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att. Culture - Service Fit For A King!
att. Culture - Service Fit For A King!
att.JAPAN Issue 12, June 2003

Service Fit For A King!

Teppie and Christina ChartomatsidisTOKYO TWINS REPORT
From sushi to the Japanese Yen, att. Reporters Teppie and Christina Chartomatsidis take you on a journey to discover more on what Tokyo has to offer.

Have you ever received a complimentary massage just for getting your hair trimmed? What If your dirty car windows were polished free of charge after filling up on gas? Service such as this may seem preposterous to you. However, to the Japanese, it's all part of being the revered "okyakusama" or as we say, customer. Exorbitant customer service is executed seriously and efficiently 365 days a year, leaving foreign visitors to this tiny island nation in awe at the extent of such impeccable service.

In Japan, there is a famous proverb "okyaku sama wa kami sama" meaning the customer is a god. Once landing in Japan, it is not difficult to see that this saying is applied meticulously to every angle of the consumer industry. Indeed, no energy is spared in pampering customers, and this demand of service perfection has made the Japanese hospitality industry renowned the globe over.

For the foreign visitor, shopping in Japan is an odyssey into the exciting world of vivid high quality goods and regal services only the Japanese can offer. Goods are routinely stocked on store shelves in abundance and variety. Unlike other countries, where products and services are in comparison hard to come by, Japan caters to every shopper's needs and desires, making it possible for one to find almost anything imaginable. In short - a consumer paradise!

Shop-staff endlessly repeat the expression "irasshaimase", a business greeting to inform customers of the zealous assistance available to them. In Japan, rarely will you see staff members working alone. The Japanese teamwork notion reigns and is practiced religiously within the industry. Thus, such operative measures accomplish tasks and duties in a more efficient and professional manner.

When it comes to the exciting time of purchasing, it's your chance to take a glimpse into the country's long-lived passion for gift-wrapping and decoration.
The Japanese pride themselves on their beautiful art and style of presenting a gift decorated with lovely colorful paper and assorted ribbons. Watching staff meticulously adorn your gift is a stimulating visual experience in itself. To your delight, wrapping is always included in the service and is usually free of charge! Depending on the store you go to, there is a plethora of decorations and wrapping to choose from. Chain stores such as Hello Kitty give customers complimentary stickers and accessories after purchasing products.

Service Fit For A King!Another way in which to experience the best of what Japan's service has to offer is by trying out the country's globally famed transportation system. Synonymous with skillful efficiency, the Japanese transportation system offers commuters first-rate service in an impressively executed manner. In Japan's urban districts, there's no reason to cringe when you miss your train. In a matter of every three minutes trains arrive on time - every time! Most train stations are fit with chain store coffee shops, newsagents, and eateries - even accessory stores! So you can have time for that coffee just before you hop on the train for work, and you're guaranteed to be there on time!

Fancy an interstate day trip far away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo? Board the technologically sophisticated Shinkansen train and find yourself in the north of the country in just over two hours! Traveling on the Shinkansen or the 'bullet train' is a truly unforgettable and pleasurable experience. Commuters are taken to their destinations in unsurpassed speed, and can relax in such tranquility only the Shinkansen can offer.

With a flexible seven-day schedule, you don't even need to book tickets in advance. Simply arrive at the station terminal, and in a matter of minutes you could find yourself on board the Shinkansen intoxicating yourself with the grandeur sights of Japan. The Shinkansen also offers exceptional food and beverage services complete with a train hostess!

Superb transportation is also found in the unique taxi system that delivers regal service fit for a king! Seats are decorated with white lace, and drivers are dressed in impressive suits, caps, and white gloves. At the end of your journey, you will be handed a receipt, and the door will automatically open and close for you!

Low on gas? Japanese gas stations are far above foreign ones in service and quality. Visitors to Japan are surprised at the extent of professionalism displayed to customers who simply fill up on gas. While one attendant fills your tank, another cleans out your car trash and washes the windows. Not only that, upon departing you will be bowed to and led into a clear street as staff halt traffic for you to exit swiftly!

Despite not selling petroleum, Japanese convenience stores offer anything and everything! Situated everywhere, convenience stores are fully stocked with fresh meals such as curry rice and pasta that can be heated for you. You can buy concert tickets or pay for your bills, and if your mobile phone battery is dead, you can recharge it for 100 yen! Need new underwear? Well don't look any further as convenience stores have it all from underwear to make-up to accessories!

Starving? The outstanding Japanese hospitality industry can satisfy you in quality food and service. Almost all eateries offer complimentary water and hot towels called 'oshibori or otefuki' for you to clean your hands with before meals. Observant restaurant workers also stand throughout the restaurant to assist customers in a flash.

Needless to say, the Japanese are the masters of superior and speedy customer service. Consequently, daily life in this highly populated nation is comfortable and convenient. It is justified to say that no other country in the world can excel the Japanese in such service perfection, manner and professionalism. On that note, how about some shopping?

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