Customer Commitment

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Customer Satisfaction

Providing Easy-to-Follow Video Manuals

To provide Epson printer users with easy-to-understand guides for using their products, Epson began, in November 2013, uploading PC- and smartphone-accessible video manuals to video-sharing website YouTube™.

The screen for the Epson Video Manual channel

Although Epson strives to design printers that are easy to use even for first-timers, users sometimes have to refer to paper manuals to learn how to navigate their way through operations and use certain functions. Epson has found, however, that little things that cannot be completely explained in a paper manual can sometimes concern customers. First-time printer users are not the only ones susceptible. Even experienced users who are used to operating earlier Epson printers or printers from other companies can get stuck even after reading the manual because of difficulty in intuiting or imaging new operating procedures. The first aim of a video manual is to provide users with a vicarious experience. Users who first watch operations being performed in a video are likely to have an easier time understanding paper manuals.

Sample screenshots of a watch-and-learn video manual

We have heard from customers who have actually used Epson video manuals. Some say, for example, that they want verbal explanations instead of subtitles, or that they want us to show operations more slowly. Others have said that the video manuals are very easy to understand for seniors, and they encouraged us to more widely publicize the availability of these manuals.

Video manual producer
Shinji Tanaka

Shinji Tanaka, who is in charge of video manual production, says, "I'm really pleased to learn that customers are happy with these videos. More and more people are accessing the videos. Most calls to support centers are from middle-aged and older people, so I think we need to find ways to make it easier for these people to access the video manuals. We particularly want to enrich the content of the videos before the year-end holidays, when so many people send cards to family and friends, so that they can find answer questions they may have."

As of October 2014, Epson has uploaded 42 videos for users in Japan, and more than a dozen videos for overseas users.

You can access the Epson Video Manuals channel at the following link: New window

Keeping Customers' Operations Flowing with TM-P80 Mobile Receipt Printers

We developed the TM-P80, a portable receipt printer, as a line-buster1 in the retail and food service industries.

Tablets and other smart devices are increasingly being used for order entry and line-busting1 instead of dedicated stationary terminals. The TM-P80 thermal printer complements these devices by supporting direct wireless printing from them. It is also lightweight, ultra-compact, and battery-powered to ensure great mobility. The printer's mobility makes it possible for sales associates to roam the floor, taking customer orders, printing them out, and processing payment.

A product that is likely to see demand growth, the TM-P80 is designed to keep our customers' operations flowing by employing a durable case that protects it from water, dust, and damage when dropped

1 Line-buster: A product or system that allows sales associates to take orders and/or collect payments anywhere on the floor using handheld devices, thus avoiding lines. In North America, retailers and restaurants often set up temporary registers during busy seasons or peak hours of the day. This receipt printer can be combined with a handheld terminal (a smart device with a card reader) to create a simple POS register to process payments by credit card.

TM-P80 has an IP54-rated dust and
water-resistant case

Epson knows that customers expect and deserve good quick service and cannot be kept waiting because of equipment failures.

The TM-P80 has a robust design that is resistant to dust and water and capable of withstanding being dropped from a height of 120 cm onto a concrete floor without breaking. It has cleared the rigorous dust and water-resistance requirements of the IP54 standard2 and operates normally even after being tested for eight hours under harsh conditions in a dust chamber.

2 The IP54 rating means that dust must not enter the enclosure of electric equipment in amounts sufficient to interfere with satisfactory and safe operation of the equipment, and that water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.

Dust resistance test

Water exposure test

The TM-P80 is designed, built, and sealed to provide protection against the instruction of water even in heavy rain.3

3 This is tested under IP54 by spraying the enclosure with 10 liters of water per minute.

Water is kept out of the printer by using effective sealing placement

In addition, great care was taken to maximize the ease with which the printer can be used. For example, the battery cover is constructed so that the batteries do not pop out if the printer is dropped, and, even though the printer is small, the buttons are designed such that they are easy to press.

A photo captured during drop testing by a high-speed camera (left)
compared with a simulation image

In the past, drop tests were conducted by repeatedly dropping test samples. For the TM-P80, however, the impact resistance was verified by creating a data model for use in a simulated drop test. The results of simulated impact analyses were translated into visual images that allow us to use a PC to check the points of impact, angle, and magnitude of stress applied when a printer is dropped, and to ascertain whether parts are damaged. Moreover, since numerical data can be used to determine the type of physical impact a drop will have on various parts, we are able to see on a part-by-part basis how thin and light we can make the case while still maintaining the required strength. This also allows us to improve product functions and shorten development times.

We guarantee the reliability of evaluation results by using a high-speed camera to film actual printers as they are dropped, comparing these images against simulation results, and verifying that the two are consistent.

Yoshiki Kinoshita, head of planning and development

Yoshiki Kinoshita, who was in charge of planning and development, says, "I think the TM-P80 has a very good usability balance for a mobile receipt printer that supports 80-mm media. Going forward, the development team will work together to develop a printer that is even lighter, tougher, and better looking. We want our products to be professional tools that serve the needs of customers in a variety of businesses."

Smart Canvas Satisfies Customer Needs Identified by Receptivity Survey

In February 2014, Epson released in Japan the first products in its series of Smart Canvas EPD wrist wear. These products, designed around an all-new concept of sensing and enjoying time, offer value quite unlike that of traditional wristwatches that use hands and numbers to convey the time of day.

Epson technology enables Smart Canvas products to present wearers with the time of day in a unique way.

How did these new products come about?
In October 2010, Epson held an exhibit in the Tokyo Midtown Complex. The exhibit was titled "Smart Canvas x 8. What is time? Eight designers present new ways to experience time." These eight designers were hired by Epson to propose new ways to express time. They then cast their net to capture information that would enable them to flesh out the embryonic concept of what it means to sense and enjoy time.

Exhibit visitors responded in a big way, prompting Epson to begin its product development. The need to know the time of day is universal, but individual needs differ when it comes to sensing and enjoying time. To meet these divergent needs, we need to arrive at a more accurate understanding of the desires of individuals. Toward this end, we showed Smart Canvas prototypes to people who exhibited strong interests and preferences. We then conducted a receptivity survey to explore how they actually felt about these devices and find out what they are looking for. In addition to designing the survey with scrupulous care, developers and product planners interviewed subjects personally to provide them first-hand insight into what consumers are looking for.

Technology that Epson has accumulated over the years was essential for translating the needs that were identified into concrete form. These devices sport an active-matrix electrophoretic display (EPD)-a type of display most often used for electronic paper. EPDs offer sharp contrast and high, 300-dpi resolution, enabling them to render smooth text and playful graphic images along with the time of day. Using its inkjet technology, Epson prints sharp, crisp images on the glass and band. The images tie the design of the band and display together into a cohesive whole. To meet the varied demands of customers, Epson adopted an on-demand production system, manufacturing the products to order. Going forward, Epson plans to uncover further consumer needs and expand the number of models in the Smart Canvas family to meet those needs.

Product Monitoring Program

An employee monitor evaluating the
usability of keystone correction on a projector

Epson has a monitor program in which employees and their family members can participate. Persons registered as monitors evaluate products not as employees but as customers. The objective is to identify ways to improve product usability, quality, and design. This program, which began in 2001, has seen the number of monitors steadily rise.

In the 2013 fiscal year Epson had 775 registered monitors. The monitors evaluated 15 products, such as printers, projectors, and watches. We use the feedback from monitors to improve things such as user manual readability and product usability.

Case study: EP-805A Improvement

Prototype (left) and finished product (right)

Prototypes for the EP-805A series of inkjet printers released in 2012 used text to indicate the direction in which to insert memory cards. However, evaluations by employee monitors showed that users had trouble deciphering the correct direction, so an illustration was used instead. The new design was used on subsequent models.