Megumi Saito spends her days in close contact with Teva api customers, supporting them and making sure they have everything they need — from technical information about a specific API to post-sales support.
I started off in the supply chain team which taught me a huge lesson in coping with intense and high-pressure situations!
In managing the local Japanese warehouse shipments, I was responsible for making sure that the last leg of the journey happened successfully – that customers received the final API product. I worked really hard on communicating effectively with each customer throughout every step of the process. Developing each relationship was key and in many cases, we became good friends.
After a year, I moved to the Customer Experience (CX) team. It’s really fun meeting the same customers again but from a different perspective.
I’m now involved with the customer from a much earlier stage of their journey. Before they make an order, I provide any information or samples they might need with regards to the DMF. After they’ve filed, I make sure they’re informed about any relevant updates and changes regarding product specifications or regulatory requirements. I take care of GMP inspections, complaints, arranging audits and more. It’s busy but I love it!
I used to export medical devices, now I import medicines.
I was always interested in the anatomy of the human body. I used to sell surgical microscopes for neurosurgery and plastic surgery, made in Japan, overseas. I had some pretty cool experiences – including seeing live heart and brain surgeries. It was shocking!
I’m not a chemist or a biologist but I love the medical field!
Every day I learn new things, which is why I love my job. Each interaction with a customer and our internal teams teaches me something new – about the formula of an API or a capability we can offer the customer. I’ve been opened up to a whole new world of science through my work in customer experience. It’s really fun. I think I’d be bored if I did the same thing every day.
My team has been my rock, especially during COVID-19.
When I first realized that the pandemic was going to affect everyone, including me, I was very concerned. I was nervous about working from home and how that would impact my role. Surprisingly, everything went smoothly and I didn’t have to worry at all. And I think it’s because of the level of trust between my team. I completely trust my colleagues and we all supported each other straight from the beginning. Even though we’re not working face to face at the moment, there’s this strong feeling that we’re there for each other and will help each other out, whenever needed.
My approach is to make each customer feel special and to give them an added value.
I don’t want to give my customers information that is already out there, but to give them a custom-made answer. So when they ask a question, I’ll always research the history with that customer – the interaction they’ve had with their account manager, or questions they’ve asked in the past, to provide them with an answer they’ll be extremely satisfied with.
I always try to analyze each problem from the customer’s perspective.
When there’s an issue, I’ll always ask myself, “if I was a customer, how would this make me feel?”, and then try to solve the query accordingly. And I see that customers really respond to this way of thinking. In one instance, after working with a customer over many months on a particular issue, we finally met and she said, ‘I can’t express my thanks to you enough.’ I remember feeling very chuffed that she felt so supported by me!
I always remind myself “When in Japan, do as the Japanese do”.
It’s very important for me to understand that there are differences not only in Japanese regulatory guidelines or pharmacopeia, but also in the culture, as well as perspectives from other regions in Japan. I believe the famous Japanese “wrapping culture” explains a lot. While I ask questions and get answers in very direct way with my global colleagues, I make sure to wrap my words with extra care and politeness when talking to local customers.