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In an interview with InternetRetailing, Oliver Lennon, CEO at Syndeo, explains why retailers are stepping away from the one-size-fits-all approach to websites.

What does your company do?
Syndeo is a leading provider of Conversational Experience solutions and services. Our customers include some of the world’s most iconic brands such as HP, Orange and American Express. Our Conversational Experience Platform for the Customer Journey makes it easy for businesses to engage with consumers across multiple digital channels using AI Assistants blended with live agents to enhance Customer Experience (CX), generate leads, increase conversions and provide better service and support.

Our solutions for retail marketing, sales and service include the Syndeo AI Assistant with Experience Apps and Syndeo Digital Exchange. Syndeo AI Assistant with Experience Apps is designed to enrich the shopping experience for consumers and deliver better outcomes for retailers at every step of the customer journey. It empowers customers to self-serve on the web and other digital channels, resulting in engaging and effective interactions. Simultaneously, it empowers retailers to enhance engagement, improve conversion rates and boost productivity. This is achieved by seamlessly integrating Natural Language Processing (NLP), Generative AI, multimodal engagement with rich media, context awareness, guardrails and sentiment analysis.

Syndeo Digital Exchange expands retailers’ market reach by facilitating seamless engagement with shoppers across more than 15 web and messaging channels, leveraging either AI Assistants or human agents. With support for channels like Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber, Telegram, Line, QQ, X, Kakao Talk and more, retailers can cater to various shopper preferences, enhance service delivery and embrace innovative retail models to attract and retain a wide customer base.

Watch Digital Exchange and AI Assistant with Experience Apps in action in our Retail Assistant video clip below.

What is your USP?
When it comes to what sets us apart in the world of digital engagement and Conversational AI, it’s all about how we partner with our clients, the depth of our experience, the passion of our team and our comprehensive approach to the customer journey. We’re not new to the game; our people have been pioneering ways to connect with customers and deliver world-class CX technology solutions for over two decades.

We’ve got a unique mix of CX and AI skills that covers everything from Interactive Voice Response (IVR) to cutting-edge Conversational and Generative AI. This blend is exactly what enterprises are looking for today. While many in our field focus just on customer service, we take a step back to look at the whole picture, including marketing and sales. This way, we make sure the entire customer journey is smooth, contextual and cohesive.

Our Conversational Experience Platform is unique in that it provides retailers with a “plug and play” approach and therefore leverages the best components to solve business issues. Be that the most appropriate channel for your customers, the most appropriate AI to cater for your multiple language requirements or the ability to connect conversations to the applications your staff use daily. It’s powered by Generative AI, which means it can understand and respond with the context of the conversation in real-time, ensuring the dialogue is always on point. This isn’t just about answering queries; it’s about providing better outcomes, every time.

So, in a nutshell, our edge isn’t just in what we offer; it’s in how we think about the connection between a business and its customers. We’re here to change the game, helping you create more meaningful interactions every step of the way. We’re not just another Conversational AI company; we’re your partners in redefining customer engagement by creating great conversational experiences.

What challenges are you solving for retailers?
One of the primary challenges that retailers face today is the one-size-fits-all approach prevalent on many websites. This is where everyone is treated the same, regardless of their unique needs and preferences. It’s akin to walking into a store and being handed the same product as everyone else, without regard to what you came in for. Syndeo AI Assistant with Experience Apps is changing the game by leveraging data from CRM, CDP and third-party systems to personalise interactions based on customer needs. This not only enhances customer experience (CX) but also boosts efficiency, reduces escalations to agents, and importantly, leads to more leads and higher conversions.

Another significant hurdle is the limited and often inflexible self-service options during the buying journey.  Traditional NLP has been helpful, but by combining it with Generative AI, context and guardrails, our AI Assistant with Experience Apps can tackle complex self-service tasks. This includes recommending or comparing products and even cross-selling or upselling, directly contributing to higher conversions.

Then there’s the issue of needing assistance during the buying journey and not finding it. This is where we leverage Large Language Models (LLMs) for advanced language understanding and generation. The result? Higher automation rates, quicker resolutions, and a notable reduction in costs.

Retailers also struggle with fragmented information and experiences across different phases of the customer journey – from marketing to sales to service. It’s often unclear where to go for support after making a purchase or how seamless that process will be. Our AI Assistant with Experience Apps addresses this by designing around the customer journey, integrating context across various digital channels and focusing on building relationships rather than just facilitating interactions. This approach leads to improved customer experiences, more leads and higher conversion rates.

Another challenge that often goes unnoticed is the poor or non-existent integration between a website and its bot. Imagine selecting an option in a chatbot, only for the website to remain oblivious to your choice. This creates a disconnected and frustrating experience. Experience Apps, integrated with ecommerce solutions like WooCommerce ensure that interactions with the AI Assistant are reflected in real-time on the website, particularly in the shopping basket. This seamless integration is yet another driver for better customer experiences, more leads and higher conversions.

Lastly, the underutilisation of digital channels is a missed opportunity for many retailers. Syndeo AI Assistant with Experience Apps facilitates starting an interaction on one channel and continuing it on another, thereby improving the overall customer experience and forging lasting relationships. For example, a customer might start a conversation on web chat and receive their order confirmation on WhatsApp, where they can also receive dedicated support or promotions. This strategy not only improves customer experience but also opens more opportunities for cross-selling and upselling.

What plans do you have for the future?
At Syndeo we continue to focus on innovation within our roadmap.  Our upcoming release of our Web Concierge solution will leverage our AI technology to guide web visitors through their buying and servicing journeys.  Proactively engaging the customer with the context of their buying or service history and assisting them achieve their outcomes quicker and more efficiently. As well as awareness of the customer interaction history, Web Concierge will be device aware and designed to seamlessly integrate with mobile websites in a manner not delivered by traditional chatbots who have a one-size-fits-all approach regardless of the device.  We are bringing our innovative Web Concierge solution to retail customers later in 2024.

Another investment theme on our roadmap is around better equipping advisors to deal with customer enquiries should they be required.  In 2024 we will be building widgets such as sentiment analysis that can be used by agents in their current desktops.

Finally, we will continue to build out our Experience Apps and Digital Exchange capabilities based on customer feedback and on-going innovation.

One-sentence elevator pitch
Syndeo’s Conversational Experience Platform empowers retailers to drive growth and boost customer satisfaction by offering personalised, AI-enhanced conversational experiences across multiple digital channels.

Customer case study: Global Retailer

Delivering Value – Fast


  • 89% customer engagement
  • 91% positive reviews
  • 50% containment (no human)
  • €12.7m in annual savings

The Challenge
The retailer had a vision that their bot would be able to better understand customer needs and deliver a world-class customer experience that automated routine interactions and passed context to humans when further help was required.

This was complicated by the need for the bot to operate across 28 regions supporting 30 languages whilst giving business users the ability to manage business as usual changes. These included updating holiday and opening hours in addition to adding special sales events. Furthermore, the retailer was in the process of migrating their on-premise contact centre infrastructure to the cloud and was under pressure to deliver experience improvements to its customers. This was also having a significant impact on business KPIs.

The Project
Syndeo was engaged to work closely with the retailer to help them realise the vision they had for their human-centric bot that was consistent with the super high levels of support their brand is known for.

Syndeo’s approach was to keep it simple with two distinct phases: the build phase and the rollout phase. Each phase was six weeks in duration. This approach focused on getting the core elements and quick wins deployed as quickly as possible to deliver value fast and allowed the retailer to start to learn and continue to iterate based on those real-life learnings.

Syndeo worked closely with the retailer during the build phase to ensure that their team was trained on the toolset and best practices so that they could, in turn develop internal training for the regions so that small changes were able to be made quickly to ensure responsiveness to customer trends in the region.

The Outcome
Not just supporting customers when it can, the bot also determines if the retailer could be better served by a co-worker based on the interaction type. All useful information already gathered from the customer interaction is then seamlessly provided to the co-worker to add value to both the customer and co-worker by streamlining support to customers.

Since deployment, the bot has helped customers with the most frequent type of questions, allowing the retailer’s co-workers to focus on the more complex and interesting cases or those that deliver more value to both customer and retailer, such as sales. This has led to more motivated co-workers and provided new growth opportunities by being able to be retrained for new roles as a result.

Interestingly, the bot also allows the retailer to get to know their customers better. By capturing all the customers’ questions from the different parts of the retailer’s website, this information is now being used to guide the service and other teams to take action in their areas to improve the customer experience further.

At a Glance

  • 21,310 interactions daily
  • 28 regions
  • 34 languages
  • 89% engagement rate
  • 50% containment rate
  • 91% positive customer reviews
  • 97% accuracy
  • 12-week time to value

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