We’ve all been there–customer service. Whether it’s a never-ending chain of emails, a nonsensical loop of poorly-written instructions or a purgatory of automated responses, sometimes it feels like there isn’t really anyone even there, let alone someone who can help you. You fear your problem will never be solved and you’ll have wasted hours of your time. If only there was someone, a real, live someone, who could explain things to you.
Sounds like a dream, right?
Japan is well-known for their culture of outstanding customer service, but now they’re really upping the ante with their approach to ticket machine troubles. Typically, the ticket machines are fully automated, allowing customers to make purchases on their own, but, like with anything, issues can arise. Machines experience technical problems, and people can just get plain confused with all the screens and menus.
That’s where this guy comes in.
Yep. That is a literal dude coming out of the wall to help a customer. The employees come out of the walls to help people in a jam.
Each terminal has a call button customers can push if they can’t figure their way out of a problem. Just push a button, and out pops an attendant. And there’s actually a practical reason; normally, the attendant would simply walk out from the office, but in the larger stations, it’s more efficient to simply emerge from the depths.
However magical, this is actually not a commonplace occurrence. For the most part, he ticket machines run smoothly and people know how to use them. And think about it this way–if you were a ticket attendant, you’d get mighty sick of popping out of the wall to show people how to push a button. So if you’re in Japan, we advise using the call button only in real emergencies. But you can always hope!