One of the surprising things I uncovered while researching the amazing customer service culture of Japan was that it is considered an 'introvert's heaven'.
It's important because introverts comprise about 15% of the population, though some say up to 30%. And they are just as deserving of a customer service culture that meets their needs as anybody else. Here is some background on the Most introverted countries and Japan gets a mention here, as follows:-
"What people say: “But at some point it hit me: I’m an introvert and Japan is a country that rewards introverted behaviour. Suddenly I knew why I never felt very comfortable in the US, where extroverted behaviour is praised … I have often said that if I were going to design my own country, it would resemble Japan”.
Why the Japanese service culture excels
To understand why Japan is such a great place for introverts we firstly need to understand what customer service behaviours introverts appreciate and then understand how the Japanese customer service culture delivers those things so effortlessly.
What introverts don't want is relentless, intrusive 'customer service' interactions that require them to respond, engage and give bubbly 'feedback'. The kind of 'customer service' interactions that are really designed to positively stroke the giver, not the receiver. "Is everything fine with your meal?" is not something that is helpful to introverts. They don't particularly enjoy having to answer truthfully or otherwise....
It is in addressing this need that the Japanese customer service attitude of "KIKUBARI" is so effective. An inherent part of their "Omotenashi" service ethos, Kikubari is an attitude of proactive, anticipatory service. One that is characterised by doing things for the customer before they are forced to ask for it. But more importantly, it is a mindset that communicates non-verbally that no thanks are expected. Perfect when serving introverts.
The other Japanese national trait that works so well here is their mastery of non-verbal language; a fluency that stems from their habit of quiet, passive observation. It is nothing we couldn't learn to master here, but something that appears to be routine, natural and effortless there.
If you find the subject of "Omotenashi" Japanese customer service excellence interesting and would like to add an understanding to your professional credentials, why not join us on November 29th in a Milton Keynes location