Harry Rosen tailors customer service with made-to-measure CRM

A Canadian men’s wear retailer has boosted sales revenue by 10 per cent since rolling out a customized version of its customer relationship management (CRM) software.

Harry Rosen Inc. is using the Web-based version of Sage Software‘s CRM SalesLogix to provide a detailed view of each customer and target individual preferences. This allows the company to tailor seasonal offerings and recommendations for each customer, rather than lumping them into broad categories.

“It’s more along the lines of a professional sales force and it’s very unique to the retail industry,” said Stephen Jackson, CIO of Harry Rosen Menswear. A lot of retailers look at their customer base from 10,000 feet, he added, while Harry Rosen Menswear assigns a dedicated associate to each customer. Communication between the company and customer is done through that primary associate.

After evaluating several alternatives, the company selected Sage CRM SalesLogix for its Web deployment, mobile device and system integration capabilities.

“In retail it’s more customary to find systems that deal at the head office level and aggregate the customers into groups,” said Paul Cowley, president of Cowley and Associates, the Sage Select business partner that customized the CRM solution.

Harry Rosen Menswear accounts for 35 per cent of the high-end men’s wear market in Canada, offering collections of designer labels including Versace Classic, BOSS Hugo Boss, Armani Collezioni, Dolce and Gabbana and Burberry. It has two seasons – fall and winter – and does eight to 10 events each season.

“Rather than generating eight or 10 individual lists for each associate, the system determines where we’re going to get the biggest bang out of that customer,” said Jackson. “Rather than putting a customer on three or four different lists, we only put them on one list, so that’s where the customization was done.”

Sage CRM SalesLogix is integrated with PCMS Datafit’s point-of-sale system so Harry Rosen Menswear can develop marketing campaigns that target individual customers based on purchasing preferences. Trunk shows, for example, are held throughout the year to display the latest patterns and fabrics from a specific designer, and clients can be contacted based on their preferences.

“In order for the CRM aspect to be truly successful, it had to be seamlessly and very tightly integrated [with our POS system] so that associates weren’t having to look things up in two different systems,” said Jackson.

Sales associates can share data between the company’s 16 retail locations and segment its 500,000 customers by purchase preferences, including how often the customer shops, average purchase price and brands most often purchased. Customers can be contacted when a new shipment of Hugo Boss, for example, becomes available, and can also schedule tasks such as suit tailoring.

However, the system required customers to make appointments so associates could prepare in advance. “Where we were missing an opportunity is if a client walked through the door without making an appointment and unannounced,” said Jackson. “We were losing the advantage that we had of all the information we were collecting on that client.”

It was difficult for an associate to break away from the client and go to a desktop PC to pull up that information. So Cowley and Associates developed a customized application on HP iPAC pocket PCs to provide associates with quick access to a client’s file. It also allows them to look up inventory across the chain in real time.

“The open architecture of SalesLogix specifically allowed us to use a fair amount of (Microsoft) ASP.NET, so there’s a lot of that technology,” said Cowley, adding that it helped them to develop these types of applications.

Harry Rosen Menswear is currently piloting a custom-developed electronic ordering system for made-to-measure garments.

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Vawn Himmelsbach
Vawn Himmelsbach
Is a Toronto-based journalist and regular contributor to IT World Canada's publications.

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