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Omotenashi goes global: Thailand

A land of smiles

Thailand, an ancient kingdom of golden beaches, colorful temples, and enchanting cuisine, attracts more visitors than any other country in Southeast Asia. The attractions of Thailand run far deeper than the physical beauty of the landscapes. When visitors are asked to explain their love for Thailand, they often mention the renowned hospitality and famous Thai smile.

Thai hospitality begins and ends with warm smiles and polite gestures, but something much deeper is offered in between. The hotelkeeper, waitress, or shop clerk who confers services in Thailand puts herself in the customer’s place and fashions her services to the customer’s individual needs. Her mission is to touch the customer’s heart.

In a land that values smiles and hospitality, Omotenashi counseling comes naturally to service providers in the beauty industry. The Kanebo beauty counselors in Thailand not only embrace Omotenashi counseling, but perfect it by combining it with hospitality customs of their own.

A distinct culture of beauty

Thailand’s culture of beauty was preserved for many centuries by distinct beauty standards that have shaped the national identity. The traditional qualities of beauty in a Thai woman used to be light brown skin with a golden shine, long dark straight hair, small, strong, dark eyes, and a healthy complexion. Yet with the influx of Western culture in more recent decades, the conventional beauty ideal has changed. Thai women nowadays long to be taller and to have fairer skin and larger eyes. Even so, the traditional notion of a woman as a “flower” still prevails in Thailand. Gentleness and virtue mingle with grace and beauty in an ideal image of Thai femininity.

The Thais, like others in nearby countries, place great importance on skin beauty and appearance. To maintain fair and flawless complexions, they rely extensively on sunscreens with high UVB and UVA filters, brightening products, and anti-aging care. Thai women have recently adopted the Japanese practice of double cleansing with cleanser and facial wash, but most still use only emulsion for moisture. Thai women are very interested in color makeup and open to different styles from both the East (Japan, Korea) and West (America, Europe). Favorite colors are earth tones such as beige, brown or sand and, for the lips, colorful hues such as orange, rasberry red , and pink rose.

Kanebo’s beauty counselors in Thailand are dedicated to Omotenashi counseling. Two of them have shared their experiences in beauty care and hospitality.

Sirirat Sanhasiew, Bankok

What are the main concerns of the customers who come to your counter?

Many customers come to my counter in search of advice on makeup, especially foundation. They usually avoid heavy base makeup, which is poorly suited to our hot and humid climate in Thailand. They come to the counter after hearing how well Kanebo’s liquid and powder foundations work on hot and muggy days. I base my advice on professional, thorough skin checks. I usually give a customer a free skin analysis with our beauty analyzer BA21AD before moving on to the Omotenashi counseling.

How do your customers respond to Omotenashi counseling?

I remember one customer who had never used cleanser or moisturizing lotion before. She was 46 years old and had been using another cosmetic brand for the last 20 years. One day she stopped by our counter on the way to her usual brand. I invited her to a skin check and provided Omotenashi counseling for more than an hour. She didn’t buy anything that day, but I gave her double cleansing and double moisturizing samples. Two days later I phoned her to check if she was using the samples correctly and invited her back for a skin check. A few days later she showed up at the counter with a big smile. Pleased with the experience and effect of the Omotenashi Counseling, she had decided to purchase our double cleansing and double moisturizing products. Now I count her as one of my loyal customers. She told me that she had never before experienced such good counseling and was very satisfied with my service and advice.

Why did you join Kanebo?

Sirirat Sanhasiew works at the Siam Paragon Department Store in Bangkok. She has 15 years of experience as a professional beauty counselor and a large following of loyal customers. Sirirat is also a great coach for younger colleagues, who learn from her good manners and positive approach to service.
Store: Siam Paragon

Before I joined Kanebo, I used to work for another brand in a department store next to the Kanebo counter. I had the chance to see Kanebo counselors working their wonders on customers through a combination of hospitality and finely tuned teamwork. Kanebo feels more like a family than a company. Ever since starting here 15 years ago, I never once thought of resigning or changing brands. The decision to work for Kanebo was the best in my life.

What aspect of your work do you like most?

What we call “service” at our counter basically consists of four steps: a skin analysis, a sample makeup application, a massage, and a demonstration by hand. When I provide my services correctly, I form deep and close bonds with my customers. On a higher level, I accomplish Kanebo’s “Feel your beauty” mission. My customers come to understand what we mean when we say, “Ahead of Beauty waits a world of joy.”

Waraporn Chartrum, Bankok

What is special about counseling at your counter?

The keyword at our counter is “animated counseling,” not “paint-by-numbers” counseling. We always smile and listen carefully. We try to sense the customer’s mood and provide a joyous counseling experience. Most customers come for makeup counseling. Our counter also offers a one-hour personal makeup workshop to help customers discover and enhance their individual beauty.

How do your customers respond to Omotenashi counseling?

Whenever I provide Omotenashi counseling, I can confirm the customer is happy by how she smiles and what she tells me in our conversation. Omotenashi counseling is two way communication. A well counseled customer will usually return to me for more advice in the future. Many customers bring in their friends and families to introduce them to Omotenashi counseling.

What part of your work do you like most? And why?

Waraporn Chartrum works at the Central Department Store (Ladpraw Branch) in Bangkok. She is regarded as the top Kanebo beauty counselor in Thailand and admired for her exceptional expertise and hospitality.
Store: Central Ladpraw

I like nothing more than making my customers beautiful. When a customer looks into the mirror after I make her up, I want her to break into a great big smile and exclaim, “Beautiful!” This is the happiest moment for me.

What is your personal message?

SMILES are free….. and easy to give. Smile to all your customers from the bottom of your heart. Smiles help your customers absorb the information you convey to them.

Special Kanebo offers in Thailand

After her first purchase, a new customer will receive a “Beauty Passport” entitling her to receive one of three complimentary services from Kanebo: 1. Eyebrow grooming, 2. Mask, or 3. Makeup. The customer can receive the service by presenting her “Beauty Passport” at the counter.

After counseling, customers receive a one-week supply of free samples. A few days later, the beauty counselor will phone the customer to confirm that she is using the products correctly and invite her back for a free skin check and makeup lesson.

Contact:

Kanebo Cosmetics (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
Address 1521 Sukhumvit RD. Prakanongnua, Wattana BKK 10210
TEL +66-2-714-44060 FAX +66-2-714-4074
Website http://www.kanebo.co.th
Brands Impress, LUNASOL, KATE, BLANCHIR SUPERIOR, Fréshel

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