• April 1, 2018
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

The 2018 CRM Service Elite Customers: Boscov's Department Stores

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Boscov’s Department Stores is a century-old retail chain headquartered in Reading, Pa. The family-owned company operates 50 locations in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. 

The company had been offering digital engagement on its e-commerce website through live chat and phone support. But, after reviewing chat and phone transcripts, the company noticed that a large share of the questions agents received were for common and repetitive issues, such as login errors and failed coupon codes. Even though the answers to most of these questions were available through Boscov’s online FAQs, many customers were not using them, choosing instead to call or start an online chat session. The company was shouldering increased costs as a result. 

Boscov’s contact center, which is also located in Reading, is manned by a staff of about 100 agents.

With limited IT and agent resources, Boscov’s knew it was time for a more reliable, faster way to solve these potentially sales-killing customer pain points without human assistance. It wanted a solution that could integrate self-service, chat, and email while also guiding customers through their journeys and reducing contact volumes. 

So in March 2017, Boscov’s deployed Moxie Software’s Concierge digital engagement suite, which initially included email and live chat. 

Moxie in September added Kbot, an automated digital engagement and contextual guidance system, to the Concierge suite. Kbot presents snippets of information to consumers during the online purchasing process based on their specific behaviors or page elements that indicate opportunity or struggle. 

Prior to implementing Kbot, Boscov’s gathered as much information as it could from customers to help identify common struggle points where engagement could be improved. The company examined chat transcripts, talked with its fulfillment team members, and analyzed Bizrate surveys to see where automation could help the most.

Boscov’s wanted a proactive digital engagement solution that did not require human assistance but could address those common struggle points, leveraging information elsewhere on the site without demanding resources from the care center, according to Maria Tenreiro, director of Boscov’s customer care center.

“Implementation required virtually no intervention from the IT department,” she says. “The team in the care center can easily add articles in the knowledge portion of the Moxie platform and create rules in Concierge to trigger offering the articles to customers on the site depending on where they were in the buying journey or what struggle point they encountered.”

Now, with Kbot, customers leaving the Boscov’s home page are met with a friendly, nonintrusive welcome message. Failed coupon codes are met with automatic assistance to save the sale. Kbot also offers assistance for complex orders requiring multiple pieces to complete a set and can provide upsell offers for new products. Customers struggling to pick an item are offered assistance, and delivery details are offered at key struggle points.

Offering these kinds of proactive, automated engagements has taken pressure off chat and phone agents, letting them focus on high-value engagements. 

Four months after deploying Moxie Kbot’s contextual guidance, Boscov’s saw a 50 percent reduction in chat volume and a 10 percent reduction in phone volume, all while growing the business. The vast majority of digital engagements are now automated, with 89 percent of digital engagements happening via Kbot, and customers can still escalate to agents for more complex issues. 

The 24/7 presence of Moxie Concierge at Boscov’s digital storefront has also reduced the proportion of customers leaving the site, with a 2 percent reduction in bounce rate year-over-year and 44 percent more revenue coming through Kbot than chat alone.

“While search engines deliver traffic and analytics engines provide insights to customer behavior and struggle, Moxie’s Kbot gives companies a new opportunity to guide customers at the moment of struggle, resulting in higher conversion rates,” said Nikhil Govindaraj, senior vice president of products at Moxie, in a statement. “Customers are seeking advice, and Kbot enables the business to deliver advice at scale.” 

Since deploying Moxie Software's Concierge digital engagement suite, Boscov's Department Stores has seen the following results:

  • a 50 percent reduction in chat volume; 
  • a 10 percent reduction in phone volume; 
  • 89 percent of digital engagements happening via Kbot;
  • a 2 percent reduction in bounce rate year-over-year; and 
  • 44 percent more revenue coming through Kbot than chat alone.

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