When Merco Supermercado adopted automated messaging through WhatsApp to offer faster customer service and support digital marketing, the company improved employee productivity while increasing read rates on campaigns and building brand loyalty.
of customer care inquiries are resolved through WhatsApp
improvement in employee productivity attributable to WhatsApp
increase in marketing database as customers opt-in to WhatsApp
read rates for opted-in customers receiving flyers through WhatsApp
Building relationships with every shopper
Merco Supermercado is one of Mexico’s leading supermarket franchises, providing high-quality groceries and goods for affordable prices across more than 30 locations in Nuevo León and Coahuila.The company focuses on excellent customer service with every interaction, with a commitment to building long-term customer relationships.
Faster, more personal interactions
As part of its mission to sustain personal relationships with customers, Merco Supermercado teams wanted to make customer service faster and more convenient while reaching more shoppers with updated information about sales and promotions.
Connecting one-on-one, 24/7
For over 70 years, Merco Supermercado has attracted shoppers with high quality groceries and products at affordable prices. Nurturing those shoppers into long-term customers requires building relationships. When the company grew to over 30 store locations across Northern Mexico, Merco needed to broaden the reach of its highly personalized services to engage digitally savvy customers who might prefer automated self-service kiosks to manual check-out.
Part of the company’s marketing efforts involved mailing printed copies of a flyer with weekly sales to customers near a store location. However, customers were asking for more information through other channels. When Merco shoppers called a customer care line or reached out through SMS or social media, they might have to wait in a call-back queue for hours. Balancing shopper questions, alongside people asking about vendor or employment opportunities, could overwhelm a customer care team.
As marketers and customer care teams pursued more efficient, personalized customer experiences, Merco researched customers’ preferred communication channels. Merco found a clear favorite in WhatsApp and worked with intelligent chatbot developer GUS Chat to create a chatbot through WhatsApp Business Platform to manage customer service and support digital marketing.
Merco promotes its WhatsApp channel with QR codes on receipts and in-store signage, as well as Ads that click to WhatsApp campaigns on its website and Facebook page. Customers accessing the chatbot through WhatsApp are greeted with menu options to resolve common questions such as product availability, price checks, or issues with a receipt. The 24/7 accessibility of WhatsApp enables busy customers to connect at their convenience, allowing most customers to address their questions via the chatbot within 30 minutes—with the option to escalate to a live agent also using WhatsApp during business hours.
“In just 18 months, we’ve seen 95 percent of our customer interactions occur through WhatsApp instead of other channels,” says Alma Arteaga, Digital Marketing Manager. “Once they connect with the chatbot, 67 percent of customers resolve their questions without needing to talk to a live agent. Now, agents can focus on other aspects of our shoppers’ journeys with us, driving a 40 percent increase in their productivity.
Virtual Assistant prompts menu to find a store location
Notification offers a special price for a limited time
The chatbot also comes with a special menu option for vendors and job seekers, enabling Merco teams to manage internal communications without impacting the speed and convenience of customer service.
Through WhatsApp, Merco can also stay in touch with shoppers proactively. When a shopper opts-in to messaging via the QR code or Ads that click to WhatsApp, they’re entered into a marketing database to receive regular promotions, such as push notifications and the regular flyer. The ease of sending large volumes of messages in WhatsApp allows marketers to produce digital flyers three times a week. As marketers save the time and cost of mailing a weekly flyer, customers get the latest updates about new sales and products to better plan their trips to the store.
“Using WhatsApp, we make customers feel like they’re receiving their own personal digest. On average, 58 percent of shoppers who have opted in to receive our flyers read them every week,” says Arteaga. “As we encouraged our customers to connect with us through WhatsApp, our marketing database grew by 70 percent without us taking on any additional expense."
During regular shopper surveys, Merco’s team of marketers have found that communicating with WhatsApp helps customers feel more engaged with the brand. Conversations through WhatsApp have already increased by tenfold within a year. To deepen that connection with shoppers, Merco plans to explore the rich multimedia capabilities of WhatsApp, including voice messaging.
With every message in WhatsApp, Merco makes customers feel like they’re getting personal attention guiding them toward the latest deals and the best shopping experiences.
High productivity and read rates
When Merco Supermercado adopts WhatsApp Business Platform, the company makes customer service faster, improves employee productivity, and increases engagement with its digital marketing to help boost brand loyalty among shoppers.
- 67% of customer care inquiries are resolved only through WhatsApp
- 40% improvement in employee productivity attributable to WhatsApp
- 70% increase in marketing database as customers opt-in to WhatsApp
- 58% read rates for opted-in customers receiving flyers through WhatsApp
"In just 18 months, we’ve seen 95 percent of our customer interactions occur through WhatsApp instead of other channels. Once they connect with the chatbot, 67 percent of customers resolve their questions without needing to talk to a live agent. Now, agents can focus on other aspects of our shoppers’ journeys with us, driving a 40 percent increase in productivity."