Case Study – How King George Sound Safari increased business using a Facebook Messenger Chatbot

Vic approached me with a idea to do something different to attract new customers and build my tour boat business. He re-designed my brochure so it was more appealing and spelled out clearly what our tours were about. It has definitely brought in new customers. But the Facebook Messenger Chatbot has opened up whole new marketing capabilities and taken my business to another level. I’ve never been busier! – Mark Muscat

Mark Muscat, owner/operator of King George Sound Safari runs a boat charter business in Albany, Western Australia. He runs tours of the local Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound for up to 12 passengers in his twin hull catamaran, an ex sea rescue vessel called the “Young Salty Dog”. Through a fortuitous meeting Vic, owner of Align Systems and Mark met while donating at the Albany Donor Centre of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. (Side plug for the Red Cross: Donating blood or plasma is not only a good thing to do and feels good, but you’ll meet nice people too!).

Mark’s marketing collateral was typical of a small business. He has a website, Facebook page and a single page DL flyer. “Would you like to get more customers on your tours?” Vic cheekily asked. Mark replied “Heck yeah, especially to fill empty seats if I’m already committed to doing a tour”.

New marketing materials

Vic pointed out that his single page DL flyer could be re-designed to a DL trifold format, making it more attractive with images from the picturesque waters surrounding Albany and obvious to customers what tours he ran and when. The brochure has been commented on favourably by customers and has definitely  contributed to an increase in business by conveying a clear message and projecting a professional image.

Old (above) and New Brochures (below). Click to enlarge.

Download the new brochure as a pdf here.

After showing Mark how new customers can also be gained using Facebook Messenger and Facebook Advertising, Vic created a chatbot system for him called Safari Alerts to align with the theme of running summer and winter safaris around King George Sound. People who join Safari Alerts get sent a daily weather report for Albany, learn about the area with a quiz and fun facts and get alerted when he runs specials.

What’s a Chatbot?

King George Sound Safari QR Code
Point your phone’s camera at this QR Code and click ‘Open in Messenger’

A Chatbot is an automated messaging system. If you’ve ever sent a message to one of your friends on Messenger, like texting, then think about this the same, but instead sending a message to a business. But it can do so much more and is only limited by your imagination.

The chatbot displays a menu with a gallery of images that the person can scroll through. It allows interaction like downloading the brochure, seeing the current weather forecast in Albany and taking a quiz to learn about the area.

On the back of the brochure shown is a Messenger scan code. (Note that the brochure has the original Messenger scan code. Messenger have since changed to use QR codes). Point your phone to a QR Code like the one on the right, click ‘Open in Messenger’ and it starts a conversation with the chatbot. In this case, it starts Safari Alerts.

The benefit of a chatbot – the business doesn’t have to be there 24×7 to answer questions and send information, but a chatbot can!

Menu of available functions using Safari Alerts

Menu of available functions using Safari Alerts – Click to Enlarge

Albany Weather

Albany Weather – Sent to people using Safari Alerts every 8am and times can be customised

Entertain and inform while you wait for a tour

Appealing to travellers visiting Albany, Safari Alerts also includes fun facts and a quiz about Albany’s harbours and King George Sound. Aimed at both children and adults, its aim is to entertain and inform while people spend time visiting the sights of Albany and waiting for a Safari Alert to appear. Most people do the quiz twice so they can get all the answers correct the second time around! It’s both entertaining and educational and keeps people using the system.

When Mark is committed to a tour and, either due to last minute cancellations or availability, the system sends out an alert, at prices up to 50% off. If a person clicks that they’re interested, they are asked how many seats they would like to book and can pay using their credit card directly on Messenger.

Use Facebook and Instagram advertising to target visitors in the area

Combined with Facebook Advertising targeting people travelling in the area, people who click on the Ad are taken to a Messenger Menu where they can do one of three things:

  1. Click through an interactive gallery of the tours, start the quiz or show a fun fact, call Mark and get the latest Albany weather forecast (see image above)
  2. Start Safari Alerts (you can opt in and out) or
  3. View the trifold brochure as a pdf

People receive the Albany weather forecast at 8am every day and can schedule the forecast to appear at whatever time of the day they want. If they’ve either taken a safari or opted-out, they’re asked to complete a short survey, leave a testimonial if they’ve been on a safari and share the system with their friends.

It’s little things like this that keep people informed and entertained while they wait for the right time to sea…the other side of Albany!

One of the Facebook Ads - Sea the other side of Albany with King George Sound Safari

One of the Facebook Ads – Sea the other side of Albany with King George Sound Safari

Are you a business looking for new and innovative ways to attract new customers?

Do you run a business that takes bookings for a number of seats?

Do you wish you could fill empty seats if you’re already committed to a tour?

Would you like to attract visitors travelling in your area and give them a fast, informative and convenient way of engaging with you?

Our Bookings system is ideal for:

  • Scenic tour operators
  • Boat, aeroplane or helicopter rides
  • 4WD Tours
  • Bus Tours
  • Any business that takes bookings for tours

Even if it’s not bookings you take, we can make Facebook Messenger do just about anything. Let’s get together and be creative!

Do you use Facebook Messenger and would like to see it work first hand? Click here.

If you run a business that could benefit from a system like this, get in contact with Vic. It’s more affordable that you might think!