Monday, May 9, 2016

Expectations and the perfect customer service

It's 9.30 in the evening and whilst my wife enjoys here favourite  shows, I'm lying face-up on the carpet at her feet enjoying a home delivery sports massage service soon to arrive. For one hour from 10.00 o'clock he'll work on my old and aching back and see if he can make it rather more functional for the rest of the week. My wife, being Japanese, I'm sure will serve tea and, in the rain, he will pedal off into the night. Whatever you think you have to be impressed with the work ethic.

There are any number of outstanding examples of customer service here, from the lady refilling one of the 5.5million vending machines on the streets (nearly 1 for every 23 of the populace) at midnight or the store staff putting out the umbrella bags when it rains to stop shop-floors becoming wet and slippy. And the amazing thing about it is that everyone simply expects not only to receive the ultimate standards, but to provide it too. And this is why there is no tipping Japan.

The thinking goes that servers expect to provide perfect service and a tip, inversely, is saying you're grateful for receiving service better than you expected. Which means you were expecting something less than perfect in the first place; something of a slap in the face. So when I pay the masseur he will ask and expect simply his fee and I shall pay only the fee and not a penny more. And in the end, we're both going to be happy; though with the rain tonight, he will be wetter.  

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