Facebook’s Messenger for Businesses: What’s in it for Companies?
Social networks have evolved rapidly over the last few years. Previously, tools like Myspace were mainly used for messages and sharing pictures with friends; which was the social aspect of the social networking platforms. Facebook took over and sharing of cat videos became a popular pastime. Today, companies use the same networks to interact with customers. The way corporate and customer relationships are handled has changed, and it looks like Facebook is about to outline the next wave of change.
Facebook is the number one social channel, and it is likely to be the first line of contact for businesses and their customers for both complaints and praise. Initially, companies created Facebook pages as part of their social customer support platforms. People could comment to brands pages, inquire about product and service availability, check stores’ business hours or even complain. Now Facebook announced a new Messaging app for businesses to use it to enhance customer relationships and improve other business processes including shopping.
Businesses on Messenger
Business on Messenger is an enterprise messaging service by Facebook aiming to reinvent communication with companies. Facebook seems to believe that the communication process between businesses and consumers and is fundamentally broken and it is for that reason that it has announced and previewed the first steps to bring businesses on messenger with a goal of enhancing such communication. A majority of people are on Facebook and Business on Messenger will present a new preferred channel for customers to interact with customer service reps.
Facebook launched this platform that would allow over 600 million users to create and share content with third party tools, and allow direct communication with businesses rather than emailing or calling them.
The idea is that people do not like touch-tone phone tree customer service calls where a customer is put on hold or transferred from one rep to another. Endless email threads between customers and companies are thought to be annoying too. People prefer just to text asynchronously in a single chat thread.
Companies looking to outsource will have an easy time with this platform since customer support will be permitted, thanks to an integration with ZenDesk’s Zopim chat product. Companies that already use live chat systems for customer support and other call center services can run most communications through Business on Messenger.
Real and Natural communication in Business
Along with interacting with customers, Messenger for Business will allow business create detailed messages featuring personalized or branded layouts to allow a complete online identity. Business on Messenger appears designed to make call center services more efficient.
It will allow creation of rich content and interactions between people and businesses with the following features: During the checkout flow on a company’s site, a customer can start a conversation with a company, ask the business’ free-form questions, receive updates from the company on things such as order confirmations, shipping status updates, cancel or place a new order, receiving quick responses. It allows companies to deliver customer purchase updates, shipment trackers, and retail receipts without exiting the app. All this interactions will contain real and natural communication.
Business on Messenger platform will see developers easily build apps that integrate with it, allowing users to find new and fun ways to express themselves with videos, GIFs, audio clips, photos and more. The content apps and tools platform from initial partners including Giphy, ESPN, and Jib Jab, are available in the messenger update. Several other features have been added to the messaging app, for example; people can now send money through Facebook Messenger.
Outsourcing companies can greatly benefit from excellent features on this platform like live support. Business on messenger is a development that will be offered to companies to use in a flexible way to work best for them. Mobile VoIP on the app ties into the social messaging landscape providing a cheap way for people to reach companies while still using a handheld device. Whether it is social messaging or a phone call, consumers and businesses are relying on their mobile devices instead of a desk phone making it more convenient.
Should outsourcing companies buy this service from Facebook? This is a great service especially for those offering call center services, and building such an infrastructure internally can be very expensive. Businesses will get an efficient customer management system that allows then to interact with customers in a more personal way, at a very low cost.
It is evident that Business on Messenger will serve more as the main way to communicate privately on Facebook and mobile for companies. Messenger will become more than just a chat platform; it will become a communication layer between business and the whole world.