Whether they want to remember what the dormouse said or check store inventory levels, Sam’s Club employees can “Ask Sam.”
The Walmart warehouse club subsidiary recently rolled out Ask Sam, a voice-responsive app that acts as a digital assistant when associates ask questions on their mobile device. This app is now available to all associates in the chain’s nearly 600 stores nationwide.
Associates can ask the app any job-related question in natural language, and have the answer displayed on their device screen in real time. For example, an employee could ask what models of vacuum cleaners are currently stocked in the store, and have links to the product information pages of each one displayed on their screen. Users can type or speak a question.
In addition, managers can utilize the app for quick answers to questions such as when a certain employee is scheduled to work. The app leverages machine learning capabilities to provide better responses as it is asked more questions. According to Sam’s Club, since launch in March employees have asked the app 1.5 million questions.
Benefits of Ask Sam include enabling managers to better track employee and store activity, resulting in them spending more face-to-face time with associates and customers. In addition, it allows employees to obtain immediate answers to questions, providing them more time to spend on customer-facing activities. The app also helps associates better predict the number of fresh items to produce throughout the day, like pies and rotisserie chickens, so customers will be purchasing the freshest products possible.
Sam’s Club is a believer in removing friction from store associate workflows with mobile apps. The retailer also recently
implemented a proprietary associate app called Sam’s Garage, which digitally streamlines the process of assisting customers in selecting and purchasing tires.