Theatro's AI Powered Voice Technology is Helping The Container Store Track Appointments

brought to you by WBR Insights

Mobile technology has led to a boost for almost every industry we have. From BYOD policies to VoIP calling technology, it's helping the global workforce become more mobile, more efficient, and more productive.

However, there's one sector for which it has been difficult to implement mobile devices. Employers of large-scale hourly workforces have tried many ways of using mobile technology, but have found solutions to be expensive, prone to theft or damage, and resulting in poor customer experiences. How then can mobile technology be incorporated into hourly workforces in a manner which is cost effective and beneficial?

This is the question posed by Dallas based SaaS provider, Theatro. According to the company website, only 10% of hourly workers presently have access to mobile technology, and they want to change that for the better.

The Theatro Solution

Theatro's answer to this question takes the form of a small device mounted on a keychain. The device is roughly the same size as a pack of playing cards and is connected to a discrete headset which the user can wear to communicate with the voice technology contained within. There is no distracting screen and only a single button which operates the device, making its use a matter of simplicity for store associates.


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If a customer has a question and the person they're speaking to doesn't know the answer, the associate activates the device and gives it a command such as, "Hello, service department." They're then instantly connected to the appropriate department and can have the customer's query answered.

Or they can request a stock update by saying, "check inventory on product number..." the AI technology will then scan the store's database and come back with an automated reply.

Other uses include requesting assistance from a person elsewhere in the store or delivering store information, such as when a new checkout needs to be opened to deal with a sudden influx of customers.

Traditionally, associates in these types of workplaces have used clunky walkie-talkies. Communication through Theatro is quick, accurate, and clear, connecting to a real person when necessary and delivering AI-powered automated responses the remainder of the time.

The Container Store

As the nation's leading retailer of storage and organizational products, The Container Store was looking for a way to keep clients updated on their closet design appointments. To achieve this, they combined Theatro's innovative voice-powered mobile device with the Intelligent Appointment Scheduling platform from TimeTrade.

"TimeTrade shares Theatro's mission to transform the experience of the forgotten hourly worker," said Theatro Chief Executive Officer, Chris Todd. "Our growing partner ecosystem helps retailers get the most out of your Theatro investment, enabling them to deliver innovative and powerful integrations that transform business processes and help clients address common and critical, unmet needs."

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With the old system, associates had to monitor their devices to watch out for any new or amended appointments or they ran the risk of missing a customer. With the new solution, group messages are triggered and sent out whenever an appointment is booked, amended, or canceled. Associates then receive the updates in their ears and can allocate resources appropriately.

The Container Store manages approximately 16,000 appointments each month which can quickly become an unwieldy challenge when new appointments are coming in all the time, and existing ones are being canceled or amended. With the new system, The Container Store is already seeing impressive results, and fewer missed appointments. With Theatro, all employees are connected, meaning they can always know who's seeing to an appointment and which ones need attention.

"Our in-store challenges used to revolve around the way our employees communicated with each other," said Executive Vice President of IT and Business Development at The Container Store, John Thrailkill. "It was difficult to keep up with where everyone was at any given time. We had no visibility into who was engaged with a customer and who was available. Now with Theatro, employees can know within a moment's notice where everyone is, connect directly with that one person that they're trying to reach, and most importantly to take care of customers more quickly and effectively."

Final Thoughts

Voice powered technology has the power to change the way we live and work. By taking the same technology seen in home devices from Google and Amazon, and applying it to the hourly workforce, Theatro has developed a solution which is not only cost-effective and work enhancing, but also flexible enough to incorporate other platforms such as in the case of The Container Store.

Voice technology is set to be a hot topic at Future Stores East 2019, in February, at the JW Marriott in Miami, FL.

Please download the agenda today for more information and insights.

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