December 5, 2004. Brooklyn. Huge and IKEA have partnered to create "Anna," a virtual IKEA Help Center assistant that is a breakthrough in online customer service technology. "Anna" is an animated character that engages website users in conversation to help solve their problems.
"Anna" is currently available on IKEA's website in multiple markets and will eventually be deployed on all IKEA websites worldwide.
One of the challenges involved in creating the animated character was how to make her appear friendly and engaging while keeping the tone professional and helpful. "The design of the chat character reflects the smart, friendly character of the IKEA brand," says Anna Crona, IKEA Online Manager, "Huge brought those values to life for us."
The goal of the assistant is to address IKEA's customer service questions in a more efficient and satisfying way. As Gene Liebel, Huge Director of User Experience, explained, "Tests have showed that many people with customer service issues were very satisfied to chat with the assistant, instead of calling the help number. That has led to substantial cost reductions and greater convenience."
Huge is the interactive agency of record for IKEA and handles strategy,creative, and production for the furniture retailer's retail and corporate websites in over 20 markets worldwide.
About Huge: Huge is a digital agency that provides business strategy, design, marketing and technology services to some of the world's largest businesses and best-known brands. The company is known for successfully harmonizing user needs and business goals to create industry-changing digital experiences for its clients. Huge has offices based in the United States, Europe and Latin America, and is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies.