Customer eXperience and the Omotenashi Spirit
Customer eXperience is a combination of feelings and thoughts that take place inside the heads of customers. Before, during and after the service process.
Before? Yes, before, too. In their expectations. Think about that.
While Omotenashi actually refers to a philosophy of "selfless customer service", it has also come to mean "anything to do with delivering a great Customer eXperience". I'll use the phrase "Omotenashi Spirit" as shorthand for this broader Customer eXperience concept.
So what other elements do we find in the Omotenashi Spirit that make it so consistently good and do the Japanese have special words for these elements? Omotenashi Spirit in Japan can be found operating on three levels:
- In the ideas and philosophy they have about service giving in general.
- In the importance they attach to what we in the west call "Emotional Intelligence"
- In the attention they pay to the detailed execution of their service processes.
Across the entire customer experience in Japan you will find these elements to one degree or another and it is their consistency that delivers the high levels of pleasure and satisfaction associated with the service culture.
In our Programmes, Presentations and InHouse Workshops we teach to the subject and illustrate the thinking and mechanics behind these elements. Our courses also explain how they work together to deliver a memorable customer experience in different commercial contexts.
Customer Service or Customer eXperience?
Customer Service or Customer eXperience. What's the difference?
Q. Does the careful, cleaning, presentation and maintenance of a restaurant count as customer service. Even if you never see the effort that goes in to it?
Q. What about watching an exciting service process delivery, such as a chef preparing your food skillfully and dramatically. Is that a form of customer service or customer experience?
Q. What about the careful, thoughtful effort that goes in to designing a User Interface on a website that makes it easy for users to navigate their way around a website? You never see the effort andcare that has gone in to it. Is that also a form "service"?
Japanese will tell you that each of these elements are examples of a broader definition of Omotenashi as they work on all levels to combine to leave you, the customer or guest, with a great feeling.