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What is a Facebook chatbot and how do you make one?

Use Facebook chatbots to provide fast and convenient support for common issues, allowing agents to focus on the customers who require more attention.

Senast uppdaterad April 22, 2024

Over 2 billion people globally use Facebook every month to connect with their friends and favorite brands, keep up with news, and receive convenient customer service. As individuals continue to use the social media platform, it makes sense for brands to optimize the user experience through the use of Facebook chatbots, which provide quick answers to sales and support questions.

Between their 24/7 accessibility, self-serve model, and social media-friendly interface, FB chatbots provide the fast and personalized experiences modern buyers want.

Chatbots may feel intimidating to implement, but they don’t have to be.

One of the most prominent chatbots on the market, thanks to its built-in consumer base and ease of use, is Messenger (formerly Facebook Messenger). When integrated with Zendesk, the messaging app can be a full-fledged customer service tool, because our bots come pre-trained for customer experience and are capable of understanding industry-specific customer issues without hours of manual setup. Zendesk also ensures your agents can manage Messenger conversations alongside all your other support channels–and that Messenger bots can seamlessly pass questions to agents when a human is needed.

In this comprehensive piece, we’ll cover:

What is a Facebook chatbot?

A Facebook chatbot is an automated computer program that interacts with users via Messenger and answers customer questions using keyword recognition and preprogrammed replies.

Zendesk chat

Facebook bots function like website chatbots, but users can only access them by messaging companies with Facebook business pages. The bots are highly customizable, coming with several templates for customers to use.

Nevertheless, Facebook bots can have a significant impact on ticket deflection by:

  • Answering common customer questions
  • Recommending self-service articles
  • Routing customers with complex issues to agents

What is Messenger?

Messenger is one of Meta’s private instant messaging apps. As the number of users and businesses using Facebook increases, this social media hub has rapidly become a gold mine of customer interaction.

The free messaging platform has its own mobile app where users can:

  • Connect with businesses
  • Make payments
  • Securely store past conversations
  • Send rich media like photos and videos
  • Receive self-service recommendations and tutorials

FB Messenger can also integrate with WhatsApp and other Metaverse applications like Instagram to streamline messaging across popular platforms.

How to create a Facebook chatbot with Zendesk

Once installed, chatbots become your 24/7 frontline agents, taking on a wide range of customer conversations. Bots provide customers with instant, accurate responses to day-to-day questions, freeing your human agents to address more complex matters.

Create a Facebook chatbot with Zendesk

Businesses benefit from using Zendesk to build a Messenger bot for a few different reasons. For example, businesses can:

  • Track, manage, and prioritize all FB chatbot conversations in the same workspace alongside messages from other support channels, such as email, live chat, the phone, and other social messaging apps.
  • Create a FB bot in minutes with a no-code bot builder instead of relying on complicated tools that require extensive developer resources and a large budget.
  • Rely on pre-trained bots that understand the top customer issues in your industry out-of-the-box and save hours on manual setup.

There are two key ways to create a Facebook chatbot with Zendesk:

  1. Use Messenger as a live chat integration on your website. You can either use the built-in Facebook bot or set up another more advanced bot with Sunshine Conversations.
  2. Set up Zendesk messaging and use Zendesk bots to create a more integrated experience across all channels.

3 benefits of using Facebook chatbots

A quick and effective Q&A response is the greatest gift a Facebook bot can offer businesses. FB chatbots can increase efficiency between sales and support by:

  • Updating customers on shipment statuses
  • Capturing customer conversation history
  • Supporting lead generation efforts by identifying potential customers
  • Routing customers to the most relevant department

But better productivity is far from the only benefit of using a Messenger bot. Check out our three favorite benefits to see what we mean.

Facebook chatbot benefits

Creates opportunities for agents to provide conversational experiences

The ultimate goal of Meta’s Messenger bot is to allow customers to self-serve without needing an agent. However, there are times when users require support from a real person.

When human agents are needed, the Messenger bot uses keywords from the customers’ messages to route them to the appropriate department. Once redirected, customers can connect with a support agent to discuss possible solutions.

Offers customers more variety with omnichannel customer service

Customers may not always have time to wait for an available agent, requiring them to schedule a callback or an SMS text back. This may be customers’ only option, especially if they can’t find what they’re looking for using a self-service resource. That is, unless you offer them seamless support across multiple social networks.

With an omnichannel customer service approach, FB chatbots can easily collect data and store it in a central location, allowing agents to access relevant context, help the customer, and close out the open ticket quickly.

Makes informational resources accessible after hours

Chatbots help customers find relevant information easily while enjoying a conversational customer experience—even when agents aren’t available.

There are several reasons why someone might not reach out to support during regular operating hours, such as living in different time zones, having busy work schedules, or experiencing family obligations. As a business, it’s your responsibility to create alternative service options for your customers.

Use Facebook chatbots to guarantee users have 24/7 access to customer service and the resources they need through an application most people already have downloaded on their phones.

What are the features of an FB bot?

The core functionality of Messenger for business facilitates conversations between brands and their customers. The Messenger platform comes with a robust set of features that aid support teams in creating better customer experiences.

Useful Facebook chatbot features
  • Messaging: Receive messages from customers, including rich media, and let the Messenger chatbot reply with pre-written templates.
  • Chat extensions: Use chat plugins so customers can converse with agents or your chatbot via your website.
  • ID matching: Identify users across all Facebook messaging products with ID matching to personalize conversations and ensure a unified customer experience.
  • NLP: Use natural language processing with Meta to parse text and understand the context of customer messages so the bot can reply.

But that’s not all. Here are seven additional top bot features your business can benefit from when you use Zendesk as your FB bot partner.

  • Intent detection and sentiment analysis: Advanced bots can automatically classify requests by intent–whether it’s a refund, password reset, or a billing issue–for more accurate answers. The AI can also share this context with agents to help them provide the best solution for the customer.
  • Routing: Businesses can use this type of routing to direct customer queries from different channels to the most appropriate agent. Bots can route conversations based on agent availability, skills, conversation priority, and more.
  • No-code deployment: Our bot-building experience is easy with a set of drag-and-drop options to put your flow together—no code required.
  • Human handover: For conversations that require a human touch, the bot provides an option to hand off to an agent.
  • Integrations: Integrate with additional tools to increase productivity and visibility into customer issues.
  • Context capture: Collect customer details like time zone, language, and contact preferences.
  • APIs to call external systems: Customers who are looking for information available on third-party systems, such as order status or delivery timelines, can easily surface that through a conversation with the bot.

Messenger bot best practices

Bots are extremely useful, but only if implemented correctly. Here are a few proven tips, tricks, and messaging best practices to help you hit the ground running.

Messenger bot best practices
  • Be honest about the AI bots

Many customers prefer interacting with conversational AI to resolve simple issues. According to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trend Report 2023, 75 percent of customers believe AI chatbots should be able to provide the same level of service as a human agent.

Users know what chatbots are—so it isn’t wise to try passing off your bot as a human. If they need help from a human, they’ll say so.

  • Make it easy for customers to speak with an agent

Not all situations call for a chatbot. If a customer requests an agent, don’t try to persuade them to keep chatting with the bot; route the user to a support representative to avoid unnecessary frustration.

When these situations arise, Zendesk makes it easy for your Facebook chatbot to pass the conversation to an agent, complete with context, so the customer doesn’t have to repeat themselves. Better yet, routing rules ensure the conversation gets handed to the right agent for the task and is prioritized as needed. And since AI chatbots can direct people to self-service articles, customers can still get some support when agents are off the clock.

  • Allow your Messenger bot to deflect FAQs

Bots shouldn't handle your complex problems (even if some AI chatbots handle them quite well); however, Messenger bots can still help customers even when they don’t have an answer by:

  • Sharing pre-written replies to simple questions
  • Directing users to a relevant knowledge base article from the help center

If a customer asks for specific technical support, that ticket must go to a customer support rep. When you connect your Facebook chatbot to Zendesk, you can also automate this task utilizing our intelligent routing capabilities.

  • Use AI chatbots to prep your CX team

If a bot escalates a ticket, the user may have already explained their problem in detail to the bot.

Make sure your customer service software forwards the chat text to your reps.

Otherwise, your customer will have to start all over again and may become (justifiably) irritated. Key observations, like identifying the primary issue, can also help you redirect the ticket to the most qualified rep.

  • Refer to FB Messenger bot data to make important business decisions

Like any other sales data, bot data is crucial for understanding where your weak points lie.

Review your Facebook chatbot data and ask yourself a few questions:

  • When does the chatbot fail to answer the user’s question?
  • How often does it route customers to agents, and is it necessary?
  • How often do customers walk away unsatisfied?
  • What questions do customers ask the most?
  • How many questions does the average customer ask in a single session?

Understanding the answers to these questions will allow you to improve your bot and customer experience. The results may even prompt you to edit or update information on your website, knowledge base, or user instructions.

Frequently asked questions about Messenger bots

Still have questions? Here are a few Messenger chatbot questions we hear all the time.

Try using Zendesk for free

With a conversational interface and all-encompassing CX software, Zendesk makes it easy to create and use your very own Facebook chatbot to provide efficient, personalized support at scale.

If you’re already a Zendesk customer, your chatbot is free and ready to use. Follow our guide to get started. For those of you who are still exploring your options, sign up for our free trial to experience the Zendesk Facebook chatbot integration with no strings attached.

Don’t just take our word for it. See us in action.