You’ve Got a Friend in Facebook Messenger
In April, Facebook announced it was turning its instant messaging and software application service into a platform that allows businesses to use it as a customer service tool to chat with consumers. Facebook Messenger (Messenger) essentially works the same way as SMS messaging (texting) and allows you to reach people instantly on the desktop platform or on a mobile device.
One of the best features of Messenger is that it’s scalable, so businesses can keep up with growth. The interface is also intuitive for customers, with most already having experience with the tool with their personal interactions on Facebook.
This latest social platform gives businesses an even larger opportunity to reach millions of its customers faster and more effectively. With over 2.5 billion users, messaging apps like Messenger are quickly becoming a primary driver of personalized customer experiences. Companies are even going so far as developing bots to chat with users to offer “always on” customer service.
Here are some best practices for engaging your customers on Messenger:
Create an opt-in process where customers can choose to receive updates through Messenger after making a purchase. Retailers can create a customized conversation by pushing messages on order confirmations, shipping updates, loyalty programs and more. This works incredibly well with the surge in mobile channel preference.
Personalize the experience
Alongside real-time conversations on Messenger, one of the best things about the platform is that it keeps a history of the conversation and customer relationship in one thread, essentially eliminating separate service emails or interactions. This creates an easy interaction each time that specific customer needs to continue a conversation in a week, month or even a year after the initial reach out. It also empowers the agents to see the history of that customer journey and engage in a personalized, meaningful way.
Be available and responsive
Keep that blue dot that indicates you are available to chat on as much as possible. Like any social channel, there is no sense offering a platform if you aren’t able to answer in real time. Much like texting, when you chat in Messenger, three grey dots pop up, indicating a response is in the works. That small transparency is what drives customers to utilize Messenger frequently. Like any interaction with personal connections on Facebook, agents should also respond to free-form questions like a trusted friend and be engaged in the dialogue. People are looking for those dots and will take notice if they are not prevalent in the interaction.
Don’t be a creep
Brands being able to communicate on Facebook is a privilege, and customer privacy needs to be priority. As much as we empower our agents to personalize interactions, there is a fine line between being friendly and overstepping boundaries. Also, brands should not be proactively trying to sell products or send out marketing messages through Facebook Messenger.
Don’t rely on bots alone
As previously mentioned, the rise of bots is happening fast and furious. In fact, there are now more than 11,000 bots on Messenger. Although they can help with the easy and predictable questions that customers may have (similar to an FAQ section of a website), brands should be prepared and include a human touch and allow a brand’s personality to shine through to ensure the consumer expectations are met.
Messenger provides brands a way to control mass venting sessions on social, and turn them into meaningful engagements for those customers seeking help and resolution.