Manufacturing

Case Study

Integrate in any channel from website to WhatsApp and Microsoft Teams to answer client inquiries, shorten interactions, and enable agents to create new value for the company

Situation

Capabilities in manufacturing have radically changed as a result of AI and the Internet of Things (IoT). Today organizations can digitally monitor the status and performance of individual machines in real time. While AI-powered chatbots help with customer inquiries, sales and service, our client needed a chatbot that works as a business-to-business supply chain communications tool.

Challenge

One of the largest steel manufacturing companies in Mexico with thousands of purchase orders every month identified a communication problem in its sales pipeline between the company, its sales representatives, and clients. It was common for clients to forget their passwords, lock themselves out of their account, and turn to their sales rep for help – a major burden on support agents. In addition, sales reps had to route customer inquiries to different support teams depending on the nature of the question. The communication channel between the sales representatives and the clients was mostly through instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp, making it difficult to track results in real time, or maintain a record of customer problems and inquiries.

Solution

Inquiries were classified into eight main categories: purchase order status inquiries, entry profile, order location, order production cycle, dispatched units, customer credit information, billing particulars, and other more complex issues for handling by a live agent. The plan was to create a virtual sales and after-sales agent that would work for both clients and sales representatives to solve almost any possible inquiry.

We integrated different AI tools to enable the chatbot to analyze conversations and respond to them in natural language regardless of how they were asked. We then designed the ideal virtual agent bearing in mind the look and feel of the user interface, the workflow to be structured for every inquiry, and the technological tools that would be included. Both sales reps and clients found it convenient to make inquiries through WhatsApp, so our virtual assistant was integrated into this application.

Results

Today, an average of 2,000 interactions per month occur through various integrations with messaging platforms including WhatsApp and Microsoft Teams, and the company’s customer web portal. The chatbot answers more than half of the company’s client inquiries and the length of interactions are much shorter as they no longer are routed to different people and departments. The volume of inquiries needing to be handled by support teams has also been reduced enabling them to create new value for the company. In the next few months, all interactions will be routed to the chatbot, allowing sales reps to focus 100% on sales, leaving after-sales client inquiries to the chatbot.