As Valentine’s Day approached,
However, more of these callers are opting for 1-800-FLOWERS.COM’s automated speech-recognition solution to electronically check their order status via telephone. By adding members of its Bloomnet florist network to the mix,
“Valentine’s Day is our second-biggest holiday, second only to Mother’s Day,” Connie Adcock, senior VP, customer service, said. “We get a lot of traffic from shoppers looking for romantic gifts, however more shoppers seem to be waiting until the last minute to place orders.”
An army of 1,000 call-center agents is on hand, ready to make last-minute ordering experiences smoother. (This group increases to 2,000 specialists during the holidays.)
“Most of our incoming callers are placing orders, but approximately 2% or 3% of callers are seeking assistance in learning the status of their orders,” she explained. “This can equate to thousands of calls,” and, of course, this volume increases during holiday peaks.
“We needed a quality solution that could handle our company’s scalability, provide security and deliver redundancy in case of any service disruption,” Adcock said.
TuVox’s order-status solution is a standards-based application written in VoiceXML, a speech language that allows users to interact with legacy applications that contain customer information and order information.
Shoppers who opt into the automated system speak their queries into the receiver rather than punch numbers into the telephone keypad. Linked to the company’s order database, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM’s self-titled Status heck solution enables shoppers to electronically learn whether an order is on the delivery truck, en route or in the hands of their loved one. (If the caller still chooses to speak to a live agent, the solution delivers a screen to the agent, complete with all of the caller’s data.)
To date, the solution manages up to 40% of customer inquiries, “and we see most shoppers taking advantage of the service during the holidays,” she added.
“It could take florists up to six hours to create an arrangement, put it on the truck, deliver it, and then return to their shop and enter the data,” Adcock explained. “By enabling them to update the system en route, we are improving the quality of our service to our customers.”