Customer Experience Lab

CX trendsetters: Is the future of malls a robot named Pepper?

By Amy Brandli on March 15, 2018

The Mall of America delights patrons with a chatbot creating a high-tech, engaging retail customer experience. 

With the increase in online shopping and questions whirling around the relevancy of brick and mortar shopping malls, our local retail icon, Mall of America, welcomed a new chatbot named Pepper. The chatbot can not only direct visitors to specific locations within the mall, it can talk about deals and promotions, and even connect them to an actual human being. We connected with Justine Santa Cruz, VP of Partnerships at Satisfi Labs, the company behind the Pepper Robot at Mall of America, to learn about Pepper, artificial intelligence(AI) and its impact on customer experience (CX).

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Retail Customer Experience Chatbot

Centriam: How long does it take to get a robotic CX solution like Pepper up and running in a retail environment?

Satifi Labs: It depends what you need the robot to do! It can be as quick as turning it on since most products like Pepper have default programs that can work for basic use cases. If it's more robust, like a Q&A bot, it could take 4-6 weeks including testing. We at Satisfi Labs offer phonetic training for voice enabled bots such as Pepper so our 4-6 week time frame account for this as well. 

Centriam: How can retailers measure the impact artificial intelligence has had on their CX efforts?

Satifi Labs: Retailers can measure it by comparing to previous methods in place, by the number of questions the AI is able to answer, and also how accurate the answers it delivers are. The accuracy of a given bot is the most important to us since a retailer is only able to truly scale if the AI they deploy into the market does the job its promised to do. 

Centriam: Have you found that there is a cultural generation most drawn to interacting with Pepper or artificial intelligence in general? Have you encountered generational challenges? (i.e., millennials, baby boomers, etc…)

Satifi Labs: Everyone loves Pepper! We've seen it first hand. In stores, sports venues, malls, conferences... everyone loves Pepper and want to talk to her or take a selfie. I think the wonder that new technology brings crosses demographics and touches everyone.


MOA Pepper Chatbot CX


Centriam: Tell us about the insights retailers can gain by adding artificial intelligence into their customer experience.

Satifi Labs: By adding AI to the customer experience, retailers learn about what their customers are actually thinking. Think of it as having a search bar on your entire store. Retailers get to see products or services that customers are asking about that they might not necessarily carry or highlight. 

"By adding artificial intelligence to the customer experience, retailers learn about what their customers are actually thinking. Think of it as having a search bar on your entire store." - Justine Santa Cruz, VP of Partnerships at Satisfi Labs. [Click to Tweet!]

Centriam: What’s been the feedback so far from the Mall of America bot?

Satifi Labs: Good so far! It's still in the early stages of the bot program being live in the market, and both parties are still learning how to tweak messaging to ensure the latest and best information is getting to the mall's guests on all channels. 

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Centriam: Anything new and exciting you can’t wait to share with us coming up in 2018? 

Satifi Labs: I'm not at liberty to say! :) But in all seriousness, watch this space. We're going to keep pushing learning across channels and integrate more of the mall's brand personality into the bot's conversations. 

Centriam: Most importantly, can Pepper navigate the escalator?

Satifi Labs: Ha! Don't make her trip!

What are you currently doing to delight your customers? In what ways could your company leverage artificial intelligence? Comment below!

Topics: Retail customer experience, CX trendsetters, Customer experience strategy

Author: Amy Brandli

Amy Brandli is the Director of Client Services at Centriam, a leading provider of customer feedback management software. Centriam improves customer intelligence, enables scalable CX programs, and identifies your most impactful efforts.
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