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My franchise story: how technology can improve the customer experience

My franchise story: how technology can improve the customer experience

"I don't care what it's called, it's improving customer service," says Lynnette Higgins, OSCAR Pet Foods franchisee

Lynette Higgins, an OSCAR Pet Foods franchisee based in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, admits: “I’m no techie, but I find our Ajax system easy to use. It’s good for customer service and means we can do business more easily and faster, so I don’t worry what kind of label it has. I don’t have to understand the ideas behind AI to use it and it’s just become part of my business life.”

Lynette, who has two dogs, enters the age, breed, condition and weight of her customers’ dogs into OSCAR’s central database using the Ajax system.

“All of us OSCAR franchisees are trained and qualified in pet nutrition, so it means that over time we can monitor the pet’s weight and health and help customers with advice about how to keep their dogs in top condition,” she says. “If we need any extra help, there’s a company vet we can call on.”

At present, Lynette gathers the information from customers by phone and text and inputs it into the database manually, but OSCAR is working on an app that will enable customers to interact with the database and gain advice for themselves.

“The app will make it faster for customers to get the information they need and will save time for me,” she says. “It will mean they can access the system any time, which is important because pets are part of the family and need care 24/7.”

Nevertheless, the app and existing live chat option on the OSCAR website will never replace the personal communication between franchisee and customer, according to Lynette.

“The app will provide a new way for customers to interact with OSCAR, but it will not suit every customer and will never completely replace the one-to-one phone chats I have with them,” she says.

“Our customers have varied and diverse lifestyles and we need to be able to interact with them 24/7 in as many ways as possible. If AI can help us achieve that, I’m happy to use it.”

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