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Thoughts from me about things that are cool, that are WoW, that blow me away. Observations about businesses and people from a wide variety of life. Daily encounters - and thoughts outside the box, inside the box and without any box. New thinking, and challenging old thinking. Passionate about life, about respect, and about integrity.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Yakult - a fantastically fast response

Yakult's response - how to use the straw Posted by Hello

This is quite amazing - it must be the fastest turnaround response from any company I had contact with so far. Remember, I send the question to Yakult on Friday evening, around 7.00 PM - and didn't expect a response until, may be Monday, earliest. What I got back are full instructions how to use the straw - nearly immediately.

Okay - and looking at the plastic package now, I can read some instruction -to push the straw down until it goes through the plastic. But it is still to heavy for a kid (even my finger hurts) and well, the letters are very small. A bit awkward for someone with older eyes who is wearing glasses. Yakult promises to produce a leaflet. Which is good - the company is spending money to educate customers but bad, firstly, because it burdens the environment with more rubbish, and it should be natural for a customer to use a product. But still, I like this - that they educate their customers in the prober usage of the plastic. It might not come cheap. To give a cost example - When Federal Express decided to repaint their trucks and only write FedEx on them, the company save US$60 million a year on reduced paint. Little for a big company, but have it or not - it adds up.

Here is the response from Yakult, for those interested:

"Thank you for contacting Yakult. We are pleased to hear that you and
your child enjoy our drink as well as the extendable straw.

With regards to the plastic packaging of the straw, we would like to
share with you the proper way to remove the straw from the packaging.
Kindly view the attached file for detailed instructions.

We are aware that many consumers are not familiar with this method, as
most are used to detaching the straw and the packaging from the bottle
before tearing open the packaging to obtain the straw. We are in the
process of creating a leaflet to illustrate the proper way to use the
extendable straw.

I hope you and your child will continue to enjoy Yakult everyday.
again for your continuous support.

Warm regards, ___"

My response to them

Dear ______,

I am very impressed - it was Friday evening when I sent the post to you and you took the time to respond already. This must be the fastest response time that I ever encountered, congratulations.

I appreciate your effort to educate the customer via a leaflet on how to use the straw - it does not come cheap but to create great customer experience firstly comes at a cost before the reward is reaped via greater loyalty.

There is one issue of worry, so - and please allow me to articulate it - it would be great if Yakult could add on a sentence to the leaflet that people should throw the waste into an appropriate place - not just on the road. While this increases costs, it shows the concern that Yakult would have for the environment.

By the way - I just realised that there are instructions on the current package, but very small - way too small for some old eyes.

But keep it up - your competition is launching similar products, so it is your job to stay ahead of the crowd with great and userfriendly innovations.

Have a great weekend -


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