The Future of AI Customer Service is Better Than You Think
MARCH 8, 2018 –
Martinizing Dry Cleaning – they beat you to bots.
Accepting robotic interactions isn’t as easy as the Jetson’s made it look. For every AI-enhanced experience, there is a nostalgic gut-check, a lingering feeling that something is missing or that something just isn’t quite right.
But, barring all futuristic references from Will Smith’s I, Robot, how many horrible bot experiences have you actually had? While it’s likely that you have collected a list of these interactions over the past several years, specifically voice-automated systems that can’t seem to differentiate between “business” and “Thin Mints,” the reality is that AI-driven technology is not just here to stay, but it’s evolving rapidly, too.
A better question, then, isn’t asking you to dwell on communication gone awry, but rather, “How do you improve AI experiences?”
As innovative leaders ask themselves the same questions, the landscape of bot-centric services and experiences will continue to dramatically change, and for the best.
For those of you skeptics looking for a specific example, the following story will, hopefully, provide some clarity.
As a dry cleaning company founded in 1949, Martinizing Dry Cleaning isn’t exactly the face you’d expect to see on a poster for pioneering AI technology. But neither were the Jetsons’ creators when they set out to make their futuristic cartoon.
Martinizing Dry Cleaning has actually been an innovator from the beginning, looking for ways to improve the dry cleaning process, which has been around since 1855 and is, surprisingly, quite wet. Designed to use chemical solvents instead of water, dry cleaning is a process that has proven effective for decades. But, thanks to the harsh chemicals, like potentially toxic and eco-unfriendly chlorocarbons, often used to clean, it has also garnered a reputation for being environmentally unfriendly. Something that Martinizing Dry Cleaning, thanks to its adoption of much greener practices, is helping the industry to fix.
This forward way of thinking has lead this unassuming dry cleaning company to the realm of AI, discovering new uses to not just provide customer service, but to provide exceptional white-glove customer service. By enhancing their driver-efficiency and logistics, Martinizing Dry Cleaning is upping their customers’ experience, making pick-up and dropped off for dry cleaning much more convenient.
Imagine getting a text that says, “Hey! We’re in your neighborhood right now. Can we pick up any dry cleaning for you?”
The leaders at Martinizing Dry Cleaning did imagine this. And have done something about it.
With the help of an AI bot, who is fondly called Martin, they have reduced the expense of no-shows for both delivery and pick-up, improved driver efficiency, and all while adding a new level of customer service. Martin schedules and coordinates services for customers, whether at home or at the office.
This constant reiteration of their model and the desire to keep raising the bar is what has made Martinizing Dry Cleaning the largest dry cleaning franchise in the United States. With over 450 stores around the world and close to 250,000 garments cleaned each day in America alone, Martinizing Dry Cleaning dictates much of what goes on in the industry.
With their adoption of customer service bots, Martinizing is demonstrating how AI can enhance, not detract, from the overall customer experience.
Capable of picking up and delivering dry cleaning orders more efficiently, Martinizing Dry Cleaning has simultaneously increased their number of customers and customer satisfaction while reducing costs and waste. In fact, in just the first month of using Martin to automate pick up and drop off, Martinizing saw a 10% growth in revenue, and it has continued month after month.
“We keep getting feedback on how much more convenient it is for customers to order dry-cleaning, which means more business for us!”
Good job, Martin!
And, thanks to all of his success, Martinizing Dry Cleaning plans to invest even more in his intelligence, giving him the tools he needs to personalize customer interactions, greeting them by name and knowing the details of their current and previous orders.
With the help of Martin and other bots like him, you’ll learn to love AI interaction, even more than you love clean clothes!