“Oh thank heaven for 7-Eleven”

7 May

7-Eleven is one of the most famous convenience store chains all over the world. As a store, where you can find a solution for any of your daily problems, 7-Eleven has some impressive policies which led them to success. One of the most fundamental characteristics of 7-Eleven is their customer satisfaction.

In this post I want to introduce to you some principles of the 7-Eleven on the example of the 7-Eleven Japan (SEJ).

Besides the rich assortment of products which brings an enormous comfort to the customer, the effective item control and well-planned product supply management improves the customer satisfaction incessantly.

Toshifumi Suzuki, who is the CEO of 7-Eleven Japan, set a huge focus on customer service. After they found out that the customer loyalty was driven more by specific items than by item categories, SEJ implemented the POS (Point of Sale) system.

With this technology they were able to do an exact customer trend analysis to find out what the customer wants. That’s why they did an item-by-item control to check whether some items should still be on the shelves or should not be there anymore. Another reason besides the customer satisfaction is also the limited storage they have.

Japan has more 7-Eleven stores than anywhere else in the world and they are very successful. Probably because of the fundamental principle considering customer service SEJ became so effectual. However not just 7-Eleven stores identified the importance of the customers.

In my opinion as a business you have to set your focus on the customer satisfaction. The success of your business depends on the customer service. Rose, a blogger from our blog hitthenailonthetop “rosepanama” posted a blog entry about the customer service of Southwest Airlines “Tell me your favourite airline! And I’ll tell you mine…”  and it is not very surprising that there are several similarities.

As SEJ Southwest Airlines also focuses on maximal customer service, customer’s loyalty and friendly staff. Rose said that they are trying all the time to improve their customer service. As a result from that they achieve high profit and huge success. In comparison to 7-Eleven it is almost the same effort they put into the customer service. The only difference that exists is that these two companies are not part of the same business.

Some weeks ago we also read a case study about ZARA. There we also discovered some interesting facts about their customer service. ZARA designers try to bring new clothes and styles as fast into the stores as possible. They do that in order to fulfill the customer needs.

All in all it really does not matter what kind of store you own, but if you own a store you own a business and if you own a business you have to set your focus on your customers. If they are satisfied you are going to be successful.

A convenience store chain attempts to be responsive and provide customers what they need, when they need it and where they need it! I think 7-Eleven Japan fulfills all this characteristics and with a great commitment to customer satisfaction considering original product development and friendly service, SEJ is going to expand the store locations and hopefully can also demonstrate and “export” its principles to other companies.

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One Response to ““Oh thank heaven for 7-Eleven””

  1. juleswilma May 8, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    Hi Melissa,
    I think you did a really great job with this blog post. Already the head line is very striking, first because you put it into quotation marks which makes it more lively, and second because it rimes. I mean that is not necessarily important but people just like it when words rime and it catches attention. You really brought it to the point only focussing on customer service and not a hundred other different aspects of 7-Eleven. What I also like is that you referred to Roses post about Southwest Airlines and Zara as well to show the connection between these different companies and that they might be much more similar to each other than we think at first sight.

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