Microsoft Convergence 2015

Gearys – Mary Donahue

Speaker 1
So welcome and thank you for joining us.

Mary Donahue
Thank you for having me.

Speaker 1
You know, GEARYS has such a long rich history. 85 years as I understand. Tell us, have you gone about using technology to modernize GEARY while still remaining true to the brand value.

Mary Donahue
Absolutely. We did open our doors in 1930, and since that time we have done an exceptional job delivering customers service the old fashion way, which was on paper. The CRM solution allows us to do that in a digital format so that we can streamline things. So that we can deliver uniform service to our clients as a company rather than just individual by individual.

Speaker 1
That’s excellent. You know, when we were talking, we were talking about how do you go about justifying this? And we talked about most companies look at these hard numbers. They’re looking for revenue growth or ROI, but you took a different path.

Mary Donahue
We did. We did go after this from pure ROI numbers, at least not overtly. What we did is that we decided if we could deliver his to our salespeople in a way that they would embrace is, we could free up their time. Then they could refocus their efforts on what really mattered, which was delivering service to our clients. We see a growth in ROI just by doing that.

Speaker 1
That’s brilliant. One of the things that we’ve also touched on, user adoption is just so important to ensure the success of these transformations. How’s that been with your users?

Mary Donahue
Yes, user adoption for anyone who’s ever tried to do it is just a nightmare. We were surprised at moment one. Our sales associates embraced this. When we went to them and said: “We want to do what you’re doing in a new way, make it better for you.” They really embraced it and from moment one were on board. We barely got this iteration out and they’re already asking us to take it to another place.

Speaker 1
That’s brilliant. If you were to kind of summarize a day in the life of one of your associates and how it’s changed and what that’s meant not just for them but for the customer, what’s that experience?

Mary Donahue
So we have a lot of automated workflows. So a lot of things that we used to have to do manually through emails and phone calls and actually leaving the floor and walking around, we now have automated. It’s really given them a profound ability to reconnect with the client, grow their sales, be looking for opportunities to change our assortments. It really has made a powerful difference for them.

Speaker 1
That’s brilliant. From the customer perspective as they walk in, what are they experienced now that they wouldn’t have?

Mary Donahue
What they’re going to get is, for instance, if a salesperson happens to be on vacation or get a day off, we’re gracious, we let them do this from time to time.

Speaker 1
Not very often.

Mary Donahue
We are able to continue to deliver that seamless customer service because everything about them is maintained in CRM. Everything that they’ve bought, everything that we’ve discussed with them, everything that we’re currently working on is in the record. Any other person can open the record and see everything that’s happening, and it’s as if the salesperson is standing right there with them.

Speaker 1
That’s just great. I mean that really helps engender relationship, and I think you mentioned this already, not just from the customer to the individual but from the customer back to the company and the store.

Mary Donahue
Absolutely. We are as a company holding the hand of every client, every day.

Speaker 1
Great. Well you know we’re here with some of our friends and peers, and you’ve taken this journey. If you were to provide some advice or here are some things to think about as maybe some of the companies here are going to take this journey, what would that be?

Mary Donahue
I think the two big things are making sure that you have the right partner when you bring this project on board. Make sure that you ask all the questions in advance. Really go to the end user. Decide who’s going to be using this product and decide what they need. Ask that question, and if you deliver back something that is meaningful to them, they will want to use it. They will want to grow it, and it will be a good thing.

Speaker 1
Yeah, I think that’s part of it. Making it very personal for the people who want to use it.

Mary Donahue
Absolutely. We’ve found that the whole front end, back end situation what you really have is a different set of users looking to engage with the data in a different way.

Speaker 1
Yeah. I think that was one of the important things for you as connecting the front to the back as you’ve managed.

Mary Donahue
Absolutely. We do have a very robust connection between our Microsoft Dynamics GP and our CRM. So it’s very important.