Consistent Efforts to Improve Customer Satisfaction (CS)
In addition to selling electric home appliance at reasonable prices, we provide useful services to satisfy customers while they u s e t h e p r o d u c t s . Specifically, we believe that it is essential not only to i m p r o v e c u s t o m e r satisfaction at stores but also to enhance overall customer satisfaction, including after sales service such as product delivery, installation and repair, from the stage in which they use the products onward.
To maintain high quality services, we will continue employee training programs and also consistent reviews of customer satisfaction. We will make improvements in response to customers’ opinions at stores, during product delivery, and in after-sales service. Furthermore, we put posters in eyeshot of employees to remind them to be careful about their appearance.
Fostering of Staff who can Make Proposals on Lifestyle through Home Appliances
Each staff member’s high-quality customer service skills are indispensable for satisfying customers in shopping at Yamada Denki. Yamada Denki promotes employee training to foster staff who can make proposals on lifestyle through home appliances. We provide group training at the Sosei Juku, a training center, targeting managerial staff to have them acquire knowledge on CSR-focused management and fostering of subordinates, as well as skills to better serve customers and create sales floors suited to offer better advice and proposals. OJT individual training is provided by area managers to their store staffs. Furthermore, we encourage employees to obtain internal and external qualifications so that they will possess better product knowledge. We thus provide employee training in various ways.
Yamada Denki also introduced the Improvement Proposal System to adopt good ideas from the on-site perspective, the Customer-store Manager Questionnaire System to directly reflect customers’ opinions in store operation, and various other systems that will improve customer satisfaction synergistically with employee training.
Creation of a Customer Service Slogan
Yamada Denki has been promoting standardization of customer services so as to ensure friendly attendance at all stores. As one of the concrete measures, we have created customer service slogans common to all group stores since fiscal 2011 with the aim of offering services from the viewpoint of customers.
In fiscal 2015, we worked to instill the awareness that losing one customer results in losing ten customers, under the slogan “Be sure to serve all customers kindly” consecutively from the previous fiscal year. Furthermore, we specified the three principles for kind customer services so that newly joined employees can also understand the meaning of the slogan.
Products with Functions Preferred by Customers, “HERB Relax” Series, Developed from Customers’Viewpoint
The “HERB Relax” series is Yamada Denki’s original brand and Yamada Denki integrally manages it from development to retailing under the basic concept, “Products with Functions Preferred by Customers.” As a result of such efforts as establishing a dedicated call center and improving development capability, the number of products increased significantly in fiscal 2015 to reach 313 (as of the end of March 2016).
When considering newly outsourcing production to a plant, we conduct an audit in advance using a list of 60 check items on purchasing, receipt, quality and warehouse management to ensure the quality of production. After commencing production, we supervise the production process using the same check list on a regular basis for controlling the quality. We will further develop the system to collect customers’ opinions, and strive to employ our originality to develop better products and enhance customer satisfaction.
Encouraging the Acquisition of Qualification as Certified Electric Home Appliance Advisors
Yamada Denki tries to increase employees’ expert knowledge so that they can provide customers with proper advice on selecting electric home appliances. In order to enable them to provide advice based on various factors, such as customers’ needs with regard to product functions, their purpose of use, usage frequency, place of installation, as well as their preferences, we encourage employees to obtain external qualifications such as that for a certified electric home appliance advisor. We hold practical study sessions by outside lecturers, with the cooperation of manufacturers, and the number of qualified employees has been increasing.
In fiscal 2015, the number of qualified employees exceeded 2,435.
Promotion of the Improvement Proposal System
Yamada Denki prepares the Improvement Proposal System under which each staff member is encouraged to make proposals from an onsite viewpoint, with a view to realizing “Company-wide Participation in Management,” so as to ensure better performance in daily duties and the overall corporate management. In fiscal 2015, various proposals expected to further improve customer satisfaction were made by store staff members and many new proposals were adopted.
Presentation of How to Have Fun by Using Yamada Loyalty Points
Generally, conventional loyalty point programs of home appliance retailers offer customers a discount on their next purchase of home appliances only. Yamada Denki was early in introducing a system to offer customers options to exchange their saved points with goods other than home appliances, such as daily necessities and foodstuffs, thereby attempting to enhance convenience from the viewpoint of customers. We are planning to further expand such options to enable customers to use their saved points even for goods and services that we do not offer at our stores, and will also make it possible for customers to receive benefits by using Yamada Mall and other services of the partner companies. In this manner, we would like to present how to have fun by fully utilizing Yamada Loyalty Points.
Customers can use their saved points for purchasing non-electric/ non-electronics products such as daily necessities and foodstuffs dealt with at any Yamada stores. Since 2012, they can also exchange their loyalty points for games, videos and other contents of the Yamada Multi SNS services. Yamada Loyalty Points can be used for diverse goods and services beyond the bounds of a home appliance retailer.
Yamada Denki commenced the Yamada Express Delivery Services, targeting all regions, to have store staff deliver ordered products on the same day. When a customer places an online order by 3:00 p.m., the staff of a nearby Yamada Denki store delivers the goods on the same day, if there is stock and installation services are not required. If all conditions for on-theday delivery are satisfied, an icon “Delivery Available” is displayed on the screen. After the payment is completed, a nearby Yamada Denki store staff member calls the customer to confirm the order and inform him/her of the delivery time. The services based on Yamada Denki’s strong store network are characterized by meticulous responses compared with conventional online shopping services, and direct delivery by the staff of Yamada Denki will offer reassurance to customers.
Efforts to Reflect Customers’ Opinions in Management and Services
Prompt Response to Customers’ Opinions Collected at the Customer Opinion Box Direct to the Store Manager
As a system to reflect customers’ opinions in management and services, we have the system of a customer opinion box direct to the store manager, asking customers to write down their opinions and requests and put them into a box installed at each store. Store managers should read all inquiries, opinions and requests from customers and reply to them responsibly.
Through this method, we came to notice overlooked problems and issues and were able to improve our services promptly. We have received favorable comments from customers who can read all the opinions and requests and our responses thereto placed on a board in stores.
Holding of CS Meetings on Product Delivery, Installation and Repair
In order to pursue customer satisfaction at the time of delivering products and throughout their lifecycles, Yamada Denki strengthens collaboration with its partner companies in charge of product delivery, installation and repair, and holds training sessions for improving their services and manners over 100 times a year. Every year, Yamada Denki holds a regular CS meeting with the participation of the representatives of the 20 major partner companies in charge of product delivery and installation.
At this meeting, we confirm each company’s current status and concrete efforts for improving CS, and our staff point out problems and give them guidance for improvements. We also extract problems for each location, each area and each staff member based on customerstore manager questionnaires and make tailored proposals for improvements to the extent possible. Similar meetings are also held for each sales area.
Introduction of Training to Certify CS Managers
In order to standardize CS activities in product delivery and installation, Yamada Denki requests its partner companies to receive its original “Training to Certify CS Managers.” This is a system to certify responsible officials who provide persons in charge at respective companies with guidance on the standards that Yamada Denki specifies with regard to CS, manners, operations, etc. in relation to product delivery and installation. A training session consists of educational training, group discussions and a written test. Under this system, Yamada Denki certifies CS managers of its partner companies, with the aim of maintaining their CS levels equivalent to those of the staff of Yamada Denki.
Initiatives by Group Companies
Yamada SxL Home Co., Ltd.
Improve Designing Skills through Training for Designing Staff
Yamada SxL Home provides training for each segment of the design staff (young, mid-career and managerial staff) to have them acquire necessary knowledge, respectively. In fiscal 2015, the company invited outside lecturers to hold seminars for young staff regarding basic knowledge on quake resistance and the environment, and concerning technical information. Study sessions on the amendment of the energy conservation law were also held with company staff serving as lecturers. For managerial staff, group discussions were held and training for improving design skills and raising motivation was also provided as necessary.
Best Denki Co., Ltd.
Enhancement of Customer Satisfaction through Brushing up Employees’ Skills
The Best Denki Group improved the content of training sessions with the aim of brushing up employees’ skills for achieving better customer satisfaction. Throughout fiscal 2015, training was provided to all employees, including full-time employees, contract employees, nonregular staff and part-timers.
Such training as that for improving customer service skills, and store manager management training and training for newly appointed assistant managers targeting managerial staff and officers, is provided to improve and standardize their skills of serving customers at stores and to enhance their sales capabilities as well as customer satisfaction by strengthening the leadership skills of managerial staff. For fostering specialists, training concerning renovation, increasing product knowledge and strengthening sales skills targeting corporate customers is provided for achieving better customer satisfaction.
Holding of Safety and Health Conference
The Safety and Health Conference aims to create an opportunity for relevant personnel to gather and share safety awareness for the purpose of securing the safety and health of on-site workers and creating a comfortable working environment. The slogan for fiscal 2015 was “to eliminate risks through daily risk prediction activities and prevent disasters through the improvement of construction safety quality.”
Priorities include (i) to provide on-site workers with safety and health education through the holding of the Safety and Health Council (teleconference) and implementation of safety patrols; (ii) to prevent disasters by improving employee’s risk prediction ability through the timely provision and effective utilization of accident-related and other information; (iii) to raise the safety awareness of partner construction personnel by promoting the implementation of priorities each year; and (iv) to guide and promote partner construction personnel's voluntary efforts for ensuring safety and health. For the purpose of implementing these priorities, we have conducted such activities as establishing a safety management system within each block, promoting safety and health education, surveying the status of employees’ acquisition of qualifications and making it an obligation to acquire qualifications, holding the Safety and Health Council (among cooperating business partners), implementing safety patrols, and holding the Safety and Health Conference.
Matsuya Denki Co., Ltd.
Provision of Services to Satisfy Customers’ Minds
As a locally-based, specialized merchandiser, Matsuya Denki endeavors to provide fine-tuned services to customers for their more convenient and comfortable daily lives under its philosophy, “cherish good products” “cherish warm-heartedness,” and “cherish the satisfaction of bringing out people’s potential.” Matsuya Denki aims to make all its stores truly indispensable for local customers of the respective regions and be a company continuously supported and cherished by customers.
For achieving this goal, the company prioritizes the following three points. Firstly, it intends to provide diverse proposals concerning customers’ daily lives as a whole, including proposals on renovation, and not be limited to selling home appliances. Secondly, the company stations staff who regularly visit customers’ residence and provide services so that the customers can continue using products they purchased with peace of mind. Thirdly, the company tries to make its stores places for not only selling goods but also for providing warmhearted services, enabling the customers to casually come in and ask questions concerning their troubles. If these efforts successfully widen the circle of trust with customers, that is actually what the company aims at as a locally-based merchandiser.
Support for Employees’ Acquisition of Various Qualifications Relating to Their Business
Group companies proactively offer support to their employees for the acquisition of various qualifications in accordance with their business. When employees successfully acquire qualifications, the company grants rewards therefor. Other group companies also offer support for employees’ acquisition of qualifications as follows.