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Case Studies

How a Social Enterprise Used Chat to Boost Ticket Sales via Facebook

by Kas Szatylowicz·Updated

“Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages… You’re about to see…” 

Eek, no.

In the context of what you’re really about to see in this case study, the above introduction should go something like— 

“Ladies and gentlemen, entrepreneurs of all ages… You’re about to see how thinking outside the box can extend the reach of your business to audiences you never thought were reachable.”


Here’s what we’ll cover.

  1. The story of Phare Circus: from running a school to launching a social enterprise
  2. Our challenges serving independent travelers using a live chat
  3. How we’ve used Tidio Chat on Facebook to book more DIY tourists
  4. Results: generating leads and increasing ticket bookings by 30%
  5. How to book more clients using Tidio chat
  6. Bonus tutorial: integrate Tidio App with Messenger

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From Running a School to Launching a Social Enterprise

Let me introduce you to Craig Dodge, Director of Sales & Marketing at Phare Circus—a unique social enterprise based in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

(You can say Hi! to Craig via Tidio live chat located on their website 👇)

Phare Circus website

According to Tripadvisor, Phare Circus is currently Siem Reap’s #1 attraction in the performance & entertainment category, with more than 12,400 (!) 5-star reviews, and counting.

The story of how this incredible organization came to life could easily make an enticing movie script, except—it’s real.

After the civil war, a few young Cambodians who stayed in a refugee camp near the Thai border set a mission to help rebuild their country using art and culture. While in the camp, the refugees benefitted from art therapy conducted by French art teacher Veronique Decrop

Officially launched in 2013, Phare Circus has evolved from a school of visual and performing arts (Phare Ponleu Selpak non-profit school) established back in 1994 in a poverty-stricken neighborhood of Battambang.

Craig told me:

A quote from Craig Dodge from Phare Circus

The school accepted refugees, including children (often orphaned), also proactively rescuing them from the streets, abusive homes, and even human trafficking. It provided them with food, education and after graduation—job opportunities.

A large number of hard-working and talented students inspired the teachers to launch a series of shows starring the students themselves. The idea was to give them a future, hope, and give their hard work focus.

Slowly, Phare Circus’ performances, which initially were solely targeting the local community, started picking up interest among tourists.

Has your business experienced an increased number of customer requests? Learn how to handle those queries more efficiently with Virtual Customer Service During the Coronavirus Crisis.

Thanks to the good ol’ word of mouth, the news spread fast.

How Phare Circus Has Become a Local Phenomenon Featured in CNN and New York Times

When I asked how Craig ended up working as as Director of Sales and Marketing for the organization, he said:

A quote from Craig Dodge from Phare Circus

With a solid background in sales in the tourism industry, Craig’s experience came in handy. He decided to promote Phare Circus to foreigners visiting Siem Reap and surrounding areas. 

Starting off with travel agents, Craig managed to expand their target audience to include, and eventually focus on, the following group of people.

Target market: Independent travelers who want to learn more about local culture and customs while visiting places.

Word of mouth, and incredible reviews online made Phare Circus gain traction and grow in popularity even faster.

What marked the highlights of their marketing success was being featured in top world-known publications by the likes of CNN, New York Times, Lonely Planet, or AlJazeera.

Growing popularity meant more ticket sales, and that required involving more Phare Circus’s members to be trained to handle all bookings.

Our Challenges Serving Independent Travellers Using a Live Chat

Relying solely on the phone service was not only time consuming but quite limiting as few Westerners get a local SIM card. Phone calls are therefore not an option for them. They will, however, have WiFi at their hotels and other places they visit. Chat is the best option.

In the world of immediacy and customer-centric mentality, not living up to the expectations could mean lost sales opportunities that Phare Circus couldn’t afford.

Craig knew that DIY travellers need a different approach, and he asked himself the following question.

You see, Cambodia is an extremely low-tech country with the majority of the population using Facebook to stay connected with the world, as well as, their local community.

Craig knew that integrating their booking system with this platform could be key in helping potential customers to learn more about the circus and book their ticket right away, in one place.

Phare Circus Cambodian Circus website

So he set on a mission to find a tech solution, such as live chat, that could replace phone customer service, and make the ticket sales process more efficient.

After testing out multiple chat solutions, Craig has eventually stumbled upon Tidio Shopify live chat app which had awesome ratings and reviews.

Tidio live chat for Shopify

Plus, Tidio was completely free and it took 3 minutes to add live chat to our website. It also offered a special deal for NGOs—6 months of premium Communicator plan for free. So, Craig decided to give it a go.

Curious to learn how live chat can help you grow your business? Read: What Is Live Chat? How Your Business Can Benefit From Live Chats With Customers.

How We’ve Used Tidio Chat on Facebook to Book More DIY Tourists

DIY tourists: independent travelers organizing their trips and schedules on their own, as opposed to using travel agencies.

Craig created his free account in November 2019

Even though it’s the live chat feature that Phare Circus needed the most, Craig has also added a simple auto reply chatbot that is handling messages when the staff is offline. 

Autoreply template

Thinking of trying out bots for your own website? Here’s how to make one for free: How to Make a Chatbot Without Coding in Less Than 15 Minutes.

This is how it looks on the website:

Customer service chat widget

To collect contact data, Phare Circus has decided to implement a pre-chat survey that fires up when a visitor interacts with a bot.

Customer service chat widget

Whenever someone leaves their contact data, the live chat operators receive a notification. This feature is especially useful for when customers leave the website before an operator answers their questions. We still have a way to follow up.

Since Phare Circus is mostly using Tidio mobile live chat app, here’s how it looks on their phones:

Tidio notifications

As Phare Circus is using a premium Communicator plan, they have access to features such as “Live visitor list” and “Viewed pages”

Contact list

Now, let’s move on to the juicy part and see the actual results that Phare Circus noticed after installing Tidio!

Results—Generating Leads and Increasing Ticket Bookings by 30%

At the end of our call, I asked Craig to describe Tidio in one sentence. He simply said:

A quote from Craig Dodge from Phare Circus

I wanted to dig deeper and take a look at the results Phare Circus achieved after integrating Tidio live chat with Facebook Messenger app.

As you can see, the upward trend for their lead generation efforts has been consistent since April 2020 resulting in 101 leads acquired through Messenger. 

Lead generation chart

Don’t forget that these results come from the period of COVID-19 crisis when Cambodian national borders were still closed.

In total, Phare Circus has had over 2,267 conversations using Tidio since mid May 2020.

Chat analytics

Connecting Tidio live chat with Facebook Messenger app opened up a new communication channel with an important social media platform, especially for local Khmer, whether booking for themselves or their international visitors.

It also allowed the team to answer FAQ faster, and improve customer satisfaction. All of that just by replacing phone service with a live chat!

Would you like to start generating leads for your business, too? Here’s a great resource: 12 Tricks to Generate Leads with Live Chat and Chatbots

How to Book More Clients Using Tidio Chat

Here are key takeaways to keep in mind:

  • Define best channels for reaching your target audience
  • Use a live chat to answer site visitors’ questions in seconds
  • Make a simple auto reply chatbot to handle messages when you are offline
  • Integrate live chat with your Facebook Messenger app
  • Generate leads and build your email list
  • Add a pre-chat survey to collect visitors’ data

Now, let’s take a look at how you can connect Tidio live chat app with Facebook Messenger, and set it up in a way that collects visitors’ data! 

As a bonus, we will show you how to use your contact list to send email campaigns to those leads in a few clicks! Let’s dive in.

Bonus Tutorial: Integrate Tidio App with Messenger

To get the most out of Tidio you should integrate live chat and chatbots with your Facebook page.

Messenger integration

Go to Settings > Channels > Messenger to connect Tidio and Facebook.

Now, you can receive messages directly in your Tidio panel.

Messenger welcome message chatbot

You can also set up Facebook chatbots with the Bots Launcher section.

One of the best tricks is to customize your chatbots and use them to collect emails. Here is an example of what it could look like:

A discount bot

When somebody leaves an email address you can access it in your Contacts.

Contact list

You can filter emails and save them as segments. Afterward, you can use Tidio Email Marketing to send email campaigns to those users.

Email tool

You can check the email marketing feature here.

Try playing around with it. Many users find it revolutionary and now can’t imagine running their store without it.

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Kas Szatylowicz
Kas Szatylowicz

Kas specialized in SEO and social media. She enjoyed connecting with fellow marketers she could learn from.