Why an AI Virtual Assistant Helped TechStyle Fashion Group Hire & Keep Better Call Center Agents
TechStyle Fashion Group is one of the most innovative brands in the fashion and retail industry. They’re known through brands like Fabletics, Fabkids, JustFab, and ShoeDazzle, which offer a subscription model where members receive products selected by TechStyle’s “personal stylists” and based on their individual preferences. Their disruptive business model has helped them stand out against other high-level brands, and they’ve utilized technology as tools to give them a competitive advantage in the retail space.
TechStyle’s AI Virtual Assistant Solution
In 2016, TechStyle implemented SmartAction’s cloud-based AI automation solution, leveraging a conversational AI Front Door and additional call automation capabilities. SmartAction’s cloud-based AI agents use data connections to greet TechStyle customers by their first name, anticipate their reasons for calling, and route the customer properly by using natural language understanding (NLU) to extract intent. TechStyle’s top call drivers are conversations like returns, order status, and billing–repetitive conversations that used to be handled by live agents but now handled by AI agents. In other cases, SmartAction’s AI agents gather data upfront before passing to a live agent, which drastically reduces average handle time.
So how does this technology fit in with their hiring practices?
Before implementing AI automation, TechStyle’s simply needed as many agents as they could find to fill empty seats to handle the influx of calls. While each agent they hired was qualified, much of the required duties were mundane in nature like tedious data-gathering processes and repetitive calls/chats. Now that all of those call types, chats and processes are now handled by SmartAction AI-powered virtual agents, live agents can focus on high-value conversations that only humans can do and finish the calls that were not able to be fully contained within automation.
Since TechStyle is no longer under the same pressure to replace live agent churn, they are able to hire for the culture they want. They hire associates who are fashion-forward, on-trend, thoughtful, provocative, and personable. Their ideal staff members are creative thinkers that demonstrate strong problem-solving skills and think outside-the-box. Helping a customer decide on the right pair of jeans, upselling accessories, and empathy are unmatched by AI, so TechStyle finds and trains agents to best showcase these skills. This may sound quite selective for a contact center but is a reality made possible by AI automation. Since TechStyle is less worried about replacing agent churn, they can focus on recruiting and retaining the right kind of talent.
In addition, TechStyle has created a harmonious mix between virtual agents and live agents, as any and all data captured by AI automation is always passed to the live agent if/when a transfer is needed. Live agents pick up the conversation right where it left off, using their creative problem-solving skills to help the customer quickly and effectively. This streamlined approach was made possible by SmartAction’s cloud-based AI, which easily integrates with top contact center platforms like NICE inContact, TechStyle’s platform of choice.
With the help of AI-powered virtual agents, TechStyle continues to rise above the pack in providing exceptional customer experiences, remaining one of the most innovative brands in the retail industry.
Beyond the Blog
For TechStyle, the perfect call types to automate were billing inquiries, memberships, and order management, along with a conversational AI front door, which greeted customers with an open-ended question (“How can I help you today?”) as opposed to an archaic and lengthy phone tree menu. Unless your business is a subscription service, there are likely 3-5 different call types or chats that are ideal for AI automation. Contact us for your free AI-Readiness Assessment to find out how an AI virtual assistant solution can transform your contact center.