Editors Blog

Shoes Off to Japanese Customer Service

April 8, 2011

The earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crises in Japan have brought stories of tragedy, survival, and hope to light. Many of these stories reflect a vast difference between American and Japanese culture; for example, standing in line. It is not a tough concept to grasp, but when asked to stand in line for basic needs, the buzz is that evacuees stood in line and waited for what assistance could be offered; no questions asked and no complaints made. In contrast to how American’s stand in line - often loud, complaining, and in more of a mob than a line - the behavior of the Japanese could be considered amazing; especially considering the circumstances.

Another fascinating cultural story came from a family friend. This former U.S. Navy officer was recently evacuated from Japan. During dinner the other night she told the story of her new refrigerator being delivered a few years before the earthquake. Two delivery men arrived with the brand new refrigerator and carried it up to her apartment. As they entered the apartment, each paused, still holding the refrigerator, and popped off their shoes.

Wow, talk about customer service. Understandably, removing ones shoes upon entering a domicile is extremely cultural in Japan, but to do it while carrying a refrigerator is phenomenal. If there was ever a time to bypass this cultural practice, refrigerator delivery is likely it.

With this story in mind, it seems that shoe covers are the least technicians can do to respect the customer’s home. If you haven’t implemented this practice in your company, perhaps it is time to consider making shoe covers a part of company policy. If your technicians complain, tell them the story of the Japanese refrigerator delivery men and then give them the option to remove their shoes instead. Of course this may cause a need for some odor eater investments. Perhaps sticking with shoe covers is a place to compromise.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2015 HARDI Fly-In

Highlights from HARDI's Congressional Fly-In in Washington, D.C. Post date: May 28, 2015.


NEWSMakers: Kevin Conrad
Kevin Conrad, president, Kevin Conrad Heating and Cooling Inc., Nantucket, Massachusetts, breaks down working in the New England climate, the benefits of insulation foam, and more.

More Podcasts


NEWS 06-29-15 cover

2015 June 29

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Online Reviews

Do you track online review sites like Yelp to look for comments on your company’s performance?
View Results Poll Archive


2015 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to ACHRNews.com. Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con