Ocado

As the largest online only supermarket in the world, Ocado has over 680,000 active customers, processes around 320,000 orders, and delivers approximately 50 million food items every week. With over three million contacts per year across its traditional and digital channels, Ocado’s social media and web chat team sought a solution to meet customers’ constantly evolving needs.

Items delivered weekly

50million

Digital channel shift

8%

Labour cost saving

5%
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The largest online only supermarket

As the largest online only supermarket in the world, Ocado has over 680,000 active customers, processes around 320,000 orders, and delivers approximately 50 million food items every week. Under the brand, are also speciality stores, Fetch, Sizzle and Fabled. As the business operates online only, its emphasis is on making customer experience as user friendly as possible.

Online customer care first became a part of Ocado’s business in 2014 with the launch of its social media channels, before Ocado launched its web chat the following year.

Customer channel shift

With over three million contacts per year across its traditional and digital channels, Ocado’s social media and web chat team sought a solution to meet customers’ constantly evolving needs.

Ocado was already witnessing a significant customer driven channel shift, with customer service calls declining from 58% in 2015 to 52% in 2018, while web chat increased over the same period from 1% to 8%. Research found that customers are more interested in getting their issue resolved than using their preferred channel, and Ocado found that its web chat was proving the easiest channel to resolve most queries, for both customers and employees.

A new strategy

When putting together the channel shift strategy, Ocado wanted to reduce customer effort, increase customer satisfaction and if possible reduce costs, and this meant a move towards web chat.

The team’s strategy is to shift a further 10% of calls to web chat for resolution over the next three years, which would drive customer service labour savings of 5%.

A social media engagement platform

Ocado was already using a leading digital customer service platform for social media engagement and a separate technology for web chat, but what they really wanted was a single solution that enabled seamless, central management of multiple, digital engagement touchpoints. This lack of integration and a single sign on (SSO) functionality were problematic. One of the incumbent suppliers offered to build in SSO functionality for an additional cost.

The team was also looking for a solution that offers the flexibility to grow and add new features, with nothing to install, and incorporates automatic updates.

Partnering with Orlo

With the aim of integrating web chat and social media to provide the best possible customer experience, Ocado selected Orlo’s digital engagement platform. Orlo, formerly SocialSignin, offers a first-of-its-kind online engagement ecosystem, combining social, live chat and customer relationship management (CRM) into one, to manage all customer services, via social, traditional and web chat channels.

Ocado started using Orlo in April 2018, and immediately benefitted from its built-in SSO function, allowing users access to multiple applications with one set of login credentials. This feature is available at no additional cost.

Web chat and CRM integration

In terms of web chat, Orlo was already developing an integrated web chat and social platform that would work for Ocado’s needs. The retailer was invited to join Orlo’s dedicated customer steering group, which meets regularly to provide feedback on the company’s product roadmap. In this case, Ocado’s feedback helped develop a robust Live Chat solution designed for online retail or any high-volume digital customer service operation.

Ocado implemented Orlo’s full Software-as-a-Service package, which includes unlimited online, real-time UK tech training and support; integrated social and web chat, a complete social media marketing module for both organic and paid activity, along with an analytics package and a suite of reports that integrates with Ocado’s internal customer relations management (CRM) database.

Adopting web chat

In terms of targets, Orlo has enabled Ocado to work towards moving more of its customer service over to web chat. This growth has been due to Ocado’s 300 advisors finding the Orlo platform easy-to-use, as well as the unrestricted capacity.

As web chat is live conversation, it allows advisors time to source the correct information without the immediate pressure to say the right thing compared to a phone call, so allows advisors to respond swiftly to large volumes of contacts enabling shorter wait times and a better experience for Ocado customers.

Resolving customer issues

Research conducted by Gartner has shown that customers are more interested in getting their issue resolved, than using their preferred channel. Ocado identified that customers who were means-focused and wanted to resolve an issue in the channel of their choice no matter what were far less (16%) than those who were end-focused and wanted a fast resolution with minimal effort (84%).

As web chat is the easiest channel to resolve most queries, by making this actively visible to its customers, Ocado was meeting its target to provide an effortless experience for most of its customers. For example, 70% of web chat contacts are simple queries that do not require security checks or interaction with CRM. These queries are answered quickly and efficiently and this has reduced handling time. Additionally, the vast majority of web chat conversations end positively.

Growth of social media and web chat

This graph, presented at Orlo’s Future CX event, shows the growth of Ocado social media channels (purple), and web chat (green) by contacts per order. Web chat has grown significantly since launching at the end of 2014, and this is largely driven by customer needs.

Since implementing Orlo, the retailer has also managed to strip back messages that don’t require a response.
Ocado’s next steps will be to work with Orlo to provide clearer guidance on how customers could self-serve using LIve Chat and showing them how to find the right channel for their queries, particularly where Live Chat wasn’t the best suited option for them.

Ocado @Ocado

“We spoke to a number of vendors, but after showcasing its innovative digital engagement platform’s ability to bring together all of our social media and web chat conversations into one and enabling the same team to cover all of our digital channels using the same platform, we selected Orlo without any hesitation. Orlo’s digital engagement platform is agile and fast-moving technology that effortlessly copes with our rapidly changing requirements. The efficiencies that Orlo’s platform has brought with it has enabled our customer service team to offer a higher level of service and our customers are seeing quicker response times. As a key element of customer satisfaction, this in itself is a real benefit for Ocado shoppers.”

Ian Pattle’s presentation at Future CX: https://orlo.tech/future-cx-2019/

- Ian Pattle - General Manager for Customer Service Products and Strategy

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