A Chat with Ed Hodges, CEO at Customer Centric Conversational AI Company: HelloDone

HelloDone is a post-purchase technology company that helps online retailers and logistics companies engage their customers throughout the ‘last mile’.

Our AI-powered customer engagement platform enables brands to automate conversations and solve customer requests about home deliveries and returns, using popular messaging channels such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram.

Customers can ask FAQs such as Where Is My Order? (WISMOs) and change delivery timings and location via the apps they use and love the most.

Our custom-built natural language processing platform (Cicero) is what sets us apart. Because our AI technology connects to both the retailer and the carrier, we can take customer requests about their order and automate changes to deliveries and returns without the need to talk to an agent. This puts the customer in control of when they receive their item, contributing to an enhanced experience that increases trust in the retailer, and in turn drives revenue.
HelloDone - Crunchbase Company Profile & Funding

How did the idea for HelloDone come about?

Every year, brands spend billions of pounds to create a state-of-the-art customer experience, only to abandon users after they hit the buy button. This is because communication during the final mile is highly fragmented and becomes very challenging.

We created an automated platform that solves this problem, By ‘stitching’ together order information from the retailer, carrier delivery and return information and instant messaging channels, HelloDone enables brands to communicate with customers throughout the lifecycle of an order.

Retailers can maintain their relationship with customers during the delivery process, and carriers get increased operational efficiency through better-managed delivery timings and locations – a win-win.

Instant messaging also enables automated conversations that deflect calls away from live agents, push notifications that replace SMS and add rich media, including images and videos, to support post-purchase marketing from the retailer.

In our latest research, we analysed 3,000 one-star reviews across 150 major UK retailers on Trustpilot. The results show more than half (55%) of customer complaints relate to delivery and returns, with the dreaded ‘last mile’ damaging brand reputation and customer loyalty.

Using our innovative technology, we want to give brands the tools to turn this longstanding customer pain point into a source of competitive advantage.


How has HelloDone evolved during the pandemic?

Excitingly, we’ve grown the number of retail and logistics partners using our technology.

Earlier this year, we launched with leading fashion retailer QUIZ Clothing to transform their post-purchase experience, following the accelerated shift to e-commerce. It’s great to support forward-thinking brands like Quiz, who recognise the post-purchase opportunity and help their customers to ‘get stuff done’.

More recently, we partnered with DHL Parcel UK to improve home deliveries for customers with disabilities. While online shopping has been a lifeline for many during the pandemic, research shows that the final mile is still failing to deliver for vulnerable groups.

We’re adding new accessibility integrations to our platform, including a ‘Just a Minute’ (JAM) option. Drivers are alerted they may need to wait longer at a drop-off point so that customers with disabilities have time to get to their door.

What can we hope to see from HelloDone in the future?

The acceleration of online shopping means home deliveries have skyrocketed during the pandemic. The ‘post purchase’ experience is only going to become more important and we’ll continue to support brands to improve the customer experience beyond the buy button which will include re-ordering items and setting up subscriptions as well as managing repairs.