Communication with customers to maximize customer satisfaction
Provision of Sustainability-conscious Products & Services
Globally operating companies are strengthening their efforts to enhance sustainability, not only in-house but in their supply chains as well. As such, customers' expectations for the OMRON Group to fulfill its responsibility in this area are on the rise. In the electronics industry, more companies are asking their suppliers to comply with the Code of Conduct established by RBA, Responsible Business Alliance*.
Amid this global supply chain trend, Sustainable Office is playing a leading role at the Group to work together with business segments and HQ departments. Specifically, the Group conducts self-assessments using the Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) provided by RBA in order to confirm its status of compliance with RBA standards in five categories: Labor, health & safety, environment, ethics, and management system.
In fiscal 2019, self-assessments using RBA-SAQ were carried out again at 19 main production sites in Japan, Greater China, Southeast Asia, and Europe. The overall results confirmed that there were no high-risk sites according to RBA standards. However, the Group found several gaps between individual initiatives and RBA standards, and is working to revise in-house standards, establish management system, among other measures.
The OMRON Group will continue to take measures to ensure that all products and services the Group provides with customers are sustainable in social and environmental aspects.
We are seeing an increase in the number of customers who require that third-party organizations conduct evaluations of our overall sustainability initiatives.
Our production site in Vietnam received an RBA third-party audit, and we reported the results to our customers upon requests.
In addition, the OMRON Group was evaluated by EcoVadis*1, a company experienced in evaluating corporate sustainability. We were given the highest gold rating for the first time in 2019, being among the top 5% of companies evaluated. We share information through the EcoVadis platform for customers who request these evaluation results
Regarding climate and water-related issues, we are contributing to customers' environmental initiatives by responding to the CDP*2 supply chain questionnaire.
*1 EcoVadis: French company that provides a comprehensive corporate social responsibility (CSR) evaluation service using a global cloud-based SaaS platform.
*2 CDP: International NGO to promote climate-related information disclosure. As of January 2019, 115 organizations are members of the CDP Supply Chain Program, with purchasing power of approximately 3.3 trillion USD in total.
Industrial Automation Business (IAB), which offers control equipment and factory automation systems, is working to help customers to realize innovation in manufacturing with a wide range of OMRON products, applications that connect the products, combined with services and support.
There is an increasing demand for services and support on production floors with drastic changes in social environment, such as technical innovation seen in robots and IoT, as well as labor shortage. In order to respond to these needs, we use our own proprietary network spanning countries around the world to provide extensive service and support tailored to customers' business processes, ranging from equipment design through to installation and maintenance.
In terms of global manufacturing, we have the same concerns and worries as our customers as regards our overseas production floors and daily operations. There is a time difference, languages are different, we can see each other. We sympathize with such customer concerns and annoyances, and we are aiming to eliminate these.
Accordingly, so that we could more rapidly and seamlessly provide support in resolving local manufacturing issues to our customers who are expanding their business worldwide, in April 2018 we established the Consultation Desk service with the aim of functioning as a service network hub connecting OMRON overseas service locations.
At OMRON, we already have a network of over 150 locations in 40 countries worldwide, making up a global support system. However, regional requests for service support that were previously cross-border were either handled by customers directly contacting their local OMRON base, or by OMRON sales representatives contacting them individually. In order to carry this out more effectively and promptly, we have put in place a global liaison function at our sales headquarters in Japan, Europe, the Americas, Greater China, and the Asia Pacific region. Additionally, we have enhanced our cross-border support system that provides backup to customers, and this includes a goal of responding to requests within 48 hours of receipt.
We are a specialist group that provides support for manufacturing, and we will continue to evolve every day with the aim of improving the global competitiveness of our customers.
To the customers expanding their business overseas, IAB wants them to feel assured in using OMRON's control equipment anywhere and anytime. To this end, IAB identified nearly 20 core services and support, visualizing the service provision status, not only in Japan but at each global area, and started offering them the latest information. Moreover, IAB is working to minimize the customers' workload and concerns in different multinational procedures, by establishing the stronger structure to link OMRON's global sites with each other, to closely assist customers.
While most customer support centers in Japan target an 80% customer satisfaction level, OMRON has set a higher goal in pursuit of 90%-plus customer satisfaction.
Customer satisfaction surveys revealed that 42% of customers desire accurate responses to their questions and expect recommendations for better ways to use products and equipment tailored to their specific needs. We learn more about the customer's circumstances, seek higher levels of customer satisfaction through quality improvements that incorporate feedback from customers in our development, technology support, and sales.
In addition, we strive to improve our support capabilities by conducting regular follow-up with operators to eliminate variances in service levels offered by staff members.
Since we began surveys in 2014, we have been striving for 95%-plus customer satisfaction every year. Each quarter, we measure customer satisfaction. More specifically, we send a survey to customers via e-mail, asking for a five-point evaluation. We also ask for areas they liked and areas requiring improvement. We share these responses within our call center, considering each issue and forming responses for improvement.
IAB offers the latest information and services online so that customers can obtain necessary information at any time, including product information, users' manuals, CAD, downloadable certification documents, as well as search function to find recommended replacing models for discontinued items. Furthermore, we are enhancing solutions information that can be used by OMRON in using robots and IoT to renovate manufacturing sites to handle customer management issues that include labor shortages in factories as well as having skilled workers pass on their skills.
IAB Japan's website placed first in the 2019 B-to-B site ranking established by Tribeck Brand Strategies, Inc. for the thirteenth consecutive year. IAB's steady efforts to enable continuous improvements in the world of the ever-advancing internet were highly regarded by customers, which resulted in this recurring honor. IAB will continue offering a broader range of information and service of high value to customers' manufacturing.
We at IAB will continue our efforts to keep up with further technical evolution and realization of innovative applications. To do so, we will keep challenging ourselves to create new services and support, making the most of OMRON-only technologies, know-hows, and experience earned at actual production floors. We at IAB want to be recognized by our customers as their partners in manufacturing innovation, so that we will work harder not only on hardware (control equipment) and software (applications) but also better services and support. We will keep evolving, together with customers.
OMRON Healthcare Co., Ltd. (HCB), engaged in the manufacture and marketing of products and services for healthcare and medical care, set up the Customer Support Center that provides one-stop service ranging from response to inquiries to parts sale and handling repair requests. In 2018, the Center received roughly 240,000 inquiries from customers.
The way customers contact the Customer Support Center used be mainly by telephone, but it is diversifying in recent years, such as website. Especially, accesses to online FAQ page jumped by 44% from the previous year. In order to help customers solve problems by themselves, HCB is working to constantly improve the page from customers' point of view. By analyzing accesses to FAQs, the company added easier-to-understand and more detailed explanations to more frequently accessed items, and altered or discontinued items with minimal access.
Also, to correctly assess customer requests and rapidly reflect them in its products and services, HCB is committed to analyzing inquiries from customers. This enables timely feedback of customer input to staff of product planning, R&D and production departments.
As for telephone and email responses, the Center is promoting to offer better and consistent services. At the call center, instructors monitor each telephone operator’s response and relay feedback to individual operators. Additionally, evaluations by an external specialized organization are given regularly to confirm the quality of responses.
OMRON Healthcare is determined to enhance customer satisfaction by ensuring safer and more secure use of its products and services.
We have recorded improvements every year since we began surveys in FY2013. We scored a customer satisfaction rating of 97.9% for FY2019.
We are pursuing the following initiatives in our Chinese call center to support and improve customer satisfaction.
The following are areas designated for improvement during FY2020:
OMRON Healthcare sets up customer contacts at product planning and design stages, and after products are put on the market, in order to monitor where and when they are used and in what way. This allows the company to correctly understand the usage condition of its products and the environment surrounding each customer.
The knee electrotherapy band released in 2018 is attached under the knee when walking, and reduces knee pain by applying electrical shocks while the user is walking. This product provides support for users who are starting to become concerned about knee pain during walking, and the first challenge to be confronted was being able to use this while walking. Accordingly, we applied monitors to users suffering from knee pain, and obtained from them assistance in product development. As well as verifying its effectiveness as treatment, this product development also studied a size that does not interfere with walking, positioning that does not interfere with bending or straightening of the knee, and a band material and configuration that does not shift during walking. We also took on board and reflected other opinions concerning the product, including how to formulate instruction manuals, in order that we could ensure correct and simple usage of a hitherto unseen concept product worn beneath the knee while walking.
Recently, staff members of OMRON Healthcare have been actively committed to broadening their perspectives and sharpening their professional expertise. For example, some design and customer service staff members have become qualified as human-centered design specialists.
Established in Germany, the iF Design Awards are among the most prestigious awards and largest design competitions in the world. Each year, these awards recognize outstanding industrial designs from all over the world. Entries are screened based on multifaceted criteria, including degree of innovation, uniqueness, aesthetic appeal, functionality, use value and usability, quality, pricing, and consideration of environmental standards. OMRON has won this award for 13 consecutive years since 2007, and in 2019, our blood pressure monitor with electrocardiograph, and our electric toothbrushes also won awards, in recognition of OMRON's commitment to creating user-oriented products offering maximum accuracy and ease of use.