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Consumer issues - Communicating with our customers

(1) Improving Customer Care

POLA: Providing Better Service by Reflecting Customer Feedback in Our Business Activities

POLA's customer inquiry service

POLA's customer inquiry service

At POLA, we provide inquiry-based feedback in the form of weekly reports and make regular reports at the monthly executive meetings in order to reflect our customers' opinions and wishes in our products and services.
Moreover, by swiftly providing information to our Product Planning, Research and Development, Production, and Sales Departments, we strive to make a variety of improvements in the form of reflecting feedback in new product planning and design, enhancing product functionality, improving contents and containers, and optimizing labels and advertisement. We also work to make speedy improvements to issues affecting multiple departments from a whole-company perspective by establishing the CS Committee, which is an internal interdepartmental organization consisting of department heads.
There were 22,000 inquiries in FY2017.
We expect the number of inquiries to increase in the future, so we are working to improve our knowledge through monthly study sessions about the features of new products and phone support techniques in order to provide even better service. Our Marketing and Sales Departments are also conducting an annual satisfaction questionnaire survey with randomly chosen customers, asking for feedback about how they feel about using products and what requests they have for POLA.
In 2017, we received responses from 5,265 customers.
We share the customer feedback inside the company and apply it in product development and to improve the quality of products on sale. POLA THE BEAUTY implements mystery shopping (customer service survey). Our shop owners pay attention to external reviews, work to enhance customer service, and are gradually improving customer ratings.
We also organize "customer service contests" where everyone's customer service skills are displayed. It is a good opportunity for the participating Beauty Directors to re-examine their service from a customer perspective.

Mechanisms for utilizing customer feedback

ORBIS Customer Service QC Activities

By hanging the ORBIS Standard in front, our staff is encouraged to always keep it in mind.

By hanging the ORBIS Standard in front, our staff is encouraged to always keep it in mind.

Back when ORBIS was founded 30 years ago, mail-order sales were not as widespread as today and there existed the notion that "mail-order sales = insecure, inconvenient." We thought about how to eliminate this negative image and allow customers to place orders without having to worry. As a result, we started providing services like free shipping, samples of almost all our cosmetics, and a 30-day return and replacement policy.
At ORBIS, we call our call center the BIS Station. Based on our action plan called the ORBIS Standard, we are working to improve the quality of customer service.

The Sister System

A sister team meeting

A sister team meeting

At the call center, we also conduct customer service QC (quality control) activities in the form of ORBIS's unique Sister System.
The system has been in place since 2011 and was started to improve the customer service skills of our many part-time call center operators. We create teams made up of members with different skills (three skill levels), with the most skilled becoming the "sister leader." In each team, the members discuss and teach each other things, sharing experiences and striving to improve their skills. At present, we have about 40 "sister teams" with more than 80% of operators conducting voluntary activities and contributing to the early development of new operators and to energizing the call center.

Own-brand sales first place (2018)

JCSI Customer Satisfaction
Own-brand sales first place (2018)

At ORBIS, we prioritize the service quality provided by our operators as they are in direct phone contact with our customers. In order to increase service quality, we conduct mystery calls, phone service contests, and customer questionnaires.
Moreover, we have introduced an AI chatbot for our shopping website to increase customer convenience and satisfaction. In FY2018, we ranked first in the own-brand sales category of the mail-order sales division in the Japanese Customer Satisfaction Index (JCSI), the biggest such index in Japan and conducted by the Service Productivity & Innovation for Growth.

(2) Service that Reflects Customer Feedback

The companies of the POLA ORBIS Group conduct questionnaires and dialogues to increase customer satisfaction.
At POLA, we had some customers try out B.A ahead of its sales launch in 2015 and asked them to fill out a questionnaire.
At ORBIS, we have a questionnaire webpage called Kikulabo and we are working to increase customer satisfaction not only through catalog and product questionnaires, but also by discussing problems in daily life.
At DECENCIA, we are striving for brand growth by constantly taking in customer feedback and organize an annual round-table talks with customers. We take the opinions collected through these talks and provide feedback to all employees as well as use them as references for brand growth.
Outside of the cosmetics business, P.O. REAL ESTATE has been working to improve service since 2011 by conducting questionnaires for the female staff in tenant buildings with the goal of always providing a pleasant environment for our building users.

ORBIS: Examples of Product Improvements Reflecting Customer Feedback

Moreover, we have a system for sharing all the customer feedback that we receive every day by phone, postcards, fax, and e-mail. All our employees are able to check customer feedback at any time and can directly see it, which has contributed to service improvements and ideas for new products. We also hold Customer Feedback Report Meetings with the participation of the president and senior management. The management are also informed about customer feedback in weekly reports. We are identifying issues from a comprehensive perspective and are quickly formulating measures to improve products and services.

For example, Cleansing Liquid, which is one of ORBIS's flagship products, comes in a pump bottle, and we improved it after receiving customer feedback that the nozzle was difficult to push.