Due to product commodification and the heightening of consumer awareness, there is an even greater necessity to listen to customer feedback and improve customer satisfaction levels. Also, with the advancement and popularization of smartphones, information and opinions from one individual can be shared instantly worldwide, from any location at any time, via websites and social media.
Risks and Opportunities for the Casio Group
As the product commoditization trend progresses, product differentiation becomes difficult based only on product functions. This is why Casio believes it is important to earn and maintain customer confidence and trust in the Casio brand. This is done by quickly obtaining customer feedback and using it to improve products, while also quickly responding to customer dissatisfaction and promptly resolving customer issues.
Casio reviews its business models and business cycles from a user-first perspective across the entire group. Through three major customer satisfaction (CS) activities, Casio is working to improve after-sales service and product quality. It is using consumer feedback to improve products and services, in order to maintain customer trust and provide peace of mind.
Under these three major CS activities, Casio is making various efforts to ensure that customers are satisfied with its after-sales service. These efforts include enhancing staff training programs to improve product knowledge, repair technical skills, and customer service skills. Casio is also working to boost customer service quality by having staff acquire public qualifications and by improving customer service sites (after-sales CS).
Casio is also striving to ensure that customer feedback from in and outside Japan is always delivered directly to the right place within the company, and to take unified improvement measures. Casio is also constantly working to improve product functions (functional CS).
Casio compiles and analyzes information on customer inquiries and product defects in and outside Japan. It focuses on early detection, rapid response and prevention of recurrence of problems (quality CS).
Casio has established a CS Headquarters to consolidate customer feedback from a user-first perspective and is striving to improve customer satisfaction with three main customer satisfaction activities as the basic policy.
The consolidated customer feedback is also reported to senior management and shared with the Business Strategy Headquarters, Global Marketing Headquarters, Product Development Headquarters, and Production Headquarters. This allows the information to be utilized for improving product development and after-sales service.
Customer Service Initiatives in Japan
In order to respond to customer inquiries regarding Casio products, a customer contact department was created in 1981. Today, members of the Customer Support Center are continuously working to acquire product knowledge and improve customer service quality so that customers can use their Casio products with satisfaction. In addition, by steadily providing customer feedback to relevant departments within the company, the center is actively working to ensure that the voice of the customer is reflected in product creation and service development.
Emphasizing the sensibility of “consideration”
The Customer Support Center respects customers and is working to serve them based on the wish to be helpful. At the same time, the staff do not simply answer callers’ questions; they strive to accurately grasp the core reasons for each inquiry, and to propose appropriate solutions, while emphasizing good interpersonal communication.
To meet the increasingly diverse needs of customers, chat support is being introduced, in addition to conventional customer service by telephone and email. Casio will continue to expand the products that this covers and augment the subjects that customers can consult on.
This will provide customer service in real time. In addition, Casio regularly conducts satisfaction surveys concerning customer service provided, and then makes the necessary improvements. The company is constantly striving to improve customer satisfaction.
Sharing customer feedback and making improvements from the customer’s perspective
The center shares opinions and inquiries received from customers with relevant departments such as the development and sales departments. This customer feedback is then used to make even better products and services.
At the same time, Casio is actively working on improvement from customer's perspective, based on analysis of customer feedback. In response to changes in consumer habits due especially to the popularization of smartphones, Casio is working to provide online customer service content that allows customers to find answers to product problems themselves. Going forward, the customer support website will continue to be enhanced, including better compatibility with user manuals.
Supporting Customers Outside Japan
The Customer Support Center in Japan strives to raise customer satisfaction in all regions in which it operates by working closely with similar centers set up at local sales companies in each region.
Reinforcing infrastructure for collecting customer feedback outside Japan
Casio is working to expand the regions in which it introduces the global tracking system to collect and share feedback from customers in regions all over the world. In February 2019, this system began operating in the U.K., after its adoption in the US. Casio plans to steadily roll out these systems to reinforce its infrastructure for collecting feedback.
|Other Consumer Products||13.3%||27.3%|
Breakdown of Product Inquiries (Fiscal 2018, Overseas/Japan)
Customer Satisfaction Initiatives in Japan
The service departments at Casio, which are responsible for customer satisfaction in after-sales service, strive to increase customer satisfaction by providing service that precisely addresses customer needs and lifestyle preferences.
In September 2012, Casio began returning repaired products to customers with a questionnaire directing them to a customer feedback website. Customers are invited to provide an immediate evaluation of the service they have received. By listening to the evaluations and valuable opinions of customers who have actually experienced the company’s repair service, Casio makes continuous efforts to improve its repair service and enhance convenience, in order to provide customers with quick and accurate service.
Pursuing convenience for customers
Casio now allows customers to pay for repairs made using the online repair request service, which has been in operation since 2015, by cash as well as the original method of credit card payments. This is an attempt to expand the functions of the services provided for customers picking up their repaired products at FamilyMart convenience stores in Japan. This new system allows all customers to pick up their repaired items at any of the approximately 16,000 FamilyMart convenience stores across Japan.
The Akihabara and Osaka Service Stations offer a quick battery replacement service (batteries can be replaced in about 60 minutes), and have also started a rush repair service for students who need their electronic dictionaries repaired on the same day. This service significantly shortens the time that students have to leave behind their electronic dictionaries — which are essential for their daily studies and test preparation — for repairs, and mitigates the impact on their studies.
In addition, a chat system in which staff respond to inquiries regarding electronic dictionaries has been introduced to the Customer Repair Consultation Center to expand customer touchpoints. Casio has improved the speed at which it resolves issues by providing an environment enabling customers to make inquiries at any time and any place.
Going forward, Casio will continue to revise and enhance the content of its services to match customer needs with respect to each product so that customers can enjoy using Casio’s products longer.
Reliable technical skill
Casio is working to improve repair technical skills, product knowledge, and customer service skills (through training programs and in-house competitions, for example) in order to maintain customer confidence, meet the needs of the changing times, and handle the constant advance of product features —ultimately, to realize the kind of service quality that today’s customers expect.
As the company responsible for repairing Casio products, Casio Techno Co., Ltd., encourages its employees to obtain public certifications and professional qualifications, such as national certification through the level 1 or level 2 exams for timepiece repair technicians and business etiquette certifications, as well as to take language training. Casio Techno has adopted educational programs on subjects such as the product industry’s history, customer service techniques and Casio product philosophy, and develops outstanding employees with proficiency not only in repair skills, but also in customer service and product knowledge. Casio Techno is committed to providing detailed high-quality service to customers. Every Casio Techno employee acquires a high degree of technical expertise, motivated by a sincere desire to please customers and earn their confidence. By continuing to work tirelessly in this way, Casio Techno can promise service that both reassures and delights customers.
Customer Satisfaction Initiatives outside Japan
Outside Japan, a total of 966 companies, including 12 local subsidiaries and 954 repair partners, carry out after-sales service for Casio brand products (as of March 2019).
Casio holds regular technical skill courses for service technicians in each region in order to raise repair skill levels, aiming to ensure that Casio customers around the world receive high-quality repair services. In addition, Casio constantly surveys and improves repair times, quality and costs at its repair centers. Moreover, meetings are regularly held in each region for service managers from regions around the world to ensure that the three major customer satisfaction (CS) activities aimed at improving CS are entrenched worldwide.
In May 2018, an overseas sales company service meeting was held in Tokyo, followed by a meeting for service representatives of Hong Kong distributors in July 2018.
Casio will continue to work with its service sites to further improve the after-sales service for Casio products worldwide.
Repair centers operated by group companies outside Japan
To ensure that customers outside Japan feel comfortable and confident in their use of Casio products, support information is provided online in 21 languages other than Japanese. The headquarters in Japan uses a system that allows it to maintain this support information directly to ensure overall uniformity and speedier provision of information.
When daylight savings time starts and ends in different countries, Casio often receives inquiries from customers concerning how to adjust the time on their watches. This fiscal year, Casio improved customer convenience by providing video user manuals on YouTube and preparing a quick manual that can be read on smartphones. Casio has also added to its FAQ on musical instruments.