In an ever increasingly digital world, people are spending more and more time on the internet. Social media is one of the biggest reasons why people hop online throughout their day. In fact, we spend an average of 116 minutes a day on social media. This infographic from Social Media Today shows that this is the equivalent of five years and four months in a lifetime!
Social media powerhouse Facebook now has 2.01 billion monthly active users and 1.32 billion daily users. These statistics are nothing short of phenomenal. What’s also impressive is that Facebook’s instant messenger service ‘Facebook Messenger’ is one of the biggest global messaging services with more than 1.2 billion unique monthly users according to David Marcus, Facebook’s Head of Messenger.
When you consider the influencer power of social media and the ever-increasing role social platforms play in your business digital marketing mix, these figures really shouldn’t be ignored. In fact, some brands already see the benefit of taking their social media audience and customer engagement one step further by using Facebook’s messenger service to add personalized connectivity to their customers.
There are many benefits to using Messenger to connect with your customers on social media:
- Brand accessibility for your customers
- Human touch customer service in a typically disconnected digital experience
- Rapid response to customer questions
- Encourage consumer interaction and personal engagement
- Easy tracking and logging of customer questions and issues
- Provide a more integrated and seamless customer experience
These are just a few of the advantages to using Messenger to deliver an improved customer service experience. But knowing how to begin using Messenger as a customer service tool and making sure it works for your business is another thing. So, here are a few ways your business can use Facebook Messenger to differentiate your brand’s customer experience from that of your less Messenger-savvy competitors.
Enable Messenger on Your Facebook Business Page
To allow your customers to engage directly in conversation with you through Facebook Messenger, you need to activate the Messenger function on your Facebook business page. You can easily set this up in the manage page settings tab.
- Click Settings at the top of your Page
- From General, click Messages
- Click to check or uncheck the box next to Allow people to contact my Page privately by showing the Message button
- Click Save Changes
Doing this will add the ‘Message Us’ function to your main Facebook business page and allows Messenger to become an option in response to user comments that are made on your page’s posts.
Make Sure You’re Quick to Respond
The internet is a 24/7 medium and consumers expect digital contact to be almost instantaneously. If your business doesn’t have a 24/7 customer service team, there are other ways to manage this to meet your customers’ expectations.
You can change the settings to not allow messages from users outside your normal, stated customer service hours. This solves the responsiveness issue, but some users will still be disappointed that they don’t have the option to contact you when it is most convenient for them.
The other option is to use the Instant Response option built into Facebook’s page Messenger. This allows you to set a customized response to any messages your business page receives. If you do have set customer service hours then make these hours known in your response. You can thank the customer for their message and make sure they’re made aware that they can expect a direct response as soon as the customer service team is back in action between said hours. Then just make sure you keep your promise and respond promptly — don’t disappoint.
Set Up a Welcome Greeting
A welcome greeting is a message automatically sent at the start of a new conversation for any customer who opens a Messenger conversation with you for the first time. Though this is not an overly advanced customer service technique, it is a good opportunity to set the tone of a new conversation and add some of your brand personality. The welcome greeting should encourage the user to have an open conversation with you. It also shows that you’re happy to speak with potential customers through this channel.
Get Personal with Your Customer Engagement
With Facebook you can get advanced information about your potential customers through their public Facebook social media profiles. Via Messenger, you can bring up details about the individuals you are corresponding with by reading the information they have permitted to be seen by the public. If you have time, before you respond to a message, take some time to browse and learn more about them. This data will often show the user’s age, gender, location and even some of their likes and associations. Play it smart without making too many assumptions and engage with each user as an individual instead of trying to just use an overly standardized approach to each conversation
Don’t Become a Robot
When dealing with frequent customer questions, it’s easy to respond like a machine with canned answers. Using the quickest and simplest way to answer each customer query has its merits because of its efficiency, but engagements on a 1 to 1 level like this has the power to be so much more meaningful. Treat each conversation through Messenger like you would a normal conversation you’d have with a customer over the counter, on the phone or in a physical store. You remember the old cliché about first impressions, right? This may be the first time this customer interacts with your business or brand, so great first impressions matter.
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Different brands have different rules regarding brand tone of voice but for the average business-to-customer interaction, it pays to have human touch. Have moderators introduce themselves when the conversation first starts and sign off messages with their first name to give the visitor a more personal touch. Not only is this just good manners but it adds a real sense to the customer that they are talking to another person and not a piece of clever AI. It puts the customer at ease but it also allows a more personal relationship to build. Should customers return to follow up on something or give feedback on their experience, they then have someone they can name in reference to their earlier conversation.
Using Messenger for customer service for your business on social media can be a powerful and influential way to grow authority, trust and personal love for your brand. However, it does require you to be extremely attentive and create a positive experience for your customers if you meet and exceed their expectations with your communications.
Let us know what you think
Have you used Messenger for your own customer service team? What has the response been like from clients? Or, have you been on the other end of the screen as a customer yourself? Share your thoughts and experiences with us.