Rat & Boa

RatBoa customer success story for using Conversational AI Chatbot from Certainly

Driving Rat & Boa’s Customer Service Efficiency with Certainly

UK-based contemporary women’s clothing brand Rat & Boa is driving customer service efficiency at scale with the help of the Certainly Platform. Read on to find out how they streamlined their peak seasons and are personalizing the customer experience using their chatbot. So far, they’ve achieved:

  • 75% more efficient for customer service agents 
  • Over 9000 conversations monthly 
  • 50% of conversations relating to stock availability
Retail fashion brands like Rat & Boa use Conversational AI-driven Cleverbot for Customer Care

Who is Rat & Boa?

Co-founded by friends Valentina Muntoni and Stephanie Bennett in 2015, Rat & Boa is a young, dynamic online fashion brand that has earned a dedicated global following of incredible women by creating bold and spirited silhouettes in vibrant prints and vivid colors at truly accessible prices.

The live bot on the Rat & Boa webshop

The label’s most-loved pieces have been worn by a number of high-profile women, including Bella Hadid, Kim Kardashian, Candice Swanepoel, Kaia Gerber, Irina Shayk, and Elsa Hosk, and it has an engaged and ever-growing Instagram following of more than 1.1 million. In June 2021, the label was named one of The Independent’s best online fashion retailers (alongside other Certainly customers like Lucy & Yak and Ganni).

This idea of premium service without the price tag brought Richard James, Head of Digital, and his team to look for a chatbot solution for their webshop; after all, nothing makes a customer feel like they’re getting the VIP treatment like instantaneous, 24/7 support.

We spoke to Richard and Tasimrah Shah (Customer Service Operations Co-ordinator) about why they chose Certainly, how things are going with their chatbot, and what their next steps will be.

From the outset, Richard said they wanted a responsive chatbot that was easy to edit. “With the NLU and loads of customization in the Canvas,” he told us, “Certainly allows for a very flexible configuration which we couldn’t find anywhere else.”  Smooth integration with Gorgias and Shopify was also a must, which Certainly provided.

Retail fashion brands like Rat & Boa use Conversational AI Chatbots for Customer Service

But, of course, no matter how flexible the Certainly Platform is, you have to start somewhere. So, Richard and his team decided to start using their chatbot to improve their customer service efficiency.

Using the Chatbot to Boost Customer Service Efficiency

Rat & Boa’s chatbot’s primary use is deflecting simple inquiries. It also pre-screens more complicated customer service tickets and transfers them to the right human agent. In practice, this means they are getting all the essential information from a customer, name, email, order ID, etc. Then, they use this information to close the ticket more efficiently. “It takes less than an hour for me to sort through 100 tickets that have been pre-screened by Certainly,” Tas tells us, “Normally, that many tickets would take half a day.” That’s a 75% increase in customer service efficiency—not bad!

The Certainly Platform excels here: it is built for the day-to-day running of a business. On top of this, it can quickly scale up and down to respond to demand. Not only has the Certainly Platform streamlined the everyday support, but it has taken the stress out of Peak Seasons. Richard & Tas highlighted how easily the platform scaled in response to spikes in traffic. As a seasonal brand with two big spikes a year during sales, the Certainly Platform is essential, removing the need to bring in four extra customer service agents for two weeks.  

So, during Peak Seasons, customer service queries are flooding Rat & Boa. Most of these, despite being business-critical, distract them from the tickets that require a human touch. “I’ve really noticed a difference in our tickets. It was a lot easier to get through this sale than any other previous one,” Tas tells us, “It’s been a lot quicker to give customers all the information they need for these easy-to-answer questions.” Answering these queries quickly and accurately drives revenue during these high-traffic periods. It makes potential customers more confident about their purchases before they make them.

eCommerce brands like Rat & Boa use Certainly's Conversational AI Chatbot Building Platform
Product recommendation in action

Plans for the Future: Personalization and Return Reduction

In the future, Richard and his team want to extend the chatbot’s portfolio outside of customer service efficiency and toward product information. “Our ultimate goal is to help advise, not just deal with customer service.” They are already well on the way with this, having introduced proactive product recommendations. If you visit a product listing on the site, the chatbot will begin to engage with you. By integrating with Shopify’s product recommendation function, it will ask if you want to see products related to that one or even in different categories. Currently, the bot will only ask the size to help the user find a relevant product. In the future will be able to ask more complex questions about fabric, fit, and color.

This kind of advice will be vital to Rat & Boa in the future. It will help with acquisition and reduce costly returns due to things like poor sizing. Recently, British ecommerce giant Boohoo suffered a considerable slowdown in profits, and a significant driver of these losses was a marked increase in returns. With a more informative chatbot, Rat & Boa can provide accurate sizing and cut information to ensure that the customer buys the correct product for them, vastly reducing the likelihood of a return.

E-commerce brands like Rat & Boa use Conversational AI Chatbot Building Software from Certainly

This will improve their ability to acquire new customers based on zero-party data collected by the bot. Customers will be able to type in product names, and they get product information like sizes and availability. With a customer’s searches, purchases, and stated interests (in an out-of-stock product, for instance), Rat & Boa will be able to provide much more accurate targeted outreach, offering the right product to their customers at the right time.

More than Just Efficient Customer Service

At first, Richard and his team built Rat & Boa’s Certainly chatbot to drive customer service efficiency, a role it excelled at. This success and the platform’s possibilities have prompted them to think bigger. They will now evolve their bot into an intelligent Digital Twin of their best salesperson.

Click here and see for yourself why Richard is so happy to recommend Certainly!

This post was written by Fergus Doyle, based on an interview with Richard James & Tasimrah Shah by Anna Rönnfeldt. The visuals were by Vital Sinkevich, and it was edited by Beatrice Carraro.