Next time you go on social media to openly discuss the fact that you’re desperately in need of a deep dish, just slide up in Pizza Hut’s direct messages instead because they’ve introduced a chatbot that will take your order on Facebook Messenger and Twitter.

The free service will offer menus, deals and promotions for pies that are specific to each store. Conversational ordering, sharing current deals and simplifying the customer experience is the key to the social ordering platform. The integrated pizza palooza will commence in August, the company announced.

Pizza Hut is just the latest high-profile company that is jumping on the big bot bandwagon. It’s a social strategy forward-thinking brands like American Express—among a slew of others—are quickly implementing ever since Facebook’s chat bot initiative that was announced during April’s F8 developer conference.

Baron Concors, the chief digital officer for Pizza Hut who’s responsible for driving digital innovation across marketing, technology and partnerships, joined [a]listdaily to talk about how he plans on engaging the brand’s strong social following, and to further extend its focus on personalized customer service.


How did Pizza Hut identify that chat bots would be their next marketing frontier? What was that “a-ha” moment? 

We study customer behavior and monitor trends. In Mary Meeker’s latest report, she identified there has been (and will continue to be) significant growth with messaging. It is clear people are turning to messaging as their primary means of communications.

What kind of conversations do you envision having with customers?

We want to make it easy for customers to order or get whatever information they are looking for—this could be customer service, nutritional information or deals and offers.

Why is conversational ordering the next new thing? How will you leverage this to further brand retention?

There is a clear migration to messaging as the primary way to communicate so we decided to meet customers where they are to make it really simple. Our goal is for our customers to try the experience and say ‘Wow—that was easy!”

How did you identify Conversable’s enterprise platform as the right fit for the launch?

We evaluated several companies and Conversable stood out due to the efficiencies. We can build the messaging engine and easily add the messaging channels. We’re starting with Facebook and Twitter but we envision adding even more. The Conversable platform makes that easy.

How was the activation received when it was launched on Wednesday at Venturebeat MobileBeat Conference?

We had an overwhelmingly positive response at Venturebeat. I had numerous people come up and tell me ‘they can’t wait to try the new experience.’


How will you measure success of this integration to further build out capability?

We will always lean on the voice of the customer as our primary measure. If our customers love it, we know it is a success. If they tell us they want more capabilities, we will add them.

What is Pizza Hut’s digital strategy on the platform going to be moving forward?

We are executing a holistic strategy of simplification and personalization across all of our digital channels. If we think it will make a customer’s life easier, we will add it to the platform.

Do you plan on experimenting on other channels to enhance the digital experience?

Yes. We are experimenting with all channels that are adaptable to conversational commerce.

Follow Manouk Akopyan on Twitter @Manouk_Akopyan