Walmart Workers Can ‘Ask Sam’ and Improve Customer Service
Walmart is giving its workers a new way — via voice-enabled mobile technology — to help shoppers while inside stores.
The retailer has publically debuted the Ask Sam voice-assistant app, which was developed by Sam’s Club employees. “The app was designed as an additional way to help associates find the answers they need to do their jobs more effectively and better serve customers,” said Meng Chee, Walmart’s executive vice president and chief product officer.
Employees can use Ask Sam to speak or type questions and features that include:
- Store Maps
- Price Look-up
- Product Locator
- Check Email
- Store Sales Information
- Birthdays / Anniversaries
“Over the past few months, associates have also used Ask Sam for information related to COVID-19, including the latest guidelines and guidance along with helpful videos,” Chee said. “In addition to guidance from their managers, having access to the answers and information they need at their fingertips gives associates confidence as well as more time on the floor with customers.”
The app includes machine learning technology, designed so the tool’s accuracy and sophistication improve over time. Walmart tech experts also conduct manual reviews of questions ask via the app to spot trends, update the app and, when needed, improve store operations.
The Ask Sam also has an emergency alert button that can send messages to other employees warning them of various pressing situations, and telling them when they need to exit the store or remain inside.
The public debut of the Ask Sam tool follows another mobile commerce move undertaken by Walmart. This spring, the retailer said it would shut down its standalone grocery app in the coming weeks, preferring to give consumers a single, integrated experience from the main Walmart retail app.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's list of the top food retailers in North America, while Walmart-owned Sam's Club ranks No. 9 on the list.