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BJ's Wholesale Launches Automated Voice-Based Virtual Assistant for Older Shoppers

By Laura Stotler August 04, 2021

In an attempt to appeal to its aging customer base, BJ's Wholesale Club has launched an automated voice-based virtual assistant for shoppers. The new service is targeted toward older shoppers who are easily frustrated with technology-based solutions, and offers interactive voice response (IVR)-based customer call center services.

The new offering was built and is supported by Everise, a provider of digital experience solutions. The company built a foundational, logic-driven knowledge base along with natural language understanding voice and text-interfaces layered on top of it. The solution resides within BJ's existing omnichannel customer service solution.

The knowledge base and interfaces were carefully scripted using language nuances typical among older customer demographics. The speech recognition logic used in the IVR also takes into account the regional Northeast accent that is common among many BJ's customers.

When used with BJ's existing omnichannel solution, the new offering can automate inbound and outbound call processes using a voice-based virtual assistant. This enables the retailer to manage large call volumes throughout the day while also maintaining high levels of customer engagement and satisfaction.

Since going into production, the Everise digital experience (DX) chatbot and IVR diverted more than half of BJ's incoming chat and call volume. The result was less pressure and call volume for existing customer support teams, along with the ability of the new technology to successfully scale to handle fluctuating demand.

The Everise technology currently handles around 500,000 customer conversations each month, while automating around 26 percent of all interactions. It offers a 76-percent accuracy rate that is kept in check through regular analysis, retraining and optimization.




Edited by Luke Bellos
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CustomerZone360 Contributing Editor

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