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Facebook Messenger Chatbot: How to Interact with Customers in a More Conversational Way?

Using a bot in marketing, including a Facebook Messenger chatbot, is a strong trend nowadays and one that’s going to continue. Bots can automate many processes and, as a result, increase a brand’s revenue. In fact, 57% of businesses agree that chatbots deliver large ROIs with minimal effort. Most users love them too! 70% of Millennials reported positive chatbot experiences. 

Messaging apps surpassed social networks in 2015, with more people using the former than the latter since then. That’s the main reason why the popularity of Facebook Messenger Marketing is continuously rising among marketers all over the world.

What is a chatbot?

According to the Cambridge dictionary, a chatbot is “a computer program designed to have a conversation with a human being, especially over the internet”. Such a piece of software is designed to simulate human-like conversations based on voice or text. Chatbots have become widely used for customer support and marketing purposes. Basic bots can answer simple predefined questions based on keywords, while AI-powered chatbots can conduct more complex conversations. 

Thanks to artificial intelligence technologies, and its branches such as natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML), bots can understand advanced interactions and learn what people mean when they use certain words. Simply put, bots can appropriately react to the context. As such, a conversation with a bot can now be smoother and less frustrating for customers. These technologies require a vast amount of data, so the more an end-user interacts with a bot, the better the conversation can become. 

Chatbots can be implemented in various places. The most popular ways of using chatbots for companies are on their websites and apps, as well as in Facebook Messenger.

What are the benefits of implementing chatbots in your strategy?

  • Automation — customers can get instant responses to their enquiries and messages. 
  • Saving time — chatbots can take over repetitive tasks and enable your team to focus on more ambitious and complex tasks. 
  • Personalization — thanks to the gathered data, you can provide your customers with a personal touch, even via a chatbot. 
  • Accuracy of response — when it comes to data, bots are far more reliable than humans. 
  • Engagement — as chatbots interact with customers in a conversational way, such interactions can be far more engaging and improve customer experience.
  • Proactive customer interaction — thanks to bots, you can interact with customers, even if they don’t contact your team. For example, you can ask them for feedback automatically. 
  • Being up-to-date with the latest trends — while other brands are implementing chatbots to improve their customer support and marketing strategies, you shouldn’t fall behind your competitors. 
  • Delivering an omnichannel experience — by enabling contact via bots, you can offer a more convenient communication channel. 

As you can see, chatbots can influence your business in many ways, so take advantage of the technology to boost your brand’s performance. 

What can you use a Facebook Messenger chatbot for? 

Implementing a bot in your social media strategy can spice up your interactions with customers and become a more effective communication channel, both for customer support and sales purposes. Check out in which cases you can use a Facebook Messenger Chatbot instead of, or alongside, other channels. 

Customer service 

Nowadays, with rising customer expectations, brands receive messages 24/7. Thanks to Facebook Messenger chatbot you can answer repetitive questions immediately without disturbing your agents. It’s a win-win situation for both your team and your customers. By taking advantage of machine learning, you can even teach your bot how to solve more complex and challenging issues. 

Proactive support

When it comes to customer service and increasing customer satisfaction, you don’t have to wait for users to contact your brand. Let your customers know that they don’t have to hesitate to ask their questions and that your support is available via Facebook Messenger. A friendly welcome message can be a game-changer for customer-brand interactions. 

Getting feedback

You can also ask for feedback in a conversational way that simulates human interactions. Conduct a brief survey so that, in a few clicks, you can gather essential information and find out how your customers perceive your brand, support, and products or services. Use a satisfaction scale or prepare some statements to choose from. This way, you’ll increase the chances of getting feedback compared to relying on customers to type out their own opinions. 

Facebook live chat 

You can implement a Facebook Messenger chatbot on your website. This way you can deliver omnichannel customer support and provide customers with the same experience that they already know from Facebook. It’s a great idea for building your chatbot audience, as you’ll be able to contact users who have previously asked questions via live chat on your website. 

Conversational commerce

At the end of the day, every brand’s purpose of being active on social media is for increasing sales. Conversational commerce, by using rule-based or AI-driven chatbots, enables shopping via voice assistants or text bots. 

Browsing products

Customers can view online store catalogues within the Messenger app. For example, Shopify provides e-commerce businesses with The Messenger Sales Channel, which enables browsing of products via Messenger. Once customers are making a purchasing decision, they’ll be redirected to your website. Moreover, this channel lets brands send automated notifications regarding their orders.

Shopping directly in the app

A “Buy Now” button enables purchasing within the Messenger app, letting you shorten the buyer journey and increase conversion. During this quick check-out process, Facebook will automatically fill out the form with a users’ data (if they have updated it on Facebook). 

Shopping assistants

Some brands go beyond customer expectations and use bots to give advice during purchasing. Instead of browsing hundreds of products on their own, users can ask for recommendations relating to sets of products or gifts, etc. The sky’s the limit! Depending on seasons and occasions, you can engage with your customers and offer appropriate products. For example, LEGO helps customers choose the best products based on the age and interests of the recipient. Suitable recommendations also enable up-selling. When a customer chooses a selection of pants, why not offer them matching shirts as well?

Promo codes distribution

You can distribute a special deal via Messenger chatbots as well. Instead of placing promo codes in your social media posts and ads, encourage users to contact your brand using Messenger. This way, your customers can receive a promo code and you can build your audience for future messages.

Lead generation and nurturing

Chatbots in Facebook Messenger can boost your sales strategy. By interacting with users, you can segment them and identify your leads. Adjust your bot’s scenarios to your sales funnel and create a positive customer experience. First, find out what challenges your potential customers face, then offer free advice or a valuable piece of content and enable easy contact. 

Bots can be also effective when it comes to lead nurturing. You can send automatic, yet personalized, regular messages with a follow-up or a new piece of helpful content. This way, you can build a strong relationship with potential customers and warm-up your leads. 

Increasing engagement 

Bots can help you entertain your customers and engage with them in a conversational way. For example, you can automatically answer Facebook comments, organize quizzes, surveys, challenges, puzzles or lotteries, provide frames and even use geolocalization to navigate your customers, all via Messenger bots. 

Another great idea is to organize a social media contest using a bot! Instead of posting or commenting, users can submit their tasks via Messenger so that they’re not public. You might receive more submissions than usually because users value their privacy. 

Newsletter 2.0

Facebook Messenger chatbots can be used instead of email marketing. As mentioned above, you can send automatic notifications regarding customers’ orders, send follow-ups and distribute content. One might wonder why they should switch from email to Messenger. Well, the former and more conventional communication channel is becoming less and less effective. Since many users receive tons of emails, they simply don’t open them all. On the other hand, Facebook Messenger users still don’t get as many messages from brands as emails, plus it’s faster and more convenient to use. What’s more, users will probably check out your messages on Facebook as a result of the FOMO (fear of missing out) phenomenon. Test it out on your audience and find out which channel’s open rates are higher. 

How to build a Facebook Messenger chatbot?

For starters, Facebook offers a native option called automatic responses. As an admin of a Facebook page, you can set up automatic messages that will be sent to users depending on their actions. In this case, there’s no bot that uses data to solve issues, but rather the system automatically sends responses to the selected questions. You can set up:

  • FAQs with answers to enable simple and predefined interactions.
  • An away message and instant reply that inform users that you’ll respond as soon as possible.
  • Response to feedback – you can automatically message people who recommended your Page.
automated responses on Facebook
Automated response feature on Facebook

You can use Facebook’s templates or craft your own engaging messages. It’s not a complex solution, but it definitely can be a start when it comes to improving the customer experience through Facebook. 

To create more helpful and complex interactions, try building a chatbot for yourself. There are two ways to do this. The first is to program your own bot from scratch. For that, you’ll need a professional who is specialized in bots. The second method, which is time and cost-reducing, is to use a chatbot platform, on which you can take advantage of templates and ready-to-use plugins without any coding skills. Today, the market is filled with such solutions. Below you can find a few of the most interesting tools, which offer basic plans for absolutely free:

With these platforms, you can program conversation scenarios, so that chosen actions will occur based on users’ behaviour. They’re intuitive and provide drag-and-drop editors that let you know exactly how your bot will function. On more advanced plans, you can take advantage of AI (even voice and image recognition) for training your chatbot to interact with customers more intuitively and accurately.

Wrap-up

While revamping your social media strategy, make sure to include a Facebook Messenger chatbot in it. Start with simple FAQs and automatic responses to improve customer support, then implement more options over time, such as product recommendations, content distribution and contests. Don’t hesitate to interact with customers in a more engaging conversational way to build stronger and more long-term relationships with them. Try out a few different free solutions to find out which of their features suit you the most.

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Nina Kozłowska

Nina Kozłowska

Content Marketing Specialist at Brainy Bees. Sociologist passionate about new technologies in marketing.
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