Many people can't start their day without it: a fresh cup of coffee in the morning. In the Netherlands, chances are high that drinking your coffee at work is made possible by Fortune.

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Artificial Intelligence enables more valuable and meaningful connections

Together, 30 Fortune Coffee franchisees make sure their customers always serve a delicious fresh cup of coffee to their employees and guests. This coffee supplier not only wants to build customer relations with coffee, but also really add something to the experience.

Earlier, a major digitization effort was made to take the personal experience to a higher level. Now, it was time for the company to further expand its leading position in customer experience, this time with machine learning. Matthijs Wiegant, marketeer at Fortune Coffee, tells us more about it.

Everything for an optimal customer experience

“In recent years, we have worked together on an optimal service experience for our customers. As a result, we have built a strong relationship. We have taken new steps together and got to know more about machine learning. The digitization process of 2015 has been an important factor in this. At Fortune Coffee, we are always searching for better ways to meet the needs of our customer. We like to know the customer personally and surprise him or her.”, Wiegant says.

How it all happened

After the digitization process, Fortune Coffee was ready for the next step. Wiegant: “In order to keep providing optimal service and remain a leader in Customer Engagement in our market, a new challenge was welcome. At an event, we talked about the application of new technologies such as Machine Learning, and we were struck by its endless possibilities. After a brainstorm about the various application possibilities, it became clear that this technology can make a big difference in customer experience. Thanks to the innovative nature of Fortune Coffee, nothing stood in the way of starting an AI project. We focused on the most practical idea that benefits both our customers and entrepreneurs: the offer. Before we used Artificial Intelligence, it was mainly about the knowledge of our entrepreneurs. The problem with that is that when the organization of an entrepreneur grows and more staff gets involved, these new employees do not (yet) have the knowledge to make an appropriate recommendation. Moreover, with machine learning, the entrepreneur does not only have his own knowledge to dispose of, but also that of our 29 other entrepreneurs at Fortune Coffee.”

Enthusiasm among Franchisees

Machine learning opens doors. Wiegant: “The system first learnt which products our customers buy. Based on that, a number of relevant products is proposed in combination with the products that similar customers have ordered. These products can directly be added to the order. A test with three entrepreneurs turned out to be successful, despite some start-up problems. After that, the system has been further improved, and now the solution is ready and presented to all Fortune Coffee entrepreneurs. Their response was mainly enthusiastic as they are happy with the support of the model in making relevant offers and improve the customer experience. Of course, there is also still some scepticism: does the model really know better than the entrepreneurs do with their customer contacts? Experience will tell.

At Fortune Coffee, our AI model is built based on the order history of the past five years. By looking for patterns, customer groups have been formed with a similar history

Matthijs Wiegant

Right now, it’s important that the entrepreneurs who are enthusiastic about machine learning will actually start using it. It’s easy. In the CRM system, only one extra block has been added where the recommendations based on history and other customers can be found. At the moment, five options are shown. It’s important that the entrepreneurs give feedback on the model. We used half a year for this. After all, the model must have the time to learn. Our customers already benefit from it as they get the most relevant offer. The entrepreneur now presents this from the solution.”

Would you like to know more?

Debbie Alders
Strategy Director