Borders Books and Music has begun to implement a store pick-up program based on an e-mail management system from Edify Corp. The system will allow shoppers at Borders.com to send an e-mail inquiry about local availability. The e-mail will first go to an Edify server, which will determine which stores are in a customer’s area. It will then send the e-mail to the stores, asking about availability. Sales personnel in the store will retrieve the e-mail, check availability, reserve the item, then reply to the message. Edify says Borders has set a goal of a reply within an hour. Borders announced in the spring that it was planning to have the store pick-up option in time for holiday shopping.
The store pick-up option is part of a suite of services that Borders is implementing with Edify’s new Edify 8 software product, Edify says. Borders will use Edify 8 also to automate customer contacts by routing both incoming phone calls and incoming e-mails into a common queue for assigning to the next available rep, John Quaglietta, director of business solutions at Edify, says. Right now, Borders maintains separate staffs for answering each kind of inquiry, he says.
Edify 8 includes self-service functions at web sites as well as customer feedback and analysis
While store clerks need to check a desktop PC periodically to see if there are any web site requests, Quaglietta says Borders could eventually have the e-mail inquiries directed to a wireless device in each store so the clerk could receive immediate notification upon arrival of an e-mail inquiry.