Facebook Messenger chatbots are fast becoming a business essential, in the same way that social media is now a vital business tool. Chatbots can take a customer’s social media brand experience to the next level, while making life easier for customers and businesses alike.
In a nutshell, Facebook Messenger chatbots allow users to ask specific questions relating to a business and the chatbot provides relevant answers in real-time. While similar to navigating the phone system of some large organisations, an online conversation with a chatbot can be far less annoying and even entertaining if developed well.
“People are using messenger apps more than they are using social networks”.
Facebook Messenger has more than 1 billion active monthly users and business owners are urged not to ignore this significant development in social media technology. Here are three key benefits of using Facebook Messenger chatbots for business:
1. Chatbots deliver information to customers anytime with speed and ease
Chatbots save customers the time and the trouble of having to search for information or having to wait for someone to answer their inquiry. Instead, a chatbot can immediately provide answers to customers 24 hours a day.
The chatbot scripts are programmed ahead of time, so there is always the possibility that a customer may ask a curly question that the chatbot can’t answer. A relevant response to this can also be preempted to ensure that the customer’s needs will always be met.
2. Chatbots can free up much needed business resources
Customer service is one of the most important (plus labour intensive, and expensive) parts of any business. Before chatbots, responding to customer inquires via Facebook required staff, time and business knowledge.
If customers generally ask the same types of questions relating to products and services such as opening times, or product colours and sizes, using a chatbot to provide these answers means that other areas of a business can benefit from the resources no longer needed for this task.
In ‘The Complete Beginner’s Guide To Chatbots’, (well worth a read), Matt Schlicht explains that a conversation with a chatbot can mirror “…the type of experience you would get when you go into the retail store”. Yet, a staff member does not need to be present for this exchange to take place.
Another benefit of using chatbots is that customers will never have to wait until someone can attend to them if staff attention is required elsewhere.
3. Chatbots can provide customers with memorable brand experiences
Using chatbots can provide customised and highly memorable brand experiences for customers. Conversations with chatbots may sound mechanical and robotic, but the reality is the opposite. In fact, some organisations are leveraging the opportunity that chatbots provide to let customers engage with their brand personality in really fun and entertaining ways.
A fantastic example is tequila brand, Tres Agaves that worked with leading Australian conversation design agency, Xandra Labs, to bring three of the campaign’s characters to life via Facebook Messenger chatbots. Maria – Queen of Tequila, Carlos the Volcano Climber, and Jorge the Jimador all have different personalities and provide consumers with a unique, entertaining and informative interaction, developing positive brand associations and relationships in the process.
Chatbots are relevant for any business that interacts with its customers online, and have also been developed to provide weather information, news, and to schedule meetings. They’re not also limited to Facebook Messenger. Chatbots can be created for most messenger applications such as WhatsApp, Kik and Slack.
Where to begin?
Facebook provides some fantastic tools to develop chatbots for Messenger. Other chatbot tools such as Mobile Monkey are industry leaders by “..helping businesses get more leads, close more sales, recruit talent to their teams, and save money with automation” with their advanced knowledge in this area.
There are also other tools online such as Chatfuel that don’t require any knowledge of how to code to create simple, but effective chatbots for any purpose. Plus, agencies such as Xandra Labs, that specialise in chatbot development, can do all of the work for you.
Chatbots can benefit customers and businesses alike, and will soon become as common (and necessary) as having a Facebook business page.
Why make your customers and business wait to experience the benefits?