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.