• Reporting To: Duty Manager
  • Hours: Shift work Sunday to Saturday (committing to weekends weekly)
  • Closing Date: 9 December 2021

Purpose of the Role

The Visitor Experience Assistant is an important part of the visitor-facing team having responsibility to ensure, through providing exceptional standards of visitor experience, that all Japan House London guests are welcomed warmly, encouraged to learn about and engage with the exhibitions and programmes, have a safe and enjoyable visit and collect visitor survey data. They will offer visitors a variety of personal attention and services, information and products to enhance their visit in an animated, courteous and informed manner. They will also support the security presence in all public spaces and ensure that the Health and Safety Policy is adhered to. This will include managing visitor flow, being alert to potential hazards, and responding to a variety of needs, especially by being aware of opportunities to enhance the Japan House London experience for young families, school groups and those with disabilities.

Accountabilities

  • Enhance - improves the quality of the visitor experience, through informed engagement and enthusiastic animation
  • Enable - encourages and supervises participation in activities, pro-actively supports outcome delivery and collects visitor survey data
  • Demonstrate - ensures visitors understand and enjoy exhibits, and gain maximum value from interaction with them
  • Facilitate - helps to achieve positive outcomes from activities and engagement, whilst proactively providing guidance and assistance as required
  • Support - flexibly engage with visitors, enhance the user experience, and help to deliver specific events and other programmed activities

Key Relationships

Internal

  • Operations department
  • Programming department
  • Corporate Development dept.
  • Other members of the Japan House London team
  • Volunteers

External

  • Service providers
  • Third-party contractors for FM & Security
  • Retail and Food & Beverage Partners
  • Other external service providers

 

Key Duties

The physical environment of Japan House London is attractive and of high quality, with services, products, attractive retail and catering facilities designed and delivered around the specific needs of visitors. The Visitor Experience Assistant team has been developed to support the visitor experience and to ensure that visitor access requirements are met, and their satisfaction levels are high, in line with the Japanese concept of Omotenashi:

“Translated simply, Omotenashi means the Japanese way of treating a guest. It blends a welcoming spirit with warmth, understanding, and above all respect. The concept is all encompassing. The Japanese language makes no distinction between ‘guest’ and ‘customer.’ In English, the concept of ‘service’ suggests a hierarchy between the ‘server’ and the ‘customer.’ The Japanese Omotenashi, however, is based on a non-dominant relationship between equals – between the person offering the service (the host) and the person receiving it (the guest or customer). To practice Omotenashi, the host pays close attention to detail and is committed to anticipating the needs of the guest, smiling sincerely and setting a happy, relaxed mood. When authentic, Japanese hospitality and service exceed the expectations of the guests. At its most exquisite, Omotenashi offers a guest a once-in-a-life-time experience…”

The primary role of the Visitor Experience Assistant therefore is to provide a five-star-level of customer service. Each visitor should feel welcome and encouraged to talk with any member of the team so that they leave feeling that they have had an engaging, enlightening and enjoyable visitor experience which includes:

  • Staying up to date and promoting all Japan House London facilities, services, products, activities, talks and tours, special exhibitions, membership, and any special events.
  • Welcoming all visitors to the Japan House London experience.
  • Engaging with visitors, enabling them to explore and enjoy exhibitions and programmes, by interpreting themes clearly and accurately.
  • Collating accurate quantitative and qualitative visitor survey data.
  • Handling financial transitions efficiently and accurately in line with our cash handling procedures.
  • Hosting and briefing school groups and families visiting Japan House.
  • Managing visitor flow, especially when large groups are visiting.
  • Ensure products are replenished and well-presented throughout Japan House London.
  • Assisting in evacuation during an emergency, and ensure the safety of visitors, colleagues and volunteers.
  • Supporting front-of-house security and safety, including visual checks, security checks, lock down procedures and dealing with incidents.
  • Working in the office and support occasional research and administrative duties as required.
  • Supporting with the delivery of venue hire events.

As an employee of Japan H.L. Limited, Under Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 you are responsible for your personal safety and that of your colleagues, including others who may be affected by the Companies activities. Additionally, you must also co-operate with the Company to enable it to discharge its own responsibilities successfully.
A particular feature of the Japan House way of working is the project team. All members of staff are expected to collaborate, from time to time, in cross functional teams to deliver specific projects and programmes of activity. The project teams are multi-disciplinary and bring together the skills and experience needed to deliver a wide range of shared initiatives and objectives. Teams may include experts from external companies or suppliers.

Qualifications

  • Educated to degree level or equivalent qualification in Japan Studies, History, Art, Design or other related field preferred
  • Additional training and / or supplementary courses completed in Education, Museums Studies, Customer Services or relevant associated areas advantageous

Knowledge

  • Know when to approach visitors and offer assistance
  • Know how to evaluate and respond sensitively to the specific needs of visitors
  • Know how to resolve incidents to a satisfactory outcome
  • Know when to seek assistance and advice from other team members
  • Knowledge of Health & Safety procedures
  • Knowledge of basic First Aid advantageous
  • High level of proficiency in full MS Office suite
  • Use of visitor survey apps and other software systems (e.g. CRM) beneficial

Experience

  • Experience of working in a customer or visitor services role, with ability to demonstrate a keen and genuine interest in working with the public, including collating feedback and data for visitor surveys
  • An understanding of Japanese culture and history would be an advantage
  • Answering enquiries / complaints and dealing with challenging customers
  • Some experience in giving presentations to a wide range of ages and taking part in education programmes / events beneficial
  • Some experience in cash handling or retail merchandising beneficial
  • Exposure to relevant sector preferred (Museum, Gallery, Arts, NFP, Visitor Attraction, Heritage Destination or Tourism Development)

Capabilities

  • High business standard English language skills are essential
  • Other language skills, including Japanese, are highly advantageous
  • Exceptional standard of customer service through well-established and effective communication skills
  • Places the customer at the heart of what they do, engages and listens and responds to deliver exemplary service, creating an outstanding experience
  • Support the culture of service excellence, both internally and externally
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritize work, whilst paying attention to detail
  • Excellent time management skills
  • A creative mind with an ability to suggest improvements

Qualities

  • Approachable – welcoming, ready to respond to visitor orientation questions
  • Responsive – to health & safety issues, and able to provide interventions
  • Respectful – welcoming to all visitors, both local and international
  • Alert – to security concerns and quick to take precautionary/preventative action
  • Informed – supplying up-to-date and relevant information to enhance the visitor experience
  • Accurate – collecting quality data from visitor surveys

Work environment

  • Most duties carried out in Japan House London public spaces
  • Standard hours are 8 per day
  • Rolling rota will include weekends and evenings
  • Additional after-hours project and event-related work may often be required.

 

INTRODUCTION TO JAPAN HOUSE LONDON
Japan House is a global initiative led by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA). There are three Japan Houses, located in Los Angeles, São Paulo and London. Japan House aims to provide a forum for creative and intellectual exchange between Japan and the rest of the world, by inviting guests from all backgrounds and with a variety of interests to explore, interact with, and immerse themselves in Japan’s rich and diverse culture.


Japan House London opened on 22 June 2018 and is the new cultural home of Japan in London. Presenting the very best of Japanese art, design, gastronomy, innovation, and technology. Japan House London provides unique, imaginative insights into contemporary Japan, its cultures and people. It is a living expression of culture in Japan, it is about Japan now, and provides an authentic experience for visitors.


Located on London’s Kensington High Street, the venue takes up three floors (3,000m2) in the stunning Grade II Heritage Listed Art Deco building that was once Derry & Toms department store. Offering an exhibition gallery, events space, a library, a Japanese restaurant and a social retail floor of thoughtfully curated Japanese products, providing accessibility to audiences driven by a consumer world. This is complemented by a diverse line-up of exhibitions, events, workshops, and seminars. A travel information hub is located on the ground floor and run by the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) and the Japan Foundation have offices and meeting space on the ground and 1st floor.


Japan House London aims to provide a forum for creative and intellectual exchange between Japan and the UK, by inviting guests from all backgrounds and with a variety of interests to explore, interact with, and immerse themselves in Japan’s rich and diverse culture.


Since opening, Japan House London has presented seven Seasons: Futures of the Future; Biology of Metal, SUBTLE, Prototyping in Tokyo and Living Colours; This is Manga and Anno’s Journey. Over 600,000 visitors have visited Japan House London and over 200 events have taken place.

 

MISSION
Increase the awareness of all aspects of Japan and Japanese cultures and foster partnerships between the peoples of Japan and the UK and create future sustainability.