Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Dressing room VoIP phones improve customer satisfaction for Japanese retailer

This is such a simple idea that I'm surprised it hasn't been tried already. As this Storefront Backtalk article notes:
Workers at the $8.5 billion retail Tokyo-based chain [Mitsukoshi] traditionally waited outside dressing rooms, listening for instructions to bring more clothes. In the new experimental system, the workers can stock shelves while waiting for their Voice-over-IP phone to ring and for the customer to ask for something.

But those requests will most likely be quite specific. With most of Mitsukoshi's clothing already RFID-tagged, customers can scan the clothing in to quickly check inventory displayed on the RFID-reader-equipped Cisco phone's 3.38 x 4.5 in. touchscreen display. The display details the same product in various sizes and colors as well as similar products, showing inventory status of all of the choices. A customer selects a preferred item, hits a button and the phone rings with the sales associate, who instantly can see the dressing room that is calling and the particulars of the products desired.
So if, for example, you're trying on a new pair of slacks and want to see how they would go with a differnet shirt or blouse, help is just a phone call away. No more walking around the aisles in your socks, looking for a pair of pants in a slightly different size or color.

The VoIP phones, the article notes, are sophisticated enough to serve as a mini-kiosk, not only providing voice communication with the staff, but also RFID-based lookups on product inventory, pricing, etc.

No comments: