One of the oldest beverages known to man, teas have always held pride of place in many cultures.
All around the world, festive occasions like weddings and birthdays are marked with tea ceremonies. While the English are known to obsess over their afternoon teas, many Asian cultures too have embraced tea as the healthier drink of choice. Numerous innovations like “bubble” teas and fruit teas have made this leafy libation cherished by both young and old.
I love Japanese art and culture. Almost everything about the country – from buildings to gardens, displays, products, advertisements, food, shops, train stations and people (especially people) – are enchanting.
While Japan does have its share of woes (don’t we all?), few countries around the world are able to balance age-old tradition with modernity in such a harmonious fashion. This is especially true in the field of aesthetics and design, where almost everything in Japan is well conceived. You can hardly find an eyesore there!
Against the cataclysmic forces of Nature, few have responded as well as the Japanese (courtesy of Joseph Friedman)
Have you wondered what made the Japanese such a resilient and robust group of people? How do they overcome the challenges of living in one of the most disaster prone area of the world?
A key reason why I enjoyed my recent vacation to Hokkaido so much was the customer experience. Let’s face it. Japanese service quality is light years ahead of ours. Almost everybody I know who visited Japan raved about it. However, they do also have certain chinks in the armour as you would see later.
First, let’s talk about what great service is. Delightful service goes beyond being polite and courteous. It looks at ensuring that every single touchpoint to a customer is taken care of. It emphasises being quick and responsive to customer’s needs. It empowers staff to be flexible and to take quick remedial action in service failures. It pays close attention to the fine details and little nuances.