Ferretería EPA C.A. is a Venezuelan hardware retail chain with a wide range of product categories, including electrical supplies, plumbing and masonry for businesses and individual consumers. It currently has 16 stores in different cities around Venezuela.
In the past, Ferretería EPA C.A. attended to customer inquiries via website chat and WhatsApp, one of the most popular messaging apps in Venezuela. Each agent used their personal WhatsApp number to chat with customers, so it was difficult to monitor conversations and collaborate as a team.
The business needed a WhatsApp solution for multiple users to respond to a fast-growing number of customer conversations, provide more effective customer service and potentially increase sales.
The respond.io Solution
After comparing it with other solutions, Ferreteria EPA C.A. decided to choose respond.io for several reasons: Ease of use, competitive pricing, an omnichannel inbox and its automation builder. With the help of respond.io, the following solutions were implemented.
WhatsApp API and Website Chat were Connected to an Omnichannel Inbox
Due to the growing popularity of online commerce, it was important for Ferretería EPA C.A. to be able to handle an increasing volume of inquiries by online customers. It opted to do this via WhatsApp and website chat.
When compared to website chat, messaging apps like WhatsApp have more benefits for customer communication. Yet, website chat allows customers to contact a business without having to install any specific apps.
The respond.io team recommended 360dialog as a WhatsApp partner to enable access to a WhatsApp Business API account. By connecting WhatsApp API to respond.io, Ferreteria EPA C.A. had a single WhatsApp number customers could contact and all agents could handle conversations from a team inbox.
Shortly after that, website chat was added as a channel on respond.io. Customer conversations on WhatsApp and website chat are centralized on a single platform so conversations are easier to supervise and agents can collaborate on difficult cases.
Pre Chat Surveys were Implemented to Reduce Agent Workload
When it comes to lead capturing, WhatsApp is one of the most effective channels. WhatsApp conversations allow businesses to capture leads automatically as customers' phone numbers are instantly saved on respond.io.
However, website chat is often anonymous as customers don't have to reveal any identifying information. This limitation can be overcome with respond.io.
Ferretería EPA C.A. added a pre-chat survey to its website chat widget to collect key contact information before customers start a conversation with an agent. Agents can immediately attend to inquiries without asking for contact details, resulting in faster resolution times.
Automation was Built to Handle Inbound Conversations
Currently, Ferreteria EPA C.A. has 11 agents attending to customers through respond.io. These agents are multi-functional and are responsible for answering inquiries as well as registering purchases.
Ferreteria EPA C.A. created an automated Workflow to identify conversation purposes. Customers are presented with an interactive menu of inquiry or purchase options and are directed to an available agent. This shortens resolution times by narrowing down customers' needs for quicker handling.
Catalogs are Distributed En Masse via WhatsApp
WhatsApp API Broadcast presents a great opportunity for companies like Ferretería EPA, which has an extensive product catalog. Now, its catalog is not only found in its physical stores but is also regularly distributed as a PDF via WhatsApp.
While the WhatsApp Business App limits the number of broadcast recipients, WhatsApp API allows businesses to message thousands of users at once. This, coupled with respond.io's targeting and segmentation capabilities, make it an effective remarketing tool.
Customer Satisfaction is Assessed with CSAT Surveys
Ferretería EPA C.A. handles an average of 19,000 inbound and outbound messages per month over WhatsApp and web chat. That's a high number of customer interactions, and also a great opportunity to measure how satisfied customers are with its service.
Using respond.io Workflows, Ferretería EPA C.A. sends customers a CSAT survey after every interaction. Thanks to this, The company is able to identify its strengths and areas for improvement.
“We were looking for an easy-to-configure tool that could consolidate our different communication channels. Respond.io and 360dialog offered the best proposition in the market, with quick and easy onboarding. We also like the way respond.io has developed over time. It has taken into account proposals from active users and implemented them, creating a truly excellent tool.” - Oriana Sanchez, Systems Manager for Ferretería EPA C.A.
“Thus far we have connected 7 companies to respond.io including ours. We ourselves use respond.io for our support center. It allows us to consolidate multiple messaging channels on a single platform, and build Workflows without programming. Respond.io propels our clients’ businesses, adding value to every customer-company interaction.” - Jose Cruz, Business Development Manager for Intelix Synergy C.A., respond.io affiliate partner.
Switching to respond.io brought Ferretería EPA C.A. several positive results. For a start, multi-agent access to WhatsApp was a game-changer, as now all 16 stores share the same WhatsApp number, instead of using one phone number per agent.
But respond.io benefited the company in other aspects. Contact data enrichment, promotional messages and customer satisfaction were improved with pre-chat surveys, WhatsApp broadcasts and CSAT surveys, respectively.
During its time as a respond.io client, Ferretería EPA C.A. increased the number of monthly conversations it can handle by 80% with the help of Workflows. It used customer feedback to continuously improve its sales and support conversations and succeeded in growing both its customer base and sales conversions by 20% with its revised strategies.