Kees Smit

🏡 How Kees Smit helps more customers and reduces the burden on customer service

During the high season, Kees Smit's customer service was sometimes overloaded, resulting in long waiting times. Thanks to the smart use of guided selling, some of the questions raised by customer contact are now being removed.

8% use of the product finder
Less customer service
Squeezely integration
🏡 How Kees Smit helps more customers and reduces 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 away, we have a bulk location for extra storage, and then, of course, we have our Experience XXL Stores.”

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

“I didn't know that our products were so complex,” says Jan Karel as we take a seat in the office. “I thought we sell garden furniture, it couldn't be much simpler. A chair is a chair. Point.” But during discussions with salespeople to gather information for the product finder, he learned how much there is actually to choose from.

“Look at it.” He opens his laptop and shows two almost identical garden chairs. Only the difference in price is almost five hundred euros. “The pivot points of these chairs can be made of brass, plastic or aluminum. It is better not to leave plastic ones outside in the winter, because they are more sensitive to weather influences. So there is a difference.”

Customers also don't immediately recognize these kinds of differences when they search online, which resulted in a lot of questions. During the high season, Kees Smit's customer service was sometimes overloaded, resulting in longer waiting times than desired. Annoying for the customer and expensive for Kees Smit with all that extra staff. “We went to see 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 Lounge Set Selection Aid in Aiden.

Based on that need, the cooperation with Aiden came about. A successful collaboration, according to the statistics that Jan Karel has now revealed. More than 8 percent of all exploratory customers make use of a product finder. Jan Karel: “So it's used a lot and that certainly removes some of the questions when it comes to customer contact.”

By integrating the software with Squeezely and Copernica, customers now also receive the advice from the selection aid by email if they want to do so. And participants in the Garden Trend Quiz - also built with Aiden's guided selling software - will receive customized emails with “garden trend packages” based on the outcome of the quiz in the future. It's a fun way to highlight products, although that's not the main goal.

At Kees Smit, it's all about the relationship with the customer, “it's holy”, says Jan Karel. And that is why the service must always be optimal. “We work from an omnichannel perspective. Whether the customer is in contact via mail, chat, phone, webshop or store — the customer experience must always be the same. Offline, we were already very good at giving advice, but we could do better online. Not with Aiden anymore.”

About Kees Smit

Kees Smit Tuinmeubelen is a true family business, celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. After the takeover by son Henk in 2011, the company grew from a regional player to a national player in a short time. With Experience Stores XXL (8,000 m2) in Almelo, Amersfoort and three web shops in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. A third branch will be opened in Venlo this autumn.

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