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Sunday, 29 June 2014

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'Lanka should improve customer care'

Sri Lanka has a lot to learn from the Japanese business culture which gives top priority to customer care to achieve business excellence, National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL) President Sunil G. Wijesinghe told a workshop on 'Productivity and Quality - the Japanese way'.


Sunil Wijesinghe

It was organised by the NCCSL recently.

He said that Sri Lankan business institutions should take a cue from Japan which has excelled in economic development due to the highest regard organisations give to customers who are an integral part of growth.

Customer care in Sri Lanka is not satisfactory as often customers are not treated properly. There is ample room for improvement in customer services.

"No business could grow ignoring the welfare of customers.

A satisfactory service is essential to retain customers. The Japanese respect customers by bowing in the same manner they do to the Emperor. A Japanese who was on a recent visit to Sri Lanka for a seminar was dissatisfied by the customer care which is more a slogan than a practice," Wijesinghe said.

He said productivity means increasing the value of output and not mere hard work or retrenching staff to reduce cost. Productivity entails achieving efficiency and effectiveness. It is not the number of those who were penalised for violating road rules but rather how far it could help reduce the fatalities is what is important.

Business institutions should focus on creative quality that could surprise and delight customers.

Japan achieved rapid development after the Second World War as it mobilised its population to enhance quality and productivity.

They strive to bring everything to its original state. The focus on processes has helped Japan to enhance efficiency and effectiveness. They do not succumb to nature. Japanese are not deterred by rain or sun.

A day's work takes its course even after an earthquake. The Japanese are less into verbal discourse and more data based. Meetings are based on facts and figures and there is no room for guesses and opinions. It is not who is at fault but what is at fault is that matters for Japanese.

Wijesinghe stressed the importance of practising the Japanese 5S system to enhance productivity and quality. The Japanese philosophy Kaizen, focuses on change for better, continuous improvement, attention to small things, taking small steps at a time, low cost improvement and participation of all.

- LF

 

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