People already spend their time communicating with friends and family over Facebook Messenger, so it’s only right that they use the platform to converse with businesses too. Messenger is a quick and easy way for customers to reach out to businesses and receive an instant response.
Over 3.1 billion people use Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram or Messenger each month globally, which means these platforms, especially Messenger, are fantastic tools for businesses of all sizes to communicate directly with their customers.
Why is Facebook Messenger So Powerful For Businesses?
Messaging between customers and businesses is growing quickly. Each month, people and businesses exchange over 20 billion messages on Messenger thanks to its speed and ease of use.
Consumers are more likely to shop with businesses that they can message directly, rather than having to call customer service or send an email. Instant messages allow customers to trust and connect with the brand.
Small businesses can utilise Messenger to:
• Raise Brand Awareness
• Generate Leads
• Increase Sales
• Provide Customer Support
Use Messenger To Connect With Your Customers
When customers post to your page asking questions such as your opening hours or location, it’s always best practice to respond publicly in case others have the same questions.
However, certain conversations need to be had in private, for example, billing enquiries or order statuses. In this case, businesses should be using Messenger.
Page admins can respond to sensitive questions by clicking on the word ‘Message’ under the comment they’d like to respond to. This will divert them to Messenger.
Make It Easy For Customers To Find You
There are many organic ways for businesses to encourage customers to communicate with them via Messenger.
Businesses can add a call to action button at the top of their Facebook Page that directs viewers to Messenger via a ‘Send Message’ button. Other options for this button include Book Now, Shop On Website and Send Email. However, as above, we know customers prefer the Messenger CTA.
Facebook Chat Plugin
Similar to a ‘Live Chat’ plugin, Facebook’s Chat plugin directs website traffic to a Messenger box to make it as easy as possible for businesses and customers to keep their conversations within one place.
The Chat plugin provides the same personalised, rich-media experience users would expect from Messenger and anyone can connect within a business. The customer chat plugin enables you to integrate your Messenger experience directly into your website.
Send To Messenger
Another helpful plugin – Send To Messenger – gives people the option to receive information from a business in Messenger, which helps transactional notifications such as receipts and shipping alerts.
The Checkbox plugin allows businesses to authenticate people with Messenger and start a thread using your website. Similar to the Send To Messenger plugin, but optimized for forms.
Engage Using Messages
We know that Messenger can be a powerful tool to build and maintain customer relationships. Therefore, it’s essential that businesses understand how best to communicate with their customers and provide the support they’re looking for.
Within Messenger there is a new business inbox – simply toggle between your personal and business accounts within the app to respond to messages. Businesses can also receive notifications within the Messenger app to remind them to respond in a timely manner.
Here are four best practices to remember when responding to messages.
1. Be Responsive
If businesses respond to 90%+ of their messages within 15 minutes they will earn a “Very Responsive” badge which shows prominently on their Facebook Page. Therefore, it’s important to be reactive, not only for the badge but to build rapport with clients too.
2. Answer All Questions
When an existing or potential customer interacts with your page it’s a fantastic opportunity to build on your relationship. Businesses should publicly answer as many questions as possible and move the more sensitive ones to a private message.
3. Write The Way You Speak
It is ‘Social’ Media after all. Messaging is a direct communication channel so it’s best to type in a personal and friendly tone, as if you were chatting with the customer face to face.
When you reply to customer messages, personalise your response so they know it’s bespoke to them and not just copy & pasted. For more information such as their public profile and any previous interactions with your business simply tap on their name.
Despite the private and friendly aspect of Messenger, always be sure to stay on brand and generate responses that fit your business’s personality with as little industry jargon as possible.
4. Use Automation
• Set A Welcome Greeting
Within Messenger, businesses can set customisable greetings to appear when someone initiates a conversation. The greeting will appear before any messages are sent and can provide helpful information or thank people for reaching out.
• Save Time With Saved Replies
If you find yourself receiving frequently asked questions then save your replies so you have them ready to reuse. This will save time and allow you to respond quicker whilst ensuring that the information is correct.
• Use An Away Message
Social never sleeps but you have to – sometimes! By adding an Away message you’re able to manage your customers’ expectations and your responsiveness score won’t be affected if you’re unable to reply.
Manage Communications On The Go
Businesses who are out and about can still manage their messages thanks to the Facebook Business Suite – available on both desktop and as a mobile app. Business Suite is designed to help businesses establish their credibility by replying to messages in a timely fashion.
The Facebook Business Suite provides a range of tools to help businesses manage their Facebook and Instagram presence in one place. For example, features such as ‘Inbox’ group messages from both platforms.
By actively monitoring the messages and comments across Facebook and Instagram, businesses will be able to respond quickly and strengthen relationships. Inbox can be filtered by ‘Read’ and ‘Unread’ messages to ensure everyone has been responded to. Messages and comments can then be marked to follow up, as complete or moved to spam.
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