This article excerpt, by Jason Cochran, originally appeared here: http://bit.ly/1mb8ETP
At GameStop, we’re all about giving players the video games and devices that they need to have fun. Walk into any GameStop store, and you’ll see equally enthusiastic customers and employees comparing scores, evaluating devices and discussing new virtual worlds. Despite that focus on fun, it’s important to remember that we run a serious business. We’re a rapidly growing Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company with more than 6,000 stores, and we need all our stores to reflect our brand and uphold our high level of service.
As VP of Store Operations, I face the challenge of maintaining consistency across all our locations, from the products on the shelves to the look of the stores. That includes customer service—I need to make sure that all our store associates not only know everything that they should about our products and promotions but also that they feel like part of the larger GameStop team.
That used to be tough. We had to send store managers lengthy emails that were chock-full of information and ask them to disseminate it among store associates, who don’t sit at desks with computers like so many other workers do. Because our sales associates had no direct access to company email, they had no way of knowing if they’d heard the latest and greatest information, which affected their confidence in the accuracy of the knowledge that they shared with customers.
But now that we’ve implemented a new retail portal that runs on Microsoft Office 365, we’re radically changing the way that we communicate with our store managers and associates. We post images and videos about new products, store promotions, and other information to the retail portal and every store employee—managers and associates alike—accesses the portal through the stores’ point-of-sale terminals to get up-to-the-minute information. It’s now easy for all these “Web-only users” to quickly glean valuable information and feel assured that they have what they need to know every day.
We’re also transforming the way that we handle employee training. Most of our store associates are gamers themselves, so we built “game-ified” training modules into our portal and give associates incentives to tackle each module. The system, which is called “Level Up,” motivates our associates to stay current with corporate policies, operations procedures, and game-related information so that we can continue to have the best-informed employees in the industry.
Although the portal was the initial catalyst for adopting Microsoft cloud-based technologies, bringing our store associates into the company’s online environment presents all sorts of other opportunities, such as sharing best practices and game reviews among stores via Yammer social networking. We now have tools at our fingertips that make it easy to come up with and deploy innovative ways to make our customers’ store experiences faster, more informative, and more fun.
GameStop adopted a retail portal that runs using Microsoft SharePoint Online in Microsoft Office 365. The company’s corporate employees use the portal to share daily updates with more than 6,000 retail stores, and its deskless store associates receive at-a-glance information through graphics and videos rather than waiting for their managers to wade through email to find the latest product information and share it with them. The company plans to adopt Microsoft Lync Online for conferencing, and it anticipates using Microsoft Exchange Online for messaging, Microsoft OneDrive for Business for accessible document storage, and Yammer for social networking and sharing best practices in the future.
See the GameStop case study for more detail.