There’s more to extraordinary Japanese Customer Experience than ‘Omotenashi’

There is one extraordinary Customer Service culture in the world that stands head and shoulders above all the others. It doesn't belong to a single commercial corporation (out to make a name for themselves) but, rather, operates at a national level, right across all industries and price points. You'll find it in Japan.

This level of service is such an integral part of their culture that they have a special word for it. OMOTENASHI

You'll come across this word more and more leading up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as more and more companies associate themselves with the philosophy in their marketing literature. And not just companies in the hospitality business.

Here we have Lexus, a car manufacturer talking about it.

Lexus and the spectacular Spirit of Hospitality

And here we have an article about a train service upgrade that references the Omotenashi philosophy.

Our simple and very important strategy based on the Japanese culture of ‘omotenashi’,"

The only barrier to better understanding the idea is that there appear to be multiple definitions of the Omotenashi word. From 'selfless hospitality' to 'anticipating needs'.

But there is more to this important subject these days than delivering great customer service. What is more important is the delivery of a broader extraordinary Customer Experience. Customer Service is a cornerstone of that, but there are other important elements that go in to it.

  1. There is the service setting itself. How it looks, sounds and feels, and the attention to detail that is needed to create and sustain it. The Japanese excel at that and have a special word for it. Kodawari - roughy translated as 'an obsession with detail'.
  2. Then there is the attitude towards customers themselves. How are they viewed? Merely as a revenue source, or something more important? The Japanese have a special word for that, too. Okyakusama, best translated as "The guest is a God"
  3. They also have a special cultural word for the idea of anticipating customer needs before being asked for something. That's called "Kikubari". And there are several other components to their customer service model.

What makes the Japanese example so interesting is that it provides us here in U.K. with a model to study, learn from, emulate and use as inspiration to raise our own customer service games. And with it, deliver our own extraordinary Customer Experiences.

If you would like to know more about how the Japanese deliver their extraordinary Customer Experiences, why not join us for ½ a day on November 29th in Milton Keynes to learn all about it?

Learn how the Japanese deliver extraordinary Customer Experience