Pizza Orders with a Virtual Assistant

Dominos launch virtual assistant to take pizza orders

Pizza Orders Automation

Bots are taking another step forward into mainstream Australia with Domino’s pizza rolling out their new Virtual Assistant known as Dru Assist across the country from Monday.

The Virtual Assistant, also available as a text-based chatbot is a voice-activated ordering system which Domino’s claim is the “biggest platform shift since 2009”.

In addition to the obvious function of placing pizza orders, Dru Assist can answer questions about menus, ingredients, store locations and opening hours and wait for it, even engaging customers in social banter.

Awesome, my kids were getting bored talking to Siri so now they will have a new friend to play with!

Dru Assist was developed by speech recognition firm Nuance, who have successfully installed their Virtual Assistant, Alex, into the Australian Taxation Office.

Since March 2016 Alex has handled over one million conversations with an 80% success rate enabling contact centre agents to focus on more complex transactions and saving the ATO significant dollars in the process.

So are Chatbots impacting call volumes?

Absolutely.

In the good old days the telephone was the key In a sign of the times, over 70% of pizza orders for Domino’s are completed online.

Dominos chief executive Don Meij is continuing to shift Domino’s from a “mobile first” to an “AI first” philosophy with a range of new initiatives about to be launched including

  •  Map-based GPS ordering enabling you to get pizza’s delivered to outdoor locations such as a park or a beach. Known as Dominos Anywhere, the function is already available in the Netherlands where it was first developed and will be launching in Australia in the coming weeks.
  • A separate Facebook chatbot, Dominos Offers Bot, enabling customers to find vouchers and coupons for stores nearby is starting in the coming days
  • Integration with voice-activated smart home devices like Amazon Echo (not yet available in Australia – wish they would hurry up!)
  • They are committed to commencing drone deliveries on the back of successful trails overseas with Mr Meij committing to drone deliveries this year.

Nuance powered Dru Assist is now open for business
Nuance-powered Dru Assist is now open for business

So what’s next for Chatbots?

Ok, so the customer experience is definitely going to change through bots.

But here’s one you didn’t see coming.

In the coming days, Domino’s are also releasing DRU Manager, which helps Domino’s store owners automate rosters and order stock based on forecast demand.

So will it be long before we see a bot starting to take over WFM functions?

Managing shift swaps and requests, automatically switching queues, adjusting hold patterns, forecasting patterns etc all still require a fair amount of human intervention.

Just ripe for a bot to step in and take control right?

Anyway back to Dru Assist.

So how awesome will Dru Assist be?

Like most bots, they will increase their learning over time with Mr Meij claiming Dru Assist’s capability on launch could be related to an “adolescent’ but as more customers begin interacting with it, Dru Assist will become more efficient and accurate.

As I’ve said many times already, bots/virtual assistants are going to have a huge influence on the contact centre industry and with more and more bots entering the mainstream, its a change that’s going to occur a lot quicker than you realise.

Next steps

Find suppliers of chatbots, Virtual Assistants and other automation tools in our Business Directory

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Justin Tippett
About Justin Tippett 78 Articles

I'm the founder of CX Group Australia - helping businesses and customer experience professionals to source, deliver and optimise customer experience solutions to drive business outcomes and I'm available for consulting and training services.


I'm also the person responsible for the terrible memes on the Call Centre Legends page😮


When I'm not working, I enjoy pretending that 40 something isn't that old and it's still not too late for a professional sporting career.

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