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With 1.3 billion monthly active users, Facebook Messenger is the second most popular mobile messenger app, as of July 2019.
Though it first started as a way to communicate with friends, Facebook then opened their Messenger app for conversations between people and brands. And now it is fast-emerging as a customer service channel where people expect real and precise answers around the clock.
Consumers today expect omnichannel experiences from brands they like. The best way to engage them and build trust and loyalty is to connect with them right where they are.
Messaging helps them build trust and make people feel more comfortable about their brand. 77% of consumers also agree that they are more likely to buy from a brand that they follow and engage with on social media.
However, the problem arises when brands don’t have an omnichannel strategy to engage people who try to connect with them on social media. Many brands often leave customer experience to their social media teams, who might not have answers to all of their questions.
That’s why it is important to include Facebook Messenger as a customer service channel and automate the channel using chatbots to be available 24/7.
What is a Facebook Messenger Chatbot?
A Facebook Messenger chatbot is an automated messaging tool that is integrated into the Messenger app. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) to converse with people.
You probably already have a strategy to have engaging conversations with your customers on Messenger and strengthen your relationships. But, is that enough?
Most bots that brands use are much more simple and only work on Facebook Messenger. They are not omnichannel customer service platforms.
There's a gap between social media teams and customer service teams. Most social media teams aren't concerned with questions or complaints they receive via Facebook Messenger. Many times, they don’t even have appropriate answers to customer requests. This can lead to longer response times which, in turn, causes a terrible customer experience.
We’re sure you don’t want to ruin your customers’ experiences when they connect with your brand through this channel.
If you want to deliver the kind of experience your customers want, you need to deploy a strategy that includes Facebook Messenger as a customer service channel. You also need to use omnichannel, AI-powered chatbots to automate messaging in order to be there for your customers 24/7.
Related article: Using AI to deliver superior Customer Experience with Jeanne Bliss
Facebook Messenger: From a Communication Channel to a Customer Service Channel
You can now use AI-powered Messenger bots to instantly resolve customer requests on any channel, for more satisfied customers. But things weren’t always this way.
Let us take you through the journey of Facebook Messenger, from being launched as a communication channel to being leveraged to deliver customer service today.
Here’s how it all started:
- Facebook launched Facebook Messenger, a stand-alone messaging app, in 2011, to enable people to communicate with their friends and family members. It enabled people to send messages one-on-one or to groups of friends.
- During F8, Facebook’s annual developer conference in 2015, they announced that the Messenger app would allow consumers to interact with businesses.
People can receive notifications, track purchases, and have personal conversations with the customer service representatives of various companies. This opened more opportunities for businesses to boost their growth and consumer engagement.
- In 2015, Facebook also launched Messenger Platform to allow integrations with third-party apps. This enabled people to better express themselves with GIFs, photos, videos, audio clips, and more.
It also helped brands boost user engagement as consumers can easily communicate and interact with their business from the same Messenger app.
- In 2016, Facebook announced bots for Messenger to help businesses get more personal, proactive, and streamlined in the way they interact with people.
With just one bot, you can engage your target audience on all of the platforms where Messenger exists, including iOS, Android, and web devices.
- Facebook allowed the integration of AI-powered chatbots in Messenger to create richer bot-to-user interactions.
Regardless of the size, nature, and industry of your business, you can integrate AI-powered chatbots with Messenger to deliver a seamless customer experience. You can leverage features like images, text, and calls-to-action (CTAs) to allow rich, interactive experiences.
The Future of Customer Service with Facebook Messenger
In the past decade, Facebook Messenger has evolved as a great customer service channel using artificial intelligence, machine learning, business automation tools, and chatbots.
Businesses with continue to use this channel to improve customer experiences and business interactions. With advancements in artificial intelligence, you can expect an increase in the contribution of Messenger bots in the customer service industry.
Why Should You Use Facebook Messenger Bots for Your Business?
Leveraging Facebook Messenger bots comes with two major advantages.
- Building a Messenger bot is cheaper than building a mobile app for your business.
If you build an exclusive business app, there are less chances that consumers will use your app. According to a study by Localytics, 71% of people uninstall an app within 90 days.
However, as mentioned above, Facebook Messenger is the second most popular mobile messenger app. Potential buyers are more likely to connect with your business on Messenger.
- The second advantage is that there is less competition in the field.
In the first quarter of 2019, Facebook announced over seven million active advertisers using the platform. There are only 300K active business bots on Messenger. This means that you can get an edge over the competition by introducing a bot for your business.
How Can Facebook Messenger Chatbots Help Your Business Grow?
You can leverage AI-powered Messenger chatbots to:
- Build awareness by reaching your target audience directly and educating them.
- Acquire new customers by delivering personalized content experiences, and identifying and nurturing leads.
- Provide customer service by integrating an AI-powered Facebook Messenger chatbot into your customer service strategy. A bot answering common customer questions can help you save time and reduce costs.
- Enable transactions/payments to allow consumers to browse your products and services, and purchase them directly through Messenger conversations.
You can use this opportunity to streamline product purchases and upsell through personalized product recommendations. You can also give customized offers to your customers.
- Collect user data for future targeting and to re-engage customers.
Related article: What is a chatbot? 4 essential ways to use them in your company
Best Practices to Use Facebook Messenger Bots
Want to leverage Messenger bots to improve customer engagement and increase conversions?
Here are a few tips that can help you build your own Messenger bot and use it to grow your business:
- Define your expectations from the Messenger bot. What do you want the bot to do?
- Personalize conversations. You should avoid too much text in bot conversations and use emojis.
- Regularly test, update, and optimize conversations to deliver a better customer experience.
- Always have a human on-hand to handle requests that your bot can’t answer properly.
- Keep evolving your Messenger bot by identifying your strengths and weaknesses.
Facebook Messenger has emerged as a great customer service channel. It is crucial for businesses to integrate it into their customer service strategies and automate conversations to stay ahead of the competition.
You should understand the significance of integrating AI-powered Messenger bots into your customer service strategy and leverage them to accelerate the growth of your business.
If you have any questions about how to offer incredible customer experience using bots, please feel free to ask our experts.