working towards great client service


You are a freshman, thinking about a fantastic journey, dreamed destination of workplace in the future. You are on the bus, feeling excited to see the next bus stop. You are on the edge, ready to explore the career universe. So how to prepare for your career trip? How to work effectively in the new environment with your leaders and co-workers?

Getting along with new environment, new organizational culture is the important things that Mr. Le Trung Hao believes that can lead to your success. Mr. Hao has more than 5 years of experience working in Marketing and sales for different companies. Now, he is a sale executive of Sopet Gas One Co, LTD. It was founded in 5th May 2006 and the representative is Mr. Ikeno Hirohisha. Sopet is a multinational company where Japanese takes the majority.

ImageFigure 1. Sopet Gas Factory

Everybody knows that Japan is famous for high quality product and services. Getting to know organizational culture can be a useful guidance for freshman who prepare to go to work, especially in Japanese environment.

Getting out from World War II, Japan was facing economic depression because of heavily destruction. What is the reason that turns Japan into one of the most developed country in the world?

Japan followed neo-mercantilism. Post-World War II Prime Minester Shigeru Yoshida announced a doctrine that primary focus on growth through export, protecting domestic industry and pay attention on market share and growth rather than meet consumer satisfaction (Dick, K N & Shinji, T 1985). After that, Dr. William Edwards Deming made significant contribution to Japan economic development by introduced new industrial model that primary focus on quality (using statistic to measure and improve), empower shop floor workers (control and guarantee the quality). ImageFigure 2.

According to Mr. Hao, communicating internally is very important to ensure the work will be done well and tightening the relationships. Recently, the company’s stock is being shared to more Japanese people in Vietnam. From years of experience working with Japanese people, Mr. Hao realize that, in doing Japanese business, the thing that you should always keep in mind is that Japanese prefer to work with Japanese. What is the reason that he said so?

Firstly, as the basic structure, Sopet Gas’ Partners (suppliers) are mainly other Japanese companies. They feel that partners from trusted companies as well as having the same culture background can enhance the their business.

Secondly, as a sale executive, Mr. Hao has to deal with a lot of contracts with both new and old partners. He realizes that no matter how good you are, when dealing contracts with Japanese, you need to have Japanese staffs to give them a pitch.

ImageFigure 3. Mr. Hao and his co-worker

According to Handy (1993), there are four types cultures in organization such as power culture, role culture, task culture and person culture. Even though Handy has divided into 4 main categories theoretically and power culture and task culture are the most effective one in term of having innovation (cited by Olu Ojo, 2008). However, in reality it is really difficult to distinguish clearly, it usually a mix of culture because the power is distributed to many people and each person has different style of working. “I would say it is a blur environment since we can see an element is different types of culture. It is not necessary to clarify those cultures separately; it is necessary to determine the goals and reaching them appropriately by the organizations’ style”, Mr. Hao said.

Apart from learning how to adapt new organizational cultures, learning what have Japanese people do to maintain their business is something that I found really interested in.

When Mr. Hao was asked on how to deal with customer relationship management (CRM), A surprised answer was given:

Mr.Hao: “There is nothing else aside from building reputation”

Me: “Why does reputation has anything relates to CRM”

Mr. Hao: “Sopet Gas values trustworthiness and reputation more than benefits. Once you got these things, you automatically get engagement from your customers. This the the base of how Sopet Gas maintains the relationships”

Of course, aside from those important things, some of other activities such as giving flowers in special occasion, having dinner, setting company trip for Sopet Gas’ partners are considered as important, too.

Under the client perspective, CRM is very important in order to have 2 positive effects such as customer retention and customer loyalty. While customer retention is only about repeating purchases, having customer loyalty can engagement and customers satisfaction.

According to Solomon (2008), in term of maintaining the relationships, being smart in communication is one of a powerful weapon. For instance, you are not allowed to say “No” to your customers/clients. There should be a way out by suggesting other solutions from what you or your company can do.

Mr. Hao also agrees with this statement. When entering the workplace, there is a high chance that you will meet strict people and what you need is being smart, being flexible, take advantages of the experience (if you have) to deal with the problem. There is no gap between theory and reality since in this area, theory is basically written from the experience.

To end up, I just want readers to keep in mind two things. I will not say that what I recommend here is powerful to give you a job, but I would say that I would give you more opportunities in the future if you want to work in this active field. (1) You must get to know well about organizational culture to get along with other people internally. (2) Communication is a basic skill for you to survive externally when dealing with customers; therefore be smart, be creative and be flexible.


Word Count: 969


Dick K N, Shinji T, 1985, “Korekiyo Takahashi and Japan’s recovery from Great depression”, published May 1985, vol. 75.

Nebojsa, J 2012, “The Influence of Organizational Culture on Organizational Preferences Toward the Choice of Organizational Change Strategy”, Economic Annals, Vol. LVII, No. 193, <;

Olu O, 2008, “Influence of Organizational Culture on Employee Work Behavior”, Vol. 3, No. 11, viewed 6 Sep 2013 <;

Solomon, R 2008,“The Art of Client Service”, Kaplan publishing, New York.

Vector Study, “Edwards Deming”, Vectorstudy, posted 22 Jul 2012, viewed 7 Sep 2013, <;.

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  1. -A discussion on the intricacies of Japanese culture and its relevance in working with clients/ customers/ marketers/ agencies could have been done instead of the Post WW2 reference on Japanese markets.

    -Insight about Japanese likes working with Japanese is interesting. Did you get a direct quote? Are you satisfied with this 1 personal insight? How long has Hao been working with Japanese companies? If not for long, then maybe support this idea with academic sources to help make argument stronger. Sometimes discussion about ‘culture’ is a bit sensitive and you do not want your blog article to offend anyone. Best also to include more than 1 example of this to help prove his point.

    -One section in the article was clear no-no as per our task brief… Q&A

    -According to Handy cited in…

    -The article drastically shifted focus form Org Culture to CRM. This transition was not very effective. It did not give the first half a strong close, and rendered the 2nd topic to be superficial.

    -Overall, need more context as to how this company’s experience with dealing with clients can be seen as a good example for client management in the comms industry.

    -Edit categories, add tags.

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