Today, speed is expected in nearly every aspect of life. People complete 20-minute burst workouts and eat microwavable food to save time each day. It’s no different for those reaching out to businesses when they have a question or concern. These days, customers simply expect a quick reply.
When it comes to contacting a business with a question, comment or concern, people have grown tired of automated phone systems that can eat up large chunks of time while customers wait on hold. For this reason, an increasing number of people are turning to social media in order to contact a company, including the use of Facebook Messenger.
But how can your business provide fast, thorough answers to every single question that comes in? If your business has a high volume of customer service inquiries, it might benefit from using Facebook Messenger chatbots.
Chatbots are automated tools that can engage customers in simple conversations once they’ve sent your business a message through Facebook Messenger, helping you deliver immediate responses. If your business is strapped for customer service resources, using a chatbot can free up time.
For instance, maybe your customer service reps are flooded with requests for tracking numbers. A chatbot can easily handle this simple task, allowing customer service reps to focus on bigger matters.
There are many chatbot tools on the web — like Chatfuel, Converse and Botsify — that give you the option to create a customized chatbot to meet the needs of your business and customers. This process is often simple enough that a person with no coding knowledge can complete it, and some tools even provide free integrations.
Customer service via Facebook Messenger is growing more popular as a new social media trend shows that messenger apps are used much more than social networking itself. And Facebook Messenger, with 1.2 billion monthly users across the globe, is a fast, powerful tool that can be leveraged for customer service.
Consumers are looking for meaningful conversations that resolve an issue. Here are some ways you can use Facebook Messenger chatbots to accomplish just that.
#1: Answer Common Questions
Chatbots are ideal for addressing simple questions, like:
- “What’s your return policy?”
- “Where’s my order?”
- “What are your store hours?”
Answers to these types of questions can often be found on your business’ website, or perhaps you already emailed tracking information to a customer. But these questions still come in and take up valuable time.
To relieve your customer service team of simple, often repetitive questions, you can start using a chatbot to handle these matters.
You’ll have to teach the bot what to say, of course. And that could take some thought before the bot is ready to launch. All pre-written lines of copy should have a uniform voice that matches your website copy. Bots should also inform customers that they’re speaking to an automated response system so no one feels tricked.
After the question or concern has been addressed by the bot, it should offer a “was your concern resolved?” type of question. If the customers says no, they should have an option to be transferred to a live customer service rep.
#2: Improve Response Rate
Did you know that taking too long to respond to queries can lead to losing customers? 56% of customers who feel like your company isn’t responding fast enough will never do business with your company again. Under the same circumstances, 54% of customers will escalate the issue to involve a supervisor. And you certainly don’t want customers to complain about your company on a public domain like social media.
It can be difficult to respond to every customer in a timely manner, especially for a smaller business with limited resources. However, chatbots can ensure that every customer has a chance to voice their grievances and receive feedback.
People want to be heard, which means that simply acknowledging a customer that reaches out can go a long way towards satisfying their concern. In many cases, chatbots can effectively resolve customer concerns. And even in instances where a live customer service rep needs to get involved, the customer may still have a positive attitude about the fact that the issue has been heard and is in the process of being addressed.
Improving response rate with the use of chatbots can earn your business the esteemed “Very Responsive to Messages” badge on Facebook, which signifies that your business is attentive and helpful. If your aim is to achieve a 100% response rate — and it should be — then using chatbots can be a tremendous help in talking to every single customer. It’s a worthwhile investment that allows even small businesses to compete with large companies in the customer service sphere.
#3: Personalize the Customer Service Experience
Technology is a helpful place to start, but nothing builds lasting relationships with customers quite like the human touch. Chatbots are great for very simple questions (mentioned above) or as a starting point before connecting the customer to a live rep to handle larger concerns.
Even when using chatbots, your chat scripts should retain a personal touch when possible. For instance, you can program the bot to call customers by their first name, which is always a sweet sound to everyone’s ear. All dialogue should be conducted in a courteous tone, in an effort to reach a calm resolution.
These practices should be continued when customers are connected to live reps, who should also greet customers with their first names to humanize the interaction. Essentially, the conversations between customers/bots and customers/service reps should be as personalized as possible. This gives customers the feeling that your business empathizes with their needs.
#4: Address Negative Interactions in a Private Setting
When customers are inspired to contact a business, it is more often with a concern or complaint than any form of praise. That’s simply the nature of free speech. So it’s inevitable that you’ll see a few negative comments on your business’ Facebook page (along with other social media accounts as well).
Before these situations have a chance to escalate, you can move them to a private setting like a personal message. While having a live rep address the customer is best in this case, you can use a sophisticated chatbot to get the ball rolling. For example, a chatbot can gather initial data like the customer’s name, an order number and what their issue seems to be. From there, that information can be used to pull up that customer’s account and then transferred to a live rep for a personalized solution.
When you respond to a Facebook comment privately, there’s an option to leave a notice behind so the public is aware that you’re addressing the issue privately rather than ignoring it. This helps develop your brand image as one with compassion and attentiveness.
#5: Deliver Targeted Content
Chatbots can be programmed to provide value via personalized content. In this situation, the goal is to inform rather than sell. It’s a way to establish your business as a trusted industry expert. As a bonus, the content can direct consumers to your site, creating more sales opportunities as a secondary goal.
What does this type of content look like? That depends on your industry. If you own a fitness center, perhaps you send consumers recipes for healthy meals or an explanation of at-home calisthenics routines. If your business sells home improvement supplies, you might want to send consumers simple DIY tutorials for common home projects. This information can all link to related information or products/services on your business’ website.
Most importantly, if you decide to use a chatbot for content marketing, be sure to offer people contact information in case they need additional information or customer service assistance.
Nothing can replace a one-on-one conversation between two humans when it comes to customer service matters. However, some simple questions or concerns can easily be addressed using a chatbot. This practice serves customers well, while reserving your resources for issues that may need more attention from your customer service team.
With plenty of easy-to-use tools available online, it might be time to integrate chatbots into your overall customer service model.