Half a million messages exchanged with franchisees in three quarters of the year of operation
70% returning users
140 hours per month, the chatbot saves consultants just on gathering information about reports
Żabka is a fast-growing chain of small and convenient shops that continuously invests in new outlets through the franchise model and introduces innovative ideas to the market. With the expansion of its operations, the number of different types of requests to the Franchisee Support Centre (CWF) has significantly increased, requiring a thorough expansion of operational teams within the support departments. At the start of our collaboration, the Franchisee Support Centre was receiving an average of up to 22,500 requests per month.
For some time, Żabka Franchisees had already been using the services of a voicebot to handle a portion of the requests. In order to further optimize the support process, CWF decided to implement another solution for automating the support processes – a chatbot, whose purpose was not only to handle requests independently, but also to categorize them appropriately.
This is how Franek was created – a virtual assistant for Żabka Franchisees, present in the Cyberstore application, which is the main shop management tool.
- Scaling for a large shop chain – the Żabka network comprises over 9,500 shops and more than 8,000 franchisees, and these figures are constantly increasing. Our priority was to ensure that Franek was ready to handle a large number of interlocutors effectively right from the start.
- Diversity of topics and scenarios – at the start of the project, as many as 80 problem-solving scenarios in various areas. Some of these were brief exchanges between Franek and the franchisee, others were advanced structures with several steps along the way and integration with the company’s operational systems.
- Automation of a large number of requests – the target set by Żabka for 2023 is to automate 30% of all requests previously handled by telephone by CWF. Considering this scale, it’s as many as 100,000 cases!
- Integration with existing systems – it was clear from the outset that integrations with Cyberstore, SAP, and Salesforce would be necessary.
- Quality of call handling – automation required a focus on response quality and avoiding errors in the provided information.
A service used for store management. This is a crucial point of contact between CWF and franchisees, which is why the chatbot appeared there – both in the desktop version and in the phone app (for Android and iOS). This is where all franchisees can converse with Franek and ask questions related to their stores.
A software provider enabling business process management. Based on the user ID, we retrieve from the system all the necessary data about franchisees.
In addition to the mentioned integrations, which allow us to serve franchisees at the highest level through Franek, our system is also integrated with the Snowflake system. This integration provides statistical data to the client and thus offers constant insight into the chatbot’s performance.
A platform for managing customer relations and handling requests. Using SAP, we extract even more data about the franchisee from it. We check whether he has any open requests at the moment and, if needed, create new ones. Each submitted request can be edited or sent reminders. If the request is serious and requires an immediate response from a consultant, thanks to Salesforce, the franchisee is redirected to LiveChat, receiving assistance directly from a CWF specialist.
Franchisees also gain insight through the chatbot into… weather forecast in the store’s vicinity – this is one of the aspects that helps to predict what kind of traffic to expect on a given day and allows optimal planning of orders.
It is also important that the chatbot runs on two environments – a testing environment and a production environment. All changes are introduced into the test environment, where they undergo thorough checks before becoming available to franchisees. When changes are approved, with just two clicks, both environments are synchronized, and Franek operates according to the new guidelines. This allows multiple changes to be made and tested at one time and the final developed solution to be safely published.
Conversation Scenario with Franek
In the app or on the computer, the user is greeted by Franek. If the user is associated with more than one store, they get the choice to save the request to a specific location. In the case of a single store, the chatbot will skip this step.
Next, the user is presented with several thematic categories to choose from. They can choose one with specific information and instructions, or ask their question directly in a message.
When the franchisee enters their message manually, if necessary, Franek asks the user a few questions to gather the full context of the query. Furthermore, it checks the request history to see if the franchisee has already reported a similar issue. If such reports exist, they are displayed, and the user can choose one of them, add a comment, or speed up the response. The user always has the option to create an entirely new request as well.
All interactions on requests are automatically transmitted to the system, where responsible persons and agents have access to them. If the issue is resolved through the prepared paths, the system saves the status of the request as “Resolved” and puts it back in the system for statistical purposes. For requests that require agent involvement, we mark them as “Open”.
We actively observe the needs that must be met in order to make our franchisees’ operations as smooth as possible. We always prioritize technological advancement, which is why we decided to implement Franek. We are very pleased with its performance; it allows us to automate processes to the greatest extent possible, and creating a report takes less time than filling out a form.
During this phase, discussions were held between franchisees and the CWF, and appropriate paths were planned. At the first stage, the client’s experience with voicebot operation was helpful, which we were able to extend, thanks to extensive integrations with additional systems.
The production of the chatbot took 6 weeks and included complex work – introducing the entire structure, natural language processing, complete tool integration, and appropriate statistical tagging. Throughout the process, we maintained constant communication with the client, providing reports on the progress on regular statuses.
Numerous parties were involved in verifying and testing the solution. The tests were conducted by us, the client, and two external companies – Accenture and Bluesoft. The completion of the tests coincided with the franchisees’ internal conferences. This enables us to conduct one additional, less typical testing phase – already among end-users. Everyone had the opportunity to approach the booth and have a pre-release chat with Franek. The positive reception of the solution reassured us that the chatbot was ready for the official release.
The implementation itself was carried out gradually. We began with a relatively small test group, that was progressively expanded until it included all Cyberstore users. The implementation process began on November 3 and ended on December 19.
Together with the Franchisee Support Center, we operate in a collaborative model in which the client largely manages the chatbot on its own. Thanks to the low-code and intuitive platform, updating scenarios and teaching Franek new content, go quickly, even on the solution already officially running, which franchisees navigate.
But that’s not the end! Since its inception, our chatbot Franek has been continuously evolving and receiving more processes to automate. In addition to the previously mentioned option weather checking option, integration with Salesforce introduced the ability to control the status of orders placed to the store. Our client is full of new ideas, that fuel our motivation to keep improving the solution and pushing us to take further action.
In the first nine months of operation:
- Franek exchanged half a million messages with franchisees,
- collected a total of 34,000 requests,
- on simply inquiring about the details of requests, saved consultants more than 100 hours of work,
- which is especially important in long-term internal solutions – as many as 70% of users who have spoken to Franek once have used his help again.
I verified that the chat works flawlessly. It suggests the most important topics of conversation along with detailing them into sub-topics, and if the virtual assistant does not understand the issue, it immediately answers the chat connection with the consultant, which also succeeds without any problems. Adding photos, attachments also works. The only thing I miss a bit is the microphone, but it is said to be in the plans. And importantly, you can connect from anywhere via Cyberstore. Chat speeds up the connection with a consultant, as you don’t have to wait on the line for a call. Creating a request is faster than filling it out via a standard form. Chat definitely frees up our time!
Chatbot Franek in the BEST IN RPA 2023 competition received an honorable mention for the best RPA (Robotization of Business Processes) or RPA&AI implementation in the last 18 months and took second place in the category of best RPA products and solution providers.
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