The Complete Guide for Using Facebook Chatbots to Help Your Business

You know how frustrating it is to wait for a reply from a company via Facebook? This is a bad look for brands looking to stand out in an online marketplace.

Many brands lack the resources and expertise to provide 24/7 online customer support and sales support. Chatbots can work from anywhere, and they don’t even need to eat lunch. Chatbots can answer customer questions and track packages. They can also make product recommendations.

According to Facebook, there are currently 40 million Messenger users and only 300,000. Messenger bots are active. A bot can make it easier for you to create an enjoyable experience for your customers and followers. It will also help you stand out from the rest.

Bonus: Download a free guide to learn how to convert Facebook traffic into sales using Hootsuite.

What is a Facebook Bot (a.k.a Facebook Messenger Chatbot)?

Chatbots are pieces of automated messaging software that use artificial intelligence to communicate with people.

A Facebook Messenger bot, also known as a chatbot, is one that lives in Facebook Messenger and communicates with some of the approximately 1.3 billion users who use Facebook Messenger each month.

Chatbots can be programmed with the ability to answer questions and complete tasks. Chatbots can be programmed to provide an online shopping experience that is personalized and even generate sales.

Benefits of using Facebook chatbots to help your business

Meet your customers wherever they are

Let’s start by looking at some stats that will help you determine how many people are available through Facebook Messenger.

Chat and messaging are the most popular types of apps and websites. 64% of people would rather message businesses than call them. 60% of people who use Facebook Messenger to communicate with companies say that being able do so increases their trust in the brand.

Your audience already uses Facebook Messenger and expects to be able interact with you there. Chatbots increase the speed of your response and make it easier for people get the information they need in real time on a channel that they already use.

Facebook Messenger offers sponsored ads as an added bonus. These ads can be targeted at people who have been in touch previously with your Page. These ads can be used in conjunction with your chatbot to reach high-intent customers.

You can save time for both your customers and your team

Customers want availability 24 hours a day and hate waiting on hold. Customers also frequently ask the same questions repeatedly (and again)

Automation can make a big difference if you spend a lot of your time tracking deliveries, checking your return policy, and booking appointments. Even if you are not available, customers will have access to the information they require.

You’ll save your time and they’ll be able to get instant answers to their questions. And you’ll also save time by having your Facebook Messenger chatbot answer simple questions like this one from Simons Canada.

Simons order tracking Facebook messenger chatbot

Source: Simons

This allows humans to spend more time on Messenger conversations that are beyond the capabilities and abilities of a Facebook chatbot.

utomate sales

Messenger bots for Facebook should not be limited to customer service inquiries.

Over 16% of people use live chat and social media messaging to research brands. 14.5% also say that a chat room to talk with a company is an important driver of online purchases. All of this leads to real business results. 83% say they would buy or shop for products through messaging conversations.

A Facebook Messenger bot can sell with the right script. Conversational commerce is a way to make personalized recommendations, qualify leads, and upsell.

Your bot can greet potential customers and ask basic questions. It can also provide inspiration and direct high-quality leads towards your sales team.


Joybird sofa style quiz on Facebook messenger

Joybird


shop matches for Eliot Loveseat in Modernist

Joybird

Your Facebook chatbot can follow up with people who have abandoned the conversational commerce process. Joybird sent this message to Joybird’s bot 24 hours after she completed the sofa quiz.


Joybird follow up message sofa style quiz

Joybird

What you should and shouldn’t do when using Facebook chatbots

DO set expectations clearly

First, ensure that the user is aware they are interacting with a bot. It’s a good idea to introduce the bot. You can give the bot a name like Decathlon did here.


Decathlon Canada conversational and athletic chatbot

Source: Decathlon Canada

Next, define what the bot can do and cannot do. Your Facebook Messenger chatbot can be programmed to guide the user through the experience, asking questions and using prompts to move the conversation forward.


Decathlon Canada find in-store products and track shipments

Source: Decathlon Canada

To let your customer know that the bot is still processing a request, you can use the three dots (typing indicator) as shown in this example by Tiffany & Co.


Tiffany & Co typing indicator

Source: Tiffany & Co

You can reply to the customer in a reasonable time, or you can pass the conversation on to someone else.


Bumble Support Team hours of operation

Source: Bumble

This tip has a mini-don’t: Don’t call your Facebook chatbot “live chat” or any other term that suggests it’s a person.

Bonus: Download a free guide to learn how to convert Facebook traffic into sales using Hootsuite.

Get the guide for free right now!

Keep it short

According to Facebook Messenger bots are used by most users on mobile devices. Do not force them to read large chunks of text or write long replies with their thumbs.

The conversation can flow much more smoothly if there are buttons, quick replies and menus than asking customers to type every step. KLM offers eight options for the bot to drive conversation.


KLM conversation options including COVID-19 information baggage and flight status

Source: KLM

Allow customers to enter details, but provide default answers and options when Facebook Messenger asks for them.

Do not lose your brand voice

Although you should be clear that the Facebook Messenger chatbot you use is a bot it shouldn’t sound too much like one. You can use the phrases your customers expect from you website and keep it in the same tone. Your bot should reflect your brand’s casual and friendly approach.

Keep it simple. Avoid using jargon or slang that could confuse users. To ensure that your prompts are clear, you can read them aloud to a colleague.

Use a tone that is appropriate for the task. Use a professional tone if you ask someone for personal information, such as their flight number or address.

DO NOT allow human agents to handle complex inquiries

The success of a Facebook chatbot depends on its ability recognize when a human is required. While automated conversations can be quick and efficient, they cannot replace human interaction.

Customers should be able to reach out to a person at any stage of the conversation. Chatbots should be able recognize human assistance requests, even when they are not in the normal flow of conversation.

This example is from La Vie En Rose. The bot understands the request even though it doesn’t flow logically from its prompt.


La Vie En Rose chatbot with human connection

Source: La Vie en Rose

SPAM!

Messenger bots are the one thing you should do. Don’t spam.

Do not assume that customers who reach out for assistance want to receive marketing messages. Personal product recommendations may be useful, but you must have the permission to send them.

Before you contact people, give them a way to opt in to your ongoing messages. Make sure you give people a way to unsubscribe from future communications. Your bot should be able to recognize any language that looks like an opt-out request and ask for confirmation or to implement it.


World Health Organization unsubscribe request

Source: World Health Organization

Facebook’s guidelines for developers state this clearly: “Don’t alter the type of information you send without consent.” Honor the preferences of people who signed up for specific alerts.

6 tips to build Facebook chatbots that work

1. Heyday

Heyday, a multifunctional customer messaging platform, allows you to create Facebook Messenger Bots that enhance your customer experience. The built-in conversational sales assistant allows you to connect to your product catalogue to offer personalized product recommendations through Messenger chats.


Heyday Makeup Forever custom messaging platform

Heyday uses chatbot AI on Facebook to answer customer service questions and determine when it is necessary to forward the conversation to a human agent.

2. Streamchat

Streamchat is one the most basic Facebook chatbot tools. It is intended to be used for basic automations and autoresponders. It’s not meant to manage a whole conversation. Instead, it can be used for messages or out-of-office responses that establish expectations about when you will be able respond.

If you are just starting out with chatbots, it is quick and easy to use.

3. Chatfuel

Chatfuel offers a simple visual interface with customizable front-end and customization options. Chatfuel Pro accounts are required to access many of the more advanced (and fascinating) tools.

4. MobileMonkey

This tool is free and includes a visual chatbot creator for Facebook Messenger. It’s intended for non-technical users. It can be used to create Q&A sessions within a Facebook Messenger chatbot.

Chatfuel also offers a chat blast feature that lets you send messages to multiple people at once. Remember: This can only be done if you have permission!

5. Messenger for Developers

Facebook offers plenty of resources for those who have the coding skills to create their own Facebook chatbot. They are also open to new ideas and collaborations with the developer community.

6. Facebook Creator Studio

Although it is not a Facebook Messenger bot, Facebook Creator Studio allows you to create basic automated responses to common Messenger requests. You can create an away message, set up contact information, and set up FAQs and answers. Although there is no artificial intelligence available to facilitate conversation or sales, you can access some autoresponder functionality to keep Messenger running at a basic level while you are away from your desk.

Shoppers can engage with you on their preferred channels. Heyday, Hootsuite’s conversational AI tools for retail, will help them convert customer conversations into sales. At scale, deliver 5-star customer experiences

Ask for a Heyday Demo

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Heyday can help you turn customer service conversations into sales. Increase response time and sell more products It’s possible to see it in action.

Get a free demo of the Complete Guide to Facebook Chatbots for Businesses.

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