Bath & Body Works Achieves Rapid ROI With Astute Solutions


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COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 23, 2008 – Minimizing the time and guesswork involved in locating product details, Bath & Body Works (BBW) implemented Astute Solutions’ ( RealDialog™ and RealDialog™ Agent Assist. The interactive knowledge management solution delivers contextualized, accurate information to Bath & Body Works’ contact center associates in response to questions entered in their “natural language.” The specialty retailer outlined details behind its rapid return on investment at Astute Solutions’ 2008 User Conference.

Operating over 1,600 chain stores, Bath & Body Works’ goal is to provide contact center agents, Web site visitors and store associates with access to specific details about its 10,000 products. Its existing knowledge management solution delivered too much information—much of it irrelevant. Associates were tasked with sorting through long lists and drilling down on numerous links to locate the relevant information they needed to address customer questions.

To resolve this challenge, Bath & Body Works integrated Astute Solutions’ RealDialog and RealDialog Agent Assist tool with its ePowerCenter customer interaction and relationship management solution. The implementation met aggressive deadlines and delivered numerous benefits, including the following:
• The need for weekend overtime during peak season was eliminated by newfound efficiencies, saving 10% of the holiday budget
• Seasonal associate training time was reduced by 50%
• Hold time was reduced by 68%
• Average Handling Time was reduced by 33%
• Supervisory assistance calls were reduced by 41%
• Data capture accuracy was vastly improved, while errors in classifying issues were significantly reduced. RealDialog’s built-in rules automatically select reason codes for agents.
• Escalations were reduced by 49%
• Agents no longer deal with binders and papers to answer questions
The integration of RealDialog with ePowerCenter enabled contact center associates to quickly access data from key information sources within and outside of the enterprise through a single user interface. It provided rapid access to the exact information they needed to answer customer questions, expedite case processing and issue resolution, and deliver a quality, branded customer experience.

The RealDialog knowledge engine offered Bath & Body Works an exceptional level of accuracy. Using Natural Language Processing and advanced linguistics techniques, RealDialog understands user input and questions in their natural language–including the use of pronouns, slang and company/product/industry-specific terms. Moreover, it engages users (contact center agents, consumers, employees, and partners) in human-like “conversations” to clarify their intent and needs when appropriate. The result is contextualized, highly accurate and precise responses.

These capabilities enable Bath & Body Works’ associates to enter a customer’s question, verbatim—or right-click on a question submitted via email—and instantly receive a response in the form of a specific answer, paragraph within a document, and/or file (sound, video, Web page, or document). When needed, RealDialog guides them through a conversation with the customer, prompting them with specific questions and responses to get to the heart of the issue and its resolution.

“RealDialog and Agent Assist have dramatically simplified and improved our process for accessing relevant information. The solution takes direct input, processes it, and provides a direct answer, regardless of where the information resides,” said Pati Crowley, Director of Customer Experience, Bath & Body Works. “Furthermore, we now have unprecedented control over the messages associates deliver to ensure a branded experience, every time. Astute Solutions delivered exactly what we needed: a cost-effective solution with tremendous capabilities that’s easy to use. It made for a very quick return on investment.”

“Bath & Body Works continues to set the standard for a service environment by implementing new ways to elevate the customer experience. As a company, they understand that information access challenges diminish the customer experience and a brand’s power,” said Astute Solutions President, Joseph Sanda. “With the growth of social networks and Web 2.0, it has never been more important to analyze the voice of the customer, and our RealDialog solution excels at capturing and interpreting large volumes of unstructured data. We are distinctly positioned to help companies glean valuable customer insights from numerous sources, ultimately helping them to deliver market-leading products, services and processes.”

Upon implementation, RealDialog was able to answer 78 percent of customer and agent questions directly for Bath & Body Works. The system is designed to improve its accuracy within a short period of time. For example, companies using RealDialog have reported achieving accuracy rates exceeding 95 percent within 90 days of implementation.

RealDialog learns from end-user input, while its reporting capabilities specify where there are knowledge gaps and areas for improvement. Because its knowledge base content can be authored by non-technical business users across the enterprise (contact center agents, product managers, marketers, and more), end users receive better, more current information. The company achieves significant cost savings by eliminating the need for IT involvement in the authoring and updating process.

Astute Solutions is currently exhibiting at Call Center Week in Las Vegas (booth #8).

About Astute Solutions
Through award-winning customer interaction and relationship management solutions, Astute Solutions enables companies to differentiate through service excellence. Its user-friendly ePowerCenterTM and RealDialogTM solutions provide the robust capabilities companies need to deliver efficient, high-touch, and high-quality service; while ensuring consistent and accurate responses across all communication channels. Moreover, Astute’s solutions capture actionable “voice of the customer” insights that lead to improved products, services and operations. By partnering with Astute Solutions, leading companies across a variety of industries achieve exceptional ROI by reducing overall interaction and operational costs, improving agent performance, retaining more customers, delivering market-leading products and services, and increasing revenue. For more information, visit


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