Home furnishing consultants (HFCs) needed an easy way to digitally capture customer information, preferences and product interests in real-time. The HFCs process was to capture information manually without the opportunity to share information or to easily access notes if the customer returned.
American Signature knew if they could keep HFCs with the customer at all times while they were in the store, that they could improve year-over-year store sales. They looked to their IT partner MAPSYS to collaborate on a tablet-based solution that integrated with its existing IBM Power8 System server.
Prior to developing the application, American Signature-MAPSYS team met with HFCs to understand needs and concerns. Meetings were also held with customer service, sales and marketing to ensure the right type of information was collected.
Using a partition on their Power8 server, a Zend Server environment was created to enable the use of the PHP language to create the application to be used in conjunction with an Apple iPad. All information captured with this application integrates and populates the American Signature CRM system. This information will be vital for future customer analytics.
Every HFC involved in the initial pilot, used provided iPads containing the information so it was important to make the user interface easy to grasp to ensure adoption.
The tablet solution was piloted in four Central Ohio stores and is part of a larger customer engagement initiative.
“It makes it easier for the customer because we have all the information on product, delivery, competitors and prices at our ﬁngertips. We can show pictures of product that may not be on the ﬂoor which gives us more time to build a relationship rather than chasing down a computer.”
– Adam Corone, HFC
The solution, which is still in pilot phase, has already seen great results. Sales in the Columbus, Ohio market alone are up 30 percent year-over-year. In addition, initial fears of adopting a new process were also reviewed and training processes are being put into place.
On top of enhancing customer engagement during the sales process, closing the sale has also become simpler. HFCs are now able to ﬁnalize the sale on the ﬂoor so all the customer needs to do is walk over to the kiosk to process payment.
The initial pilot was so successful that two additional markets have been identiﬁed to become part of the pilot program, with complete rollout planned within two years.