Kees Smit

How Kees Smit helps more customers while reducing the burden on customer service

During the peak season, Kees Smit's customer service was overloaded at times, resulting in long wait times. The smart use of product finders now eliminates some of the questions at customer contact.

8% used product finder
Less tax customer service
Integration with Squeezely
How Kees Smit helps more customers while reducing the burden on customer service
Home & Garden
Almelo, The Netherlands
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"Our office and distribution center has three floors and a total of 85,000 square meters of storage capacity. A little further down we have a bulk location for additional storage, and then of course we have our Experience XXL Stores."

Jan Karel Ekkel, the enthusiastic e-commerce specialist at Kees Smit Garden Furniture in Almelo, calls himself data driven and it shows. But what really lies behind all those goods and numbers, he only discovered when he started working with the guided selling software of Aiden. 

"I didn't know our products were so complex," Jan Karel tells us as we take a seat in the office. "I thought, we sell garden furniture, you don't get much simpler than that. A chair is a chair. Period." But during conversations with salespeople to gather information for the product finder, he learned how much there actually is to choose from.

"Look at this." He flips open his laptop and shows two almost identical garden chairs. Only the difference in price is almost five hundred euros. "The joints of these chairs can be brass, plastic or aluminum. The plastic ones you can better not leave outside in the winter, because they are more sensitive to weather. So there's a difference there."

Customers also do not immediately recognize such differences when they are searching online, and this resulted in many questions. During the high season, Kees Smit's customer service was overloaded at times, resulting in longer waiting times than desired. Irritating for the customer and costly for Kees Smit with all that extra staff. "We started looking at what kind of questions the customers had. A large part turned out to be product advice. That was easy to translate into an online product finder", says Jan Karel. 

Jan Karel previews his Loungeset product finder in Aiden.

From that need came the collaboration with Aiden. A successful cooperation, according to the statistics Jan Karel has since pulled out. More than 8 percent of all orienting customers use product finder. Jan Karel: "So it is used a lot and that certainly takes away some of the questions at customer contact."

By integrating the software with Squeezely and Copernica, customers, if they wish, will now also receive the advice from the product finder sent by email. And participants in the Garden Trend Quiz - also built with Aiden's guided selling software - will in the future receive customized emails with "garden trend packs" based on the quiz outcome. It's a fun way to raise awareness of products, though that's not the main goal.

At Kees Smit everything revolves around the relationship with the customer, "which is sacred" says Jan Karel. And therefore the service must always be optimal. "We work from the omnichannel idea. Whether the customer has contact via mail, chat, telephone, webshop or store - the customer experience must always be the same. Offline we were already very good at giving advice, but online we could do better. With Aiden, not anymore."

About Kees Smit

Kees Smit Garden Furniture is a true family business, which this year celebrates its 80th anniversary. After the takeover by son Henk in 2011, the company quickly grew from a regional to a national player. With Experience Stores XXL (8,000 m2) in Almelo, Amersfoort and three webshops in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. This autumn a third branch will be opened in Venlo. 

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