Improving Our Service Quality
The Z Holdings Group has committed itself to increasing customer satisfaction. To that end, we have created a help page that is updated to reflect questions raised by customers and have implemented a variety of other service initiatives, including e-mail and chat support, fraud checks, and website monitoring. Moving forward, we will work to improve customer support services and systems, with the goal of further increasing customer satisfaction.
Quality Preservation Initiatives
The group companies of the Z Holdings Group provide a wide variety of services such as Internet business, commerce business and financial services.
Yahoo Japan Corporation (“Yahoo! JAPAN”)
Yahoo! JAPAN, which has over 100 services, has a department to examine service operations and product quality, and to proofread texts to be published, in order to maintain the high quality of services and increase ease of use.
ASKUL Corporation (“ASKUL”)
To enable the customers to purchase products safely, ASKUL conducts various measures to improve and stabilize product quality. In particular, with the cooperation of the suppliers, product quality is improved for private label products through on-site inspection of factories and production lines as well as verification of documents.
Basic Policy on Accessibility
We work to guarantee accessibility so that our web contents can be accessed by as many people, and in as many situations as possible.
On June 20, 2013, Yahoo! JAPAN released its Web Accessibility Policy. It was then updated on August 1, 2016 to conform with Japanese Industrial Standards, JIS X 8341-3:2016 (Guidelines for Older Persons and Persons with Disabilities - Information and Communications Equipment, Software, and Services-Part 3: Web Content). In 2017, Yahoo! JAPAN became a member of Web Accessibility Infrastructure Committee, an initiative by Info-access Communication Council. Moving on, we will spread JIS X 8341-3 and participate in various activities in order to build infrastructure necessary for enhancing web accessibility.
Establishment of Support Systems/Improving Customer Support
The Z Holdings Group has various ways of providing high-quality customer support.
We have established contact points for each of our Yahoo! JAPAN services, wherein our dedicated employees offer support by responding to customer inquiries. In addition to our conventional email-based support, we also use Chatbot, a chat function that is highly compatible with Internet services.
We provide free support services via phone and e-mail to business owners using Yahoo! JAPAN Promotional Ads and Yahoo! JAPAN Shopping. In addition to offering services and tools, we believe that assisting in their use is an important part of our function to support our business partners.
ASKUL publishes and distributes its “MIND BOOK”, which summarizes messages received from customers, case studies, and episodes, opinions and views that ASKUL wishes to share in order to further improve customer satisfaction and to increase engagement with the customers. This “MIND BOOK” clarifies ASKUL’s customer service level and penetrates a service mindset. The “MIND BOOK” is distributed in ASKUL’s customer service desk and in the company’s training for new entrants. The book provides the employees with the opportunity to reflect on what they can do to improve services and to trigger awareness across the company, as the book is also used as hands-on training material in the customer service desk.
AI chatbots that answer inquiries from customers in online chat conversations are introduced in various services: “Manami san” for LOHACO; “Aoi kun” for SOLOEL ARENA; and ASKUL websites. The chatbots bring efficiency in customer response, reduce personnel required, and improves customer satisfaction through speedy responses.
It is imperative that ZOZO actively reflects the voices received from its approximately 8 million customers who use ZOZOTOWN in a year, in its service operation. The underlying principle in ZOZO’s customer support center is “Become friends with the customers”. The customer support center supports customers as if they are helping their friends in trouble and make daily efforts to make the customers happy.
Measurement and Improvements to Customer Satisfaction
Since 2003, shortly after the start of its services, Yahoo! JAPAN has been employings various methods to gather customer voices, and to use their voices in continuous functional upgrades and improvements as well as future service development.
Satisfaction survey for periodic monitoring of NPS* and own “Problem-solving Indices”
Once every quarter, customer satisfaction is measured through questionnaires on over 200 services provided by Yahoo! JAPAN and its competitors.
The questionnaires consist of questions that measure the NPS* and Yahoo! JAPAN’s own “Problem-solving Indices.” The responses are analyzed in combination with other business indices by the company’s research division to gauge how much each service has grown.The questionnaire results are shared not only with the divisions in charge but with all employees so that all employees can check the positions of the services provided by their own company.
For some services, a dedicated team specialized in each domain performs additional NPS* analysis using its own method, to help refine the service according to more specific indices.
- *NPS (Net Promoter Score/System): A metric developed by Fred Reichheld, a Bain & Company fellow, to measure how much confidence and loyalty users feel to a company or a service.
Service Improvement Based on Opinions Received by Customer Support
Requests and opinions received daily by the Customer Support and posts and repercussions in the social media are reported by dedicated staff to the persons responsible for the services, and are used to improve the services.
We ask the customers their satisfaction level on the responses made by the Customer Support, in order to raise the quality of their responses.
The feedback from our customers has been used as a valuable input for making various service improvements, such as the addition of a decoration function to Yahoo! JAPAN Calendar and the issuance of receipts from purchase order history in Yahoo! JAPAN Shopping and PayPay Mall.
Improvements to Our Help Page
Yahoo! JAPAN provides a help page link in all its services to assist customers in smoothly addressing their issues that arise during the use of Yahoo! JAPAN services. Help page information reflects customer questions and is frequently updated to ensure that the customer can easily locate the answers they need.
System Development to Reflect Customer Needs to Our Services
We have created customer comment forms for all our services and have introduced mechanisms for promptly sharing feedback internally.
A Supporters’ Club was also established to organize core fans of Yahoo! JAPAN services and facilitate interactions between customers and developers. Through these mechanisms, we can quickly recognize customer needs as they arise and develop systems to continuously improve the quality of Yahoo! JAPAN services.
Dialogues with Stakeholders
In order to continue being a user-first company that solves social issues, Yahoo! JAPAN holds discussions with persons in related positions in the form of stakeholder dialogues.
In March 2020, we invited a security expert, Mr. Hiroshi Kawaguchi to discuss what the future direction of information security should be with CISO Umemura of Yahoo Japan Corporation, and corporate officer, GCISO, Nakatani of Z Holdings Corporation.
Implementation of Screening and Inspections
To ensure that our e-commerce services, such as Yahoo! JAPAN Shopping and YAHUOKU!, remain safe and secure, we screen stores when they are opened and carry out inspections for prohibited items. We also conduct, based on our guidelines, round-the-clock monitoring of Yahoo! JAPAN News and Yahoo! JAPAN Knowledge Search for unauthorized postings or postings containing personal information.
YAHUOKU! Fraud Prevention Measures
Yahoo! JAPAN implements control measures and system enhancements to prevent fraud in YAHUOKU!. We also promote activities from multiple angles to raise awareness of users and to collaborate with right holders’ associations in protecting intellectual property. Moving on, we will continue to take active measures to achieve zero fraud.
Strengthening Prevention Measures Against Listing of Counterfeit Goods Using Deep Learning
In YAHUOKU!, prevention measures against listing of counterfeit goods are among the problems we focus on. In addition to the fraudulent listing detection system based on machine learning that we had introduced before, we introduced a deep learning system using our supercomputer “kukai” in 2018, which can determine whether any listing is counterfeit goods or not within several seconds after listed to YAHUOKU! We aim to improve detection accuracy as well as to provide a safer, securer sales platform moving on.
Efforts Toward Safety and Security, and Information to Raise Awareness
“Three actions of YAHUOKU! toward safety and security” page introduces YAHUOKU!-specific actions and support information such as anonymous shipping, fraud detection by means of machine learning, chat support and recompense if needed. “YAHUOKU! Self-defense” page provides customers with a summary of matters that require special attention and confirmation in each step of a transaction, i.e., listing, bidding, paying, and receiving goods. It also provides points that should be taken into account to prevent trading of goods procured unlawfully or accidental access to phishing sites.
Confirmation Prior to Listing on YAHUOKU!
In November 2006, YAHUOKU! introduced a process to confirm the identity of the seller prior to listing goods on YAHUOKU! through the presentation of personal ID data. In August 2012, it introduced a confirmation method (“mobile phone conformation”) using devices with which personal identification is performed by mobile phone operators (i.e., mobile phone, smartphone), enabling the seller to place goods on YAHUOKU! by performing either of the confirmation processes.
Combating Counterfeit Goods
Yahoo! JAPAN partners with luxurious brand companies in an effort to combat the distribution of counterfeit goods on YAHUOKU! We have signed anti-counterfeit agreements with Louis Vuitton Malletier and Coach, Inc. to take collaborative measures against the distribution of such goods.
Furthermore, we cooperate with the police in crime investigation as well as exchange information with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and other government agencies that promote measures against counterfeit products.
We also continue activities to raise awareness of users to prevent them from purchasing counterfeit goods.
Yahoo! JAPAN aims to establish a global standard in operating online auction and flea market apps by continuing to collaborate with concerned parties on anti-counterfeit measures and by carrying out awareness-raising activities toward users.
Initiatives in Intellectual Property Protection
Together with rights holders and rights holders’ associations, we have founded the Council for Intellectual Property Protection on Internet (CIPP) in December 2005, welcoming related government agencies as observers. CIPP formulated the Guidelines for Prevention of the Distribution of Intellectual Property Rights Infringing Goods on the Internet, under which rights holders and Internet operators join hands to prevent the distribution of infringing goods. According to CIPP’s report for 2017, the ratio of infringing goods posted on online auctions that have adopted countermeasures has remained extremely low at 0.07% (out of 2,972) for copyright infringing goods and 0.09% (out of 2,147) for trademark infringing goods.
The extremely low ratio of intellectual property rights infringing goods despite an increase in the overall number of goods listed on Internet auctions can be regarded as a result of the joint initiatives by Internet operators and rights holders.
Measures Against Non-Delivery of Purchased Goods
For all transactions (excluding some categories with a different price system), Yahoo! JAPAN adopts a system where YAHUOKU! temporarily receives payment for goods and pays the seller after the successful bidder has followed procedures to to notify their receipt of purchased goods. Yahoo! JAPAN has also established and operates a unique compensation system for YAHUOKU! customers who have become victims of fraud despite complying with YAHUOKU! rules when using the service.
Improvements to Advertisement Service Quality
Improvements to Advertisement Screening System
Internet advertising and marketing methods are being increasingly relied upon. In order to ensure that advertisements are useful and reach a wider audience, we are working to increase the reliability of the advertising methods and the advertisements themselves, as well as heighten our value as advertisement media. Yahoo! JAPAN has established standards of acceptability for publishable advertisements in terms of information, appearance, and language. Accordingly, ads are screened and also monitored after posting. We also collect feedback on ads through dedicated comment forms, and examine and analyze customer reactions and concerns regarding ads on social media.
In addition, we participate in the activities of Japan Interactive Advertising Association (JIAA), Japan Advertising Review Organization (JARO), and other organizations to determine independent guidelines to be observed within the industry. As part of these efforts, we collect information, including comments and concerns about advertisements published not only on the Internet but on all types of media, for use in advertisement screening.
Enhancing Standards of Publishable Advertisements Regarding Usefulness of Advertisements
We have enhanced our standards of publishable advertisements regarding usefulness of advertisements, in order to offer more useful advertisements to our users and to let them have better advertisement experience. Although measures had been taken, there were problems where, among the websites whose main purpose is to have users click advertisements, etc., many of them appear to have non-fulfilling contents or include misleading expression. In order to remove such advertisements not useful to our users, we have decided to prohibit pay-for-performance websites (including affiliate sites) and those we have determined as equivalent to them from listing advertisements, with exceptions to some websites and advertisements.
Ad Quality Diamond
In order to have all of our users and advertisers use our websites safely, we have defined “Three values and six measures in advertisement quality” as “Ad quality diamond” (below), and are taking measures to maintain and enhance our advertisement quality.
As measures to eradicate ad frauds, one of the issues we confront, we have revised the guidelines related to ad distribution in October 2018. As a result of the re-screening we conducted by the end of March 2019, we stopped the distribution of approximately 5,900 (*1) ads that were in violation of our guidelines.
We have reinforced our screening again since April 2019, and by the end of March 2020, have denied approximately 1,000 (*1, *2) new applications for ad distributions.
We will confront the quality problems held by Japan's Internet advertisement industry, develop our own quality standard that reflect Japan's situation in reference to the global standard, and take a lead in securing a healthier advertisement industry.
- *1 Number of domains. The advertisement is counted twice if it is distributed to the same website in both PC and smartphone.
- *2 There are overlaps in the counts if requests for screening is sent for the same website from different request channels.
Transparency Report on Advertising Service Quality
To ensure that our advertisers, advertising agencies, ad distribution partners and users are able to use Yahoo! JAPAN services and advertisements safely, Yahoo! JAPAN discloses its “Transparency Report on Advertising Service Quality,” which summarizes its screening results to enhance its advertising service quality.
Through screening, we take strict actions against advertisements such as, unsupported “number one” statements, advertising materials that make viewers feel uncomfortable, such as those that overemphasize a person's complex, and false or misleading advertising of cosmetics and health food products that is in violation of the “Act on Securing Quality, Efficacy and Safety of Products Including Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices” (Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Act).
In the first half of fiscal 2020, we disapproved approximately 110 million pieces* of advertising materials in Yahoo! JAPAN Ads (judged as advertising that conflicts with our standards).
The report also carries screening results related to ad publishing pages and ad traffic.
Through the periodic publication of the report, we will continuously strive to deliver a platform that can be used safely by our advertisers, advertising agencies, ad distribution partners, and users.
- *The total of disapproved items (ad titles, descriptions, images, linked websites, keywords, etc.) that were judged as being in conflict with Yahoo! JAPAN ad publishing guidelines, ad submission rules, and ad sales rules; not the number of advertisements themselves.
Formulation of Media Policy
We offer media services such as Yahoo! JAPAN News, which are designed to deliver information published by various media to users. A vast amount of information circulates on the Internet, and one of the largest issues people face is how they can encounter information that is important to society and that can arouse new interests. Looking forward, in order to solve these issues while seeking understanding of users and various media which provides us with information, and gaining trust as an information distributer and a platform to gather information, we have outlined a basic policy to address these issues in our Media Policy of Yahoo! JAPAN.
Policies and Measures on Human Rights in Our Media Services
We regard that respect for human rights is the cornerstone of our media services.
In the Media Policy of Yahoo! JAPAN, Yahoo! JAPAN stipulates its commitment “to show respect for human rights, and to protect the freedom of expression and the right to know.” It also stipulates its “responsibility in handling information with sensitivity to differing values” and vows to “continue to be a platform to promote understanding and good judgement, unconstrained by specific authorities, organizations, ideologies, or principles.” Yahoo! JAPAN also sets forth its policy on article distribution. The policy is implemented through collaborations with content providers (media companies) who disseminate information. Yahoo! JAPAN constantly endeavors to provide information properly.
Establishment of guidelines, etc.
Content providers are expected to deliver high-quality, dignified and reliable articles that abide by laws, regulations, and social norms.
Users posting comments, etc. are also expected to comply with guidelines that promote respect for human rights. We set forth protocols on writing comments to raise the awareness among our users. In case inappropriate posts are made, such as slandering comments, violation report functions are set in place to ensure quick actions. A dedicated team patrols the websites round the clock while cutting-edge AI technologies are also used to analyze sentences to detect inappropriate posts. Thus, we continue to step up measures to detect inappropriate posts quickly and to respond to them quickly.
Establishment of contact points
Contact points are prepared mainly in our news-related services to facilitate our quick actions when users notify issues related to human rights in the functions we provide, such as content and comments.
Panel of experts
We have established an external panel of experts to receive opinions on the appropriate provision of media services.
Protection of Children’s Privacy – Yahoo! JAPAN
Yahoo Japan Corporation publishes “Protection of Children’s Privacy”, an awareness-raising content on privacy, targeting users under 15 who use the Internet services provided in Yahoo! JAPAN, and their guardians.
”Children’s Public Comments” held in collaboration with the Japan Committee for UNICEF
In order to reflect children’s voices in an action plan to end violence against children (“National Action Plan to End Violence Against Children”) jointly initiated by ministries and NPOs, including the Cabinet Office and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Japan Committee for UNICEF and Yahoo Japan Corporation invited public comments. Voices collected in “Children’s Public Comments” are delivered to “Roundtable Working Group to End Violence Against Children”, which is formulating the action plan. Moving on, we will continue to work so that the voices in “Children’s Public Comments” will be reflected in the future action plans.
Measures against “bullying” conducted in collaboration with MEXT
In collaboration with Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Yahoo! JAPAN Kids Search introduces a system so that “Children’s Rescue 24-hour Dial in Number” will be displayed at the upper part of the search results when words related to bullying are searched (e.g. “bullying, consulting”, “bullying, absence from school”). In this way, we hope that children suffering from bullying will be able to easily reach reliable consultants and hope to contribute to the solving of their problems.
Providing Japan’s first-of-the-kind image search function designed for children
In October 2020, Yahoo! JAPAN Kids Search began a child-safe image search function that filters out information inappropriate for children. Yahoo! JAPAN Kids had already put in place a filtered search mechanism to prevent inappropriate pages from being shown in the search results, and the new function augments the protection for young users, by keeping them safe from the visual information that may have harmful effects on their healthy mental and physical growth.
By providing an Internet environment safe and secure for children, Yahoo! JAPAN will continuously contribute to expanding the future possibilities for children.
LINE’s approaches for minors
As part of its effort to ensure safe and secure use of LINE by minors, LINE Corporation raised the app store age rating for the LINE iOS app (for the iPhone) to 12+ in January 2020. This means that guardians are able to use the iOS' parental control features to manage their child's LINE use.
As another step to ensure safe and secure usage for minors, LINE Corporation also confirms that the user is 18 years old or older, by using the age verification function provided by mobile carriers. When this age requirement cannot be confirmed, the company puts restrictions on some of LINE functions, such as LINE ID Search, to keep the user away from troubles associated with the use of meet-a-mate sites.
To help minors stay out of trouble and use LINE appropriately, LINE MIRAI Foundation creates information moral education materials and distributes them through its website and seminars. To date, the Foundation has given more than 10,000 awareness-raising lectures to elementary, junior high, and high school students, guardians, and teachers across Japan at their places.