Customer Satisfaction and Product Safety
Increasing Customer Satisfaction
Konica Minolta's Approach
Background and Issues
Long-term customer relationships are essential for Konica Minolta’s businesses in office equipment, medical devices, measuring instruments, and other products. In order to remain irreplaceable to customers in an era when needs are becoming more sophisticated and diverse, Konica Minolta must be able to meet specific needs and continually strengthen customer confidence.
Konica Minolta uses customer feedback to improve its products and services. The company strives to strengthen its relationships by helping customers achieve their unique goals. Konica Minolta aims to continually improve customer satisfaction and form strong relationships that result in a positive reputation and new customer referrals.
- Formulating measures for development-productionsales cooperation in each business based on customer feedback
- Promoting global measures to improve customer relationship management
- Setting indicators to measure customer relationship management in each business
Working to Improve Customer Relationship Management
Earning more trust and a higher appraisal from customers by building long-term relationships
Continuous after-sales service is necessary for products such as IT devices, medical devices, and measurement devices handled by Konica Minolta. The company is determined to increase the confidence and trust of its customers through this kind of long-term relationship and hopes to establish rapport that will lead to customers recommending Konica Minolta to other potential customers. That is why the company actively gathers feedback from customers, has established a system for using it to improve products and services, and is attempting to enhance customer relationship management Group-wide.
Heeding the Voice of the Customer
Konica Minolta provides customer assistance in countries around the world through call centers and websites set up for different products and services. In addition to responding promptly to defect information and inquiries received by each contact point, the Group also centralizes that information in its Voice of the Customer* database in an effort to ascertain the status of quality and customer requests. Additionally, each business division periodically conducts customer satisfaction surveys either through an independent organization or in-house. Moreover, development personnel in addition to sales personnel make visits to customers who use the Group's products.
- * The Voice of the Customer (VOC) database stores feedback gathered from call centers, interviews, and the results of market surveys.
Global Deployment of NPS Surveys to Measure Customer Relationship Management in the Business Technologies Business
In April 2012, the Business Technologies Business created a Customer Relations (CR) Division and adopted NPS* as a target indicator. It developed a scientific approach, adding NPS to the conventional customer satisfaction survey and deployed it globally. With the aim of improving customer satisfaction, measures were implemented to analyze Konica Minolta customer feedback. The survey helped the company gauge customer views and see if the company would provide excitement that exceeds the expectations of customers and if customers would thus recommend the company to other potential customers. The survey also evaluated how the company's products would contribute to customers’ businesses.
As of fiscal 2013, the CR Division has conducted a global NPS survey with the same standards in Japanese, U.S. and German markets. The results of the analysis identified common worldwide issues that could not be recognized simply from a product’s specifications. In response to these issues, the development, production, and marketing departments worked together to discuss crosscutting countermeasures, created a response team comprised of members from the R&D headquarters and quality assurance, and made progress through improvements to existing products and to the design and assessment of new products. Then, by incorporating these improvement results in the PDCA cycle to verify the next global NPS survey, the Group will achieve continuous improvement.
In the fiscal 2014 survey, the CR Division continually monitored how improvements to existing products and the development of new products changed customer satisfaction regarding issues identified in the previous fiscal year. The analysis results were fed back to the R&D headquarters and efforts steadily made to improve issues.
In fiscal 2015, while continuing previous initiatives, the Group also implemented a cross-sectional project to get more systematic about “creating products that impress customers” and incorporated a quality management system into work processes in an effort to firmly instill initiatives.
- NPS (Net Promoter Score): an indicator that measures the percentage of customers who recommend the company and its products and services to others.
Conducting a Customer Satisfaction Survey
Konica Minolta carries out company-wide efforts to further improve customer satisfaction and checks the results using customer satisfaction surveys conducted for each business domain. The fiscal 2016 surveys revealed a company-wide customer satisfaction rating for Konica Minolta of 78.7%, indicating a high level of customer satisfaction.
Konica Minolta’s principal domain, the Business Technologies Business, conducts a worldwide survey of customer satisfaction, covering each aspect of the value provided, in order to obtain feedback for improving its products and services.
In fiscal 2016, customer satisfaction with products, sales, and support was as indicated below on the surveys conducted in three countries.
Corporate customers to which Konica Minolta sells directly
System Built to Provide Globally Uniform Support
Many customers running global businesses centrally control at their head offices the maintenance and management of IT systems, including MFPs used in offices around the world. When requesting support from a device manufacturer, there are times when the head office, as the single point of contact, and the office actually needing support are in different regions. Accordingly, device manufacturers must also establish a global structure to provide accurate and timely support.
This is why Konica Minolta has built a new system to provide globally uniform support. Support staff assigned to sales companies worldwide have been organized and the contact point for customers has been centralized at the Global Support Center (GSC). By using purpose-built IT tools, support requests received by the GSC are shared with personnel around the world, resulting in timely and appropriate support with the dispatch of local customer engineers to handle hardware issues and specialized staff members providing remote support to solve software issues. Further, the level of service is homogenized by creating a globally shared database of inquiries and the results of responses.
CR Masters Program: A Program for Developing Personnel With Strong Customer Relations Skills
In 2015, the Customer Relations Department in the Business Technologies Business established a CR Masters Program, an education and certification program that systematizes Konica Minolta’s unique customer relations activities with the purpose of improving the skills of personnel who promote customer relations at sales companies around the world. Through this program, customer relations personnel acquire globally standardized knowledge and practical experience in a scientific approach to customer relations as well as in marketing and project management. They then go on to further strengthen the customer relations activities of their respective sales companies. At present, around 100 people from sales companies in the Group’s main eight countries have participated in the program, which will be enlarged as needed in the future.
Image of e-learning screen
Participants receive certificates of program completion
Implementation of Training, Including for External Partners, to Raise Support Quality in the Business Technologies Business
The Business Technologies Business is determined to provide a consistently high level of service to customers everywhere in the world. To that end, it conducts various kinds of technical training on products for the Group’s own customer engineers and also for external distribution partners.
In Product Service Training, trainees acquire the skills and knowledge essential for the installation, setup, maintenance, and repair of each products. The training includes two different learning methods: instructor-led training to boost practical skills and knowledge acquisition via e-learning.
Konica Minolta’s own technical license certification program, Outward, is designed to keep improving the technical skills of customer engineers. This program is organized into five certification levels starting with Associate and going up through Professional, Expert, and Master to Diploma. It enables the gradual upgrading of skills, from the acquisition of the basic knowledge needed to provide support for Konica Minolta’s products to the mastery of high-level specialized skills.
By making these training programs available to more and more engineers worldwide, the Konica Minolta Group will continue to fulfill customer satisfaction globally.
Promoting the Adoption of Remote Maintenance in the Healthcare Business
Products provided by the Healthcare Business are used in life-threatening medical settings, so there is a need for especially rapid responses to product failures and problems. That is why Konica Minolta is focusing on improving response time by its call center in order to minimize diagnostic downtime. The company established key performance indicators (KPI) on the themes of reducing customer waiting time on the phone, improving the call center’s ability to resolve problems on its own, and improving customer satisfaction, and it worked to make improvements in all of these areas.
As part of that effort, the call center in Japan is promoting the adoption of remote maintenance for the quick resolution of problems by remotely operating products at customers’ locations through the Internet. Since this system enables problems to be solved without sending out engineers, it reduces product downtime, thereby shortening diagnostic interruption in healthcare settings.
In fiscal 2015, around 60% of the calls received by the call center were from customers using remote maintenance.
As a result, downtime has been shortened by about 45,000 hours per year,* a 65% improvement over the past six years. Thanks to the adoption of remote maintenance, the decrease in the number of times technicians were dispatched resulted in a cost reduction of approximately 70 million yen in fiscal 2015.
Additionally, the KPI of “improving the call center’s ability to resolve problems on its own” has been improved from approximately 60% at the time the call center was opened to approximately 80% today.
- Calculated based on Konica Minolta’s indicators