In many cases, the best way to make customer service as convenient as possible is for ecommerce stores to meet customers where they already are. With that in mind, managing customer interactions via a messaging platform that the customer is already familiar with can be an excellent way to provide better customer service — and few messaging apps are more popular than Facebook Messenger.
In this blog, we'll cover everything you need to know about utilizing the Facebook Messenger app as a customer service channel. Below, you’ll learn why it’s beneficial for optimizing the customer experience, and the best practices you should leverage to use Facebook Messenger to its maximum potential.
Why more teams are using Facebook Messenger for customer service
As customer care has become a higher priority for companies in all industries, more and more companies are seeking out ways to make their customer support process more effective. To this end, utilizing Facebook chat as a support channel is something that can offer several key benefits, including:
It lets customer service agents meet customers on a channel they're already on
According to data from Review42, there are 1.3 billion people around the globe who use Facebook Messenger each month. This makes Facebook Messenger the second most popular mobile app for messaging in the world, behind WhatsApp (and, if you count it, SMS.)
Asking customers to report a problem via your company's website or its customer support phone number may not seem like a big ask. However, allowing them to contact your company via the social media messaging apps that they are already most comfortable with increases the chances that they will reach out. If contacting support is too cumbersome or unfamiliar, they may simply take their business elsewhere without giving you the opportunity to make it right.
It provides a more natural and personal way of engaging with customers
A person's Facebook page is a very personal thing. By extension, Facebook Messenger is one of the more personal communication channels to choose from — especially when you consider that most people use Facebook Messenger primarily to communicate with their friends and family.
With this being the case, managing customer conversations via Facebook Messenger is a more relaxed, natural, and personal way for customers to engage with your brand. This makes it more likely that they will walk away from the interaction with positive feelings about their experience.
It integrates with many customer service software platforms
Given the value that Facebook Messenger provides as a customer service channel, it's no surprise that most popular customer service platforms place emphasis on integrating with Facebook and Facebook Messenger. Gorgias, for example, allows you to centralize conversations through Facebook Messenger and all of your other support channels under one user-friendly dashboard.
Gorgias’ Facebook Messenger integration also allows you to create automated customer service workflows and canned responses to common questions. These canned responses utilize AI to detect a customer's sentiment and intent, which provides your business with valuable data about how your customers feel about your brand. To learn more about how Gorgias integrates with Facebook Messenger, be sure to check out this resource.
It lets customer service teams use automation and chatbots
Customer service software platforms that integrate with Facebook Messenger, like Gorgias, allow you to create Facebook Messenger chatbots that automatically assist customers with a wide range of common questions and issues.
The benefits of utilizing chatbots on Facebook Messenger are two-fold. For one, chatbots allow you to offer near-immediate response and resolution times to simple customer inquiries. By addressing common issues without the need for a live support agent, chatbots can also reduce your support ticket volume and free your support team up to focus on more complex and pressing issues.
It saves each customer's chat history and makes it easy to re-engage any time
Even without any integrations with other customer service software solutions, Facebook Messenger is still able to automatically save a customer's chat history. This makes it incredibly easy to re-engage with customers anytime you wish, which simplifies the customer service process and can potentially save your support team (and customers) a lot of time and hassle.
Helpful Facebook Messenger best practices for customer support teams
Using Facebook Messenger as a customer service channel can offer a lot of benefits, but only if you employ the right approach. If you would like to get as much value as possible from Facebook Messenger, here are seven best practices for using Facebook Messenger as a means of customer support.
Respond quickly, whether via a live chat experience or a chatbot
According to data from SuperOffice, 46% of customers expect a response time for customer service inquiries of four hours or less. Further, 12% of customers expect companies to respond in 15 minutes or less.
As we've already mentioned, using Messenger chatbots can be a great way to ensure speedy responses to common customer questions. However, responding quickly is still highly important if you are offering customers a live chat experience via Facebook Messenger rather than directing them to a chatbot. Even if you are utilizing live chat, you can still set up chatbots to send an auto-response thanking them for their inquiry and letting the customer know that an agent will assist them soon.
In all cases, it is essential to make every effort to respond to customer inquiries that are sent using Facebook Messenger — or any other customer service channel for that matter — as quickly as possible.
Integrate with Facebook to create one unified customer service workspace
Responding to large volumes of customer inquiries directly through Facebook Messenger can be a major hassle, especially if you have numerous other customer support channels to manage as well. However, centralizing all of your customer conversations across channels under one easy-to-use dashboard is sure to make managing Facebook Messenger conversations much more efficient for your support team.
This is where customer service platforms like Gorgias do well. Those that feature deep integrations with Facebook can also automatically pull a customer's information, such as their purchase history, from your store. This allows your support agents to provide more helpful and personalized assistance.
To see for yourself how Gorgias can streamline your customer service process by integrating with Facebook to create a unified customer service workspace, we invite you to check out our social media features or schedule a demo of Gorgias today.
If you'd prefer to shop around, check out our list of the best Shopify social media integrations.
Automate simple questions that come through Facebook Messenger
We've already discussed how companies can utilize Facebook Messenger chatbots to provide immediate responses to common questions. In addition to lowering the average first response time of your customer support team, using bots to automate simple questions that come through Facebook Messenger can also free up a lot of time in your team's schedule.
According to data from Tidio, 62% of customers would rather use a chatbot than wait for a customer service representative to take their call, making Facebook Messenger chatbots an excellent way to ensure that your customer service process is as speedy and convenient as possible.
Use content, FAQs, and knowledge base material to get customers to their solutions faster
Resources like blogs, FAQs, and knowledge base material can all serve as excellent customer service tools to supplement your various customer support channels. Make these resources available for customers to find on their own, and be sure to train your support agents on how to find and direct customers to these resources. Providing helpful self-service tools like these as part of your Facebook Messenger support strategy can go a long way toward making Facebook a more effective customer service channel.
Encourage customers to send helpful resources that will give you additional context
While it can certainly be beneficial for support agents to direct customers to resources such as knowledge base material, the reverse is true as well. Resources that a customer provides while seeking assistance can offer a lot of value.
Facebook Messenger makes it incredibly easy for people to send photos, videos, and documents. In some cases, these resources from customers can be helpful for providing your support team with additional information about the issue that they are attempting to resolve.
Seek out greater context to help customers with their support requests
Speaking of encouraging customers to provide resources for more information, seeking out greater context to help customers with their support requests is important no matter what customer service channel you are using.
Seeking context starts with having your agents ask customers the right questions. For example, asking customers how they are using the product that they purchased can provide agents with a lot more context regarding the issue that the customer is facing. Asking customers if there is anything else that you can help them with after the initial problem has been resolved is another question that can ensure that no issues go unaddressed.
By making an effort to seek out as much context as possible regarding a customer issue, your customer support agents can ensure that they provide relevant information that resolves the true issue that a customer is facing.
Respond to every customer that sends you a message
It isn't always easy, but responding to every customer who sends you a message through Facebook Messenger is essential if you want to optimize customer satisfaction and reduce churn. This is especially evident when you consider the fact that Facebook Messenger notifies users when their message has been seen.
In other words, if you choose to ignore a customer's message, they’ll know about it. Thankfully, tools such as automated chatbots and dashboards for centralizing customer conversations can make replying to each and every customer message a much more feasible goal.
How to set up a Facebook customer service channel with Gorgias
At Gorgias, we recognize the immense value that Facebook Messenger can provide when leveraged as a customer service channel. We go to great lengths to ensure that our industry-leading customer service platform is able to integrate deeply with both Facebook and the Facebook Messenger app.
With Gorgias, ecommerce stores can centralize customer conversations across multiple channels under one user-friendly dashboard, utilize powerful automation features complete with AI-powered customer intent and sentiment detection, create automated customer service workflows for Facebook Messenger, and much more. You can also expand your support messaging capabilities with our SMS feature.
To see for yourself how Gorgias empowers brands to provide better customer service through Facebook Messenger, sign up for Gorgias today.