Heather Lemoine is an Engagement Manager at Blueday, as well as a former retail Store Manager and early adopter of the Blueday solution. With her unique perspective as both a Blueday employee and a former client, Heather wears many hats including product guru and customer advocate. Below is a brief conversation with Heather on her experience using Blueday in the field.
Q: Can you give a quick outline of your role as a Store Manager?
A: I was a Store Manager for a multi-national retailer for eight years across a few different store locations. A typical store had sales of roughly $10M per year. I was responsible for the top-line sales of the store, talent management, visual merchandising, operational execution, and product inventory. I often think of the Store Manager role as a “mini CEO” and an owner operator.
Q: Did you use reporting or dashboards as a Store Manager before Blueday was introduced?
A: We used retail dashboards and various Excel reports that I would print out and spread across my desk every Monday morning. Of course, the reports were really important and useful, but it was a challenge each week to figure out the “so what” of all the numbers. I would spend hours hunting and pecking for insights I could use to improve the business.
Q: Can you describe the impact that Blueday had for you as a manager?
A: Blueday detangled the metrics for me. I went from spending hours combing through reports to having a clear understanding in about 5 minutes of the what drove my business yesterday, last week, last month.
It also helped me put together proactive plans to make my sales goal, knowing what levers I could pull to improve performance today, tomorrow, and next week.
My conversations with my District Manager were more productive. We could get the heart of the issue, since we had that shared understanding of where the risks and opportunities lay.
Q: How did your approach to coaching change?
A: Looking back, I can remember setting targets for the day before we had Blueday, I’d tell my team, “Today our goal is a 30% conversion.” And the team was probably thinking, “Cool, but how do I get there?”
With the introduction of Blueday, I was able to say, “Today we have a goal of 30% conversion which means 150 transactions for the team,” and then I could break it down by hour, by team member, based on the projected traffic.
My one-on-ones with employees became much more meaningful. I was able to see how each associate was performing on an individual level each day across our KPIs, and where there was room for coaching and development. I’d sit down with an associate and we’d pull up their personal performance page in Blueday. It was all laid out clearly—what was going well, where they could improve, and what resources they could use to get there.
Q: Did you notice a change in your team?
A: I saw a big difference in my team members in terms of motivation and engagement. Seeing their own personal performance dashboard in Blueday and how they’d improved over the course of a week or a quarter was really empowering.
It made my job as a manager much more rewarding. It changed my focus from just operations to growing the business through our people. I thought about selection differently, too—from the hiring process down to the right role for each person and how to provide greater growth opportunities for them.
Q: What brought you to join Blueday?
A: After almost a decade as a store manager, I wanted to toss my hat into the software ring. I’d had such a great experience using Blueday, I figured I could take that product knowledge and external perspective into the company and help other people. It’s been gratifying working with clients and helping on the product side as well—with my outside/inside point of view.
Q: Any closing thoughts?
A: At the end of the day there are only a few metrics a store manager can control within their four walls: specifically, the number and size of transactions based on the traffic they have at different days and times. What I think sets Blueday apart is that it brings the key metrics to the surface and helps stores understand how they can have a real impact on sales. I saw my store team move from a task orientation to a sales orientation—and that’s what really made a difference.