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Kusmi Tea: Supporting 150 Years of Great Taste With Conversational AI
 — January 13, 2022

Founded in 1867, Kusmi Tea has been creating unique taste sensations with high-quality teas crafted in the company’s workshops for over 150 years. Today, the brand continues to provide unique gourmet tea blends to satisfy even the most discerning connoisseurs, while investing heavily in their mission to make the world a better place. Kusmi Tea is pursuing a transition to 100 percent organic ingredients, reducing their carbon footprint with local production and limiting the use of plastics in packaging, among other initiatives. The company is also engaged in many charitable causes, from breast cancer research to the protection of wild tigers to protecting water resources, all with the goal of encouraging the Kusmi mantra: Enjoy, share, be natural.

By using conversational AI from Heyday to automate responses to customer FAQs and create sales opportunities, Kusmi Tea now has more time to dedicate to achieving their laudable goals. 


Early in 2021, In response to a growing volume of customer inquiries, Kusmi Tea set out to find a way to reduce the workload on the customer care team, while maintaining a personalized experience for their customers. The company chose Heyday to build a conversational AI chatbot to handle customer FAQs. After Heyday launched on the Kusmi Tea e-commerce site, the number of issues reported to the customer service team fell dramatically as the AI handled questions related to order tracking and other common inquiries. 


Today, the Kusmi Tea CS team doesn’t worry about hiring extra support staff to handle the holiday rush. It relies on Heyday to automate responses to FAQs, act as the first line of defense for customer care staff and to help maintain high customer satisfaction scores.  


Laura Mercy, a member of the Customer Service team at Kusmi Tea, says that as customer inquiries increased in 2021 the company’s small customer care team struggled to keep up with repetitive customer questions.


“We have only two people on the customer care team, so we wanted to reduce the overall number of client interactions,” says Laura. She noted her team hoped to eliminate the need to constantly answer low-value questions about order tracking and other easily-resolved issues, while also making it easier for customers to search for products, find physical store locations and learn about promotions.

Kusmi Tea FAQ automation

Kusmi Tea and Heyday worked together to develop a conversational AI to meet the following high-level objectives:


Deliver an enjoyable and engaging CX, allowing website and Facebook page visitors can easily connect with the Kusmi Tea CS team in a centralized way; 


Help online customers find answers to their questions more quickly with FAQ automation;


Empower customer service staff to focus on higher-value conversations, to help deliver five-star CX, increase sales and boost CSAT .

Once the goals for the project were clear, Heyday got to work designing the functionality of the AI that would become the company’s dedicated virtual assistant. Kusmi Tea’s conversational AI was programmed to automate answers to 25 of the company’s most frequently asked questions and to handle thousands of unique conversations per month. 

Kusmi Tea Automated Product Recommendations

Between August and October 2021, Heyday’s AI chatbot solution for Kusmi Tea initiated more than 8500 conversations with customers, achieving a 94 percent automation rate. During the same period, the average response time for customers contacting Kusmi Tea dropped from nearly 10 hours in August to less than 3.5 hours by September, as the AI responded quickly to inquiries.  


Beyond reducing the workload of the support team, Laura says the easy-to-use platform and access to responsive and helpful Heyday staff have been incredibly helpful.


“The platform is super intuitive,” says Laura. “It’s simple to navigate a conversation and to hand it off to a human agent when needed… The analytics provide very useful data that’s easy to interpret. We have everything right in front of us.” 


The most common questions handled by the AI chatbot between August and October were related to ordering and delivery, product discovery questions, order tracking, and visiting the company’s e-commerce store. Among users engaged in conversation with the AI, 16 percent searched for a product within the chat, creating upsell opportunities. Nearly a third, or 32 percent, of users undertook a postal code search with the AI to find the nearest Kusmi Tea boutique near them, helping drive foot traffic to brick and mortar stores. 


Any concerns Kusmi Tea had about automating aspects of customer care were put to rest after seeing how their customers engaged with the conversational AI. 


“Before Heyday, we were worried that our customers might not like chatting with a bot, since we strive to deliver personalized experiences,” Laura says. “But after roll-out, we didn’t receive any negative feedback.”


Heyday also improved the chatbot based on the data from the first three months of use, including improved product search features, advanced reporting and sales attribution.


Laura praised how easy it is for customers to transition from the AI to a human agent when the situation calls for it: “It’s very easy to hand them off to a human agent. We can switch them right away, no problem.” 


Laura says the cherry on top of Kusmi Tea’s experience with Heyday is the top-notch personal service they receive.

“Heyday is super accessible—they are great, very responsive and super helpful and positive,” says Laura. “I would absolutely recommend Heyday. It’s so simple to set up and maintain.”


Today, the Kusmi Tea customer care team can breathe easy, knowing that AI is taking care of the simple questions being asked by customers—a welcome change as they prepare for the holiday season. 


Find out how Heyday conversational AI can help your brand automate customer care and drive social commerce sales by booking a demo today. 

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