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 OMRON 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 OMRON to work together with business segments and HQ departments. Specifically, OMRON 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 2017, self-assessments using RBA-SAQ were carried out again at 16 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, OMRON 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.
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. IAB, with its own global network of about 150 locations in 40 countries/regions, is ready to meet such demand by offering extensive services and support that meet each customer’s business process, from facility design, implementation, to maintenance.
Followings are major initiatives IAB made in fiscal 2017:
OMRON has been establishing Automation Centers, co-creation spaces to solve IAB customers’ management issues and problems at actual production floors. Establishing 8 centers globally in fiscal 2016 and 9 in fiscal 2017 mainly in North America, OMRON is planning to open additional 18 centers in fiscal 2018, to 35 in total. To be attractive enough for customers to come over, Automation Centers have facilities and equipment for proving tests as well as training rooms. Also, the Centers share information with each other on the latest technologies, know-hows, and specifications, so that customers worldwide can receive the same best solutions. This is a part of sales staff and engineers’ joint efforts to solve customers’ issues on a global level.
In Greater China, automation has been rapidly introduced to production floors, and competition in the market is more intense than ever. As a solution, IAB focused on improving response speed and quality at call centers, and introduced an online service robot. Named Xiao-Ou or mini-Europe (Xiao means small and Ou means Europe in Chinese, and also O as in OMRON), the robot was made with AI and OMRON’s unique technologies under the concept of “harmony between human and machine”, and can respond to customers’ technical inquiries 24 hours and 365 days. With an enormous amount of FAQs stored in its brain, Xiao-Ou is contributing to answer diverse technical questions. The initiative was recognized by China Electronic Commerce Association’s contact center committee, and won “Customers’ choice, the best customer contact center award,” the industry’s best award.
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.
[Japan] OMRON always aims for customer satisfaction improvement. We have set a high goal of a consistent 90 percent-plus satisfaction score in Japan, where general customer support satisfaction goals are in the 80 percent range.
[China] Since conducting surveys in fiscal 2014, OMRON has engaged in customer satisfaction improvement activities, aiming for 95 percent-plus customer satisfaction each year. The company will continue to strive for higher levels of customer satisfaction.
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.
Going forward, IAB will work to build a more useful website for customers by meeting their requests, based on responses to the site user questionnaire survey conducted annually.
IAB Japan’s website placed first in the 2018 B-to-B site ranking established by Tribeck Brand Strategies, Inc. for the twelfth 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 2017, the Center received roughly 260,000 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 77% 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.
Since conducting the first survey in fiscal 2013, OMRON has raised customer satisfaction levels every year. The company exceeded the goal of 97.2 percent in fiscal 2018, scoring a 97.7 percent customer satisfaction assessment. The company will continue to strive for higher levels of customer satisfaction.
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.
For example, in the case of a wrist-type blood pressure monitor, users are required to align their wrist to the height of their heart. Therefore, OMRON wrist-type monitors are equipped with a measurement posture guide, which guides users to place the monitor at the correct height. When developing a new product, OMRON Healthcare staff asked users to try an existing model and observed whether the measurement posture guide is understood and used correctly. The observation led to the finding that there were many users who didn’t notice the positioning indicator on the display, which tells the user via color change whether the monitor is at the correct height or not. Based on this finding, engineers developed a more noticeable display of the indicator for use in the next generation of products.
As for AED, more than 200 consumers, both male and female, in their teens through 60s were asked to try out the unit. The way they used the unit was observed in real time and video-recorded for comparison of operating time in life-threatening situations. Staff at planning, R&D, and product design departments together observed the operational procedure for each step to discover problems with the usability of the product and to consider countermeasures.
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 products have received iF Design awards for 11 consecutive years since fiscal 2007. In fiscal 2017, five OMRON products including a blood pressure monitor and a low-frequency massager were awarded, in recognition of OMRON’s commitment to creating user-oriented products offering maximum accuracy and ease of use.