The Story: Why I Created Zapacard
The road to the current iteration of zapacard as a powerful, multi-pronged customer retention tool was long and somewhat circuitous.
10 years ago, after selling a market research company I had founded, I was looking around for something new. Having spent years doing the research for small businesses I realised that there were some common issues they faced. One of these was a way to gather and understand data on their customers.
It's possible and even likely that you face the same problems in your business...
- Do you know how many customers are new or repeat?
- Can you tell when that repeat business is slowly reducing?
- Do you know how the vast bulk of customer feel about your service?
Probably not. Because discovering this stuff and putting it into an understandable format is difficult.
But it's what Loyalty Programs were designed to do.
From that realisation, and from learning what was on the market, I though there was an opportunity to help businesses discover this information and use it effectively. So I set out to build it.
I should take a little detour here to explain that before I had the market research company I had spent many years in multinational electronic companies. In fact I had been one of the first employees when two of them were starting up their operations. So I had plenty of experience in developing software and also an interest in processes. This allowed me to take a stab at the problem.
Anyway, back to the story...
With investment from the local Enterprise Board and a Loan from the bank I started development. And a few months later had a working version.
This was an internet-based Loyalty platform. The business could issue physical cards containing a barcode and they simply scanned the barcode and issued points as they wished. It worked fine and initial response was good.
I gradually added new features such as coupons and it even powered some local-shopping and charity programs under different brands.
Operating it means the business had to have a computer and a barcode scanner along with an internet connection. This limited the potential, especially among small businesses.
And then came the iPhone.
The first iPhone was not very powerful but it obviously grew. And when Android was released later the whole industry changed. It took a long time for them to become powerful and for accessing the internet on them to become affordable. But it meant the day of a PC-based system was numbered.
One of the problems with a phone-based system is getting people to download apps. People won't download an app for every business.
But Facebook Messenger is on 90% of phones and is used every day. And it allows automation.
All of which makes it an ideal platform for our needs.
Todays zapacard follows the same principles as the earlier one. It is as simple to use as possible and gives freedom to the business in how they run their program. But it also has something extra; the ability to collect customer sentiment. I'll discuss the importance of that another time, but it is something unique and powerful because it happens automatically and on the customers phone. This means that you as a business owner can monitor the sentiment of your customers and identify if issues are arising.
The beauty of using Messenger is that all of this happens without you having to install any hardware or software. All you need is a QR code. Then you scan this using the customers phone and give them the points.
And the customer doesn't need to fill out any forms either.
And unlike custom-developed Messenger bots this doesn't need to be connected to your Facebook page, which means you can be up and running 5 minutes from now.
We have a 14-day free trial so why not give us a go?