1. Top
  2. Sustainability
  3. Responsibility to Our Customers
  4. Communicating with Customers

Our basic approach and strategy

In keeping with Unicharm's corporate philosophical framework (“Beliefs and Pledges” and Corporate Principles of Action), we have always regarded customer satisfaction as a top priority and are committed to providing products and services that transform “discomfort” to “comfort.”

As part of these efforts, the Customer Communication Center (CCC) works to sincerely respond in a prompt, fair and impartial manner to the valuable opinions we receive from our customers and have formulated our Customer Communication Center Vision based on the core idea of striving to enhance customer satisfaction. We have also established the Complaint Correspondence Policy that guides our efforts in communicating with customers.

Customer Communication Center Vision

We aim to have our customers progress from saying “I'm glad that I inquired and consulted with the Customer Communication Center” to “I'll purchase the Unicharm product because it's trustworthy and I know I can contact the Customer Communication Center.” To achieve this goal, we are committed to making sure that listening compassionately and conveying thoughtfully becomes second nature, to draw in others to ourselves and together solve the problem in front of us, giving our customers a helping hand to accomplish their child-raising and nursing care so they will say they want to purchase Unicharm products again and to deepen our bonds with customers in Asia and around the world.

Complaint Correspondence Policy

  1. Customer feedback will be centrally managed by the Company's Customer Communication Centers and addressed in a fair and impartial manner in accordance with the QMS (ISO 9001) complaint correspondence process manual and ISO 10002 complaint response process documentation. Information concerning defects in a product or service will be reported to the President & CEO and steps will be taken immediately to remedy the problem.
  2. In the case customer feedback must be redressed, related departments will work together to immediately rectify the situation and prevent future reoccurrences in accordance with the QMS (ISO 9001) redress and preventive measure procedure manual.
  3. We will strive to reflect the valuable feedback of customers in future products and services. We will take customer feedback seriously and exert our best efforts so that each department works together to ensure that customers are satisfied.

Management structure

Unicharm's Customer Communication Center, led by the Chief Quality Officer (CQO), works in coordination with related departments to gather customer opinions, enhance quality and safety and develop products tailored to our customers' needs.

We have compiled concrete initiatives for customer response for the entire company and, together with our Self-Declaration of Consumer-Oriented Company, we are building a response system that is compliant with the ISO 10002 complaint response MS.

With regard to overseas operations, Unicharm also made a declaration of self-conformity with the ISO 10002 complaint response MS in July 2006 and is laterally extending Customer Communication Centers in China, Taiwan-Greater China, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, India, Vietnam and other countries; together with periodic auditing of overseas Customer Communication Centers and information-sharing, we are implementing efforts that will boost customer satisfaction across the Unicharm Group.

Self-Declaration of Consumer-Oriented Company

Self-Declaration of Consumer-Oriented Company

January 16, 2017

Takahisa Takahara

President & CEO

Unicharm Corporation

[Philosophy]

 We contribute to creating a better quality of life for everyone by offering only the finest products and services to the market and customers both in Japan and abroad.

[Policy on Basic Initiatives]  —Commitment of Top Management—

 Unicharm hereby declares that it will always respond to customer complaints and inquiries in an honest, swift and fair manner.

  1. All feedback received from customers is put together at Customer Communication Center (CCC) and addressed fairly and equally by CCC based on a QMS (ISO 9001) complaint correspondence process manual and ISO 10002 complaint correspondence process documents.
    Information concerning faulty products or services is swiftly reported to top management and necessary steps are taken to improve the situation.
  2. If the situation must be remedied, related departments work together following procedures on QMS (ISO 9001) rectification and prevention measures to swiftly remedy the problem and prevent future recurrences.
  3. Customer feedback is seriously reviewed and efforts are made toward improvements involving all relevant departments so as to ensure customer satisfaction.
    We strive so that precious customer feedback can be properly reflected in our improvement activities for products and services.

[Specific Initiatives]

I. Ensuring corporate governance  — System for reporting customer feedback to top management without fail —

We will carry out transparent corporate management and actively disclose information while working to fulfill the company's growth and development, employees' happiness and the company's social responsibilities.
A time slot is set aside at executive meetings for reports from CCC for discussing and disseminating a correspondence policy based on the serious review of feedback received from customers.

II. Proactive initiatives involving all employees  — Fostering a corporate culture and employee mindset that is customer-oriented —

In order to improve customer satisfaction, once every year, an occasion is set where all Unicharm Group employees including those from outside Japan come together to present on products and services as well as proposals for pleasing customers in an effort to learn about best practices. This will enable all Unicharm Group employees to share a customer-oriented mindset and strive for further improvement.

III. Swift response through systematic collaboration between related departments  — Initiatives for swift and honest responses —

All feedback received from customers is put together at CCC and addressed fairly and equally by CCC based on a QMS (ISO 9001) complaint correspondence process manual and ISO 10002 complaint correspondence process documents.
Information concerning faulty products or services is swiftly reported to top management and necessary steps are taken to improve the situation.
If the situation must be remedied, related departments work together to swiftly remedy the problem and prevent future recurrences.

IV. Enhanced information provision to consumers and two-way exchanges of information  — Disseminating information for safe use —

Frequently asked questions about product safety will be published on the company's website in an effort to widely disclose this information.
We will provide information to customers in various means so that customers can use our products safely and effectively. These means include product packaging, user manuals, and advertisements to educate customer about the correct ways to use products, as well as through our corporate website, news releases and disseminations from CCC.

V. Improvement and development based on consumer and social needs  — Product creation making customer-oriented approaches and social responsibilities a reality —

The entire company will work on activities for linking needs with commercialization of products after seriously reviewing feedback from customers.
We will establish rigorous environmental standards for our products, take on the challenge of selecting product designs and raw materials and reducing waste in the production process to every extend possible and expand the number of products that can clear these standards and bear the Eco Charming label.
The entire company will also work as one solid team toward mitigating environmental impacts including reducing waste in business activities.

Initiatives of the Customer Communication Center

In 2019, the center received 47,000 calls. The feedback we received was in turn shared widely with related departments inside the company and used to help improve our products and services.

Training sessions for factory workers by CCC staff using “feedback from customers”

We conduct employee training at the CCC to reinforce quality and strengthen customer-oriented approaches. In 2019, CCC staff visited each factory in Japan, where they played recordings of customer (firsthand) “feedback” as part of a training session for listening skills. We will continue to enhance our customer-oriented approach on a company-wide level and supply products that truly satisfy our customers.

At a factory training session on “customer feedback”

Main Initiatives of the CCC

Main initiatives Contents
1. Responder training For staff who deal firsthand with inquiries from customers by phone, etc., we organize training programs to enhance our specialist knowledge, including sessions led by external instructors and other informative workshops, in order to improve the “quality of our response.”
2. Reflection in products We share customer feedback with related departments in a timely manner through weekly and monthly report. This feedback is used to improve existing products and develop new products, in order to provide customers with products that are safe and convenient.
3. Information dissemination Customer feedback is shared internally in real-time using our centralized customer information management system, or the SMILE system. Report meetings with business departments and product package confirmation meetings (Communication Guarantee Meetings) are also held to ensure feedback is utilized to improve products from a customer standpoint.
4. CCC training The R&D and Manufacturing departments organize training sessions for new employees and others who wish to participate in order to reinforce their focus on the customer and quality. In FY2019, 933 employees took part in these training sessions.
5. Strengthen collaboration with overseas CCCs The initiatives of our CCCs located around the world are being shared to help improve customer satisfaction across the entire Unicharm Group, including its overseas subsidiaries. This information is also being used to improve our response skills based on ISO 10002 complaint response MS and to step up interoffice collaboration.
6. Commitment

The CCC is an independent department reporting directly to the Unicharm's President & CEO. At the annual Board of Directors meeting, it presents and answers questions about the customer response policy for the next fiscal year.

We have built and operate a system in which all executives can confirm progress towards goals and consider and give approval on whether consumer-oriented management is being promoted.

Example of Customer Feedback that has been reflected in products

Activities of overseas Customer Communication Centers

In March 2014, the Indonesia CCC made a self-declaration of self-conformity with regard to the ISO 10002 complaint correspondence MS. Following the declaration, the Japan CCC audited the Indonesia CCC in 2019 and confirmed that their system was operating properly and that customer feedback and complaints were being addressed. It was also confirmed that the China CCC was operating in line with the ISO10002 complaint correspondence MS and that each customer was being responded to with sincerity.

Indonesia Customer Communication Center

China Customer Communication Center

Expressions of thanks from consumers

Communication with customers using various media

Unicharm works to provide information that contributes to solving social issues through our business to “realize a cohesive society” in which multiple generations can live in an enriched manner.

In Japan, Unicharm provides information for incontinence care, first menstruation education and pet care. In 2019, Unicharm launched an online initiative via the Unicharm website called “My Style Bosai.” This microsite offers sanitary information about preparing for disasters in terms of babies, women, seniors and pets.
Outside of Japan, Unicharm has also set up corporate websites and we are working to strengthen web communication in all our markets inside and outside the country.       

Launched “Navi for Adult Diapers” providing 24-hour support service

As Japan transforms into a super-aging society, we are receiving an increasing number of inquiries each year about how to do eldercare and how to properly carry out incontinence care. In 2017, Unicharm became the first business in the adult diaper industry to introduce an AI-assisted chatbot* called “Navi for Adult Diapers,” which can respond to inquiries around the clock and all through the year. In 2019, the availability of this chatbot was extended into the LINE app.

  • “Chatbots” are programs (or the entire systems with such programs) that conduct conversations for an inquiry in place of a human operator.

Lifree Navi for Adult Diapers (Website)

Lifree Navi for Adult Diapers
“Maki-san | Lifree” Unicharm (LINE)
* Search “Maki-san Lifree” (in Japanese) on LINE.

Providing information on First Menstruation Education

First Body Navi offers young girls and their guardians information on how the female body works and how to deal with menstruation as well as how to choose female hygiene products to help foster a positive first experience with menstruation. For school teachers, we have made available a downloadable PDF with information about first menstruation which can also be used as an educational resource at schools.
We also began offering a Sofy official app which helps young women having their first period manage their cycle and also lets mothers know when their daughters are menstruating so they can provide appropriate support.

Childrearing support

“Baby Town” was created in collaboration with childrearing-related companies in support of parents and their babies by offering a community platform for searching information, consulting with others or discussing worries regarding pregnancy, child delivery and child care in accordance with their child's stage of development. The official “Moony Instagram” account has also received approx. 30,000 “Likes” in the one year since it was launched in 2019. Our well-received “Moony-chan and Toilet Training” app released in 2017 which provides support for toilet training has been downloaded some 60,000 times.

Offering a web magazine for living happily with pets

“Along with my pet, always and forever & ever!” provides helpful information for owners and their pets to live together a long, healthy and happy life. Available as a website or through Facebook. 

“My Style Bosai” is a Unicharm microsite that offers sanitary information about preparing for disasters in terms of babies, women, seniors and pets.

Many natural disasters have occurred in Japan in recent years. In addition to the damage from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, there have also been torrential rains, severe snowstorms, tornadoes and other catastrophes. The “My Style Bosai” microsite was launched in February 2019 with the aim of helping people reduce the hygiene risks that they, their family members and their pets are exposed to in such disasters. Through narratives of people's actual experiences, the site examines “various issues that arise during a disaster” based on the needs of different kinds of households.
“My Style Bosai” offers the needed disaster preparedness and response information in terms of the following groups: (1) everyone, (2) babies, (3) women, (4) seniors, (5) persons requiring nursing care at home and (6) pets. 

Strengthening information provision to overseas customers

As Unicharm's popularity also grows in international markets, we are striving to enhance our customer service through the websites of our local subsidiaries by strengthening the delivery of information about our products and company.

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