Michael Kingston, AnnTaylor Stores Corp. senior vice president and chief information officer, recently took his SUV to the dealership where he leased it two years ago. While waiting for the service advisor, he helped himself to a decaf cappuccino and noticed one of the managers feverishly typing on a computer.
“I recognized him as the person who had, a couple of years back, leased me this vehicle,” Kingston recalled. “About a minute or so went by and he approached me, addressed me by my first name, asked me how Ann Taylor was doing, asked me how much we were investing in information technology this year, and how we were going to leverage social networking to improve our business model.
“He saw me walk in, punched in my information, walked over, and I had no intention of going in and buying a car that day but came very close,” Kingston said.
Information technology — particularly when used to compile customer data — can play a major role in making a sale. That was one of the key points Kingston made during his presentation “Dusting Off the Old Playbook: Leveraging Information Technology to Drive Customer Engagement.”
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