Promoting the Acquisition of Consumer Affairs Advisor Credentials

In Japan, Panasonic actively promotes the acquisition by its employees of Consumer Affairs Advisor* credentials with the aim of fostering a customer-oriented corporate culture.
As of April 1, 2017, 398 employees affiliated with the Panasonic Group had acquired this certification.

Consumer Affairs Advisor System
The Consumer Affairs Advisor System consists of a qualification based on certification under the authority of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry. (The examination and certification organization is the non-profit organization the Japan Industrial Association.) The goals of the system are to create bridges from consumers to companies and government, to effectively reflect the ideas and opinions of consumers in suggestions for corporate management and government administration, and to foster individuals who can contribute to society in a wide array of fields, including providing quick and appropriate advice in response to complaints and other inquiries from consumers.
(From the Japan Industrial Association website)

Number of Employees Certified over Time (as of April 2016)

Promoting the Acquisition of Consumer Affairs Advisor Credentials Number of Employees Certified over Time (as of April 2016)

From 2012, the figures include employees from the former Panasonic Electric Works Co., Ltd.

Consumer Month* Initiatives

In conjunction with Consumer Month, designated by the government of Japan, Panasonic actively implements its own plans including the following throughout the month of May every year, and works to cultivate a customer orientation in all of its employees.

  1. The President sends out a message for Consumer Month, making a thoroughgoing appeal to all employees about the significance of the special month.
  2. The Company creates original Consumer Month posters and raises awareness by distributing and displaying them at all business sites.
  3. The Panasonic Group also holds a Consumer Month Commemorative Symposium which includes participation from individuals responsible for consumer-related activities at all business sites, as well as those with responsibility in relevant divisions and individuals with Consumer Affairs Advisor certification, in an effort to promote management that is in line with consumer intentions. On May 26 in fiscal 2017, Panasonic invited a guest lecturer to give a talk on safety, peace of mind, and consumer-oriented management. This was followed by a roundtable discussion between the lecturer and the company's Consumer Affairs Advisors, with a consumer issues expert serving as the coordinator.

* Consumer Month
Japan's Consumer Protection Fundamental Act (predecessor to the Consumer Basic Act) was enacted in May of 1968. On the 20th anniversary of the creation of this law in 1988, May was designated Consumer Month, and every year during this month consumers, businesses, and government agencies come together to participate in focused work on education and awareness raising concerning consumer issues.
(From the Consumer Affairs Agency website)

The Fiscal 2017 Consumer Month Commemorative Symposium
A Fiscal 2017 Consumer Month poster

Reflecting the Voices of Panasonic Customers in the Company’s Products and Services (VOC Activities)

In what it calls Voice of Customer (VOC) activities, Panasonic uses a variety of methods to listen to customers in order to improve its business activities.
The voices of the company's customers are heard via the opinions received through the Customer Care Center and Panasonic's sales companies and partners, showrooms, and service companies.
Panasonic utilizes the results of its analyses—through coordination between its product planning, design, engineering, and quality departments on the one hand, and its marketing and sales departments on the other—in improving product development, functionality, quality, instruction manuals, catalog updates, and marketing activities.
Panasonic considers its VOC activities to be practical implementations of its management philosophy to improve customer satisfaction. The company encourages all employees to engage with the voices of the company's customers in all their work.

VOC Processes

STEP 1 Respond to customer inquiries and issues
Our Customer Care Center responds to the inquiries and issues brought up in telephone calls and letters received from customers on a daily basis. Marketing divisions also receive opinions from customers through sales people and partners.

STEP 2 Analyze the customer’s opinion
Customer opinions are recorded, entered into a database, and analyzed every day.

STEP 3 Identify areas in need of improvement based on customer opinions
Customer opinions are analyzed to identify the root of the problem, such as how easy it is to use a product or understand a user manual, and raised as possible areas in need of improvement.

STEP 4 Learning from our customers’ opinions to improve products, user manuals, etc.
Meetings are held in divisions in charge of product development and user manuals to discuss issues that have been raised and look for ways to improve products and services.

* Japanese only

Overseas, Panasonic strives to improve its customer relations by using NPS surveys and post-repair questionnaires to evaluate the authorized service providers and service engineers who are one point of contact with the customer.

Educating Consumers to Use Products Safely

As part of its contribution to society, Panasonic works with municipalities and consumer groups throughout Japan to hold consumer education courses. In addition to courses whose themes are of great interest to consumers—“Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Home Appliances," "Dwelling Safety" (on equipment in residential buildings), "Tips on Storage," "Renovating," "Crime Prevention," and many others—the company offers educational courses on topics covering the occasional concerns and needs of customers. All these courses are enjoyable, easy-to-understand, and well-attended.

In response to increased awareness of the environment and the need to conserve electricity, Panasonic's Eco Solutions Company has offered "Eco Lighting Classrooms"—which involve LED lighting fixtures—and "Eco and Solar Power Generation Classrooms"—which teach how solar power works—in elementary schools throughout Japan. In fiscal 2017, around 14,000 pupils in 220 schools participated. Panasonic has also held the "Andon" (traditional lamp) craft workshop using LEDs some 290 times, with roughly 8,500 participants in this hands-on building workshop.

Panasonic provides information to consumers on its website about the safe and environmentally friendly use of household appliances. In April 2016, this information was reorganized as the "KADEN POCKET (Appliance Guide)" to make it even easier to understand.

* Japanese only

This explains the proper way to use household appliances safely for years to come, with references on what to check for in each product and examples of what not to do. The page provides information for expanding customers' understanding of product safety.
This KADEN POCKET brings together tips, by product, on how best to use household appliances with minimal power consumption. It also provides other useful information for saving electricity and reducing energy consumption.

* Japanese only

Customers can take a quiz on how to use household appliances safely and conveniently to win the title of "Appliance King." Customers can thereby have fun learning how to use appliances safely and in ways that conserve energy.

KADEN KING