In Japan Seven-Eleven is taking customer service to the next level. The company made an announcement that they plan to offer patrons the opportunity order their meals and other store items from tablet PC menus. This is being done in an effort to support those reluctant shoppers like the elderly and those with mobility concerns.
Customers of Seven-Eleven Japan are already familiar with their internet and telephone ordering services. This new feature should make shopper even easier for the elderly and others with special needs. It will also help those that don’t have store location I their immediate area. Customers will them have three different options for accessing the store’s inventory from their home. The new service is a joint venture with NTT East Corp and Urban Renaissance Agency.
This new tablet PC service is still in the experimental phase and the developers will be running their trials for a 6-month period. They plan on targeting 500 households containing elderly individuals across seven buildings in the Chuo and Meguru wards of Tokyo. Urban Renaissance Agency will be heading the trials. Hopefully these trials will prove successful as it will open the door for more ways those with special needs can gain access to much needed resources and services. Also other company may eventually get on the bandwagon, providing even more products and resources in a manner that the elderly and disabled can obtain them easily at home.
NTT will be taking care of the broadband services by supplying optical-fiber to these locations. Customers will use the specialized tablet PCs to place orders from the menu provided. There is already a wide selection of about 200 items for boxed lunches, drinks and vegetables.
Seven-Eleven Japan in co-op with a homemaking service will also provide cleaning services to these locations. Laundry service will be accepted through telephone orders. This is just one more way the company will be using technology already at the resident’s location to make their lives easier.
Tablet PCs Nationwide
The use of tablet PCs as a customer service device doesn’t just stop at Seven-Eleve Japan. The Japan Department Stores Association started using these devices in several of their store locations nationwide as part of a trial. The objective is to provide foreign customers with a means of interpreting information on store items.
The in-store tablet PCs display information in four languages which are simplified Chinese (mainland China), traditional Chinese (Thailand), Korean and English. When a customers selects a word or phrase on the screen that information is read aloud in the language have selected. Store clerks equipped with these tablets will use them to assist foreign customers when in need. Each store participating in the trial program has received two tablet PCs from NTT Docomo Inc.
This trial period will go on until May 15 at which point the results will be assessed. Participating stores will then try to figure out what they can do to improve upon the service and tailor it to the needs of their customers.