CSE498, Collaborative Design, Fall 2020
Computer Science and Engineering
Michigan State University

Meijer, one of the country’s largest supercenter chains, provides high quality groceries and merchandise to several states across the Midwest. Meijer has over 240 stores, 77,000 team members and is continuously improving today’s shopping experience with cutting-edge technology like curbside pickup and online grocery ordering.

Over the past decade, Meijer has focused on solidifying their e-commerce presence and moving towards a more data-driven process in making business decisions. The IT Support team is located at the Grand Rapids headquarters where they manage all technical issues faced by the internal associates working within the company. The team regularly receives over 500 phone calls a day, often about issues that have already been resolved.

Our Support Desk Chatbot is a tool that can solve common, repeatedly occurring issues without the need for human interaction. Our chatbot is available 24/7 on Microsoft Teams to assist Meijer team members. When a team member asks our chatbot a question, we use natural language processing (NLP) to parse and analyze the question, and then search through a repository of questions to give suggestions on how to resolve the issue.

If our chatbot is unable to resolve an issue, it automatically generates a support ticket, including all relevant information collected by the chatbot. This allows the support team to quickly solve problems without duplicating effort. Our system allows IT support team members to focus on solving higher priority issues without being bogged down with common issues.

Our chatbot is developed using the .NET Core Framework and is hosted in Microsoft Azure. QnA Maker hosts the knowledge base and provides built-in NLP. The knowledge base is regularly updated, which further assists the helpdesk associates save more time to resolve other escalated problems.