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Using the Customer Satisfaction Management Guidelines, one of the pillars of the company's business management, Hitachi continues to improve CS with the goal of creating innovation through collaboration with customers.
Formulated in 1994
Our sales and marketing division uses customer input in developing management, product, and solution strategies. We identify key customers who will help grow our business, then assign an account manager (AM) to each one. The AMs serve as customers' “portals" into Hitachi Group companies in Japan, and the whole Group works with them to build closer relations with customers and to boost customer satisfaction.
Our Hokkaido, Tohoku, Chubu, and Shikoku area operations hold executive seminars for local customers. In the Kansai area, Hitachi, Ltd. works with Group companies to stage Hitachi Group exhibitions. Through direct dialogue with customers participating in these seminars and lectures, we incorporate their expectations for Hitachi and their opinions into product strategies.
To accelerate collaborative creation with customers in Hitachi's evolving Social Innovation Business, we also hold the Hitachi Social Innovation Forum in North America, Europe, Asia, and other regions, providing lectures, exhibits, and more. Our sales teams invite our customers to these events to deepen their understanding of Hitachi's business. We also collect feedback from these events to improve our future operations.
Our R&D Technology Community program provides opportunities for collaborative creation with customers. Project leaders invite customers to their research labs to see exhibits of products and systems currently being developed.
Based on its Customer Satisfaction Management Guidelines, Hitachi, Ltd. applies advertisement guidelines to ensure that its advertising activities comply with laws and regulations showing proper consideration for society as a whole. We will continue to create advertisements that reflect ongoing changes in society, that provide customers with clear and concise messages, and that are appropriate for a company committed to contributing to society.
As issues that arise from advertisement activities can have broad impact on the company, we have established in each business unit a framework for evaluating the expressions in advertisements that stands independent of the ad production process. Following this institutional check, we also evaluate advertisements to ensure that they are socially appropriate.
We designed our advertisement guidelines to be flexibly adjusted and applied to the entire Hitachi Group's diverse operations. At our business locations outside Japan in particular, we strive to ensure appropriate advertising activities by confirming all items on the checklist included in the guidelines.
Hitachi offers comprehensive customer support on its website. This enables us to process customer inquiries, opinions, requests, and complaints—in collaboration with the customer support offices of Hitachi Group companies in Japan—to improve our business operations, as well as our products and services. We also conduct training courses to provide better handling of these inquiries.
As one initiative, we have been holding the Web Inquiry Responsiveness Improvement Course since fiscal 2009. In fiscal 2016, 49 Hitachi Group company employees took the course (bringing the cumulative total to 750 participants), which features case studies on responses to inquiries. Going forward, we will strengthen coordination among Group companies to respond more quickly and effectively to customer inquiries, using the website as an important contact tool.
The Electric Home Appliances Customer Satisfaction Division has enabled the expansion of Hitachi's business from electronic and electric equipment to the environment business by drawing up a vision for environmental value creation, actively promoting various service areas.
Our call center and website handle about 2.36 million customer inquiries, repair requests, and complaints about washing machines, LCD TVs, and other appliances per year.*1 We have undertaken a number of initiatives to better respond to inquiries and to reflect customer feedback in our monozukuri craftsmanship, including improving the contact success rate by using outsourcing; creating a database of customer feedback, including consultations, inquiries, and complaints; and enhancing our website's FAQ section.
We also conduct semiannual customer service evaluation surveys at approximately 90 service centers in Japan. Based on the answers, we improve services through CS training courses and other programs.
With the expansion of Hitachi's markets outside Japan, sales offices have been opened in nine countries in Asia and the Middle and Near East. We are also working on unifying management of operations outside Japan.