Unless you've been to Japan, it's a bit difficult to appreciate how extraordinary the service culture is there. It really is unmatched for polish, attentiveness, attention to detail, politeness and empathy.
"Are these extraordinary levels of guest hospitality and customer service something only Japanese can deliver?"
The answer is obviously no. Because you find wonderful hospitality and service all over the world. Almost everywhere you go, in all kinds of contexts, and it is always a distinct pleasure to be in the receiving end!
But one quality that sets their culture apart is their ability to deliver and sustain this philosophy across all price points and all sectors.
And to deliver it with obvious pride and high levels of self-esteem.
Omotenashi is not a "concept", nor it is a nostalgic memory of "traditional hospitality" from a bygone era in Japan. It's a living hospitality and service culture, very much commercially alive and one that delights the most demanding guests in the world.
They "take pleasure" in serving and they also treat the "Service Rituals" with as much respect as they treat the guest or customer.
They do it with a quiet pleasure that is referred to as OMOTENASHI
and often as おもてなしの心 Omotenashi no kokoro. "Kokoro" means heart.
So the meaning is therefore "Service from the Heart"
But it takes more to leave a great impression than an act of attentive, anticipatory hospitality.
Consistently great "Customer eXperience" comes from more than one moment of brilliant customer service.
Start by understanding their approach to service and hospitality and the psychology of where these attitudes and behaviours come from.
That will lead to discovering new motivation that will make your professional hospitality delivery more enjoyable, consistent and sustainable.
Anybody with a professional role in the world of customer service ought to be interested in learning about this hospitality and service culture.
It comes from a philosophy, the right attitudes, lots of focused thought and a suite of well-practiced service and hospitality skills.
The original meaning of the Omotenashi philosophy now refers to everything that feels good for a customer or guest. Learn here