times, to show your emotions at work would detract from the skills required to do your job, so it is understood that you don’t show your emotions at work. After work, it is common to go out with work colleagues for dinner, karaoke or drinking. At these times you get a chance to talk more openly and build relationships.

Simple life

In Japan, my daily life consisted of working, eating, bathing, and sleeping. Visiting a bathhouse on the way home from work is a customary way to relax and to relieve stress before going home. I had no computer in my office, no lunchtime rush to pay bills, no lines at the bank, and no problems with poorly trained staff. Using my mobile phone I could order a pizza in English, change my mobile phone plan, surf the Internet and send emails in 1999.

Vacation.

Vacation time in Japan is precious. The amount you get per year is based on your rank and years of service with the company. Annual leave in my first year was 10 paid days plus national holidays. To take a paid vacation day you have to put in a formal written request. To start the whole process I had to check the dates and times of my vacation with the other staff in the office.

As a new employee, I had to respect the plans of older more senior staff whose vacation requests superseded mine. This took over a week as we had a mix of full and part-time staff. After checking and confirming the dates I could then submit my request to the manager for consideration. Once approved it would be sent to head office. All requests had to be submitted 30 days prior to the date requested. Rules required that no more than four days at a time could be taken at once for my level. As part of the process, I had to be aware that the next time I applied for leave I couldn't take the same day of the week off. For example: If I took Wednesday to Saturday off this time, I had to take off Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday in my next request.

It is easy to see why a Japanese honeymoon couple only travels abroad for four days at a time, as it is very difficult to organize time off.  

Japan is a fantastic place and will show you a range of new experiences that will change how you view the world.

Birkenstock Super Birki Clogs could just about be the ideal shoes for working and travelling in Japan.

Copyright JapaneseCustomer.com.2015. All Rights Reserved


June 15, 2022

What is Omotenashi ? 🌸Japanese Customer Service

 Omotenashi is the Japanese word that encapsulates what Japanese customers think of when they think of and expects when it comes to customer service.

To further explain the word let's dissect it, O is a polite honorific used as a prefix to words, the second part of the word is motenashi, which has many meanings such as to make welcome, to entertainment, and hospitality.

A further investigation reveals that the base word motenasu is a verb that means to treat, entertain, and make welcome. In a nutshell, omotenashi is a polite word meaning to welcome, serve and pamper the customer. In real life, it means to anticipate customer needs and act before they ask or notice.

An example to show omotenashi in action in Japan is when you visit a hot spring and stay in a hotel. When you arrive, you check-in, typically sit down in a comfortable chair, receive a hot towel and a drink, register as a guest seated in a comfortable chair rather than standing at the counter, and then accompany the staff to your room as they carry your belongings. As you enter a typical Japanese room with a tatami floor, and shoji screen windows, staff begin to set up the room for you and typically stay in the room for a few minutes. Typically they will place your luggage for you, open windows, and doors, and set up a table for you to sit and have refreshments. They will check that everything is ok if you need anything and then with your permission will leave the room. 

When you leave your room for dinner in the hotel. Hotel staff typically enter your room during this time and set up your bedding for the evening by unfolding futon mattresses, pillows, and bedding. When you re-enter the room, you are surprised to see your bed already made, saving you time and effort. Japanese hotels often have a set package that includes the room, bathing, and food. All very convenient! The whole experience has been dissected and thought about to ensure that nothing is left to chance and that the customer has a great experience. In this example, the customer is pampered. The service is personal, seamless, and smooth.

Remember that in Japan this service is part of the experience, of course, you can still tip the staff if you are impressed. This is just one of the thousands of examples you will encounter as a customer in Japan and it is likely to change your opinion of what customer service is and should be as they take it to the next level.

Copyright. JapaneseCustomer.com  2022. All rights reserved.


#japan #omotenashi #customer #customerservice #experience #needs #anticipate #japanesecustomer  #customerexperience #cx #example #business

June 08, 2022

Five ways 🌸 Japanese culture is changing Western lifestyles

 "Asian economies are the world's largest and fastest-growing, and they represent a major opportunity" A quote from the Developing an Asia Capable Workforce Strategy, the University of Melbourne in 2012. 
This quote summarizes what is happening quicker than expected in the business marketplace. A power shift is occurring from East to West and Western marketers for the first time have to understand, meet and cater to the needs of Asian consumers.
1. Fashion
Japan is now a big manufacturer of clothing items and so when they create new products they get to decide the styles, designs, and colours. So we are getting many changes in the traditional products we once bought. A quick glance at Uniqlo’s fashion range reveals many new trends. Added to this we have seen children’s fashion mimic the designs of adult fashion.

2. Food
Food packaging in Japan is very advanced and wrapping materials are making it easier for manufacturers to keep food fresh and taste better. This innovation is driving new forms of packaging and we are seeing the widespread development of single-serve products including biscuits, chocolates, bread, coffee, rice, meals, etc. Japanese culture promotes variety and this means consumers want to eat many different things but in smaller quantities. Japanese cuisine is also gaining widespread awareness for taste and health.

3. Thrift
If you visit Japan you will notice that many things are small. For example: Houses, restaurants, food portions. Japanese culture encourages thrift and so people are always looking at ways to conserve. Many Japanese pack their own lunch and take it to work. The Cool Biz campaign each summer encourages workers to conserve electricity usage by reducing the setting of the air conditioner at the office and in return workers can wear a flexible range of clothes, like polo shirts and Hawaiian shirts. 

Many Japanese in large cities don’t own a car and rely on public transport for all their travel needs. Many Japanese households recycle water from their bath and use it to wash clothes in the washing machine, which reduces their water bills. Home recycling of all packaging materials, metals, plastics and films, polystyrene, glass, and metal now means some households have daily garbage duties for recycling.

4. Technology
Technology is being used in Japan to add to daily convenience. This can be seen in many ways, shorter URL’s for websites and QR codes on advertisements, so a scan of your smartphone takes you to a website without typing. GPS systems alert parents when their children arrive at school by texting their phones. The development and use of robots in Japan for manufacturing, customer service, and nursing.

5. Medical
Cleanliness and the reduction of germs are a big priority for many Japanese households. For example: At a public library you can sterilize a book, ATMs deliver sterilized notes, and on a daily basis consumers access anti-bacterial wipes from their handbags and briefcases, clean their hands at shops with clear anti-bacterial gels, and can buy a wide range of detergent s with anti-bacterial attributes. It is common in Japan in new shopping centres to encounter restrooms with no touch doors, no-touch taps, and no-touch hand driers. Home monitoring of basic medical functions such as blood pressure and weight. For example: Omron’s range of cuffs for home blood pressure monitoring. 

Local councils and companies offer residents and employees time to take an annual medical check. A check is undertaken in a few hours that offers many tests, for example, blood test, urine, height, weight, ultrasound, chest x-ray, etc., and then mail you the result in a week. All results are presented on a single page which can be easily compared to past and future results to quickly pick up any changes that may need attention.

In the Asian Century, Western lifestyles are being impacted more and more by Asian values in a wide range of areas. For the first time, we can experience, encounter, and enjoy these influences. As marketers, we also get a peek into a totally new and developing market, one with many new opportunities.

#cx #servicedesign #japan #japanesecustomer #lifestyle #marketing #japaneseculture

May 25, 2022

Article: How do restaurants in Japan 🌸spoil their customers?

 Spoiling your customers is an important skill in managing and retaining them.

Take for instance the level of detail Japanese restaurants place on making a customer's visit pleasant and convenient. 

The issuing of hot towels to wipe their hands, the glass of ice water, and the quick delivery of drinks. 

Pictures on the menu show the food, sell its uniqueness and aid for easy and quick decision making. 

Padded seats to make the dining experience comfortable. Plastic bags for placing your umbrella in if it's raining outside. 

Folding the toilet paper in the bathroom so the customer doesn't fumble. Quick delivery of the food. Hot food that sizzles ensuring freshness and quality. 

Constantly visiting the table, delivering food, removing plates, and checking that everything is ok. 

Topping up glasses of water, changing ashtrays full of rubbish, and wiping the table.
Quick delivery and high accuracy of the bill as most restaurants use electronic ordering systems generated from the table. 

Quick processing of the bill and a warm and hearty thank you when finishing and leaving the restaurant. 

Spoiling your customers is a great way to build loyalty and increase retention.
#cx #servicedesign #customerservice #restaurant #japanesecustomer #japan

May 11, 2022

Five things to consider when recruiting 🌸 Japanese Students

 
japanese students at assembly #japanesecustomer

Photo: Japanese students at assembly 





According to research published recently by IDP Education Australia
Asia will dominate the global demand for international higher education by 2025; Asia will represent some 70% of total global demand”.
Japan stands out as one of the most mature and stable economies in the region. From a recruiter’s point of view though Japan has always been considered a difficult recruitment market due to the high costs of visiting the market, doing business, and lack of access to market information. These factors are slowly changing and Japan is becoming more accessible and user-friendly as compared to many other student markets.
Recent signs of growth have been seen and reflect that the economy may be finally recovering from 15 years of stagnant economic growth. The rise of indicators such as the Nikkei 225 index has helped push this feeling throughout the marketplace and consumer sentiment has followed with small rises in the Consumer Price Index and inner-city real estate prices.
Japanese students enjoy studying abroad and each year thousands of them venture to an array of different countries to gain new skills. Based on recent research undertaken by MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology), the top five study destinations for Japanese students in 2005 were the USA, China, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
An important question to consider from an institutional viewpoint is why do Japanese students study abroad when there are currently over 500 government accredited Universities throughout the whole of Japan that offer a range of specialized courses in both Japanese and English formats.
Keiko Tanikawa, Managing Director of ISCS, believes that
Japanese students are picking courses that are a complete package, for example, they select a course that is easy to enter, provides international recognition (so the qualification can be recognized in Japan and worldwide if they decide to stay in-country), and has work placement. So it’s easier to get a job”. 
This view is echoed by Makoto Sanada, Student Adviser at MTSC, a Japanese education agency, 
Japanese students want a qualification, something that shows that they are licensed in the subject.
Following recent high levels of unemployment amongst university graduates, many students are looking to further develop their overall skills including English, and specialized programs including MBA courses. Japanese companies have been cutting workers, so we have begun to see the demise of the corporate samurai.
"Young people are in no doubt about the direction employment is taking. They get the connection between useable skills and job security" according to Dr. Greg Story of Austrade.
The changing marketplace provides insights that can be helpful for education institutions and recruiters, these include the increase in “Freeters” and “NEETs”, changes in the types of courses being studied, and employer needs for job-ready employees, and the changing role of English.
The term “Freeter” is a Japanese word that has been made by combining two words, the first word, "free" from English, and the second word “Arbeiter” a German word relating to work. 
The meaning is aimed at young people primarily between the ages of 15 and 34 years of age who have graduated from education but who engage in part-time work. 
The term is used to describe both young men and women and seems to have a rather negative connotation with older members of society who are relying on the young to pay for the national pension system. 
Figures released by MEXT show that the number of “Freeter’s” in Japan has more than quadrupled in the past 20 years” from 1982 to 2003.
The Japan Institute of Labor classifies “Freeter’s” into three distinctive and separate groups these include the moratorium type that wants to wait before starting a career. 
This type can be linked to Western University students who take a year off after completing their studies and may travel before starting their careers.
The dream pursuing type. “Freeter's” who fall under this category may attempt to work in glamour fields such as show business and the no alternative type, may remain in part-time employment as they have no other choice of jobs that match their skills or experiences. 
Recruiters could repackage an existing course or develop a brand new course that allows “Freeter's” a chance to upskill or to further develop skills learned in part-time work.
Young people not in education and training or “NEETS” represent a sizeable market in the Japanese education market. According to the government, there are about 850,000 “NEETs” in Japan. 
NEETS” have been so described as they are seen to live off allowances provided by their parents and are undecided about career and their role in society. 
It is felt that they lose motivation and self-confidence by not actively participating in society. According to Saori Kan of the Daily Yomiuri in the article, 
"Society needs to get serious about NEETS"
 she outlines that at present, 
About 520,000 people under the age of 35 were considered NEET's as of the end of 2003”. 
Free weekly employment magazines are now important mediums for a large number of young people in Japan.
Education institutions have an opportunity to develop courses and training to meet the needs of these young Japanese and to help them make a start or a restart toward their life’s journey.
Over the past thirty years, the courses selected by female university students have changed dramatically as seen in MEXT research. 
For example: in 1970 the number of females taking Social Science courses at University was 11.9% whereas in 2004 the number had risen to almost 30%. Changes have also been noted in Agriculture based courses which have increased by 1.6% and Engineering up 4% over the same period.
These changes provide insights for institutions to develop individual marketing plans based on gender whereby individual courses are targeted specifically to the need of the student. 
The message developed to attract a male Japanese student to enroll in an Engineering course would be different and unique compared to that developed for a female student.
Recruitment fairs in Japan are the battleground for recently graduated Japanese students who have returned home from studying abroad. 
Seas of grey-suited men and women shuffle through the required paperwork to register and enter these fairs.
Allowing them the chance to attend information sessions, meet companies face to face, collect brochures and make an impact with company recruiters in individual appointed interviews. 
Competition is fierce. Individuals get to events up to two hours earlier than the official starting time, in the hope that by lining up they will have the first opportunity to meet with employers of their choice. 
Seats found at the front of company booths are prized as candidates can have better eye contact and possibly increase their chances of getting noticed. 
Company booths have seating for up to twenty people and presenters click through PowerPoint presentations on the hour for the length of the fair.
Japanese employers are looking for graduates with more skills and experience to help them navigate the ever-changing marketplace that includes both domestic and international markets. 
Experience gained in a foreign market is also looked upon favourably. 
Small employers who haven’t the budgets to undertake extensive staff training is keen to hire those with experience. 
Recruiters have the chance to develop work experience as part of the course offering.
English is a skill that is still much prized in Japan and will continue to be so into the future. TOEIC a guide to English proficiency is an important measuring device but fluency is becoming a key skill. The ability to participate using English is now seen as a desirable attribute. 
In the past one member of staff was assigned as the English speaker but now employers require a higher usage of English by all of their employees. Institutions that can develop a student’s English fluency have the chance to meet a need.
As demand from Asian countries continues to dominate international recruitment, Japan can be seen as a stable and mature market with unique opportunities for education Institutions to explore.
This article was published in “Education Marketing Journal”, Higher Education Information Services Trust, (HEIST), The United Kingdom in March 2006.

Copyright. JapaneseCustomer.com. 2006. All Rights Reserved.

#highereducation #internationalstudents #recruitment #japanese #insights #japanesecustomer #students

May 10, 2022

Five ways to grow your business using 🌸 Japanese Customer Service techniques

Japanese Sushi bar #japanesecustomer

Photo: Japanese Sushi bar 






© Copyright, JapaneseCustomer.com. 2013. All Rights Reserved.



Remember the days of good old fashioned customer service when a sales assistant

was available to serve you, knew something about the product, the market, 

competing products, could answer your questions and organized free delivery or 

carried the item to your car, remembered your name, and greeted you by name the

next time you were in the store? 


Believe it or not, this type of customer service still exists! In Japan, you can 

experience good old-fashioned service and some. The Japanese have taken 

customer service to the next level by improving the Western model and some say 

they have even perfected it?

The Japanese never do anything by halves, it's 150% or nothing. Customer service is a great example. If we look at Japanese customer service we can see that every point of contact with the customer has been thoroughly dissected, planned, and catered for. Japan has a tradition whereby customer service is deeply ingrained into the culture and is reflected in everyday life.

For example, in the Japanese language, there are a specific set of words, sentences, and structures that is used just for talking and dealing with customers called Keigo.

It is a very polite form of speech that is used in shops, on the telephone, and in advertising. For Example: as you enter any store in Japan you will be greeted with the words irreshaimasae, (welcome to our store). 

The store attendant will greet you okyakusama, (my customer). It is the beginning of a company's contact with a customer and sets the tone for the ongoing relationship.

Body language is another component of Japanese customer service. As you enter a store in Japan the shop attendant will welcome you and offer a deep bow to acknowledge and welcome you to the store. This occurs at convenience stores, banks, greengrocers, bicycle repair shops, and restaurants.

Let me provide an example of everyday customer service that I experienced while living in Japan. Needing a TV, I purchased an all-in-one model from a local electrical store and arranged the delivery.

Delivery day came and as a customer, I was excited to be receiving my new TV. In true Japanese style, at 9.55 am, five minutes before the agreed time, I heard a van pull up outside my apartment and my building door open. A delivery driver in a light blue uniform with white gloves, a hat, and a name tag knocked at my door gently and called my name. Clipboard in hand he confirmed my purchase and asked me to sign a delivery receipt. He then gave me a deep bow and returned to the van to retrieve the TV not before bowing again and saying, chotto matte kudasai (just a moment please). He removed his shoes at the entrance to my apartment, took off his hat, and placed the huge box on the floor of my tiny room, two meters by two-meter wide room, typical student accommodation. 

Then he opened the box, removed all the packaging, and asked where I would like the TV positioned in the room. Then he connected the aerial and switched the set on and checked that everything was in order. He collected all the packaging, looked at me and bowed, thanked me for my purchase, and walked out of the room backward still facing me. When he reached the front door he put his shoes back on, replaced his hat, and then bowed one more time before leaving the building. Everything was set up and working by 10 am, the agreed delivery time.

After a few weeks of use, the video player stopped working and the tape could not be ejected. I returned to the store of purchase, spoke with the sales staff, and explained the problem. Store staff took down my details and called the manufacturer in front of me and made an appointment for a service call in two days' time.

On the day and time arranged, the representative from the manufacturer visited my apartment. I expected him to collect the TV and return it to a service center for repair so I waited at the front door of my apartment block with the TV. He got out of his van and looked at me and motioned me to take the TV back inside. The repairman carried his tool kit and a blanket inside. He removed his shoes at the entrance, bowed as he entered the room, and then neatly unfolded the blanket and placed the TV on it. A few minutes later the whole unit was unrecognizable. Pieces of metal and plastic were all over the blanket. 

Quickly the problem had been found and rectified with a new part. The problem was wet playing heads caused by condensation. If I was to use my rice cooker in the room, I had to open the window to let out the hot fumes otherwise the video player heads would be damaged. With a smile, the repairman reassembled the TV and packed up his tools. The problem was found and fixed within 20 minutes of arrival.

How can you grow your business in five ways by applying these service techniques?

1. Fully dissect your business and understand all the points at which a customer has contact with your company. Plan how you want the customer to be treated and set up a system to meet your requirements and then test the system until it works well every time.

2. Hire the right kind of people to work with customers. People who are patient and like working with people. Train employees in all aspects of the business, not just one job function.

3. Hire enough people to make sure that every customer is well catered for even at the busiest times.

4. Equip your frontline staff to handle a problem from start to finish. 

5. Plan to be in business for the long term so your customer service becomes your best marketing tool. Higher customer retention leads to higher sales.

#japan #japanesecustomer #casestudy #customerservice #business #growth

© Copyright, JapaneseCustomer.com. 2013. All Rights Reserved.