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maidinjapan comments

Posted in: In Japan, the customer is not king See in context

Why no BBQ sauce with your 100-yen burger? The profit margin on a, hmmmm, 100-yen burger probably doesn't allow for any extras, such as a 2 or 3 yen sauce.

Ironically, I think one of the things that makes Japanese customer service so nice IS the absolute adherence to the manual. This creates an efficient system, which in turn creates the consistency that we all love so much. Case in point: Which hamburgers taste best:

Mc Ds MOS Burg King

Which hamburger chain is the biggest in the world? I won't bother answering this, but I'm sure you get my point: Mc Ds is #1 because of it's consistency not taste, and this fits very well into J culture. I think it's very difficult to maintain both a highly efficient and consistency system while allowing for straying from the system. And I think most Japanese people like it just the way it is. Unfortunately, there are some side effects that we have to put up with, such as not getting that side of BBQ sauce to manually turn your 100-yen burger into the more expensive BBQ Burger without the extra charge ;)

In short, I would say that, while it can sometime be annoying when faced with a lack of flexibility, flexibility can also add to the chaos of the system, which can lead to sloppiness and a very unpleasant customer experience.


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