The consumerisation of IT has led to changing perceptions as to whether tablet technology is a round peg trying to fit into a square hole i.e. are these merely personal toys trying to do a business job or are tablets, like the Apple iPad, a legitimate business tool.

When it comes to customer service, there are already legitimate examples of companies who have effectively integrated this new technology to revolutionise how they are delivering services to their customers and the overseas market provides a great opportunity to see how other companies are integrating these technologies:

British Airways are providing iPads for their cabin crew to streamline and enhance customer service. Updated passenger lists are uploaded to the devices just prior to departure and not only provide seating information (replacing the traditional printed seating charts) but also adds enhanced information about Executive Club status and any special meal requests.

Continued rapid adoption in the Airline sector has also seen Delta develop their “Electronic Flight Bags” (EFB’s) containing all of the documents and folders that pilots need whenever they fly along with access to all of the PDFs for the airplane manual, fight information and any other important information that the pilots might need in-flight on an iPad. In addition, pilots can communicate while in the air with the company or even ground control to ensure a smooth trip for their customers.

Walgreens has issued iPads to pharmacists to provide instant access to customer medical records, prescription history through their chain of stores and other medical records that are avaiable with the goal of improving the level of service they provide to their customers. They also aim to enhance this by developing a customer-facing pharmacy and health care “help desk” where customers can get solutions or referrals for their personal health questions.

Many of these companies are just scratching the surface to find ways to use ipads to improve their customer service and these initial projects will drive more innovation further down the track.

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