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Customer Satisfaction

The customer drives our approach to value creation

Customer satisfaction is at the core of everything we do, beginning with the acquisition of a deep understanding of what the customer needs. Beyond simply listening to their feedback, we strive to perceive feelings and expectations that customers may not be able to articulate. We then propose solutions based on the customer’s perspective.
Our aim is to offer RICOH Quality that delights our customers. This commitment is embedded in the corporate values that all Ricoh Group employees are expected to uphold so that they will act with full awareness that ensuring quality and customer ­satisfaction is their most important mission.

Initiatives for customer satisfaction

The Ricoh Group undertakes activities in pursuit of customer satisfaction to ensure RICOH Quality, which aims to “consistently delight and inspire our customers” by strengthening basic quality—such as safety and reliability—based on continuous communication with customers. In addition to efforts aimed at fulfilling social responsibilities, we actively invite customer comments so that we can better understand our customers. The customer perspectives thus gained are applied to our products and services to provide customers with truly useful value.

In pursuit of product safety and reliability

Building in safety from the design and development stage is crucial to ensuring that customers can use our products and services with confidence. The Ricoh Group regularly reviews product safety standards, strictly adhering to them and continually upgrading quality. This procedure is formulated in our Basic Policy for Product Safety Activities and our Action Policy for Product Safety Activities.
In 2009, we improved our structures for product compliance with laws, regulations and official standards on an international level. We introduced controls using target management tables for the product design and development stage. Since meeting each country’s regulatory requirements is mandatory, the database for compliance check sheets is constantly updated with the latest data on national and international rules.
In addition, we continue to step up Ricoh’s own (and more rigorous) standards to ensure safety for children, elderly people and other vulnerable members of society.
As new technologies and businesses for which product safety standards do not yet exist require a framework to identify possible risks, Ricoh is expanding its Product Safety Risk Assessment program. This is an effective means of confirming the safety of products in new business areas and in existing products to which new technologies or mechanisms have been added. Through this combination of standards, we are doing our utmost to ensure the safety of every new product we bring to market.

image:In pursuit of product safety and reliability

Quality assurance data

The Ricoh Group employs three market information databases related to product quality.
The Maintenance Service Information System contains historical information on machine failures confirmed by customer engineers, along with the maintenance services we provided. The Quality Problem Management System links data obtained in Japan on product quality issues to data from our other markets around the world. If a quality-related problem occurs, the Design and Manufacturing Department discusses what action to take based on information in this database, and provides prompt feedback to those involved. Finally, the Device Monitoring System allows us to obtain statistics on how customers use our equipment on a daily basis through @Remote™, our global remote device management service.
The Ricoh Group uses these systems in an integrated way to obtain market information from multiple aspects. Based on this data, we can immediately identify and address problems, and take action to prevent similar problems from occurring in the future.

image:Quality assurance data

@Remote™ for Worry-Free Equipment Use

Ricoh’s @Remote™ technology is an Internet-based management system for monitoring customer device data. The @Remote™ service automatically collects and uploads meter readings daily from MFPs and printers, keeping track of their usage status, maintenance records and machine conditions. This enables us to provide essential services (like replenishing supplies and dispatching maintenance personnel) promptly, without the customer having to contact us.
We offer @Remote™ globally so that customers can use their equipment with confidence at all times.

Advantages of @Remote™
● Prevents equipment failure
● Quick action cuts downtime
● Useful equipment management tool
● Information obtained can be used in consultations

Quality management system

Ricoh Group sales companies around the world improve quality based on our quality management system and the ISO 9001 standard. Most of our production sites and sales companies have earned ISO 9001 certification in our drive to enhance the quality of everything we do, from manufacturing through sales to customer service.
Our service personnel in Japan take part in skills competitions and certification exams, while overseas we have instituted a variety of similar programs to raise service standards.

Turning customer feedback into products and services

In our continual pursuit of RICOH Quality, we reflect feedback from customers and rapidly respond to their changing needs. This allows us to provide customers around the world with value that is unique to Ricoh. We also look ahead to anticipate what new values customers will require in the future, and engage in customer-centric improvement initiatives.

CRM databases enable us to propose solutions suited to the customer’s business

In the approximately 200 countries and regions where we operate, Ricoh Group sales and support companies establish close ties to the local market while maintaining a consistent global strategy.
Sales companies in each country within our four major business regions—Japan, the Americas, Europe and Asia, Oceania and China—have direct contact with customers, operate and oversee customer relationship management (CRM) databases and track customer data such as equipment information and maintenance histories.
Customers look to us for solutions tailored to their specific needs or industry sector, using their CRM databases to seek a higher level of customer support. Apart from national CRM databases, the Ricoh Group has centrally and globally managed information on customers around the world that covers not only sales and equipment information but also histories of special orders and customizations.

Customer satisfaction surveys

The Ricoh Group periodically conducts customer satisfaction surveys worldwide to gauge how successful we are at achieving RICOH Quality. We also distribute unique new product, sales and service satisfaction surveys for assessing each aspect of monozukuri (craftsmanship), sales and services. Feedback is applied to service improvement programs.

Making full use of customer comments

We listen closely to customer comments and have programs in place to apply this vital input to the development of our products and services.
Our marketing staff tracks customer needs and feeds this information back to development personnel, who use it for R&D and product improve­ments. Sales and product development staff also share data and observations whenever we launch a new ­product or develop a new market.
Serious quality issues are dealt with according to Ricoh’s Major Quality Problem Response Rules, which dictate listening to the immediate involvement of our risk management staff.

Listening to customer voices

Call Centers
Call Centers in more than 60 locations worldwide respond attentively and in a manner appropriate to regional conditions, channeling customer input to those working to improve products, sales and service.

Customer Centers
Sales companies in each country give us direct contact with customers, but the Ricoh Group also has independent Customer Centers that customers can contact directly. Customer requests, complaints and claims are fed back to relevant departments within our organization.

Technology Centers and Printing Innovation Centers
The Ricoh Group has Technology Centers in seven countries and Printing Innovation Centers in 10 countries around the world. These on-the-ground facilities are extremely useful in picking up customer needs that can lead to the creation of new technology.

Case study: Creating new customer value through our initiative

The Ricoh Group aims to understand our customers, meet their requests, devise solutions, and ultimately delight those who use our products and services.

Technology advisory council helps in visualizing customer needs

image:Technical advisory meeting at Ricoh Europe PLC

Technology advisory council at Ricoh Europe PLC

We believe that anticipating the future, going one step beyond to provide new value exceeding customers’ expectations, is what enables the Ricoh Group to grow. With this in mind, we develop activities that involve our customers and thereby fuel the creation of new value.
One such activity is the technology advisory council, an event that involves the participation of Ricoh Group customers. Invitations are extended to people in charge of IT infrastructure at customer companies. The group discussion format among peers facilitates the exchange of information constructive for enhancing administrative procedures and also highlights topics of common concern. Themes include network configuration, security, cloud use, new workstyles, and visual communications. Our goal is to utilize group discussions to reveal latent customer needs and apply opinions from a customer perspective to the development of new products. In addition, these meetings provide an ideal venue to demonstrate next-generation Ricoh equipment being considered for a market debut and to collect opinions and requests. This valuable customer feedback is forwarded to product planning and development departments and reflected in new technology developments and better products.
Examples of functions that have been turned into products, thanks to customer input, include the addition of optical character recognition (OCR) for electronic documents to a multifunction printer, as well as an app to print data stored on smart devices from a multifunction printer.
Another approach is individual interviews with representatives at customer companies at the ­management level. Through this activity, which targets corporations that have chosen the Ricoh Group as a business partner, we inquire about changes at customer companies, such as new business directions and IT and global strategies. We ask where we stand in terms of customer satisfaction and what we can do going forward to meet customers’ evolving needs. We expect customers to be frank and honest about what they want from us. Using the results of these interviews, we consider responses that we, as a partner to our customers, can apply to support their respective business directions and management issues. We ­analyze potential responses and strive to create new value that fuels growth to both sides of the sales equation—for customers and for ourselves. The results are then utilized in medium- and long-term product development and sales strategies for the Ricoh Group.
These two approaches—the technology advisory council and individual interviews—are vital, helping to build stronger bonds between us and our customers and facilitating growth on both sides.