Part of the project was visiting some of the premium brand dealerships throughout Tokyo. While I cannot say that my experience was good or bad – I can say it was certainly surprising.
I was only mildly disappointed when I was not greeted by a robotic sales consultant when I entered the dealership. Although, there were numerous technologies on display in the showroom, none of them were really extraordinary.
Let me share some of the most interesting findings. The first one has nothing to do with technology, but instead with the office culture. You may be aware, either by personal experience or hearsay, that company loyalty in Asian countries, like China and India, tends to be quite poor.
One of the biggest issues in those countries is staff attrition – within one year, you are very unlikely to come across the same people in the same dealership. This creates many challenges when it comes to training, development of teams, and deployment of new initiatives. However, during my trip to Japan, I was startled to discover through discussions with numerous employees that they had been working at the same dealership for twenty, some of them even more than twenty-five years. This type of loyalty, however, can create other challenges. For example, when asked about their opinions, experience and problems, these individuals were occasionally oblivious, due to the fact that they have never known any other process or system in their professional careers. This experience was the opposite of the ones I have had in Asian countries.