Remember the good ol’ days when you had to plaster a billboard, buy a really expensive magazine ad layout or a newspaper advertisement, ship printed catalogs and direct mail anything you wanted to communicate to your customers? Or, you just had to wait until they were in your store before you could actually even communicate with your customers?
Those days are long gone.
Now, you can reach out to your customers not only through direct mail, but through e-mail, your website, Facebook and other social media platforms, text messages, phone calls, advertisements on other websites and in newspapers, and even chat, like Facebook Messenger.
Facebook Messenger is not only a means of communication through their website, but also an app that people can download onto their smartphone. It’s used today almost as often as text messaging believe it or not. Anyone can communicate with people you don’t even know through Facebook Messenger. There are three inboxes: the regular inbox reserved for people who are friends, a Message Requests inbox which is reserved for those communicating to someone they aren’t friends with, and Filtered Messages, messages that Facebook deems as possible spam (but oftentimes are not, so make sure to check those too.)
So, it’s easy to communicate with almost anyone who has a Facebook account. And, businesses are taking advantage of this.
Facebook Messenger Bot
In April of this year, Facebook announced the platform for their Facebook Messenger Bot. A Bot is an automated response system that businesses can use to communicate when there isn’t a dedicated staff person to do so. Millennials might remember Bots from their AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) days.
Business can build their own Facebook chat bots, automated response tools within Messenger which will be able to handle increasingly complex customer queries. Like, for real? Yes, for real.
Facebook’s statement: “We’re excited to introduce bots for the Messenger Platform. Bots can provide anything from automated subscription content like weather and traffic updates, to customized communications like receipts, shipping notifications, and live automated messages all by interacting directly with the people who want to get them.”
Here are 10 brands that are currently using Facebook Messenger Bots to communicate with their customers.
Is the Facebook Messenger Bot For Me?
Ask yourself these questions:
- How do I communicate with customers now?
- How often do I communicate with customers?
- How many customers do I communicate with on a daily basis?
- How many questions or comments do I receive from customers?
- Can I handle the current volume of customer communications?
- Do I anticipate growing my business beyond my physical capabilities soon?
- Do my customers have a hard time getting in touch with my company?
These are just some of the questions that you should be asking yourself. Open communication lines with current and future customers is one of the most important aspects of Customer Service and therefore, you should consider Facebook Messenger Bots if you think you cannot currently handle your load of communication.
On the other hand, one of the disadvantages of a Bot is that it isn’t personal. People like personal. So, if you think you’re completely capable of handling your current communication load, then Facebook Messenger Bots are probably not for you.