The Fastest Record: The First Double Meister Born from A Semi-Regular Employee


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Senbokuya who works at JINS AEON MALL AKITA has achieved double Meister certifications with the shortest record of 1 and 9 months since he joined JINS. There are only 24 store creators who have both technique and customer service certifications among over 4100 store creators. And for semi-regular employees, Senbokuya is the only one. This time, we interviewed him about his journey to obtain double in-house proficiency certifications; that acquisition rate is 0.58%.

※A JINS’ in-house proficiency test that endorses an employee with the highest skills in each field—a Technique Meister and a Customer Service Meister.

Meister’s knowledge and techniques will make everything “easy” for myself and my customers

JINS JP (Japan Division)

When I first joined JINS in November 2019 as a semi-regular employee, I set the goal of becoming Advanced first. The reason for it was, once I became Advanced, I could be granted a qualification to take a test for becoming a regular employee. Although I passed a web test for Advanced after becoming Basic 4 months later, I couldn’t go to Sendai City, where a practical test was supposed to be held, because in May of the following year, a state of emergency was declared in Akita Prefecture.

To be honest, when I heard about “A Meister should be keen on trends,” I thought, “Oh, it’s not for me, it’s over.” “Pursuing trends is absolutely not for me,” I thought like that once. However, a state of emergency brought me free time due to a temporary store closure by that, and I browsed textbooks for Meister tests (at that time, employees could refer to all textbooks via e-learning), I found that Meister’s skills could make our customers in front of me and beyond “easy.”

Because during that time, I keenly realized every day that if I had more techniques or knowledge, I could provide customers with a more comfortable and stress-free purchase experience in the eyeglass industry, which was a whole new world to me, having joined in mid-career.

Kept failing the tests – it was very heartbreaking enough to consider quitting

As the ranks of the certifications increased, the tests became more and more difficult, and I ended up taking the Technique Meister test about 6 times, including the pre-test, and the Customer Service Meister test more than 10 times. For Technique Meister’s practical tests, I repeated making mistakes by a few millimeters for lens processing or eyeglass fittings. No matter how hard I tried not to make mistakes on the parts where I had made mistakes on the previous test, I ironically did make some mistakes on another part, my challenge was like that. Nonetheless, I had never considered quitting to get the Technique Meister certification; however, with the Customer Service Meister certification, I kept failing the written exam stage, which was heartbreaking enough to make me consider quitting. That said, my rivals and trainers encouraged me to keep up my motivation.

Back then, a store creator joined the store where I worked a month later compared with my onboarding date, and he also took the tests the same as I did. Our challenge proceeded like this: once I became Advanced, he became Basic in the same month, and I became Expert, he became Advanced. While teaching him tips for the test, I was studying with my passion that “Failing is no longer an option for me.”
In addition, an opportunity to make desperate efforts to obtain the Customer Service Meister certification together with many colleagues as a Meister candidate also pushed me a lot. The trainers distributed test questions and gave practical role-playing online every month, which accelerated my skill acquisition.

Consequently, I obtained the Technique Meister certification in March 2021 and, following that, the Customer Service Meister certification in July 2021, which officially allows me to call myself a double Meister. Without a doubt, that brought me confidence, and I could also acquire skills to handle various things speedily by reviewing the knowledge and techniques I learned on the way to passing the tests through my actual customer service. The old me was always struggling with customers’ questions, but now I am the one who can answer their questions accurately and speedily and also offer much better recommendations that are in line with their needs.
Now that I have more leeway than before, I can read from the customer’s facial expression, “Oh, this doesn’t resonate with the customer,” or “This may be more attractive,” and proceed with the conversation. Before, I was not confident to ask anything other than, “What occasion would you wear glasses?”
My achievement of getting double Meister certifications gave me the confidence to handle more topics and have a large stock of knowledge.

Kept failing the tests – it was very heartbreaking enough to consider quitting

Currently, I’m paying attention to grasping the sales and the entire customer service at the store while focusing on education for store creators. The reason for putting focus on education the most is that I see education as the fundamental thing that connects to sales and customer service, led by techniques and a way to offer customers. Specifically, I hold store meetings twice what are supposed to have once and provide a lecture on techniques and role-playing for customer service at one of the meetings.
If possible, I want all the store creators around me to get a Meister certification. But I don’t want to force it on them. First of all, the number one priority is to be able to ensure that each store creator can do what they are aiming for. Next, by checking their facial expressions after they achieved what they aimed for, I try to ask and give one more piece of advice to them: “Is there anything you want to know?” or “Do you want to try something new?”

Anyway, we all should be “easy” after all. That word might seem not so good depending on how you see the word, but I hope to make things “easy” for myself, my colleagues, and our customers. If all store creators have enough knowledge and techniques, they can handle any customer with any concerns at a store in an “easy” way. Simultaneously, customers can get the glasses that meet their needs in an “easy” way without any stress. The ideal state is that everything works well and is “easy.” Coincidentally, the store vision of JINS AEON MALL AKITA is “Comfortable, Cheerful, and Easy-breezy Store,” haha.

There are moments I appreciate my happiness achieving double Meister certifications-it’s specifically when customers who aimlessly visit our store become happy.
For example, if a customer who made the glasses at other stores after the eye test has a problem with the glasses that do not see well, I’m now able to determine the cause of that problem just by having a conversation. After fully explaining to the customer about the cause and its solution, such as changing lens strengths, the customer was surprised and at the same time became happy by wearing the glasses that I recommended. Same as when the frame that had given up and would never be repaired was fixed.
Hereafter, I would like to continue to be a store creator whom other store creators and customers can rely on when they struggle with something, just like my current self is. I want to be in a position to help my colleagues achieve their various goals as much as possible. To this end, I would like to keep learning and updating myself. My next goal is to obtain a national license, “Certified Optician Skills.”

※The department and area are as of the time of the interview.
※The contents of this article are the information on services and initiatives provided in Japan.

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