Valuing Customer Feedback
To remain a customer-supported company, we at Kagome make company-wide efforts to create market demand by offering new value. To achieve this goal, we leverage our technologies and research findings cultivated over many years to offer products that are beneficial for customers' health. At the same time, we appreciate our communication with customers and strive to provide easily understandable explanations in response to customer inquiries about health and nutrition, safety and security, and other aspects of our products and services. We also reflect customer feedback in the development and improvement of products and services in our efforts to increase customer satisfaction and confidence. We try to respond to customers' opinions and concerns by explaining our countermeasures against issues or policies on dealing with them. When we cannot handle an issue immediately, we inform the customer with sincerity and accuracy.
Improving customer satisfaction and the reliability of our company and brand
We are grateful for all of our customers. To remain a company that continues to be loved and supported by them, we value communication and strive to provide easily understandable explanations in response to customer inquiries about health and nutrition, safety and security, and other aspects of our products and services. We also reflect customer feedback in the development and improvement of products and services in our efforts to improve customer satisfaction and confidence.
- 1.We respond to customers' concerns and inquiries carefully, accurately, and promptly in our efforts to improve customer satisfaction.
- 2.We reflect the opinions and requests of customers in our internal activities in an appropriate manner and strive to improve the quality of our corporate activities, including those related to products and services.
- 3.We actively provide information that is useful for customers.
- 4.To protect customers' rights, we comply with relevant laws, corporate ethics, and voluntary internal standards.
Response to Customer Feedback
At Kagome, we have set up a dedicated Customer Inquiry Center to respond to questions and inquiries from customers by telephone and internet. We upload the contents of all questions and inquiries to a dedicated database to share them promptly with the relevant departments. Product suggestions from customers are quickly shared with departments in charge, including the department in charge of product planning, to be reflected in product development and other tasks. They are also posted on internal bulletin boards and shared by all employees.
Based on our belief that customer opinions and feedback are the results of their product evaluations, our employees involved in R&D, design, production, and sales strive to make improvements in their respective standpoints.
Customer Inquiry Center
Phone (toll free): 0120-401-831
*Operating hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (except Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays)
We also launched an official Twitter account called Vegetables Consultation Center (Yasai Soudanshitsu) in April 2015, to solicit opinions and questions from more customers and receive inquiries about our products, including vegetables and vegetable juice. Our number of followers has been increasing gradually. We will continue to use these new tools and media sources to promote initiatives for receiving inquiries and opinions from more customers.
Customer feedback reflected!
We promptly share customer feedback internally in our efforts to improve our products and services.
In 2017, we responded to feedback from a customer, who said, "The handle of the cardboard box containing 720ml Smart PET bottles broke when I pulled the box." We changed the shape of the cardboard box handle in a way that it will not break easily and added a warning on the top and lateral sides of the box.
Sharing Latest Feedback from Customers
We take some of the most common inquiries and opinions given to the Customer Inquiry Center and post them on our internal social media (blog) every week to share them with all of our employees. We also apply text mining methods* to better utilize customer feedback. These initiatives for communicating customer feedback to all employees help encourage and motivate them to make improvements.
*Text mining refers to a method or system, with which customer feedback (text) is divided into words and phrases with natural language analysis and the frequency of appearance and correlations are analyzed to identify useful information.
Appropriate, Easily Understandable Labeling
Food labeling is governed by many laws, including the Food Labeling Act that came into force in April 2015.
Information on food labels includes health-related information, such as allergen and nutritional ingredient information, as well as information that should be provided to customers, such as food additives used for the product and use or non-use of genetically modified ingredients. We strive to provide such information in an easily understandable manner to prevent misunderstandings, not to mention to comply with laws.
For this purpose, at the product development stage, we create a labelling plan concerning raw ingredients and allergens and confirm that there are no discrepancies between the actual ingredients and the ones on the label. We also ensure that all ingredients are listed. For production sites, varieties, and other raw ingredient information, we confirm the accuracy by obtaining certificates from suppliers and taking other measures.
To prevent incorrect labeling, several people check package labels in multiple stages, ranging from drafting to final designing. They check labels on all new products and renewed products with new labels, by reading them aloud, to finalize the indicated information.
All package designs are archived in an internal database to allow searches for the latest and past designs.
In April 2015, the Foods with Function Claims system came into force. In response, Kagome submitted a report to the Consumer Affairs Agency claiming that four Kagome Tomato Juice products are eligible for foods with function claims because it is reported that lycopene, a tomato-derived nutrient, increases the HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) in the blood. The report was accepted in October 2015 (the products were released in February 2016). We will continue working to ensure the effective labeling of foods with function claims and other products to provide customers with useful health-related information.
Using QR Codes to Provide Information on Ingredient Origins
Amid growing customer concern over food safety, we receive many customer inquiries about the raw ingredients of our products. Kagome provides information on the origins of raw ingredients in its major products on its official website. In addition, in 2008, we began to print QR codes (two-dimensional bar codes that can be read with a mobile phone) on packages of the products about which we received many inquiries to improve customers' accessibility to the information. The QR codes permit customers to access our brand website, which provides information about the main ingredients, their origins, and other detailed product information.
Use of Labels That are Legible for People with Weak Eyesight
Product packages display a wide variety of written information. Such information is necessary for customers when they select products to purchase, and indication of a lot of information is mandatory. However, it is sometimes necessary to use small-sized characters to indicate all of the necessary information on the limited space of a package. This is why Kagome promotes the use of Universal Design (UD)* font for product labeling. This font is designed to be as legible as possible to reduce the chance of misreading, even if the characters are small. We also devise creative measures to improve the legibility of characters used for important information.
*Universal Design: Designs of products and information that make the products and information accessible to everyone regardless of their cultural background, language, nationality, age, gender, and abilities or disabilities.
Communication with Customers in Stores
To express our gratitude for customers and the blessings of nature, Kagome employees including top management visit a store in August every year to distribute fresh tomatoes to make juice for customers and have them try the juice. This event serves as a valuable opportunity for us to interact directly with our customers.
Advertising and Promotional Activities
At Kagome, we position advertising as a highly important means of communication with customers. We actively conduct advertising activities mainly through TV, newspapers, and our website.
When placing advertisements, we try to provide information about the value of our products and our corporate activities in an easily understandable, attractive manner.
In addition, our advertising department, legal affairs department, and quality assurance department fully check for exaggerations and incorrect information in our advertisements based on laws including the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Act as well as the Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations.
Under the philosophy of "corporate openness," Kagome has been working to disclose information to our stakeholders, including customers. As part of such efforts, we launched our official website in 1998. We always consider usability and understandability of this website by referring to opinions and other feedback from users, and provide useful information about our products and corporate activities in a timely manner.
In addition, in 2017 we opened a special vegetable information website, "VEGEDAY - Enjoy everyday life with vegetables -." Through this website, we provide useful information and correct information about vegetables in an easily understandable manner.
&KAGOME, a Website for Kagome Fans
In 2015, Kagome launched "&KAGOME," a website aimed for continuous interactions between Kagome and its fans, under the theme of "Community created by you and Kagome." We provide information about our products, vegetable recipes, and our corporate initiatives in an interactive manner, for example, by using a bulletin board. Through this interactive communication, we aim to be a company that is loved by more customers and continues to be chosen by them.