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    • Second Year Realities - What are Three People in the Customer Care Doing with their Varied Experience?

    Second Year Realities - What are Three People in the Customer Care Doing with their Varied Experience?

    Second Year Realities - What are Three People in the Customer Care Doing with their Varied Experience? サムネイル画像
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    Masuda

    Good afternoon, this is Fuyuka Masuda with the Customer Care Department. This is my second year since joining LINE Fukuoka.

    Our Customer Care Department works to improve our contact with customers through a variety of angles starting with inquiries regarding LINE services, as well as analyzing the voice of our customers to improve their experience, and operating help pages and chat bots.

    We held an interview with some of our other members who are in their second year here and joined midway through their careers that have the closest relationship with our users to get a better understanding of their goals and how they go about their work. Despite their experience in different fields, they have some common thoughts regarding the customer care field, so we sat down for an interview about the reality of two years in the Customer Care Department.

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    Note: Masks were only removed for photos.


          ■ Topic 1: Why they decided to join

    Masuda
    :What led me to ultimately join the company was the thought that I wanted to work with the Department Head Mr. Shigenobu. When I spoke to him about my previous experience and my thoughts about customer satisfaction in my interview, he agreed, and the feeling that we could work together to pursue that satisfaction was a major deciding factor.

    The ability to learn about LINE services, which are developed at a global level, and be involved in operations was also appealing. How about you two?

    Iwakiri:My reasons are similar to yours, but I found I had a similar thought process to our Department Head and managers, and wanted to work with them. I believe that looking at improving customer satisfaction leads to sales in the mid- and long-term, but at my previous position people tended to focus on immediate sales, and I struggled with the difference in thinking. I had decided to take a step back from customer support and look for a job in a different environment when I applied to LINE Fukuoka, but I received an interview offer from the Customer Care Department.

    I was worried about the gap between policy and my thoughts like at my previous job, but when I talked with the Department Head and managers, they thought that regardless of the product, focusing on support will lead to sales. That leads to confidence in customer support, and I wanted to give it a shot.
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    Nakahara:So you both decided to join because you wanted to work with our Department leaders! My main motivation for joining was being able to be involved with hands-on customer support again.

    Once I gained experience in the field at my previous job, I was transferred to the back office. After a few years, I started to want to return to a place where I could see my growth as an operator, and a previous supervisor that was working at LINE Fukuoka kindly asked me if I'd like an interview at the perfect time. At the time I was living in Osaka so I was unsure about taking the interview, but I wanted to challenge myself to see if my experience was useful, so I decided to join.

    Iwakiri:Wow, moving from Osaka for work is a big decision!

    Nakahara:It was. Of course I didn't make my decision immediately, but my family lives in Yamaguchi so it's easier for me to go home, and the systems for relocating and finding a house helped me make the decision. I also felt like it would be a waste not to utilize the opportunity my supervisor gave me by inviting me to interview. (Laughs)


          ■ Topic 2: The differences between when they joined and how things were a year later

    Iwakiri
    :It was basically as I expected, but I didn't think I'd have so much fun working after a year, so that was one difference. (Laughs) All of the members of the Customer Care Department have a great attitude towards their work, and the environment of constantly learning new things as services continue to change at LINE Fukuoka is stimulating and fun.

    Masuda:That's true, it is very stimulating here! I thought that I might have trouble with the difficulty of the work, so one difference in a good sense for me is that I feel rewarded by and enjoy my work every day.

    I don't have a long work history, so when I joined the company I was worried about whether I could do well as the ideal candidate they were looking for, but because of the supportive environment that allows for me to challenge myself, I'm highly motivated in my work. More than anything if the work I'm doing is in line with the aims of the department, the environment of being able to freely design my work within my discretion is a good fit for me.

    Nakahara:I joined the company as a leadership candidate, so I imagined that I would quickly become a leader and be working hard. Actually there was a desire for me to get responsibility after gaining experience dealing with customers and I became a leader in June of this year, so until then there was only a slight difference in expectations. (Laughs)

    However, by getting experience dealing with customers hands-on for a year, I understand the basic guidelines, and I can also understand the problems of our team members, so I think it ended up being better.

    Masuda:Looking at things in the long term by giving someone time to understand the guidelines and their team members rather than making them a leader right off the bat might allow for better results!
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          ■ Topic 3: How they utilized past experiences, and what they learned at LINE Fukuoka

    Iwakiri
    :The ability to "order things and explain them" that's required in email customer support was fostered through direct customer service experience at my previous position and my experience from the perspective as a customer are skills that I utilize. On the other hand, it's hard to put feelings or experience gained through direct support into words, so I learned that from scratch.

    Masuda: That's the case for me as well, I utilize the "customer perspective" that was important at my previous position in my work. However, LINE has a lot of different services, and many of our users are outside of Japan as well, so when we make guidelines it doesn't just stop with considering domestic support, we always have to be thinking globally. That sense is something I developed from scratch here.

    Not many companies develop services on a global scale and give you the opportunity to learn about world class customer care, so that's something unique you can learn at LINE Fukuoka, and I think it will be a strength for my career in the future.

    Nakahara: That's true, being involved in global customer care is one of LINE Fukuoka's unique characteristics. At my previous job I did everything from creating materials to implementing staff training, so I think I'm able to put my teaching and talent cultivation skills to good use.

    Masuda: I always thought the material you made was easy to understand when I looked at it!

    Nakahara: That's great to hear, thank you! Once you're "inside" the LINE service that everyone uses, you have to understand the detailed structures rather than just using it, so I had to learn that from the beginning and I struggled with it.

          ■ Topic 4: The highs and lows of Customer Care work

    Iwakiri
    :When I can utilize the customer perspective I picked up in customer service at my previous position, and improve our guidelines to remove the burden of inquiries from users I feel rewarded. I joined the company with no experience in the field, so I had a lot to learn including the necessary processes, rules, and perspectives. When I realize a new improvement that I hadn't noticed before, I really feel that what I've learned has stuck and it makes me happy.

    I'm not sure if this is a worry or not, but recently I find myself thinking about the difficulty of communicating things a lot. By taking on work to create guidelines for our operators, the opportunities I have to think about things from a variety of perspectives such as "how can I make this easy to understand?" or "how can I communicate this and prevent misunderstanding?" has increased. I really feel the difficulty of putting my thoughts in words, or conveying my feelings through text to our other members, and of course our customers.

    Masuda:LINE Fukuoka has a lot of lively communication through text, so similar to Ms. Iwakiri, I also feel the difficulty of putting my thoughts into words.

    Iwakiri:You were worried about the same thing? I think that while we do struggle with it, the ability to tell others what we're thinking and put them into words is something we build each day.

    Masuda:That's true, I feel the same way!
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    Masuda:As for what feels rewarding to me, I want to pursue customer satisfaction through my work, so I feel rewarded by everything I do here. In the employee onboarding that I'm in charge of, I spend a lot of time thinking about how best to have our operators who just joined understand the importance of customer satisfaction, but that understanding leads to granting customers satisfaction, so the trial and error process is fun.

    The worry that I have right now is how I can involve others into my work and make progress. In order to move toward the image that the Customer Care Department is aiming for, there are necessary tasks, and even if they aren't urgent, I want to have everyone understand their importance as we go about our work together. In order to do that, I need to organize advantages and disadvantages from a variety of angles, explain why we're doing something now and gain their understanding, and I worry about what options are good and bad to move towards a good direction as a department.

    Nakahara:No matter what you're doing you can't do it alone, so it's important to involve other people, isn't it? Being able to see the growth of others is what feels rewarding to me. In the calibrations (aligning understanding of evaluation standards) that we've been doing for mentors since half a year ago, I feel that how those involved approach feedback is becoming better and better.

    What I worry about is how to nurture reading comprehension and communication abilities. Customer care through email is a necessity, but it's not a skill you can build immediately. I'm exploring the best nurturing methods for how I can efficiently have our new employees acquire the skills.

          ■ Topic 5: How they feel about Customer Care policy and their goals

    Masuda
    :Lastly, what do you all think about the Customer Care Department's policies for 2021?
     
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    Iwakiri:The point where I'm involved in customer care and the flow is different from my previous job, but I still worked with the same vision that the Department has always had of "offering the best service for our customers." In order to do that, the general premise is providing support from the customer's perspective, and I think there's no point in that if you don't have easy to use guidelines for the operators.

    Our recent goal is to provide high quality customer service by creating and improving guidelines so that we can have the perspective of both parties. Next year, I want to create tools and internal structures so that we can provide an even smoother response to inquiries.

    Masuda:That's true, it's important to equip our department with internal structures so that we can smoothly respond to our customers. For me, our department's policy is the thought process I want to hold dear in work.

    My recent goal is to structure my current work, and shape it in a way that anyone can operate. There's a lot we should be doing to move towards the ideal image of our department, so first of all I want to create structures to reduce work that's dependent on a single person and provide an allowance of time, and next year I want to visualize the value of "cultivation" and "product management" which are difficult to show numerical results for immediately.

    Nakahara:I also think that the root thought processes of customer care are reflected in our department policy. My recent goal is solving my worries regarding cultivating high quality support. When you improve your individual skills and qualities, you can find the shortest route to solving problems, which leads to a lessened burden on customers. Receiving inquiries means that we're placing an unnecessary burden in using our services, so in a year I want to work to lessen the burden on users from a broader perspective.

    Masuda: In order to offer the best service to our customers, there's a lot we need to think about from every angle, such as improving convenience, and improving internal structures!

     
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    Masuda

    These three members utilize their different experiences in customer service to improve the customer experience, and put their experience and perspective to use in their work each day. If you're interested in customer care for LINE services that operate on a global scale, please see the recruitment information below.

    [Career Opportunities]
    • Customer Care/LINE/Leader Candidates
    • Customer Care/LINE Family Services/Leader Candidate

    [Related Articles]
    Ten Facts about the Customer Care Department and the Inquiries they Handle (Sorry, only available in Japanese)

    Interview with Department Head of the Customer Care Department (Sorry, only available in Japanese)
     

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