Since our founding, we have been prioritizing customer satisfaction. We value regular communication with the customers and reflect their feedback in our corporate activities.
Toward Customer Satisfaction
The Suntory Group values two-way communication with the customers in the belief it has held since its founding that customer satisfaction should be given top priority. In 1976, we opened the Consumer Department to handle inquiries from customer. The office now operates as the Consumer-Oriented Management Department of Suntory Communications Limited. We respond sincerely to the opinions and requests that we receive from the customers based on the Voluntary Declaration of Consumer Orientation. We are strengthening initiatives to more widely reflect this feedback in our corporate activities, including improvement and development of better products and services.
Basic Policy on Customer Satisfaction and Course of Action
We stipulated the Basic Policy on Customer Satisfaction in 1999 in order for each and every one of our employees to take action while always recognizing the goal of providing customer satisfaction. We formulated the Course of Action for our Customer Center in 2002 to be put into comprehensive practice by all of the Customer Center staff.
Basic Policy on Customer Satisfaction
We strive to realize, maintain and improve customer satisfaction in every way through various activities to fulfill the responsibility as a member of the society. We value communication with the customers and provide safe and reliable products and services that bring joy to the customer and gain their trust, while providing information and implementing customer feedback to our business activities.
Course of Action for Customer Center
1.We will respond to customer inquiries and complaints in a timely, accurate and sincere manner while being fair and just.
2.We will proactively provide reliable information that brings satisfaction to the customer.
3.We will incorporate feedback and requests of the society in the company.
4.We will comply with laws and our own standards to protect the rights of the customer.
Customer Response Standard
Suntory Holdings Ltd. and 12 Group companies* have formulated a Course of Action that follow ISO10002 (JIS Q 10002) as a working mindset for acting according to the basic policy and course of action. We recognize the right of customers to make inquiries and complaints in these regulations, which are clarifying the active efforts and responsibility to respond to customers with the objective of maintaining and improving customer satisfaction through our corporate activities. In addition, we will formulate and thoroughly familiarize employees with standards and procedures based on this course of action.
*Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd., Suntory Foods Ltd., Suntory Beverage Solution Ltd., Suntory Foods Okinawa Ltd., Suntory Products Ltd., Suntory Spirits Ltd., Okinawa Suntory Ltd., Suntory Business System Limited, Suntory System Technology Ltd. Suntory Global Innovation Center Ltd., Suntory Corporate Business Ltd. and Sunlive Co., Ltd., (as of July 2022)
CREDO (SUNTORY MIND for Customer Service)
The CREDO (SUNTORY MIND for Customer Service) was formulated as a doctrine for customer service in 2013 to embed the basic policies and course for action in the hearts of each and every employee in their daily tasks. We created this CREDO with all the staff at the Customer Relations Division in an effort to cultivate a climate that nurtures activities able to satisfy the customer.
Responding, Sharing and Utilizing Customer Feedback
Our Customer Center uses a proprietary information search system to respond quickly and accurately to customers so that those who make inquiries, etc. are not left waiting.
By recording the inquiry and our response in our core information management system upon receiving the inquiry, valuable information from the customers is shared immediately with relevant departments to enhance quality, improve risk management, etc.
We periodically share the feedback we receive from the customers with relevant departments to strengthen our VOC activities*1 that reflect this feedback in our corporate activities and employees course for action, which includes improving our products and services and enhancing our provision of information.
*1VOC (Voice of Customer) activities: Activity to reflect customer feedback in management policy.
Flow of Consumer information
Customer voices to our Customer Center (Results of 2021: Approx. 68,000 )
*1Complaints: Includes expressions of dissatisfaction by customers about products or corporate activities
*2Inquiries and feedback: Includes a wide range of questions and opinions expressed by customers other than complaints
90% of the Customers Will Continue to Use Our Products
We send a "Voice Card (survey about services)" to inquire about the satisfaction of the customers who sent us complaints, after the matters of complaint were resolved. Feedback received is conveyed to the person who responded and also shared to the entire company through the Intranet for further improving the response to similar cases in the future. 91% of the customers who filled out the Voice Card told us they will continue to use our products in the future (2021 results).
Valuing Customer Feedback for Product Development
We are aiming to improve quality, product development and the provision of information through incorporating opinions and requests from the customers. Having a point of view of the customers is crucial in developing products that are safe and easy to use. We carefully listen to the feedback of the customers, and aim to provide kinder, gentler products to all people.
We listen to customer feedback carefully and use it to continuously improve our products and services. Customer feedback regarding products of other companies and products in other categories are shared with the development division to stimulate new findings from a wider perspective and make prior checks from the customer’s point of view.
<Examples Utilizing Feedback in Products>
Roll label on PET bottles now uses newly developed glue that makes the label easy to remove
In response to our customer's feedback that pointed out that the label on PET bottles is difficult to remove and leaves glue residue, we have developed glue that makes it easier to remove the label while maintaining adhesive strength. The new glue will be used for a wide range of products.
Renewed bottle for Iemon green tea "Ocha Dozo" withstands both heating and cooling
Iemon green tea "Ocha Dozo" is popular for its PET bottle that is suitable for being served to visitors during the coronavirus pandemic. At the request of customers who want to heat the bottle up in cold months, we have upgraded the bottle that can be used for both cold and hot tea. To indicate the bottle can now withstand both heating and cooling, we have added a description saying it is delicious either hot or chilled.
[BOSS Cafe Base] Reviving a graduated bottle
When we discontinued the scale that served as a guide for the amount of pouring so that customers could enjoy it at their preferred strength, we received requests from customers to bring it back as it was useful. We have therefore brought back the scale so that customers have an option to either pour freely or use scale as a guide.
[All-Free] Placing “purine-free” information on the front of the can
Since the "purine-free" information was removed from the front of the can due to the renewal, we have received inquiries from customers asking why the "zero purine" information has been removed. In response to this, we put the "zero purine" information back on the front of the can.
[Green tea "Iyemon"] Posting a notification on our website to inform customers of a deposit forming on the bottom of the bottle
As we received inquiries about a sediment found on the bottom of the "Iemon" bottle, we have placed a notification on our website to inform customers that matcha used for "Iemon" is stone-milled and leaves a sediment on the bottom the bottle, which plays an important role in bringing out the true taste of green tea.
[Maker’s Mark] Posting on our website instructions on how to open red sealing wax
In response to inquiries about how to open the red wax seal of "Maker’s Mark," we have posted an explanation of how to open it on our website. In addition, a guide to the website is provided on the back label.
[Horoyoi] Changing the design of "Iced Tea Sour" and "Cassis and Orange" to make it easier to distinguish between them
At the request of our customers, we have revised the design to make it easy for customers to distinguish between "Iced Tea Sour" and "Cassis and Orange" at a glance.
Expanding communication outlets: Use of Digital and Social Media tools
We work to enhance information on the Customer Center website leveraging videos and illustrations for customers who prefer to search for information online, in addition to the communication via telephone calls, letters, and e-mails. English inquiry form is also available to respond to inquiries from overseas customers. We have also established a dedicated social media account to actively support feedback from the customers.
Communicating Our Consumer Oriented Initiatives To Society
The Suntory Group actively communicates its Consumer oriented management philosophy and initiatives thought various media and activities.
Voluntary Declaration of Consumer Orientation and Activity Report
In April 2017, we revised our customer oriented philosophy and initiative policies passed down since the founding of Suntory to draw up and release Voluntary Declaration of Consumer orientation. The specific activities that we have undertaken based on the declaration are reported to society in the Voluntary Declaration of Consumer Orientation Activity Report. We were awarded the Commissioner award in January 2020 for the 2019 Award for good practices of consumer-oriented management hosted by the Consumer Affairs Agency.
As a company that discloses its Voluntary Declaration of Consumer Orientation, we have provided the declaration and content of activities on the Customer Affairs Agency website.
Workshops for University Students
A workshop for learning about Consumer orientation is held annually for approximately 30 university students who will be working in the near future.
Through the work of learning about Suntory's Consumer oriented spirit and experiencing product development from a Consumer perspective, we are creating opportunities for each individual to think about being customer orientation and incorporating this mindset into practice.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was held online in 2020. Though held online, it was highly rated by participants in a questionnaire survey.