February 27, 2009, 12:00 AM

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(Page 2 of 2)

It also can recognize past customers by their phone numbers, and send customer service agents data about the customer’s past purchases or the kind of car he drives, Leonard says. And, the system recommends cross-sells. “It will tell a rep, 93% who ordered this carpet wanted a car mat,” Leonard says. “I can’t think of another system that does that.”

While the dreary news from the stock markets and the economic reports makes retailers understandably reluctant to invest in technology, examples like these show that retailers can reap dividends when they spend wisely on technology, or get wiser about using the technology they already have.


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