ISSUE #68 – Clément Hochart (pictured below), CEO and Co-Founder of Epicurio, shares with us how the start-up has evolved and how it is incorporating tech in its business.
Epicurio, how did it all start?
Epicurio was started four years ago from a passion for tech, a passion for wine and the motivation to drive an old and traditional industry to digital operations and retail.
The first year we did the mistake to launch just a social media part and we implemented the marketplace features only end of 2015.
The need for quality wines and a good distribution changed our focus to the customer service rather than the social step. Regarding the offer and the range of wines, the tech part of Epicurio had enabled us to grow so much to supply more than 3,300 wines at one points that we had lost the focus.
We are now slightly pivoting the marketplace to relaunch it with a more specific offer and new partners.
You have a big tech focus and you have created a personal sommelier chatbot to help clients choose a wine corresponding to their taste and the meal. How did you arrive at this decision to adopt chatbots?
Yes as a way to simplify the experience with our marketplace, we have seen an interest for better and faster advice online through chat. We have created a smart chatbot technology to help consumers to pair their food with wines as well as to find easily the best wine for them.
This chatbot technology has shown great results and we have decided to also offer it as a Software as a Service for hotels and restaurants to guide their customers at their premises.
What kind of usage have you seen and how do you see this improving customer experience?
We have seen many different requests on our chats online and most of them can be answered much more quickly by the bot, which is better connected to our entire database than us as an operator who will search manually to assist the customer. The improvement for the customer experience is clear, he will receive an accurate advice in less than a second instead of few minutes.
Do you see a challenge striking a balance between the social human aspect of sharing and the chatbot?
The chatbot should not be the whole service and it has to have a human aspect, but our vision is to limit the number of human interactions to the moment we can bring a premium experience only, letting the bot do the quick and easy advice.
Have there been any interesting moments with the chatbot since its rollout?
An interesting moment I would say was that when we first started the bot we were not really sure what could be obtained in a term of a user experience, and it turns out to be really quick, efficient and useful.
See also: Discover French shopping, dining & lifestyle in Singapore on So Chic
Interview with Clément Hochart, CEO and Co-Founder of Epicurio
Published in FOCUS Magazine — Issue #1 2019 “The Consumer Journey Issue”