Integrity in Corporate Activities
- Corporate Governance
- Risk Management and Compliance
- RICOH Quality
- Maintenance Services
- Human-friendly Products and Services
- CSR throughout Our Supply Chain
- Building New Sustainable Bases
Establishing a reliable support service system to ensure a comfortable, anxiety-free user experience
- Ricoh Group / Japan
Achieving "Zero Downtime"
Striving for even higher quality in maintenance service and thereby enhancing customer satisfaction is an important element of quality management. At Ricoh, we have a strong, reliable customer support system in place to ensure that customers using our MFPs, copiers, printers and other devices in their office have a comfortable, anxiety-free user experience and can efficiently create business value with our products. Ricoh's Technical Call Center is the core and the metaphorical "control tower" of Ricoh's maintenance service. Its staff of 600, across seven locations nationwide, take calls from customers to achieve "Zero Downtime.*" For customers, prompt and high-quality service is just a phone call away. This is enabled by the combination of two functions: (1) a remote management service where signs of a possible breakdown of a Ricoh product in the customer' office are detected and proactive preventative measures taken; and (2) engineers' customer support via telephone, which customers can access in case of equipment breakdown.
- *Zero Downtime: Ricoh's efforts to minimize the time required to recover from equipment breakdown ("downtime") to nearly zero.
Remote management service for fault prevention
In our "@Remote" service, Ricoh devices in customers' offices are remotely monitored over the Internet. Through this system, the condition of the devices is periodically assessed; the results are automatically reported to the Remote Support Center; and any necessary action is taken in a timely manner. If the monitoring system at the Remote Support Center detects a sign of probable device failure, such as an increase in paper jams, a customer engineer will call the customer to identify and remove the cause of the problem. If the problem is not solved by the phone advice only, a customer service engineer will visit the customer's office. Through this fault prevention system, proactive measures can be taken before the customer finds irregularities with their office equipment, which results in shorter downtime as well as lower stress and smaller impact on customers' business. In addition, even if an on-site repair visit is necessary, the problem can be fixed by a single visit in an increasing number of cases, because the customer engineer in charge is informed of the device's condition before the visit. In addition to an improvement in the quality of service to customers, improvement of the overall efficiency of service provision has also been achieved by the system. The time and personnel costs saved can be allocated to add greater value to our offerings to customers.
Calls answered by engineers who know copying and printing devices inside out
At Ricoh, engineers who know Ricoh copiers and printers inside out are customer engineers, answering the phones when customers call for repair service. Such highly qualified call center staff are unmatched by our competitors. Our customer engineers have abundant field experience in inspection, repair and other maintenances services, having solved a wide range of problems related to diverse models at many different customers. With such extensive experience and expertise, they can promptly provide effective solutions to customers. Minor problems are usually solved through telephone support alone and the customers can use the device immediately after the call. The excellence of this system is also reflected in the numbers: 99% of the telephone inquiries made by customers are dealt with and 20% of the problems inquired about are instantly solved over the phone. Both percentages are among the highest levels in the industry.
When troubleshooting involves on-site support, the necessary information—such as technical data, part numbers and other part information, and the requested repair service—is texted before the visit to the mobile phone of the engineer in charge. The receipt of such information in advance allows the engineer to conduct sufficient planning and preparation, and thereby perform the actual repair/maintenance work at the customer's site efficiently within a shorter repair time.
Another notable feature of this service is that customers can receive this one stop service to solve their problems just by calling us at a single toll-free number, irrespective of where in Japan they are located or what kind of problems need to be fixed. We are working to minimize the downtime of customers' equipment so that they can comfortably use Ricoh devices with a sense of security.
Continuous improvements for an even better support system
High-quality customer support cannot be conducted without high-quality employees. Recognizing this, Ricoh offers original training programs to its customer engineers to enhance their overall skill levels. Specifically, customer engineers are assigned to call center work and customer field support, in turn, at periodic intervals. At the call center, they can improve their telephone answering and other communication skills, while during the customer field support position, they can gain knowledge and experience as engineers.
The quality of call center service is becoming an increasingly important element of customers' document device purchasing decisions. A number of customers even visit the call center that would service a particular product. Today's call centers have become more than just a contact point for repair service requests: they constitute an important part of the products themselves. With this in mind, Ricoh will continue to strive for even greater quality of customer support service, as well as of products and other services, to meet market needs. As part of the efforts toward that goal, we are working to achieve the Zero Downtime of Ricoh products in customers' offices and minimize operational interruptions by simultaneously assigning a customer engineer and shipping the necessary parts to the customer's site. The useful information and findings obtained from the call center operations are shared with our manufacturing and marketing departments to facilitate Ricoh's group-wide efforts to achieve Zero Downtime.
Furthermore, the know-how we have gained from the experience of improving our customer support service is shared with customers through our consulting service. Ricoh supports the business community in their efforts to create an office environment for smooth business operations.