Have you tried using Facebook Messenger for all your customer service needs? If no, consider that among the world’s estimated 8 billion population, Facebook has nearly 3 billion active monthly users and over a third of them are daily users of Facebook Messenger. Messenger is the most used app in North America and the second most used globally, making this a powerful platform to reach customers.
Note that Facebook Messenger is the communication tool used on Facebook, while Facebook Chat is a plugin that embeds Facebook Messenger into the code of your company’s website. We’ll refer to both of these tools as Messenger because they’re so interconnected.
Happy Customers, Happy Business
Most customers expect to get customer support using their preferred social media, creating an industry norm companies should meet. People like when their customer care cases are handled using apps and platforms they already know about and prefer for talking with family and friends. Many potential customers are only indecisive about buying a product because they have questions they want to ask and don’t know where to go.
Messenger is an easy and convenient way for customers to start live conversations from their smartphones and get notifications when the response arrives. They can send photos, screenshots or video of a problem through Messenger, and customer service can respond with the same to demonstrate how to proceed. The simple, conversational nature of Facebook Messenger creates an easy form of brand loyalty and marketing that customers prefer.
Facebook stated in 2019 that over 20 billion messages were sent every month between people and businesses using Messenger, a platform that includes text, video and voice plus custom reaction avatars and images. They found in a poll that 65% of people are more likely to shop with a company they can chat with.
More Benefits For Your Business
This may be hard to accept but email has become the old, slow method of customer communication compared to the instant ease of messaging apps. Businesses that value traditional methods in their brand may prefer email alongside postal mail, while businesses that want to be fast and flexible for their brand should use Messenger. Using emojis, GIFs, stickers and other multimedia built into Messenger helps your customer support team feel friendly and fun.
Facebook Messenger opens up channels of communication with individual customers, creating a history with them that builds a longer-lasting connection and can be referred to later so follow-up conversations don’t have to start over. Facebook claimed in 2018 that 91% of consumers across 8 global markets were more likely to shop with brands who recognize and remember them. By collecting Facebook IDs and geographical location, you can improve your data on customers.
Customizable automated digital assistants, also known as AI chatbots, can handle simple calls and suggest knowledge base posts, allowing support to get by with less customer service agents. Some customers will get answers faster than if they were waiting for a person to respond, or the chatbot can send complex issues to a representative who should read the conversation so far and start immediately answering what the customer needs.
Because Messenger is efficient, fast and free for anyone with a Facebook account, the costs for customer care using Messenger are generally lower compared to call centers and live phone support, giving agents more time for other tasks.
- According to Meta for Developers, when the airline Volaris tried using Messenger for half of their customer care, agents could handle five interactions at once rather than just one by phone and reduced their total time spent by 29%. So they switched entirely to Messenger and hope to see an 83% cost reduction at scale.
- Ikea in Hong Kong created an automated system using Messenger with keywords and menus to resolve simple customer care issues, so that only complex problems went to live agents, increasing their productivity by 78%.
- Promart Homecenter in Peru created an automated assistant to help with issues such as checking order status, availability of products, store locations and help with online ordering, which was able to handle most of their customer care and brought about five times more conversions than the website alone.
How To Use Messenger For Customer Service
Ready to begin?
- On your company Facebook page, go to the General Settings “Messages” section and “Allow users to contact my page privately” / “People can contact my Page privately.”
- Add the “Send Message” button to the Facebook page for your company by clicking “+ Add a Button” or “Edit Button” to select “Contact You” and “Messenger.”
- Set the Business Page Username (the name following an @ symbol) to something customers will recognize and use.
Facebook provides a low-volume platform to manage customer messages and which can connect with most Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, so you can manage chat from either your website or your Facebook page. These tools can also often integrate communication via Instagram, phone calls, Twitter, and more so that agents only have to watch one place, while also providing customer information such as local time, preferred language and ticket status.
You’ll also want to install Facebook’s chat plugin on your site by copy-pasting the code from the “Messenger Platform” area and the “Customer Chat Plugin” section into your website code. Add Messenger Links to press templates, other social media pages and your website so that customers can start talking by clicking the link, and add Messenger Codes to physical advertising, fliers and product packaging so customers can scan them and start a conversation.
Last but certainly not least, tell the world they can now reach you through Messenger!
Great Customer Service On Social Media
Facebook Messenger allows you to set a greeting message for anyone starting a message thread before they write anything. Go to the General Settings “Messages” section and turn on “Show a Messenger Greeting” then edit and personalize the message with page links, a phone number or your website. There are also Automatic Away Messages and Instant Reply sections in the same area, providing a basic way to thank someone after they post something or tell them when you’ll return.
You’ll also want to hire staff skilled in social media customer support (or train your current customer service agents) so they can handle interactions using Messenger, though the tools supporting them can often provide suggestions and allow managers to take difficult conversations. Decide early on how to respond to customer messages just as you would for any customer service department, including Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the whole team such as pre-written replies and script trees.
Remember that conversations can happen on or off the social media platform using the Facebook Messenger app on a smartphone, and customers don’t even need to be logged into Facebook. These interactions should take place however the customer wants to communicate, either in a live, naturally flowing conversation or one complete reply so they don’t get multiple notifications. Use first names when talking to people, especially if a customer gets frustrated.
Make conversations private when the customer is providing confidential, personal, sensitive info. Some customers seek out private communication to ask about products and services they may not want to talk about where everyone can see, and quickly answering their questions can boost your chance of making a sale. But customer service agents must not make promises they can’t actually meet.
The Value Of Fast, Active Response
The best support for customer service is to promote fast responses. For example, show you notice messages by either quickly responding or simply thanking them for comments that don’t need a response. When your company can’t respond to every request immediately, use a chatbot to explain when someone will likely be able to respond – such as “We’ll be back at 10 AM Eastern Time” or “You should hear from us within an hour” – and offer automated help in the meantime.
About half of customers expect their support question sent via social media to get answered in roughly the same time no matter whether they ask during the day, at night or even on the weekend. Always tag the customer when you respond to public posts so they get a notification of your answer.
Decide whether Messenger requests will be sorted on arrival into customer service and marketing, or have customer support handle everything at first and give marketing good leads. Some customers will share critique, feedback and bad experiences, even using screenshots of your private customer service chats, and you should be ready to reply as soon as possible. On the other hand, great customer service on Messenger can easily go viral across social media and give your brand a marketing boost.
Most customers prefer messaging apps for customer service because they want an answer to their question within 24 hours, and doing so can increase the reputation of your company and win your team the “Very Responsive To Messages” badge from Facebook. This is earned by responding to 90% of inquiries within 15 minutes over the 7 previous days, which tells people you won’t make them wait for a response.