Say you’re scrolling through your Facebook app, and you see a post from your favorite shoe store announcing a weekend sale. You’ve been eyeing a cute pair of ankle boots for a while, so you click over to the shop’s Facebook page. You quickly get a prompt to order the boots via Facebook Messenger. There are suggested replies, scrollable image carousels, and payment options, making it fast and easy to buy them. You’re able to track the order and get updates right through the messaging platform as well.
This interaction was speedy, seamless, and done right through the Messenger platform—thanks to the help of a Facebook chatbot. If you want to wow customers and provide exceptional service on this popular platform, chatbots are your secret weapon. Use them to help customers get what they need and reduce the load on your customer service agents.
What are Facebook chatbots?
A Facebook Messenger chatbot is a type of software application that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically communicate with users on Messenger, Facebook’s instant messaging platform.
These chatbots act as your first line of defense when replying to messages and requests on Facebook. They can automate many simple customer service tasks and provide speedy responses, so customers don’t have to rely on a real-time agent. It’s easy to program and customize chatbots—whether on Facebook Messenger or other messaging platforms—to align with your specific needs and workflows.
Key Facebook chatbot features and capabilities that can help you deliver better customer support include:
- Quick replies: Allow customers to pick from a pre-arranged selection of responses.
- Carousels: Allow customers to swipe through horizontal cards with images and call-to-action buttons.
- Location requests and sharing: Easily share device location to find nearby options or track shipments for customers.
- Secure purchasing: Enable customers to make purchases right through the Messenger application.
It’s easy to get started with Facebook chatbots, especially when using a chatbot builder or templates and working with a Facebook partner like Zendesk. We can help your customer service team build the chatbot, customize it, and get the most out of messaging on this platform.
Benefits of Facebook Messenger chatbots
Facebook Messenger chatbots allow you to provide fast and efficient customer service across a platform that your customers are likely already using.
Connect with customers where they are
Your customers are likely already among the 1.3 billion people using Facebook Messenger. After all, Facebook Messenger is one of the most frequently used messaging platforms, second only to WhatsApp worldwide. Considering Facebook’s popularity, it makes sense for most businesses to offer chat through Messenger.
In the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2021, respondents said one of the most frustrating aspects of bad customer service was not having support through their preferred method of contact. That frustration can lead to churn. According to PwC, 17 percent of U.S. customers will stop supporting a company after just one poor experience—and that number jumps to 59 percent after several bad experiences.
Keep customers happy by connecting with them on the platform they know and love via Messenger chatbots. Customers seem to generally love the messaging experience, too. Zendesk benchmark data showed that third-party messaging has a customer satisfaction (CSAT) score of 98 percent, the highest across different channels.
Reduce the load on customer service agents
Companies receive between 979 and 18,331 support inquiries a month, depending on the industry. Most businesses don’t have a support staff that’s large enough to handle such a high volume of requests.
Chatbots are a must for reducing this workload. You can program them to handle ecommerce, address FAQs, and respond to basic inquiries. Bots can even automatically collect customer feedback for CSAT scores and Net Promoter Scores (NPS). All this work frees up agents to handle complex customer requests.
When a Facebook Messenger bot can’t handle an inquiry, businesses can use a ticket escalation process to connect customers with a live agent. The bot collects key details, such as contact information and/or order confirmation numbers, and quickly transfers the customer to the right agent.
Provide 24/7 support
When customers urgently need an answer, they don’t want to wait to talk to someone in real-time. In our Customer Experience Trends Report, about a third of customers (32 percent) said a quick resolution was the most important aspect of a good customer experience. Some customers expect a response within five minutes.
It isn’t feasible for most businesses to have agents available 24/7. Even for companies that can, it’s still difficult for agents to follow up on the high number of messages in a timely manner.
Rather than making customers wait, companies can use chatbots to send automatic responses at any time—nights, weekends, holidays, you name it. Even if the bot isn’t able to find a solution, it can provide updates on wait times, business hours, pricing, and contact information, so customers can at least get some answers right away.
4 best practices for using Facebook chatbots
Use chatbots to make the Facebook Messenger experience as seamless and efficient as possible—just as if customers were talking to one of your experienced agents directly.
Use conversational language
People are used to talking to friends and family over Messenger. If your chatbot sounds wildly different from these casual conversations, customers may find the experience jarring.
Connect with customers by making your bot sound as “human” as possible. Program your bot to:
–Use clear, natural language that’s easy for customers to understand and follow.
–Avoid jargon and slang terms, as customers may not know what certain words mean.
–Vary responses. Instead of just saying “okay” all the time, your bot can respond with “Sounds good” or “10-4.”
While it’s a good idea to acknowledge that it’s a bot handling the request, the closer you can get to mimicking a person-to-person conversation, the better the experience will be.
Brand the conversation
Chatbots can send photos, gifs, emojis, and visual product carousels. This media is a great way to brand your conversation with recognizable colors, logos, and images that align with your website and other platforms.
Similarly, you can also program your chatbot to use the same recognizable tone, voice, and phrases that you use on other platforms.
This consistency helps foster customers’ brand awareness and trust. In fact, research from Reboot found that using a signature color scheme across platforms can increase brand recognition by up to 80 percent.
Always allow customers to connect with a real person
Bots, whether on Messenger or other platforms, are only the first point of contact and should never be the only way a customer can connect with you. Customers should be able to easily escalate to a live customer service agent if they need further assistance.
Set up your bot to automatically provide a contact option that connects customers with a real person. Keep that option available throughout the bot workflow. Even if customers never need to escalate to an agent, a Harvard study showed that simply having that option reduces anxiety and frustration.
Set clear goals and track results
Customer support reps aren’t the only ones who can help you achieve your larger service goals. Your Facebook chatbot can also work toward these objectives, depending on how you program it. Set up benchmarks to gauge how well your chatbot is positively impacting your customer service experience.
Goals and benchmarks allow you to get the most value out of your Facebook chatbot. Different goals can impact how you program your chatbot and determine when you might want to make adjustments or updates.
If your top goal is to increase customer satisfaction on Facebook, for instance, set up your Messenger bot to automatically send out surveys at the end of conversations. Based on responses and CSAT scores, you can gauge the success of your Facebook chatbot. If scores are low, you may need to improve the bot’s workflow and functionality to better align with customer expectations
Chatbots are key to customer service success
Messenger is just one platform where businesses are seeing success with chatbots. Bots are also used on websites, email, texting, social media, and other messaging platforms to improve customer service. In fact, our CX Trends Report showed that high performers—companies that were outperforming similar companies across key customer service metrics—were two times as likely to be using Zendesk’s Answer Bot.
Chatbots help you provide the kind of modern, omnichannel experience customers expect while allowing agents to perform their roles better.