The origins of Toyota’s “Customer First” and “Quality First” principles lie in the Five Main Principles of Toyoda, which embody the thinking of Sakichi Toyoda, and the spirit of audit and improvement of Kiichiro Toyoda. Since its foundation, Toyota has established a corporate culture that focuses particular attention on quality that will produce customer smiles and on continuous kaizen (improvement) achieved through genchi genbutsu (onsite, hands-on experience).
In accordance with our commitment to quality as stated in the Toyota Global Vision, each employee in every area maintains a constant and strong awareness of issues and a sense of ownership and makes ongoing efforts to implement kaizen and to collaborate closely with personnel in other fields to enhance customer safety, peace of mind, and satisfaction.
Toyota sees quality as the combination of product quality, sales and service quality, and the quality of work performed by each employee that serves as the foundation supporting the other aspects of quality. We also believe that products and services that can gain the confidence of customers can be created only when each employee engaged in every process from development and design to purchasing, production, sales, and after-sales service builds in quality and personnel involved in each process implement the quality assurance cycle.
Toyota establishes a Quality Function Policy each year based on the global company-wide policy. The fundamentals of implementation are function management and policy management.
In addition, in order to strengthen quality improvement activities led by the regions, Toyota has appointed Chief Quality Officers (CQOs) in Japan and other regions around the world to address regional issues and promote global collaboration. In 2012 the Customer First Promotion Group (CF Promotion Group) was established to strengthen in-house systems for quality improvement in order to cater to customer’s perspectives to be a Quality Leader.
Toyota’s principle of Customer First exists for the purpose of providing customers with products and services that earn their smiles. On this basis, Toyota hopes to offer cars with superior features in terms of environmental, safety and quality performance, while also offering the intrinsic appeal of cars, such as driving performance, at an affordable price.
Therefore, in order to make ever-better cars, Toyota makes rigorous use of customer opinions gleaned from dealers and the Customer Assistance Center.
In order to respond to customer inquiries, opinions, and requests, the most recent customer feedback is gathered from dealers. Also, customer assistance centers were created and initiatives are being undertaken to link the received feedback to the creation of better products and services.
Better service and better cars are, as it were, the two wheels of the cart. Customer car use requires regular check-ups, legal checkups, and repair due to breakdown or accidents. After-sales service will continue supporting Toyota and Lexus brands during the customers’ ownership. Toyota is taking measures to provide ever-better services in accordance with the concept of the 3S Spirit (Seikaku + Shinsetsu = Shinrai: Accuracy + Caring = Trust) so that we can achieve high levels of customer satisfaction regarding vehicle use.
Better service means the ability to safely, accurately, promptly, and inexpensively perform maintenance and repairs in cases of breakdown. To do this, we are working to enhance the serviceability of vehicles that can be repaired quickly and the availability of service parts and to develop service engineers.
There are currently approximately 180,000 Toyota personnel involved in after-sales service in Japan and overseas. In addition to establishing educational systems and facilities in various regions, Toyota is also enhancing the knowledge and technical skills of service staff worldwide, in which the Tajimi Service Center in Gifu Prefecture, Japan, plays a central role.