How Facebook Messenger and Chatbots Will Shape the Future of Customer Support

Published on Dec 11, 2017 by Maryann Thomas

As clients shy away from long bureaucratic practices, chat support rises as the new alternative for customer support.

 

So, your business has recently rolled out live chat support, which has proven to be a hit with your customer base as seen in improved customer satisfaction rates.


But what if there was a way to give customers an even more personalized experience via a channel that is increasingly becoming an ubiquitous part of their lives -  via an instant messaging app?


This is exactly what Facebook Messenger aims to achieve with the launch of Facebook Messenger chatbots in early 2016.


The face of customer support and in particular, the channels and platforms used to communicate with customers, need to continue evolving alongside emerging technologies. In recent years, companies are choosing to invest in mobile-friendly platforms for more convenient ways to get in touch with the internet-generation of prospects and customers.


With the realization that live chat support is a hugely popular medium with customers, companies are turning to instant messaging platforms to take the conversation even further.


This is no surprise given that instant messaging apps have exceeded social networks in usage making them a prime focus for B2B and B2C companies looking to connect with their users online.


Leading this revolution is Facebook Messenger - with over a billion users using the Facebook Messenger app in 2017, many companies are harnessing the convenience of the mobile app to ramp up their social customer service.


Initially, Facebook’s messenger app stayed separate to the social networking platform until early 2016, when it was announced that they would offer “chatbots” to users.


Chatbots are being hailed as the biggest thing in technology (and unsurprisingly, a boon for businesses). They can allow your company to not only get your product or service in front of a larger audience, but can also serve wide ranging support services - resolving queries, enabling transactions and acquiring new customers.


Here’s how Facebook Messenger is shaping customer interactions.


Messaging on the go

 

With instant messaging, you can be in touch with your customer at any place and anytime. If your company has a Facebook page, you can turn messaging on so that followers can know that they can interact with you.


Unlike a live chat window, the user needn’t stay glued to their device to get their query resolved. They have the choice to move on to other online (or offline) tasks at hand, making the best use of their time and giving them flexibility.


Social by nature

 

Using messaging apps is inherently a social exercise, with users messaging businesses alongside their friends. This takes the edge off a stuffy customer service interaction, and allows companies to be informal, friendly and familiar in their interactions with their customer base.


Large companies can thus use messenger to relate to their target audience via a “friendly face/persona” that can be messaged at any time.


Continue the conversation

 

Facebook Messenger has released a customer chat plugin which can be installed on your website and renders a similar feel and experience to the app. All recent conversations with your customers are recorded, and your conversation history loads the next time you chat with them via the Facebook website (desktop), the Messenger app (mobile) or said plugin.


This means not having to look back at the history of customer interaction, creating a natural and streamlined experience for your customer.


Engage with your community

 

You can use Messenger to boost customer engagement, be it acknowledging a comment on your latest Facebook post, answering a query or resolving a complaint. Whether you rely on already-drafted responses to address routine questions, or provide a personalized answer, you can use Messenger you empathize with your customer and make them feel heard.


Make it personal

 

You can learn more about your customer’s background just by looking at their location, timezone, previous orders and interaction, so that you can deliver a tailored response based on their history with you. You can also consider using a CRM with social media integration.


This makes it easier to draw up customer information and understand their context before you speak to them, allowing you to demonstrate your awareness and knowledge of their situation giving them a better, personalized experience.


A cost-effective sales and marketing tool

 

The good news is that no expert guidance is needed to kickstart your social customer service efforts with Facebook Messenger.  All you need to do is select a username for your Facebook page, enable messaging in your Settings, and turn on Instant Replies in Messenger.


Each conversation via Facebook Messenger can be viewed as an opportunity to hit sales and marketing goals. For instance, it might be prudent to train your sales reps with a view to cross-selling and upselling your product or service if it is relevant, appropriate or the opportunity arises to do so.


Once your company starts receiving and engaging with several users a day, keep in mind that there might be a need to grow a team of community managers who can handle multiple incoming requests.


Also relying on Facebook Messenger as an alternative or as your main social customer support channel can help reduce the costs associated with customer care, especially if you choose to automate your customer service with chatbots.


Use Facebook Messenger to build a loyal community

 

As people and companies are increasingly becoming “socialized” via networking and instant messaging apps, it is becoming essential to integrate Facebook Messenger into your social customer service. After all, giving your customer a personalized and interactive experience has a role in strengthening customer support and building an engaged and loyal community of followers.

 

customer success remote customer support customer satisfaction

Topics: customer support