Global communications company, Infobip, together with illation, a leading digital customer experience specialist in South Africa have been selected to provide a WhatsApp for Business Application Programme Interface (API) and chatbot solution for Leroy Merlin’s contact centre.
The collaboration and joint implementation allow Leroy Merlin, a leading do-it-yourself (DIY) hypermarket franchise, to offer 24/7/365 self-service capabilities to its customers.
Leroy Merlin CIO Dmitriy Anderson explains that the project was mainly motivated by the fact that the solution offered was strongly focused on customer satisfaction. The realisation that Leroy Merlin needed to allow customers to engage with their brand over preferred channels was front-and-centre. “We realised that one of our customers’ favourite communication channels is WhatsApp. As it is widely used, we knew we needed to integrate it into our contact centre solution to allow customers to get in touch with us through their favourite chat app. It was a tactical approach to customer satisfaction, providing them with more choice,” says Anderson.
Partnering with Infobip
Illation is a leading technology company that specialises in crafting state-of-the-art CX journeys. Through their thoroughly curated list of partnerships with both local and international partners – many of which are Gartner-rated – illation seeks to bring together all the technological requirements necessary for exceptional customer engagements. When approached with Leroy Merlin’s requirements, Infobip stood out as the best choice to fulfil necessary customer requirements.
Joshias du Plooy, Head of Product and Business Enablement Services at illation, says that the flexibility that Infobip offered as part of its WhatsApp and digital channel offerings, as well as the solution’s ability to integrate into Leroy Merlin’s backend systems, made the company stand out from the competition.
“Infobip’s flexibility wasn’t the only factor in the success of this deployment. Aligning the chatbot to the internal business processes of Leroy Merlin allowed for enhanced analytical insight. By understanding customer needs and preferences, Leroy Merlin can improve their customer engagement on an ongoing basis,” says du Plooy.
The first phase of the project saw the integration of WhatsApp for Business API, along with Telegram and Facebook messenger, into Leroy Merlin’s existing communications platform. This was followed by the deployment of a chatbot that enabled automation on the WhatsApp channel and which was also integrated into Leroy Merlin’s existing contact centre application.
Throughout the implementation, illation was key in ensuring that the technology provided spoke to Leroy Merlin’s business requirements.
Shaun van Rooyen, Regional Strategic Partnerships Manager at Infobip, says the implementation was one of the first major projects that Infobip undertook with illation since the company became an Infobip partner in June last year.
“The project was implemented over a very tight timeline – six weeks in total – but everything went smoothly and the chatbot is working extremely well. I think that overall, Leroy Merlin has seen some good results already following the completion of the project,” he says.
Anderson says that the implementation of the WhatsApp API and chatbot solution has already seen a significant decrease of voice traffic into Leroy Merlin’s contact centre. Many customer queries can now be handled via the automated chatbot that has been integrated into the WhatsApp channel and contact centre, without the need for voice calls.
“This solution allows us to better serve our customers, as we can service them faster. At the same time, we can also analyse complaints and get a better insight into any customer issues. None of our competitors in the retail and ecommerce sector as a whole are doing anything similar. This has definitely been a differentiating factor for us,” Anderson says.