🌸Japanese Customer : Customer Service


Showing posts with label Customer Service. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Customer Service. Show all posts

January 05, 2024

Ten Japanese words you must know when you engage with Japanese customers 🌸

1. Sumimasen - Excuse me

2. Gomen Nasai - Sorry, my apologies

3. Arigatou Gozaimasu - Thank You (Polite)

4. Doumou - Thank you (casual)

5. Honto ni - Really

6. Mou ikai yukkuri kudasai - Could you please repeat that

7. Wakarimashita - I understand

8. Choudou ii - perfect, just right

9. Hai - yes, ok, I am listening

10. Iie - No

#japanesecustomers #japan #business #language #phrases #polite #essential #words #tips #japanese

December 22, 2023

What is Giri- Ninjo in Japanese culture?


Picture: Making sushi rice at home

"Giri-ninjo is viewed as obligation in return for a favour... Giri-ninjo operates in nearly all interpersonal relationships. Because parents lavish amae on children, children must repay their parents by taking care of them in their old age" 

Amae = the unconscious desire found in Japanese cultures to depend on others to do things for them

Source: Deciphering the Japanese cultural code by Rosenbergh L and Thompson, G

#japanesecustomer #japan #japaneseculture #quote #picture #business #relationships #dependence #girininjo

August 15, 2023

Why do Japanese send postcards in Autumn and Summer?

"The middle of July in Japan is called Risshū (立秋), which is

the start of Autumn (usually around the 7th or 8th of August),

during this time many people send friends, customers and 

acquaintances, what is known as a Shochū Mimai (暑中見舞

い) or a Midsummer greeting card.

Postcards which are sent after Risshū are called 

Zansho Mimai (残暑見舞い), which is a late summer greeting.

These can be sent until mid-September.

When writing a postcard during these times it is customary to

include greeting phrases such as

暑中見舞い・Shochū Mimai


(shochū mimai / zansho mimai moushi agemasu)

at the beginning of the letter

Source: Friends of Japan newsletter

#japanesecustomer #postcard #autumn #summer #greetings #communication #relationships #japaneseculture

July 26, 2022

Japanese etiquette important with credit cards

Japanese customers shopping copyright peter hanami 2009
Picture: Japanese customers shopping

“credit cards must be returned to customers Japanese-style, with two hands and full eye contact”  Uniqlo Training…Japan is the worlds most competitive retail market..To be No 1 in Japan means….customer service”  

Shoichi Miyasaki, CEO, Uniqlo Australia.

Source: Heir Apparel by Georgina Safe, Good Weekend Magazine, The Age newspaper, Saturday January 31st, 2015, page 24.

japan, japanese, customer, consumer, etiquette, credit, cards, style, rules, retail, quote, news, picture, culture, www.japanesecustomer, #japan, #japanese, #customer, @jcustomers

June 23, 2022

News: 🌸 HR in Japan is helping employees find love with a new AI app

Japanese valentines biscuits #japanesecustomer
                             Photo: Japanese valentines biscuits #japanesecustomer

"more than 800 companies have signed up for an AI-powered dating app in the hope of helping their employees find love."

The App is here in English

Source: ABC News

#hr #love #ai #japanesecustomer #app #office #romance #perks #employee #engagement #humanresources #customerservice

June 21, 2022

Convenience: 🌸 What is the most convenient travel card in Japan?

Most convenient travel card in Japan Suica #japanesecustomer
                                 Photo: Most convenient travel card in Japan Suica 

Convenience: 🌸 What is the most convenient card in Japan?

= Suica

A prepaid card for travel and payment.

Pay for your train fare

Pay for food at a vending machine

Pay for items at a convenience store

Learn more here in English

#cx #convenience #japanesecustomer #innovation #business #travel #suica #prepaidcard

June 20, 2022

🌸 Renting an apartment in Japan

renting an apartment in japan #japanesecustomer
Photo: Renting an apartment in japan #japanesecustomer

🌸Japanese Customer Experience: Renting an apartment in Japan

Japanese customers have great convenience when they rent an apartment in Japan.

Based on our experiences

* Japanese apartments have some amazing technology included:

🌸 A digital bath, that automatically fills the water and heats it to your favourite temperature, so that it is ready for when you arrive home!

🌸 A Smart Toilet that has a heated seat, dryer, and bidet

🌸 Heated floor

🌸 Digital Keyless locks

* Agents come to you with the keys and then drive you to a range of apartments.

* Repairs are done the same day - just a phone call and for example, new tatami mats can be replaced, etc.

* If you rent a fully furnished apartment, they will order new bedding for you (futons, pillows, duvet, sheets) and have them delivered free, often they will be in the apartment before you move in.

💥Japanese sobagara pillows are the world's best!! 💥

- They are 100% natural
- They mold to your neck and head
- Are refreshed in the sun
- Life-changing once you try them

* The apartment is cleaned prior to you moving in by a team of experts. (I visited my apartment prior to moving in and saw a team of three scrubbing with toothbrushes, steam cleaning, and doing the full works).
This is all included in the price and not extra.

🌸This video explains how to rent an apartment in Japan


#renting #japan #apartment #realestateagent #convenience #japanesecustomer #cx #commonsense

June 18, 2022

Technology: 🌸 Digital Price Tags at supermarkets in Japan

discounted lunchbox meal japan #japanesecustomer
Photo: Discounted lunchbox meal japan #japanesecustomer

Technology: 🌸 Digital Price Tags at supermarkets in Japan

Since 2009 many Japanese supermarkets have been using digital price tags. For example Tokyu

The benefits for the supermarket and customers are immense, plus the technology is environmentally friendly.

Prices can be updated in real-time

Learn more here

Source: Japan Retail News

#technology #digital #retailnews #pricetag #japanesecustomer #news #supermarket #mistakes #errors #efficiency #trust

June 04, 2022

Case Studies: Harvard Business bestsellers on investigating 🌸 Japanese Customers

Business in Tokyo, Japan #japanesecustomer

Photo: Tokyo Japan skyline

Case Studies: Harvard Business bestsellers on 🌸 Japanese Customers

Japan: Betting on Inflation?

🌸 Meeting with Japanese customers? Here is a guide on what to do


#business #harvardbusiness #casestudy #japan #japanesecustomer

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 17, 2022

Cleanliness: 🌸 Highway rest areas in Japan


Learn more about Japanese Highway rest areas here

Source: Highway Service Areas in Japan: Hasuda SA

#japanesecustomer #convenience #design #innovation #creativity #japan #japaneseculture #japantravel #holiday #vacation #bucketlist #service #area

May 16, 2022

Japanese Customer Service: 🌸 The components explained

 Japanese Customer Service: 🌸 The components explained

japanese customer service omotenashi #japanesecustomer

''Omotenashi is a unique way of providing Japanese hospitality through thoughtful acts.

Mekubari = Paying thoughtful attention to our guests, always looking for unspoken signs or signals that you may need something. (They do this by looking and awareness of the envornment)

Kikubari = Striving to selflessly anticipate your needs and address them without being asked or for any thanks in return. (They do this by thinking)

Kokorokubari = Welcoming all guests empathetically, aspiring to make every one feel they are thoughfully considered. ( They do this by feeling with their heart).''


Japan Airlines

#customerservice #omotenashi #mekubari #kikubari #kokorokubari 
#japaneseculture #japanesecustomer #japan

May 04, 2022

What I learnt working for a Japanese company

 Japan was the second-largest economy in Asia with an annual gross domestic
product of US $4.15 trillion dollars, a population of 126 million people, and a GDP

per head of US $32,700 in 2004.
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 of Japanese cartoons, 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 paid for their attendance in cash and given a phone number that 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 me at the hotel and escorted me to the office where I was allocated a workspace, work schedule, and seventy-five clients. I started work immediately.


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.


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.

Punch-in-time cards 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.

My office was in a small ten-story building over two floors; our seven staff had to share one toilet which was a traditional hole in the floor, squat toilet... Using a squat-style toilet while wearing a business suit is an acquired skill. In Japan, it is customary for people to bang on the door to let you know they are waiting. If you happened to stay in the toilet too long the manager would come in and ask what was wrong and when you would be returning to work. Time was accounted for like money, very carefully.


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 12noon 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 (Where you visited a local hospital and had twenty separate tests done in one hour. Normally a blood test, ECG, X-ray, urine test, height, weight, BMI, etc. Results were sent out the following week and you had a summary on a one-page sheet that could be easily compared to the following year's check and pick up any changes very quickly)

Importance of money 

Money in Japan is sacred. As there is no welfare system as we know it, 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 they 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.

Management style

The management style of the company could be best described as close. All staff worked together to ensure customers' 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 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 number 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 knew all the four hundred plus customers and had all their details memorized including their likes, dislikes, children’s names, etc, and knew when their contract would expire and the value of their business. As a team, we worked at maximizing satisfaction and ensuring 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. Customer service in Japan means 120% 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.

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 like you and me; the difference is how and when they show their emotions. 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 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 time in Japan is precious. The amount you get per year is based on your rank and years of service with the company. My annual leave 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 Japanese honeymoon couple only stays for four days when they travel abroad as it is very difficult to organize time off. 

Copyright JapaneseCUstomer.com. 1999. All rights reserved.

#japan #japaneseculture #business #innovation #japanesecustomer #work #job #lefstyle #pressure