In April of this year, Facebook introduced chatbots for their messenger service, opening up an entirely new avenue for businesses to reach consumers. Since Messenger is the second most popular app on iOS – over 900 million people actively use it each month – the announcement about the new feature generated quite a lot of buzz.
Chatbots have powerful potential when it comes to online customer relationship management for your business. Here’s everything you need to know about Facebook chatbots and how to use them to your advantage.
The Launch of Chatbots
“Bots” is a general term to describe software that automates a task. At their core, these chatbots are meant to automate customers’ interaction with a business. Facebook suggests that rather than download another app, consumers would prefer to interact with companies in an app they likely already have.
Zuckerberg’s keynote focused on the way customers interact with businesses, noting that there should be a better way to communicate than calling. Zuckerberg provided an example of a business interaction with 1-800-Flowers, showing a customer ordering flowers while only interacting with a Facebook chat bot over Messenger.
What are the Chatbots’ Benefits?
According to the Facebook launch announcement, “Bots can provide anything from automated subscription content like weather and traffic updates, to customized communications like receipts, shipping notifications, and live automated messages all by interacting directly with the people who want to get them.”
Businesses can provide consumers with instant responses to simple questions using Facebook chatbots on Messenger. Businesses have the ability to custom design the capabilities of their bots, and each company can tailor the bot’s responses based on the business’ specific services. The bots can also customize their answers for you based on past interactions.
How to Set Up Chatbots
Facebook’s chatbots are set up using Facebook’s Wit.ai Bot Engine. The company’s quick start overview offers tips to get a bot up and running in 10 minutes. The complete guide goes into much more depth about capabilities to customize. Developers and businesses can also create bots and then submit them for review – find the developer docs here.
Facebook bots can help you stay on top of customer interactions on the site. If you need help or advice to set up a chatbot for your business, reach out to the social media team at Volume Nine today – we’re here to help!