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Customer Service and Culture in Japan


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Japan is known both as haven of superior customer service as well as highly demanding consumers. What are the roots of these phenomena in Japanese culture? How do Japanese customers expect to be treated? How can businesses meet the expectations of customers and understand the cultural underpinnings of the Japan market?

Published in: Marketing

Customer Service and Culture in Japan

  1. 1. お客様 (O-kyakusama) “Customer”
  2. 2. 神 Kami
  3. 3. 神 (Kami) “god” or “diety” “Customer is god” vs. The Customer is King DNA of Japanese customer service Quality is paramount Never say “No”
  4. 4. 義理 Giri
  5. 5. 義理 (Giri) “Duty” or “Obligation” Obligations vs. Rights Always do one’s best Stability and Long term commitment
  6. 6. 形 Kata
  7. 7. 形 (Kata) “Form” or “Pattern” Martial and cultural arts - Perfection Correct and expected forms of behavior Form over content
  8. 8. 敬語 Keigo
  9. 9. 敬語 - Keigo “Respectful Language” Respect other & Humble oneself Taught to employees
  10. 10. 挨拶 Aisatsu
  11. 11. 挨拶 (Aisatsu) “Greeting” Customers & Colleagues Formal and ritualized – Retail experience New Year’s Greetings
  12. 12. 改善 Kaizen
  13. 13. 改善 (Kaizen) “Change for the better” Manufacturing and Customer Service Continuous improvement attitude Always strive to do better
  14. 14. 思いやりOmoiyari
  15. 15. 思いやり (Omoiyari) “Empathy” or “Anticipating needs of others” Form of social intelligence Proactive service High context culture
  16. 16. おもてなし Omotenashi
  17. 17. おもてなし (Omotenashi) “Japanese Hospitality” Offering service without expectation Ability to serve a guest appropriately Embodiment of Japanese customer service
  18. 18. Thank You!
  19. 19. 19 Contact Info: Anthony Blick Marketing and PR Professional LinkedIn: Twitter: @AnthonyBlick