For fashion brand Missguided, a chatbot was the first step in its journey to customer service automation.
When Scott Barker, Head of Customer Care started his position 18 months ago, live chat interactions were growing at a fast pace, resulting in what he describes as a “double failure”. As Scott explains, “because the customer was unable to find a solution on our website, we consider this a failure.
Eventually the unsatisfied customer would contact us, and this drove up our costs, bringing us to the second failure.” The website was hard to navigate, content was unmanaged and inconsistent, and the help page where most customers would go to find an answer merely consisted of an unstructured list of FAQs.
From a technical point of view, our chatbot solution aligned well with Missguided’s existing architecture. They were not interested in a transformational project - they wanted a quick and easy point solution which could be integrated into their existing architecture.
In just 8 weeks, the virtual assistant went live with contextual answers based on the user’s location. An internal knowledge base was also launched to streamline the role of the support agents. Starting out with a specific goal – to reduce contacts generated from the help page – the company introduced new metrics such as the contact- help-page ratio.
During the first weeks, engagement with the chatbot on the help-page was 65%. Fast forward 11 months, engagement with the bot stands at 80%. This high level of bot engagement has resulted in a reduction in contact and costs by 14%.
In creating a brand that encompasses everything it means to be a millennial girl on the go, every decision the company makes is informed by its customers. While the results prove strong, it is the data-driven approach taken that the Head of Customer Care is most proud of - “Every decision we made prior and post implementation was data driven. If you work data driven, results will follow.”
In view of this successful automated digital-engagement strategy, Scott attributes the success to several additional factors which he advises others considering a chatbot to follow:
• Start small with a specific issue to solve
• Data Driven Decisioning: If you use data to make your decisions on next steps, results will follow.
• Implement as quickly as possible: In the fast-fashion industry, products become outdated quickly, as do digital engagement strategies. It was decided to start small and build in steps to avoid outdatedness on the day of launch.
• Appoint the right people: Prior to launch the company dedicated a small internal team of technically-savvy and operationally knowledgably colleagues to receive training in managing and optimising the knowledge base and chatbot.
• Keep track of ROI: Investing in new metrics and complementing the chatbot with tools such as Google Analytics has contributed greatly to tracking ROI.
In the upcoming quarter, the company plans to further cater to its digitally-orientated millennial customer base by automating conversations within its widely-used social media channels – Facebook and Twitter.
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