In April 2016, Facebook opened up its Messenger platform to chatbots. By July, there were 11,000 chatbots active on Messenger. By September, that number had shot up to 30,000. Chatbots are kind of a big deal, and for very good reasons
What are Chatbots?
‘Chatbots are the new apps,” Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO
Type in “What is a chatbot?” in Google, and it will tell you that it is “a computer program designed to simulate the conversation with human users, especially over the Internet.”. What it doesn’t tell you, however, is that you have just experienced a chatbot first hand. You asked a question, naturally, and the software answered it in a simple, conversational manner.
A chatbot is a software that will attend to your customers, answer their questions, provide suggestions, and even crack a joke or two. And it will do it all without human intervention. Chatbots make it simple and natural for even the most technophobic users to interact with your business on Facebook.
[Interested in building a chatbot? Let’s Talk]
Here are 5 reasons why your Facebook Brand Page needs a bot,
1) Messaging is the new Social
Messaging is one of the few things that people do more than social networking.” – Mark Zuckerberg
As online interactions evolve from public (social media) to personal (messaging), users are comfortable interacting with brands on messaging apps. Facebook Messenger, with its base of nearly a billion users, is a popular choice, and a natural fit for brand chatbots. Global brands such as CNN, Hyatt Hotels, Disney and even the White House have their own Facebook chat bots, performing a variety of functions
2) 24/7 Engagement for your Customers
90% of social messages from customers to brands are ignored. Average response time for the other 10% is 10 hours
The social media revolution has changed what consumers expect from brands. Instead of waiting for business hours, customers will now message your page on Facebook at three in the morning and expect an immediate response. A chatbot fulfills this expectation without you having to dramatically increase the size of your social media team (and budget). In case of rote queries, chatbots can even complete the loop and provide a satisfactory resolution. For others, the customer is assured that their issue will be looked into. Ultimately, a chatbot can be the difference between a satisfied customer and a frustrated one.
3) We’re an Enterprise. Are Chatbots secure?
While security is a sensitive issue for brands & corporates, the recent launch of chatbots by leading banks like Bank of America & payment providers like MasterCard & PayPal have given more confidence in enterprise security.
Messenger apps like Facebook provides flexible support on authenticating customers through new features like Customer Matching & Account Linking.
4) Plugging the Gap in your Digital Strategy
Chatbots are not designed to replace your digital marketing team. Rather, they fill in the gaps. By responding to standard queries and requests (a critical but uncomplicated task) automatically, chatbots allows your social media and marketing team to put their creative energies where they are needed – coming up with awesome strategies to promote your brand. For queries it is not programmed to handle, a chatbot will alert a human colleague to take over and close the loop.
5) Scaling with Your Business
As your business grows, so does your Facebook presence. With a large portion of the Facebook audience skewing older and less technologically savvy, chatbots can help you manage their queries faster and with far less fuss. While it may be possible for you to personally respond to one or two messages daily, what happens when the trickle becomes a deluge? With chatbots, it doesn’t matter how many users are messaging you simultaneously, they all get the same, personalized, instant engagement.
To get an idea about how Facebook chat bots can help your customers, check out the screens below
Wondering how people can talk to bots on Facebook? Bots can be natively integrated with Facebook Messenger itself! Explore more.