Last week, while hastily shopping online for new bedroom furniture, I suddenly panicked: delivery was only available within the U.S., and I needed it across the pond. Quickly, I jumped on the brand’s Facebook page and sent a message via Messenger. Within minutes, I had a response to my question and a resolution to my concern. Had I telephoned the furniture store, it’s likely my problem would have been passed to someone else—maybe several other people. Case in point: It would have taken longer, and I might have decided to forego the purchase.
Customer service like I experienced on Facebook Messenger is becoming more commonplace, as people’s expectations of businesses are evolving. Eight billion messages are exchanged every month between people and businesses. One in two people considers messaging a business through apps to be the “modern way to communicate,” expecting companies to be available and responsive. Fifty-six percent of people around the world would rather message a business than call customer service.
For businesses looking to use messaging as a way to connect with customers, Facebook Messenger is an excellent platform to start the process. Messenger is one of the most widely used messenger apps worldwide in terms of monthly active users, of which it has 1.3 billion. Plus, it allows you to build the type of personalized experiences you want to give your customers, from one-to-one interactions to conversational transactions at scale.
If you’re unsure how to use Facebook Messenger for marketing, let me explain four different use cases for this modern form of communication.
1. Customer Service
Perhaps the most recognized—and utilized—approach to business messaging is customer service. Facebook Messenger is perfectly suited to help businesses answer customers’ commonly asked questions, take reservations or orders, or provide helpful information like hours and directions—all from a simple chat window.
Using automated responses, Messenger can also let your customers know when you are unavailable and when you will get back to them. Some functions do require chatbots, but fortunately there are plenty of third-party developers who can help you create one.
Domino’s does a great job of letting customers know how they can use Messenger—to place or track an order and where to reach out for customer care. The chat window pops up immediately after landing on their Facebook page:
2. Build Awareness/Acquire New Customers
Social media is an ideal medium for building brand awareness, and Facebook Messenger sits at the heart of this initiative. With Facebook’s latest News Feed ad format, businesses can now include a “Send Message” call-to-action that opens a conversation in Messenger when the ad is clicked.
Yes, this involves paid advertising, but Facebook’s incredible targeting puts your ad in front of people who are most likely to click on the ad—and then puts them in direct contact with your business. It’s a perfect way to build awareness and establish new customer relationships you can nurture for a long time.
3. Facilitate Transactions
Aside from customer service and basic question-and-answer functions, Facebook Messenger can also help you enable transactions. It doesn’t have to be complicated, either. Within two months of implementing basic order-taking with the app, 1-800-Flowers found that 70 percent of their new customers came from Facebook Messenger.
You can also connect Facebook Messenger to your CMS and payment systems, which helps customers complete transactions within the app and helps you manage your customer relationships.
4. Re-engage Potential Customers
Did you know you can also use Facebook Messenger to re-engage people who are potential customers? Sponsored messages allow you to initiate a conversation within Messenger, with anyone who has messaged your Facebook page previously. It’s an incredible way to nurture relationships still in their infancy. Sending relevant content, promotions and updates to these potential customers can help businesses align with customer needs without feeling pushy or intrusive.
Connecting with customers where they spend their time and in a way they expect can only be good for business. By being responsive and available through Facebook Messenger, businesses give their customers more confidence and peace of mind. And what business doesn’t need just one more reason for consumers to fall in love with their brand?
For more information on how to use Facebook Messenger and other social channels to connect with your audience, check out Simplilearn’s Digital and Social Selling Training.