The Japanese Hospitality known as Omotenashi.

The word is a buzz online and is its search is only increasing as we get closer to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Though the word may seem unfamiliar to some of us – it sure was to me. The term “Omotenashi” can be translated to mean “hospitality.”

I came across the term in the local newspaper just this past week. Curious, I looked into it.

The Japanese Philosophy

The Japanese are known worldwide for their politeness and hospitality. The quality of service goes beyond just face value. It’s a philosophy and a way of thinking. It can only be described as the Japan’s unique take on hospitality.

There are even customer service stories. For example a clerk at a shopping mall created a customised carrier for a customer, simply because the item bought was not suitable to be carried in a plastic bag. The staff proactively decided to do this for the customer.  This is the embodiment of Otomenashi. You can read more about it here.


Japanese Customer Service

“There is customer service, and then there is Japanese customer service”, – Chief Executive Officer Tadashi Yanai, upon the opening of the Uniqlo store in Melbourne

It’s an interesting philosophy and way of thinking, that basically makes going – what would normally be – beyond the call of duty, normal.

hospitality 2

Does it?

There are many kinds of customers. Those that enter a store knowing exactly what they want and those that have no clue. Let’ take Pareto’s Law or the 80/20 principal for the sake of argument.

Let’s say 20% of customers entering the store know exactly what they want or are returning customers. The other 80% are potential buyers. This group of customers may just be browsing or are just curious. Either way, they entered the store, that means that something caught their attention.

Anticipating what these customers need, may go beyond even them. For example, if the customer was lingering and looking at a shirt for a while. Approaching the customer to offer them to try it on may prompt a “why not” reaction. Leading to greater possibility of the customer buying the item and the customer being. More importantly, the customer may see this as a service offered to the customer. And not a mere sales technique. Which leads to customer satisfaction. Regardless of whether they make the purchase or not. This can be viewed in many store of high-end brands.

The philosophy is ambitious as it is charming. At the end of the day, the hospitality is all about the customer regardless. And that is Omotenashi.

Though, we can discuss Omotenashi further, but I am no professor. Here is another article that you may read up on further.

If you think that provided outstanding hospitality to customers is the way to go. Contact us now and let us help you.