Women at Rakuten: Sachiko
Group Quality Department
Absorbed in my pursuit of the deep world of quality
I first joined Rakuten in 2006. When I moved to the International Department in 2012, I became part of a department that trained local staff overseas and worked with CEOs and local employees in each country to provide guidance on campaign expertise. I also helped launch commerce operations in global markets as part of my duties. Such experience in project management in overseas businesses has provided me with a basis for my current work.
When I temporarily left my job here for another company, I was able to see Rakuten from the outside. During that time, I realized how the importance placed on embedding the company’s principles among its employees made it easy to work here. I also appreciated how Rakuten’s corporate culture, which is focused on teamwork and letting employees pursue what they want to do, is not easily found elsewhere. I rejoined the company and I am now in my fifth year here since.
Currently, as a member of the Group Quality Department, I endeavor to improve the quality of Rakuten services across four functions: customer loyalty promotion*¹, Group quality assurance*², Group quality control*³, and Group customer support (CS)*⁴.
After rejoining Rakuten, I was initially part of the commerce company CS Promotion Department, but soon afterwards, I started to forge a career striving to elevate internal quality starting with our department’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Quality Control Circle (QCC). Our QCC problem-solving framework formed a key foundation of my work. Encountering this “magical” framework, which makes it possible to solve a variety of problems, enabled me to boost the productivity and quality of operations.
Product management is another skill that has served me well in my current role in the International Department, which I was assigned to in 2021. At the time, I was in a department that trained local staff overseas and worked with CEOs and local employees in each country to provide guidance on campaign expertise. I also helped launch commerce operations in global markets as part of my duties. Such experience in overseas businesses has provided me with a basis for my current work.
The myriad of services Rakuten provides are based on the trust of our customers. The quality of these services underpins that trust and supports the foundation of our business. That’s why we strive to improve even the aspects of our services that you can’t see — to maximize customer satisfaction. The world of quality is a deep one. The more we know and the more we learn, the more additional challenges surface. Going forward, I intend to continue improving myself while enhancing my skills through both experience and study.
Rakuten’s One Team culture helps you take on new challenges
Rakuten is the kind of company where you can take on various challenges as long as you have the will to do so. The important thing is to simply try new things. That will facilitate your growth and give you the ability to shine. Helping fellow employees in a pinch and taking action for the best of the company are also components of Rakuten’s corporate culture. When I took on the challenge of joining the International Department, I was helped out tremendously by those around me, despite not being a returnee from overseas or having any experience studying abroad.
One of Rakuten’s principles is solidarity. It is encouraging to see that everyone approaches work as One Team with the same mindset, and it makes me happy that I can be a part of that environment. In my current role, I have numerous opportunities to communicate with our overseas offices in India and Europe, which gives me a great sense of how Rakuten is a global enterprise where employees of varied ethnicities, nationalities and genders work together.
Leaving Rakuten temporarily and then rejoining the company has allowed me to rekindle a true sense of joy from working here, and the fun that comes with learning. I plan to keep trying to improve the quality of the 70-plus services offered by the Rakuten Group and the Rakuten Ecosystem so that we remain a leading internet service company in terms of quality. As there are still many, many things that I would like to accomplish at Rakuten, I look forward to the future.
Boosting employee well-being through club activities
Rakuten is home to a number of employee clubs, and I have been a member of the flower arrangement club for two years now. Normally, this would involve arranging flowers alongside participants from various other business departments under a teacher’s instruction using our onsite cafeteria as a classroom. However, these lessons, like many other things, went online due to the pandemic.
Now our teacher uploads videos of model arrangements to YouTube and we watch them in our own time. Not only does this format make participation easy, but the ikebana flowers are delivered to our doorstep, which saves us time and effort. This has provided me with a wonderful way to refresh myself even during the pandemic. Posting photos of my flower arrangements on social media and having our teacher check them is another part of the fun. During lessons, employees’ kids sometimes pop up on Zoom, creating a relaxing at-home atmosphere. I am very fond of this flower arrangement club.
Rakuten’s cafeteria meets halal and vegetarian needs
Halal and vegetarian food options are available at Rakuten’s cafeteria, and because I am a vegetarian, I take advantage of the vegetarian lunch. A full vegetarian menu is also now available at the Crimson Club, Rakuten’s onsite paid restaurant, since this spring, giving vegetarian employees the ability to enjoy dining there too. Rakuten employees hold a variety of dietary preferences and beliefs. A vegetarian friend of mine who works at another company often tells me how jealous she is of Rakuten’s consideration for its employees.
As there are few restaurants that serve vegetarian food in Japan, I prepare ingredients and cook together with my friends at home. Meat substitutes such as soy meat are satisfying despite being plant-based, and I can actually feel the positive effects that being a vegetarian has had on my body and mind.
*¹ Customer loyalty promotion: Oversees the improvement in the appeal and quality of Rakuten by assisting with the improvement of Rakuten Group’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) and the NPS of each business.
*² Group quality assurance: Oversees the formulation of quality standards for Rakuten, the monitoring of compliance with those standards, and the promotion of associated improvements.
*³ Group quality control: Oversees the solution of quality issues at Rakuten, the prevention of the reoccurrence of incidents, the prevention of incidents before they occur, etc.
*⁴ Group CS: Oversees the operation of switchboards and general information counters of the Rakuten Group and assistance with customer support operations across the Group.
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