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26 RETAILCOMMUNICATIONS


INTERIORS RETAILER MANAGES CUSTOMER CONTACT CALLS


The Cur tain Room has updated its voice communications to improve its customer service. Although operating from a single base in Nor th Yorkshire, set up and run by design principal Melanie Casling, The Cur tain Room offers its handmade cur tains, roman blinds and interiors services throughout Nor th Yorkshire. It implemented a hosted


communications system from TeleWare to take advantage of a number of enterprise-scale telephony features while avoiding the need to purchase any equipment. The system provided The Cur tain


Room with multiple local telephone numbers directed to a single number, enabling the company to promote itself with a local number covering multiple, different geographic areas. It also uses the system’s Find Me –


Follow Me feature, which automatically routes incoming calls through to a studio, home or staff mobile phone, irrespective of which of the range of numbers for The Cur tain Room was dialled. On answering each call, a ‘whisper


announcement’ informs staff of the location of the caller based on the number called. It is very rare for customers of The Cur tain Room to find themselves talking to voicemail. “Telephony services are critical


to our business and the quality and availability of the TeleWare service, without our having to understand the technology, is ideal,” commented Casling.


MAPLIN LAUNCHES FREEWI-FI INSTORE


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onsumer electronics specialist Maplin has become the latest retailer to offer customers free


wireless networks in its 200 UK stores. The Wi-Fi service from The Cloud – due to be fully installed by the end of August – will allow customers to read product reviews online, check-in, or discuss their purchases on Facebook or Twitter, while Maplin will be able to provide a more personalised service to customers based on their browsing and shopping experiences, including cross selling a range of tailored products and promotions via the branded Wi-Fi landing page. Research from industry regulator Ofcom found that over 50% of adults


now own a smar tphone, so demand for consumer electronics and internet access instore is soaring. On Device Research also found earlier this year that 60% of shoppers had used the mobile internet while instore and 78% would use free instore Wi-Fi if it were offered. Chantelle Roach, Maplin marketing


manager, said: “Consumers are becoming incredibly tech savvy as the range of gadgets on the High Street expands. Increasing numbers of our customers carry mobile devices, wherever they are. As a result, Wi-Fi in store has become a consumer expectation rather than a luxury. Retailers need to embrace it or risk losing out.”


BROOK STREET FOODS CHOOSES VOICE Brook Street Foods is investing in an end-to-end Accord distribution system from supply chain software provider BCP that includes a voice-directed warehouse management system (WMS). The 14-user system will help suppor t the foodservice wholesaler’s continued


growth after it took a strategic decision to modernise its largely paper-based systems, in order to improve efficiency and eliminate time-consuming manual processes. The investment covers BCP’s complete Accord suite, including purchasing, sales


order management, stock control, telesales, financial accounting and customer relationship management (CRM), as well as the voice WMS. The system is being implemented in phases, with the first stage due to go live over this summer. Mark Huggins, Brook Street Foods operations director, stated: “Accord is a


brilliant match to our needs and I’m looking forward to completing the installation in order to make full use of its powerful functionality.”


RETAIL TECHNOLOGY JULY/AUGUST 2012


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