Outside Insights | October 2016

How to Build a Loyalty Program with Facebook Messenger

Follow these steps and 1 billion users will have instant access to your restaurant on all of their devices.
With Facebook’s continuous improvements, it’s possible to run an entire loyalty and rewards program right in the Messenger Platform. Thinkstock

Consumers want to interact with businesses on their terms in the channels they choose. The built-in audience and familiarity with Messenger makes it the ideal place to engage customers with new offerings and to leverage the investment businesses have already made to build a Facebook following. With Facebook’s continuous improvements, it’s possible to run an entire loyalty and rewards program right in the Messenger Platform and 1 billion users would have instant access on all of their devices. There would be no app to download and users are already familiar with how to use Messenger. In this article we’ll take a look at an example of how you can use a Messenger bot to drive customer loyalty.

Sign Up

Messenger makes it really easy to onboard a new customer to a loyalty and rewards program. There’s no app to install, customers are already actively using Messenger and as of September 12, you can drive a customer to a Messenger bot from an ad campaign. Once the customer taps “Get Started,” they’ll be able to register for a new rewards account or link their existing rewards account. To register the customer would just have to provide the bot an email address and select whether they’d like to get email updates. The customer will get a confirmation email with their account information and they’re finished signing up. If the customer already has a rewards account they can simply take a photo of their existing card or type in the number on the card and they’re all set. That’s it. It’s a win-win: the customer can start getting rewarded and the business can start building loyalty in about a minute. Compare that to the cost and time to get a customer onboarded in an app.

Rewards Card and Account

The bot gives the customer access to their rewards card and rewards balance at any time by selecting “My Card” from the menu or by simply asking the bot for it. This would use the rewards infrastructure that’s already been established by most retailers and can tie into cross marketed rewards programs. With the messenger platform account linking feature, it would also be possible to log directly into an existing rewards account and link it to the bot.

Local Stores

Helping customers find local stores is a breeze. They can simply select “Local Stores” from the menu and share their location or zip code. The bot replies with a list of local stores and provides directions to each.

Promos

At any time, the customer can find out about current promotions by selecting “Promos” from the menu, which will show the latest promotional deals and allow the customer to find the closest store that’s offering them. It’s also possible for the bot to periodically push promotions to the customer through messenger.

Order Ahead

The ability to order food and products ahead of time is another compelling integration opportunity. This would be particular useful with quick-serve restaurants or convenience stores that have prepared food offerings. Integrating a food ordering system with a bot is no more complex than with an app.

Payments

With the recent release of Messenger Platform 1.2, customers will be able to make payments right from the bot through the Platform, as well as link directly to a point of sale terminal or gas pump to make a payment.

The bot can leverage and interface with the existing loyalty and rewards, ordering, and payment platforms that businesses have already invested in. They would be available on every device the customer uses with the one time onboarding. This is just one of many examples of functionality that was once only available in apps or websites. It can be replicated and potentially improved on the Messenger Platform while leveraging businesses existing investment in Facebook.

Scott Wasserman is the CTO at Stuzo—Delivering Digital Product Innovation. Wasserman is a pioneer in mobile payments and has worked with Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kodak, Sony, and industry leading fuel and C-store brands to build cutting edge mobile payment and loyalty solutions.

Driving Customer Loyalty Through Messenger Bots (Unbranded) from Stuzo on Vimeo.

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