Qbot App, Built in Little Rock, Takes On Loyalty Programs

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Apr. 15, 2013 12:00 am  

Qbot president Chaney Phillips (top) has seen downloads of his mobile app increase with investor James Barnes (below) on board.

“What it told us was that customers, No. 1, want ease of use,” Phillips said. “Customers lose motivation if it’s not easy to use.”

Next, customers wanted a streamlined reward process. Customers lost motivation if the loyalty goal took too long to achieve. Third was the reward’s value. Phillips wanted the app to reflect these three tenets, with an easy interface, rewards offered at shorter intervals and with greater value.

The app is free for users, but businesses pay a nominal fee for setup and a monthly fee for the service thereafter.

Excluding Sodexo, between 350 and 400 merchants, about 60 percent of which are in Arkansas, use Qbot. With Sodexo, the number is closer to 600 or 700.

Besides Sodexo, the clients are mainly local businesses and individual franchises, Phillips said, but he noted that the company was a few months away from a corporate partnership with Burger King.

“They will have 17 locations in Arkansas doing this as kind of a pilot test; then they’ll go out and offer it to all the franchise owners across the nation,” Phillips said.

The next hurdle for Qbot will be growing to meet the need of its client base. The company employs 12, but with more and more app downloads and Sodexo’s goal of 100 campuses using Qbot by fall of this year, growth will have to happen eventually.

“We’re running a very lean machine,” Phillips said. “We’re a startup company still and we’re trying not to add too much overhead at this stage of growth.”



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