The desire to offer a better customer experience and reduce response bottlenecks was behind ZORB’s decision to invest in a chat solution for their website, and it’s continued to deliver value during and after COVID-19 lockdowns.
“Before Yonder, we used to get a lot of emails to our info@zorb email address and responding took up a lot of time.
“Incoming phone calls go to our front-of-house team and if they had customers in front of them, it was difficult to keep up with calls and customers,” says Charlotte Brady, Sales & Marketing Manager, Zorb.
The volume of email has reduced significantly, and there are fewer incoming phone calls.
Pre-Covid, ZORB customers had around 100 conversations a month (low season) with Yonder. During the busy summer period, this jumped to around 170, which equates to a saving of between 7-14 hours of staff time each month.
“Not only are our website visitors getting immediate answers 24-7, but Yonder has really reduced the pressure on our staff,” says Charlotte.
“Staff are fielding fewer enquiries thanks to Yonder. Overall, it has significantly improved responsiveness, which has had a positive impact across all customer touchpoints.
“We’re also converting more customers from our website since we’ve had Yonder chat.
“The investment in Yonder has been very worthwhile. In busy periods like school holidays, it’s been worth its weight in gold.”
Charlotte was surprised by how quickly Yonder started paying for itself since being implemented in September 2019.
“Within minutes of going live, customers were having conversations and getting answers. I wasn’t sure if our customers would use chat, but they do. People are used to using chat now, and it’s just another channel for customers to engage with us.”
Charlotte uses the dashboard to keep an eye on chatbot performance including percentage of conversations resolved by the bot, number of conversations and what topics people are asking about.
At the moment, the top questions are around deals, suitability for children, price, days of operation and questions about the weather feature a lot too if the weather is bad.
It’s easy to tweak chatbot responses, and Charlotte does this herself.
Most questions are answered using automated responses, but Charlotte uses Yonder’s live person switchover feature to take over conversations about more complex matters as required.
Notifications sent to the Yonder mobile app keep Charlotte up-to-date about conversations as they happen.
In awful weather, Charlotte updates a popup website message on the home page to say that they are still operating, and the ability to add these topical messages is one of her favourite Yonder features. The message currently features ZORB’s opening hours, which addresses one of the questions most commonly asked of the chatbot.
“It saves loads of calls and emails, and is quick and easy to do.”
New Zealand travellers typically book much later than their international counterparts - in the pre-school holidays period in 2019, booking lead-time was 32 days, and for the same period in 2020, typical lead-time was just 4 days.
This makes instant responses to customer enquiries even more important, because if we respond late - especially if the question is about availability - it’s likely we’ll miss out on business, says Charlotte.
This is why ZORB has continued to invest in Yonder.
“Yonder continues to deliver value for us. And it continues to meet a need for us and our customers,” explains Charlotte.
Kiwi travellers are also particularly interested in getting value for money, and ZORB has seen an increase in chat questions about deals and discounts.
A word-of-mouth recommendation from their marketing agency lead ZORB to Yonder, and the fact that the chat solution was designed specifically for use in tourism was very appealing, as was the fact that it was New Zealand designed and built, says Charlotte.
“We are locally owned and operated and like to do business with local companies as much as we can.
“Yonder is very easy to do business with. The team is very approachable. We have easy access to support when we need it, and I like that the solution is updated regularly adding new features and functionality.”
The original downhill ball rolling experience started life in Rotorua, and can now be experienced all over the world. Adventure-loving participants roll down a hill in a giant inflatable sphere, choosing between different track options which vary in length and speed to cater for daredevils of all levels and ages (from 6 years and up). The whole family can join and watch from a hang-out area at the bottom of the hill.