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BostonFAM Reduces Manual Workload and Improves Customer Engagement With Package.ai

June 22, 2023

After its industry standard delivery management solution began negatively impacting its customer experience BostonFAM continues to transform its operations using Package.ai.

+33% delivery confirmation rates
-16% in daily routing process time
-38% reduction in delivery scheduling call volume
-30% reduction overall in call volume

“The situational awareness that we gained regarding our customers through having their data available instantly through Package.ai’s interface, and Jenny’s chat stream in particular, has been invaluable.” 

Jim Queen, Director of IT, BostonFAM

Improving the Quality of Consumers’ Lives for Over 50 Years

Boston FAM was founded in 1969, when Vince Fonti Sr. and his partner, Pete Gambino, opened the parent company’s first store, ApplianceMart in Madison, Wisconsin. The employee and family-owned company, headquartered in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, now owns 15 stores, one distribution center and has over 500 employees. It operates all Furniture & ApplianceMart locations throughout the state, as well as the Ashley HomeStores in Madison, Appleton, Green Bay, Greenfield, Pewaukee, Richfield, Stevens Point, and Marshfield. It has a fleet of 34 delivery vehicles and 21 service vehicles, and has an average of 250 deliveries every working day.

The Need to Resolve A List of 30 Pain Points

BostonFAM had enjoyed a lot of success for the first five years of using the industry-standard delivery management solution it implemented in 2012. But when it needed to adapt its business to cope with recession and then Covid, it found that the solution wasn’t able to respond to its needs. To tackle the problems it was encountering head on, BostonFAM’s team created a list of 30 pain points. However, it did not receive the support they needed to help resolve these. It quickly realized the industry-standard delivery management solution it was using was not keeping up with its needs.

This quickly began to impact its customer base. Customers were notified by email, SMS and phone, when orders were routed, to confirm delivery. However, if the customer needed to reschedule they had to call the customer care toll-free number as they lacked the ability to respond using SMS or email. Once they called they had to wait in a queue as there often were not enough agents to handle the call volume. Customers began to complain about a lack of communication or delays when trying to get details about deliveries or rescheduling them. BostonFAM knew it needed to make a change.

Making The Seamless Switch to Package.ai Without Disruption

During an initial call with Package.ai, BostonFAM presented its list of 30 pain points to discover if they could be resolved. Every one of these was either already addressed by the Package.ai platform or they were aware of the issue and were working on implementing a solution to solve it. Confident that all of its needs would be taken care of and BostonFAM decided to make the switch to Package.ai.

The scope of the project was defined by outlining the things BostonFAM did using its current solution and the things it needed to make happen. To reassure that BostonFAM did not lose any of its existing capabilities during the implementation process, a feature match process detailed exactly how there would be no disruption to its current system.

“It will be like changing the engine on a 747 in mid-flight and ensuring none of the passengers become aware of it,” Ralph Shulberg, Package.ai’s General Manager for North America, explained to reassure the management at BostonFAM.

White Glove, Customized Implementation

Package.ai’s developers worked with the team at BostonFAM to build the workflow out, customize the interface and connect to APIs in the POSsystem. Additional features were also developed to help resolve the pain points that had been hurting BostonFAM for a long time.

BostonFAM’s goal was not only to replicate what it had been doing before, but also to make improvements. It was committed to enhancing the existing methods it was using and taking them to the next level with Package.ai. Response from Package.ai’s management or development team was often immediate, with many changes or fixes accomplished within 24 hours.

“The implementation process was truly fast and seamless. The team at Package.ai allowed us to go at our own pace while figuring out how to replicate and improve our work flows and settings while being completely supportive every step of the way. We were in constant communication with their team the entire time. Throughout the process we were never waiting on Package.ai, they were the ones waiting on us. So, the process was so fast and efficient from our perspective.”

Jim Queen, Director of IT, BostonFAM

The BostonFAM team was prepared for the new system, which it found simple to use and easy to learn, through training sessions and documentation. After six months the switch was finalized, and Package.ai was rolled out to its main distribution center and a smaller depot used for service and delivery routing and tracking, to serve all 16 of BostonFAM retail locations.

The Results…

Using Package.ai’s chatbot Jenny to interact with customers radically reduced the workload on the customer support team and meant confirmation rates rapidly increased thanks to the ability for customers to reply directly to Jenny and engage in two-way conversations to reschedule deliveries and resolve other issues. BostonFAM’s Service Hub generally had between 60-70% confirmation rates. This has now grown to between 85-95%

With auto notification, chats with Jenny, and day-of-delivery tracking, customers are now experiencing much higher levels of satisfaction, and instead of being understaffed, Customer Care now finds themselves with more time and enough staffing thanks to Package.ai’s automation.

The routing of deliveries has also benefited from automation. The interface and tag icons for the trucks save a lot of information gathering versus the previous solution. The easy-to-use interface increases the speed or workers thanks to the amount of info available at a glance. This has saved about 16% in time worked in the daily routing process over the past year, freeing routing staff up to handle other issues, exceptions, conflicts, and so on.

The combination of Jenny sending auto notifications and getting more consistent responses, using the chat stream interface for communication with customers, meant that in the first quarter after implementing Package.ai, BostonFAM’s Customer Care department received 10,000 fewer customer calls, and 9,000 less specifically for delivery scheduling needs. That’s a 38% reduction in call volume for delivery scheduling, and a 30% reduction overall in call volume.

“The average daily call reduction amounted to between three to four less full-time employees to staff the call center thanks to Jenny, Package.ai chatbot. A year after implementation, Customer Care was able to say for the first time ever that they actually had too much staffing for the call needs, and we were able to cut costs just in time for recession concerns.”

Jim Queen, Director of IT, BostonFAM

Growing To Meet Its Customers Needs into The Future

In February, BostonFAM completed the rollout of Package.ai for its service technicians. The next phase of implementation is to use the full chat stream to incorporate sales discussions with customers, and to receive customer feedback post sale in reviews to social media. This will fully replace BostonFAM’s current customer communications solution. It will then look to the future for additional POS scheduling features.

“Now, even after the implementation, we continue to work with developers at Package.ai to modify APIs and the Package.ai interface to accomplish and meet our developing needs as our business grows.”

Jim Queen, Director of IT, BostonFAM

Discover how your Package.ai can help you nurture more meaningful relationships with your customers, to drive increased loyalty and higher sales — Book a demo today.

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