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Facebook Messenger for business: Complete guide for 2024

Your customers are waiting to message you—is your inbox ready? Here’s everything a business needs to get started with Facebook Messenger.

Last updated January 22, 2024

Messaging is nothing new, but for many businesses, it’s uncharted territory in customer support. In the past year, sales and customer service messaging spiked among first-time users, boasting the highest customer satisfaction scores of any support channel. Across the board, Facebook Messenger for business improves agent efficiency and scales support processes.

Facebook Messenger is the most popular messaging app in North America—second only to WhatsApp worldwide. Over 1 billion people use Messenger to talk to friends, family, and businesses. With Messenger, companies of any size can:

  • Use Facebook to offer quick, personal, convenient, and secure support

  • Stay on top of customer conversations

  • Improve engagement by reaching customers where they already are

  • Connect Messenger to customer service platforms and integrate conversational data for improved customer outcomes

If that sounds appealing, here’s everything you need to know about using Facebook Messenger for business.

What is Facebook Messenger for business?

With billions of monthly active users worldwide, Messenger is Facebook’s proprietary instant messaging service. As a customer service channel, Messenger is a fantastic way to stay on top of customer conversations and meet clients wherever they are. Businesses of any size can use Messenger for customer service.

Facebook Messenger offers an array of rich features, including:

  • Live and ongoing chat

  • Messenger greetings

  • Saved replies

  • Automated responses like Instant Replies and setting away messages

How is Facebook Messenger different from SMS?

Facebook Messenger is a more robust messaging solution than SMS because it does not require a phone number, it allows higher character limits, does not charge by message, and allows both live and sessionless chats.

SMS comes with limitations that Messenger does not. For example, SMS requires a phone number, may include low character limits, and charges monthly or per-text rates. Additionally, SMS is a less popular customer service channel.

By contrast, Facebook Messenger lets you chat with customers behind a verified profile. All the while, you aren’t subject to SMS rates. Facebook Messenger also includes features that SMS platforms lock behind paywalls.

What are the features of Facebook Messenger for business?

Facebook Messenger is compatible with numerous features that make it easy for companies to use and have rich, interactive customer conversations. Some features are native to Messenger while others require integrating Messenger with your customer support software.

Benefits of using Facebook Messenger for business

Messenger isn’t your only option for live and ongoing chat. However, it comes packaged with tools and benefits that set it apart from other platforms. Here are the main ones to consider:

What is the difference between Messenger for business and Meta Business Suite?

After Messenger became a popular channel for sales and support, Facebook launched the Meta Business Suite. The Meta Business Suite offers new features, such as the ability to manage multiple devices at a time and reporting and analytics. However, it lacks other key customer support features, including additional channels (like voice and email), chatbots, AI-driven workflow management, and platform access. Luckily, Zendesk provides you with capabilities that you won’t find in the Meta Business Suite or Messenger alone.

Compare features in the chart below:

FeaturesMessenger for businessMeta Business SuiteZendesk
View and respond to posts and DMs
Schedule posts
Manage ads
Manage multiple devices at a time
Team inbox for social channels
Additional channels (voice, email)
Automate conversations with chatbots
AI-driven workflow management
Third-party integrations
Reporting and analytics
Platform access

How to set up Facebook business Messenger

Setting up Messenger for business may sound daunting. But by following these steps, you can jump right in and use the platform.

1. Choose the right customer support software

Most teams use a CRM or other support platform for customer service. Your existing software will track and manage new Messenger conversations. Pick a platform suited to your business model and needs. From there, make sure it integrates with Messenger.

2. Connect Facebook Messenger to a unified workspace

Once you select a service platform, connect it with Messenger. By default, Facebook Messenger offers private messaging with customers. During setup, ensure your integrations offer public messaging with customers.

Different platforms follow their own integration process. Using Zendesk Agent Workspace as an example, administrators can give agents access to Messenger channels. You can add the channel by following these steps:

  1. In the Admin Center, click on Channels in the sidebar.

  2. Select Messaging and social, and then Messaging.

  3. On the Add Facebook Messenger page, click Continue with Facebook.

  4. Log in to your Facebook account as a user with admin permissions for all accounts being added. The on-screen instructions will help authorize access between Zendesk and your Facebook account.

  5. Toggle page permissions to Yes on the Facebook pages you want to manage with Zendesk.

  6. Name your channel, pick a brand, and save your settings.

Set Zendesk privacy permissions.

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3. Adjust your Facebook Messenger rules and views

Customer service agents need to follow the rules for routing messages. Support macros enforce routing rules, but admins can also make manual assignments. Chat routing rules cover:

  • How agents accept tickets after creation

  • How agents view unassigned tickets

    Manual and automatic ticket assignment to agents

  • Ticket triaging and level of priority

Businesses also need to consider views, which organize tickets by grouping them into lists based on specific criteria. Views reinforce your workflow by creating an order of priorities on your tickets, streamlining operations, and ensuring agents have access to the same information.

You can create views based on these categories:

  • Unsolved tickets

  • New tickets in need of triage

  • Pending tickets assigned to one or more agents

  • Tickets awaiting a response from the client

  • Tickets that arrived through a certain channel, as seen below:

Add permissions conditions.

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4. Set your agents up to use the correct channels

Channels organize your distribution of support tickets. Configure your channels based on how you want agents to speak with customers. For example, you can use channels to route experienced agents to more complicated tickets.

Note: All requests become tickets that agents manage in Zendesk, regardless of the channel they come through. See an example of channel routing below:

Set trigger names.

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5. Leverage rich messages

Once agents move through the proper channels, they talk to the customer. Strong customer service skills and institutional knowledge will get the agent far, but rich messaging can help them go farther. Carousels let customers quickly swipe through a conversation, for instance, while multimedia messages help illustrate concepts.

6. Improve the experience with automation

Chatbots and automation can lighten agents’ workload and enhance the customer experience. With triggers based on key terms or support types, AI bots can step in and answer simple questions. This gives agents time to address more complex issues. And if automation tools can’t help a customer, agents can jump in anytime.

Tip: You can create conversational bot flows in Zendesk with a click-to-configure tool that doesn’t require any code. Responses can form FAQs, collect customer data, or surface relevant knowledge base material.

7. Track and measure performance

Integrating Zendesk with Messenger gives you the option to record analytics. Your software will compile data into reports that measure your support performance. Savvy managers leverage this data when adjusting their workflow or operations. These reports reveal:

  • The number of tickets processed in a given time

  • The ticket resolution rates for agents and bots

  • The most common types of requests

How to staff Facebook Messenger for business

Your customers are on Facebook Messenger, and your team needs to be too. If you’re new to messaging support, use the Zendesk staffing calculator to see if you have enough staff to manage support tickets on Facebook Messenger and your other messaging channels. While this tool is just a baseline aid for planning, it can help you accurately gauge when it’s the right time to grow your team.

Messaging staffing calculator

Results

Weekly utilized hours for a full-time agent:
00
Total utilized hours (weekly):
00

Estimated full-time agents needed:

00

Average handle time calculator

Solves per hour:

00

Average handle time:

00

Disclaimer: The above formula should be used as a guide—it shouldn’t replace a typical workforce management staffing calculator. Teams will also need to consider factors such as breaks for agents, multiple shifts, and different customer requirements.

Best practices for using Facebook Messenger for businesses

Facebook Messenger is a powerful customer support tool. That said, a tool is only as useful as its implementation. To make the most of Messenger, follow these messaging best practices:

Personalize conversations with a unified view

Ninety percent of customers will spend more with companies that personalize the customer service they offer them, according to our CX Trends Report. Give your agents all the tools and context they need to provide interactive, personalized service across every channel inside a unified agent workspace.

Manage Messenger conversations alongside all your other channels—email, live chat, and the phone—so agents can reference past support interactions and customers don’t have to repeat themselves.

Integrate your customer service platform with your ecommerce system, booking system, sales CRM, and marketing automation software so agents have a comprehensive view and customers can fill out forms, select seats, or choose dates on a calendar without leaving the conversation.

Tip: Messenger can be a treasure trove of customer information, so manage Messenger conversations across all your other channels, and integrate the tool with critical business systems via an open, flexible platform like Zendesk.

Benefits of an agent workspace. 1. Minimize repetition in conversations. Keep the conversation connected across email, voice, and social channels. 2. Boost agent efficiency. Respond to customers from a single place. 3. Personalize interactions. Put customer context at agents' fingertips.

Reduce inbound volume with automation

Built-in AI and automation decrease your inbound ticket volume and agents’ workload. Bots can:

  • Answer simple and recurring questions

  • Help customers find answers without assistance from an agent

  • Offer 24/7 support

  • Collect important data for agents

You can create Facebook Messenger chatbots with no-code solutions or with the help of a third-party bot partner that specializes in using AI to address needs specific to your use case. Read more about how to build unique chatbots with our partners here. Some of our partners include:

  • Ada

  • Netomi

  • Boost.ai

  • Droz

  • Certainly

Tip: Check out this guide for detailed information on how to get started with AI chatbots.

Use proactive messages to engage customers and increase sales

Effective messaging goes beyond customer support. For example, agents can help customers compare and purchase products. When integrating conversational support with your ecommerce platforms, messaging becomes a sales-supporting service.

Tip: Enabling messaging across your ecommerce platform can empower agents to cross-sell, increasing your revenue.

Leverage social selling when it makes sense

Social selling is a sales methodology using social media channels to interact with customers and track leads. Instead of focusing on closing deals, you build a long-term presence. It creates social credibility and “free” advertising to influence buyers.

You can try social selling with Messenger by:

  • Keeping business pages, hours, contact information, address, and listings up-to-date

  • Commenting, liking, and sharing customer posts

  • Engaging with other businesses to increase brand awareness and reach

  • Respond to followers to foster loyalty and customer engagement

Tip: Track your social media engagement to determine what content your followers are responding to.

Send a CSAT survey

Customer satisfaction (CSAT) measures how well your product meets clients' expectations. By capturing satisfaction scores and customer feedback, you can note changes in reception. Leveraging this data after adding a new feature or changing your model can gauge its success. CSAT collection isn’t native to Messenger, so you need to integrate the app with customer service software like Zendesk.

Tip: Embedding a customer satisfaction survey in chats can help highlight pain points and areas of improvement.

Facebook Messenger integration with Zendesk

Facebook Messenger for business exists as an out-of-the-box feature for Zendesk customers. Customers love having the ability to message businesses. And according to the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report, 70 percent of customers expect conversational care experiences when they engage with companies.

In Zendesk, Messenger appears alongside your other support channels inside a unified workspace. Displaying every channel in one spot saves agents from switching between dashboards and inboxes, enabling them to provide efficient support. As a result, businesses and customers enjoy a seamless support experience. Connecting Facebook Messenger to Zendesk also provides:

  • 24/7 self-service aided by a personalizable bot

  • Fast access to an agent

  • Immediate or ongoing conversational support

  • A "Message Us" button to place on your website for customer convenience

  • Auto-responders, macros, triggers, and shortcuts to streamline support

  • A conversational agent workspace to manage and route requests

  • Customer context for more personalized service

Learn how integrating Facebook Messenger with Zendesk is good for customers and agents.

Frequently asked questions on Facebook Messenger

Even experienced teams may run into questions about Messenger for business. Here are some of the most common ones.

Ready to try Facebook Messenger for Business?

Messaging is the new frontier in customer service, and Facebook Messenger is fertile ground for businesses looking to up their game. Up to 64 percent of customers tried a new channel in the last year, with messaging apps seeing a huge surge in first-time users.

As the most popular consumer messaging app in North America and much of the world, Facebook Messenger for business promises to bring brands where their customers already are. By partnering with Zendesk, businesses can harness the full potential of Facebook Messenger for the benefit of their customers. Messenger bots, analytics, and custom conversational interfaces are just some of the benefits of using Zendesk.

To sign up for a trial of Zendesk and get started with Facebook Messenger for Business, click below.

Get started with Messenger in Zendesk