Success story 01
An American auto parts manufacturer wanted to add Japanese automakers’ U.S. operations to its customer base, but was unsure how best to cultivate Japanese customers. The approaches that had worked with American clients were not bearing fruit with the Japanese. We conducted a workshop that explained what Japanese customers expected from interactions with suppliers, particularly within the automotive context. We then worked with the Americans on adjusting their sales approach to be more effective with Japanese. Finally, we guided them in modifying their PowerPoint deck for sales presentations so that it better stressed the themes likely to be of interest to Japanese. As a result, the Americans were on their way to growing their business by building long-term, productive sales relationships with the Japanese.
Success story 02
An American airport was preparing for the opening of a new direct flight to Japan, after a service gap of several years. Earlier, the airport’s reputation among Japanese fliers had been tarnished by policies deemed to be biased against Asians. Airport management was now faced with the challenge of rebuilding customer confidence, and wanted Japanese passengers to be treated in a manner they found to be respectful and culturally appropriate. We conducted training for all staff at the airport, encompassing the TSA, customs, immigration, and retail workers, preparing them for the types of interactions most likely to take place in the context of air travel. Topics covered included cultural attitudes, how Japanese passengers might behave differently than American passengers, how airport procedures differ in Japan, and how to deal with the language barrier. Participants had an opportunity to get answers to their questions, and gained confidence in their ability to interact effectively with Japanese passengers. The airport’s service to Japan has since continued uninterrupted, its reputation among Japanese passengers restored.