Japan firms face hurdles as ‘service’ culture taken overseas:
” …. At Uniqlo stores worldwide, staff greet every customer with “Welcome to Uniqlo!”
They briskly walk around on a clean, white sales floor, refolding and restacking clothes, rarely talking to customers or each other unless approached.
It’s a Japanese style of customer service based on a strict manual and which is praised for its politeness and efficiency. But as Japanese companies increasingly branch out overseas, they are faced with the dilemma of staying true to this retail philosophy while adapting to local service habits.
JETRO’s Nakajima said there are two types of omotenashi, or Japanese hospitality, seen in outgoing Japanese businesses.
One is to treat every single customer with thorough care, as seen in traditional Japanese ryokan hotels. The other is to provide quality homogeneous service in a quick and inexpensive way …..” (The Japan Times)
In their Internationalisation Process (or “Kokusaika” in Japanese), Japanese companies should probably think more of adapting the Japan Domestic “Omotenashi” (hopitality) practices abroad by taking into account the local culture specificities, rather than replicating it as it is. One feature to definitely carry over would be excellent dedicated service and full attention to the customer at any time, before/during and after the sales process. What do you think?
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