VTEX Accelerator winner ChatCenter is humanizing customer service in ecommerce
The automation demanded by ecommerce has allowed companies to save on costs related to sales and customers to easily get products delivered to their doors at speeds previously unimaginable. Yet this automation comes with some downsides, the main one being the difficult process that customers face when they want to contact a human being to ask a question or make a complaint. ChatCenter, winner of the first edition of the VTEX Accelerator program, has managed to find the right balance between speed of response and a human element to overcome the challenge.
The need for human conversation
Gonzalo Baez Veglia, CEO & Founder of ChatCenter, has worked in ecommerce for his entire career, and he says that he saw the decrease in human and personalized customer care.
“We are used to leaving customers alone in front of a website and letting them fend for themselves. But I always thought that better customer care is key to business success.”Gonzalo Baez Veglia, CEO & Founder of ChatCenter
Baez Veglia is a big believer in the Cluetrain Manifesto, a book proposing that “markets are conversations” that have been made more important by the growth of internet users. Just like the book suggests, he thinks that this current lack of conversation is counterproductive to the survival of markets and that it’s imperative to bring it back. That’s how he first thought of the ChatCenter customer service solution back in 2019, a mix of chatbots with human beings that are only called upon if the bot doesn’t understand a question asked by the user.
According to ChatCenter, 60% of users prefer talking to a human being instead of a chatbot. What is even more telling is that most of the remaining 40% prefer chatbots because they have a frequently asked question, a scenario which is a perfect fit for this technology. Customers also have the option to implement a solution that’s totally free of chatbots.
“A chatbot isn’t really ready to hold complex conversations like a complaint of a sales pitch, so our vision is that we should use the chatbot as a tool that helps agents and leaves them only with the conversations that really add value to the consumer experience.”Gonzalo Baez Veglia, CEO & Founder of ChatCenter
Currently, ChatCenter has over 75 clients in Brazil, Spain and all of Latin America, most of them high-profile, multinational companies in the retail, fashion, supermarkets and home appliances industries. Not only can these businesses take advantage of the aforementioned customer service solution, but they also have a complementary conversational sales tool at their disposal.
This tool, like the customer service one, is triggered once the client contacts the company, but it differs in that it usually relies less on chatbots and more on actual remote sales agents, since it deals with a more complex task. If chatbots are used at all, it’s mostly for pre-qualifying the client before linking them with a human agent.
The tool can be implemented directly on the company’s website or app, as well as on Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram and compatible marketplaces and digital commerce solutions.
ChatCenter’s impact is palpable: the customer service solution gets a satisfaction rate of over 83%, much higher than the market average of around 60%. The conversational sales solution has even more impressive results, as it gets a conversion rate of around 70% with some clients.
Scaling ChatCenter with the help of VTEX Accelerator
Knowing how effective and helpful its solutions are in the current and future climate of commerce operations, ChatCenter looked towards ways of improving its product offering and reaching more businesses. In 2020, it applied to participate in the first edition of the VTEX Accelerator and after an arduous analysis of almost 200 start-ups and early stage solutions, it emerged a winner and gained access to grants, angel investors and mentorship.
“Being inside the ecosystem of a company that truly desires to develop ecommerce in the Latin American market was also something that we always aimed for with this project, which can also help bring jobs to people who live in complicated geographies in multiple countries. VTEX and ChatCenter share this conviction of giving a little bit back to Latin America.”Gonzalo Baez Veglia, CEO & Founder of ChatCenter
According to Baez Veglia, VTEX Accelerator is also a great way of reinforcing the already solid ecommerce ecosystem that VTEX has built through the addition of start-up or partner solutions.
“I think what VTEX does with the Accelerator Program is absolutely brilliant, because they manage to add talent to their ecosystem. These are companies that have developed valuable solutions for the ecommerce ecosystem that would be very costly to develop internally. This ensures that they bring the right talent to their platform and add value to every VTEX client.”Gonzalo Baez Veglia, CEO & Founder of ChatCenter
Throughout its previous two editions, VTEX Accelerator has had fantastic results, with a combined pool of 538 applications from more than 44 countries. Moreover, four winners of the program (i.e. Usedesk, ChatCenter, BrainDW and Photoslurp) have already transformed their ideas into fully-functional solutions available on the VTEX App Store.
If you know a start-up that could benefit from participating in VTEX Accelerator, applications to the third edition are now open here until the 14th of November.