The japanese way
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The Japanese Way. Michelle Tan, Associate Professor of Law, Tezukayama University,Nara SOCAP AUSTRALIA 2004 INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM 27-29 October 2004. What I will talk about. Extremely brief overview of consumer law in Japan Complaints (including enquiries) management by:

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The Japanese Way

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The japanese way

The Japanese Way

Michelle Tan,

Associate Professor of Law,

Tezukayama University,Nara

SOCAP AUSTRALIA 2004 INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM

27-29 October 2004


What i will talk about

What I will talk about

  • Extremely brief overview of consumer law in Japan

  • Complaints (including enquiries) management by:

    • Consumer centers administered by local governments

    • A consumer group on behalf of a local government

    • Large manufacturing companies (some recent trends/ data, information obtained thru recent interviews)


The japanese way

Consumer Law in Japan

・Specific Trade Practices Act

・Anti-Monopoly Act

Public Law (based on Fundamental Act on Consumer Protection 1968) (sector specific)

Private Law

・Civil Code

・Consumer Contracts Act

・PL Act

・Unfair Competition Act

Self-regulation


Factors affecting complaints handling

Factors Affecting Complaints Handling

  • Increasing number of complaints

  • Increase in scams

  • Increase in scandals involving well-known companies ( since 2000)


Complaints handling by consumer centres

Complaints handling by consumer centres

  • Administration comes under local government ( over 400 nationwide)

  • Handled over 1300000 enquiries/complaints last year (contract 82% , services 74%)

  • Managed by local government officers, front-line inquiries/ complaints handling done by consumer advisers employed by the centres

  • Initial contact with the consumer is usually by telephone

  • Role of the consumer advisers: information, mediation, policy-making


Outsourcing of enquiry complaint handling by local government

Outsourcing of enquiry/ complaint handling by local government

  • New role for consumer groups

  • Kansai Consumers Association is first example (since 2002)

  • How does it work (handled almost 10,000 complaints in 2003)


Complaints handling in companies

“Complaints handling” in companies

  • CS、CD、CSR

  • Social/ Economic Factors Driving CS Promotion

    • Scandals → greater awareness of need for CS (scandals→ distrustful customers→makes customer contact more difficult)

    • Long recession

    • Aging population


Trends in enquiry complaints handling surveys by the cabinet office in 1999 and 2004

Trends in enquiry/ complaints handling(Surveys by the Cabinet Office in 1999 and 2004)

  • large increase in companies with CS Division (up from 1.1% to 14.6%)

  • advances in IT/OA

  • interaction with top level management


Some examples

Some examples

  • Kao Corporation’s Echo System

  • Suntory’s profit center

  • National/Panasonic and Toshiba’s Customer Care Centres


Top manufacturers improving cs through enquiry complaint handling

Top manufacturers improving CS through enquiry/ complaint handling

  • High status within the company

  • Consumer-oriented

  • Communication with customers is key

  • Use of knowledgemanagement systems

  • Effective use of information --feedback into all areas of the organization e.g. development, planning, design, manufacturing, sales, marketing

    3. Complaint Handling

  • ” Complaints” are treated as valuable free information

  • Speedy, sincere

  • Several levels of complaint management


The japanese way

Kao Echo System

Research

Marketing

Production

Sales

Consumer Information Centre

information

Enquiry Support Function

Response to enquiries

  • Product information

  • Lifestyle information

  • Enquiry input

  • Send replacement product

  • Write letters

  • Follow-up ongoing enquiries

  • E-Mail enquiries

Two Way

Communication

“Accurate, Quick、Kind”

search

Consumer

Enquiry input

Information Exchange

Enquiry Analysis Function

Product, Advert, Info

  • Free search

  • Typical enquiry analysis

  • Enquiry trends

  • Daily enquiry bulletin

Consumer Opinion

Reflected in “Good Product Production”

Search

Source: Translated from Japanese original with permission of Kao Consumer Information Center, see “Outline of the Kao Consumer Information Centre."


Some examples1

Some examples

  • Kao Corporation’s Echo System

  • Suntory’s profit center

  • National/Panasonic and Toshiba’s Customer Care Centres


The japanese way

「Consumer Opinion」

Central custom e r care centre/

Business domain company centers

Central centre

Business domain companies

General contact point for customers and overall management

Company centre

Business unit

Planning

Customer Value Enhancement

Design

Technical

Incorporating consumer opinion

Responding to complaints

Reflected in

Quality control

1.General contact point for customers, overall management

2.Planning and promotion of new management systems for enquiries

3.Enquiry information available in-house, monitor for trends

4.Support staff training

Customer

forward

Free-dial

Sales

Advertising

Publicity

Source: Translated from Japanese original by Michelle Tan, with permission of Panasonic's Customer Care Centre.


The japanese way

Customer Enquiry Information Retrieval System

Company centre

PACS System

advisor

CTI system

PACS server

Customer

Data sent that night

Customer Enquiry Information Retrieval System

Available in-house next day

Data for all companies

Central centre

Server

Company LAN

PACS= Panasonic Customer Support & Satisfaction

Source: Translated from Japanese original by Michelle Tan, with permission of Panasonic's Customer Care Centre.


Stages in evolution of the internal function of customer care

Stages in evolution of the internal function of Customer care

Customer perspective is basis

  • Complaint/Inquiry Management

  • Information collection/analysis

  • Information to consumers

  • Internal distribution of information from consumers

  • Utilization of information for marketing

  • Participation in/ Support for management

Source: Presentation by Sumio Shibata of Yoku Moku Corporation, ACAP Kansai Chapter meeting, July 27 2004.


The japanese way

Source: National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan, The Annual Report on Consumer Affairs 2004


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