The iconic FernMark has unlocked major international contracts for Kiwi chatbot company, Book Me Bob.
Believed to be the world’s first tech company enabling guests to book accommodation via an Al powered chatbot, the tech start-up became a FernMark licensee after prospective customers in Asia requested proof of the company’s New Zealand credentials.
“Something as simple as the iconic FernMark symbol has unlocked considerable potential for Book Me Bob in overseas markets,” says CEO and co-founder David Thompson.
“Our growth rate with hotels has more than doubled since we joined the FernMark programme. The country of origin and New Zealand’s strong national brand has worked in our favour big time.”
Predominately serving hotels, convention centres and government tourism bodies in Asia and the Middle East, the bots cost one-fifth of the wage of a human employee and are a growing solution for struggling accommodation providers grappling with COVID-impacted revenues.
New international client sign ups include resorts and hotels in the Whitsundays, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia and France.
The business has recently partnered with Facebook to launch a new feature for guests to book hotel stays within Facebook Messenger, using Book Me Bob as the booking engine, plus a ‘sister’ product, Ask Me Bob, has launched to cater to hairdressers, viticulturists, retirement villages and consultancies.
Having the FernMark prominent in its marketing has helped cement international business contracts for the newly launched Ask Me Bob service.
“Even though Ask Me Bob is only four months old, the FernMark is part of our growth blueprint and continues to strengthen our business success in offshore markets. We are constantly reviewing the demand of our product to cater to different sectors and markets. Our developers right now are working to build a winery chatbot, a totally different direction from our original hotelier concept.”
Thompson says for a business developing emerging technology, the FernMark adds vital credibility.
“New Zealand has a strong reputation in the technology space, as an isolated location with several examples of controlled test environments. We also have great resources when it comes to people. The FernMark represents these qualities and represents our ability to think outside the box.
“Before we used the FernMark, we lacked engagement with international companies. Our FernMark licence boosted our credibility and gave our international customers confidence in our business. We have since seen international demand grow 500% for our product.”