Why Helping is the New Selling With Heyday Co-Founder and CMO Étienne Mérineau and Shopify’s Steve Hutt

By
Sebastien Rankin
December 7, 2020

In the latest episode of the eCommerce Fastlane Podcast, Shopify Merchant Success Manager, Steve Hutt, spoke with our co-founder and CMO, Étienne Mérineau, about how commerce in 2021 will combine the best of human and automated service why AI is here to help merchants—not replace them.

Creating transformative digital brand experiences through conversation

Shopping is an increasingly online experience. And then 2020 arrived, giving online shopping a new meaning. But at a time when we are isolated and online experiences can be alienating, how can retail brands make their online experience feel more personal, more human?

Ironically, with conversational AI.

The Heyday chatbot allows Shopify retailers to better engage customers, create improved customer experiences and boost sales through meaningful interactions. 

Heyday’s co-founder and CMO Étienne Mérineau recently joined Steve Hutt on the eCommerce Fastlane podcast, where he spoke about how the AI chatbot can improve your brand’s customer satisfaction on Shopify. 

“I've always been deeply interested in how brands can more meaningfully connect with their customers online,” says Étienne. 

AI can make these conversations possible online, even for small retailers who don’t otherwise have the resources to reach every customer. 

“It’s an opportunity to make ecommerce more personal and turn brand experiences that are more a monologue into a dialogue,” he says. 

Helping is the new selling: Boost sales with AI-powered chat

Copying and pasting FAQ responses to your customers’ questions won’t cut it.

One-on-one conversations build customer satisfaction and create more sales opportunities. 

One-on-one conversations build customer satisfaction and create more sales opportunities. 

This is especially true in uncertain times. Customers need more guidance to make the right decisions about their purchases. 

“We believe helping is the new selling, so we build our platform at the intersection of customer service and sales with that specific vision in mind,” says Étienne. 

The Heyday AI virtual assistant acts as a first line of support, and it can redirect the most sensitive or complex conversations to internal teams to give customers that personalized experience they need to make the purchase they’re looking for. 

“Our platform is built for ecommerce,” says Étienne. “That's our DNA.” 

The AI chatbot directs customers through a streamlined experience that separates customers looking for quick answers to FAQs from customers looking for deeper, more valuable interactions with the brand’s team. That saves your team from fielding basic questions, like return policy, shipping or order tracking, which can quickly become redundant. 

Heyday has helped some brands reduce customer service requests by 30% to 35%. 

This distinction makes Heyday’s chatbot unique and the customer experience more human. The fewer requests there are, the more time and energy the customer service team has to foster  meaningful relationships with the remaining customers.

And it’s not only a plus for the customer. It boosts your brand’s sales by allowing you to focus on the less confident customers and guide them to the right purchase decision. 

The human vs. the AI  

Customers want it all! Speed, convenience, personalization. Most teams just don’t have the resources to give them everything without some degree of automation.

Utilizing AI doesn’t mean internal teams will be replaced. 

On the contrary, the AI chatbot enhances those human resources by automating responses to repetitive questions and making room for people to provide more valuable interactions. 

“Adding an AI layer on top of traditional live chat helped us to help Shopify stores scale their teams overnight and boost sales and customer satisfaction as a result by having the scale to cater to each and every site visitor with one-on-one conversations,” says Étienne.

It’s a hybrid dance, he says. The human and AI aspects work in unison around the clock to provide VIP service at scale. 

Where the bot is trained to answer thousands of variations of customer questions, the human customer service personnel are ready to handle the more complex conversations.

More than a traditional chatbot 

Traditional chatbots can overwhelm customer service teams with blasts of requests the AI can’t answer. 

The Heyday AI chatbot, on the other hand, can elevate a company’s customer service experience by automatically responding to customers who came for quick answers, passing along to the team only those that need more complex or personalized help. 

“We're trying to offer the best of both worlds. Ultimately the goal is to free up your team from all the redundant requests and help you focus on what matters — sales, not FAQs,” says Étienne.

“We're trying to offer the best of both worlds. Ultimately the goal is to free up your team from all the redundant requests and help you focus on what matters — sales, not FAQs."

Essentially, it allows small retailers to perform customer service like a big brand. 

“We want to bring the Fortune 500 capabilities to the Fortune 500,000,” Étienne says. 

It’s about giving the little guys the chance to operate on a larger scale and offer a deeper level of personalization. To do so, Heyday will offer DIY features, like its FAQ automation editor, at more competitive price points for those Shopify retailers. 

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many brands were bombarded with online traffic that swamped internal teams. Étienne says, for Heyday’s customers, the chatbot was a lifesaver in reducing redundant customer service requests.   

“Whatever you do in 2021, I think [AI] should be a focal point for your business. Invest in customer experience, and you'll see results instantly, also long-term,” says Étienne.