Looking for ways to get closer to your audience?
Trying to make yourself available for your clients anytime, anywhere?
It might sound like a bold plan to you at first… but what if I told you that everything I wrote above is possible and easier than you thought?
Today we’re talking about Facebook Messenger, the wonder-app that is your new customer care tool.
The conversational commerce
You don’t pick Facebook Messenger. Facebook Messenger picked you.
I mean, it was chosen by all the Facebook users who need assistance from a company or brand. If I have a problem, I search the company online – do they have a Facebook account? Great! I’ll message them.
Facebook Messenger is the promise of receiving a prompt response. Instead of filling up an online contact form, it’s easier, faster and more convenient to just leave a message on Messenger.
This is how the “conversational commerce” was born. Messenger brings the “human” part in the dialogue, enabling one-on-one conversations with your customers.
So, why Facebook Messenger?
People seem to prefer messaging apps in the detriment of social media apps. Statistics show that in 2015 25% more people are using messaging apps than social media apps.
Of all messaging apps, Facebook Messenger is among the most used, right behind WhatsApp. In April 2017 it had over 1.2 billion monthly active users worldwide.
Other reasons might be:
- Facebook Messenger is fast and reliable
- It is easy to be used from a mobile device, which makes it a great tool for businesses
- It is starting to overtake the Chinese app WeChat, which, for businesses with an international audience, is simply a better way of keeping in touch with their customers
- Ultimately, it enables me, as a user, to talk to brands in real time and get answers to my questions almost instantly – which is one of the best things in the world!
Improving customer care efficiency with chatbots
There are super sophisticated bots that allow customers to interact with a business without having to contact a real human being. Take Uber as an example: they allow Facebook users to request a ride without even opening the app!
Chatbots can definitely augment your online availability, especially since we live in a world where customer care services are expected to be delivered 24/7.
With the help of bots, you might be able to cut on customer care costs. However, remember that, for real brand awareness and reputation, you sometimes need to introduce the human element.
However, for technical, routine or automatic solutions, chatbots are an amazing way to deliver top notch customer care.
Learn to make the most of Facebook Messenger
In the past, Facebook used to be rather restrictive in how a Page could contact its followers. For example, you were not allowed to contact a follower via message unless they sent you a message first.
Nowadays, things are a bit different. You can reply to anyone who comments on your posts. Even more, you can indicate on the post that you replied privately to the person’s comment. This lets anyone who sees your public content know that a private dialog was started and that you are dealing with the issue – whatever it may be.
You can also use Messenger to respond to anyone who sends you a message that goes into your business’s Messenger inbox.
Getting too many messages on Facebook Messenger?
That’s one reason why chatbots are useful.
Another solution is Facebook’s unified inbox for business pages that includes reviews, comments and messages sent via Facebook, Instagram and Messenger.
Did you know? 42% of consumers expect a 60 minute response time to a complaint they post on social media.
[ctt template=”7″ link=”BhRx7″ via=”no” ]Did you know? 42% of consumers expect a 60 minute response time to a complaint they post on social media.[/ctt]
The unified inbox lets you get an overview of how many messages you need to reply to on all three platforms. You can also mark them as ‘Done’ when addressed and you can assign different people to different messages.
Seems like Facebook is becoming more and more like a smart, well-developed customer care app! It’s like a basic CRM tool, because it also brings up some general public information about the person who contacted you, so you can definitely use that info to personalise your reply.
At the same time, you get a general overview of your reviews at all times from the unified Inbox. This makes it easier for you to manage your online reputation.
Find a balance between technology and the human touch
As I was saying before, bots and automation can only do this much.
Make sure you remember that human interaction is what people are looking for when they contact you. An automated message is great when it helps them solve their problems. But receiving a standard message like, “We’re not online and will reply as soon as possible” doesn’t differentiate your Page much from your Contact page on your website.
So, my advice is to use a Messenger bot only to start the conversation, to get the customer care journey going. After you get the basic information you need from your customer, assign the conversation to a customer care representative to ensure the human touch.
Pick your managers wisely
Speaking of the human touch, make sure you know who’s managing your conversations online. Pick people who have good social skills, and then train them.
You should have a clear process of handling complaints. The process may include:
- internal checklists
- chat scripts
- a list of FAQs with a variety of helpful answers
You should also determine which comments should be replied to publicly and which should be addressed in a private conversation.
Advice: Do not try to manipulate or to control everything. Allow your customer care representatives some freedom of choice up to a certain point. Let them make their own decisions as to how they should handle a situation, ensuring that they always abide to the general guidelines you previously decide upon.
How do you manage issues you haven’t dealt with before?
In case someone sends a complaint you haven’t dealt with before, here is what you can do:
- Gather everyone around
- Answer the question so everybody understands
- If needed, explain the philosophy behind your answer and again make sure everybody understands “why” you answer in that particular way
- Ask one person to add the question and the answer in your systemisation file
- Let everybody know they can answer this question without you next time it occurs, by following the guidelines you just shared
This process works with both big companies, as well as with solopreneurs or people who work with a very small team. Try it out and let me know how it works!
Finally, I leave you with my nine top tips on how to manage your customer care relationship online.
9 quick tips on managing customer care online
- Respond promptly
- Always be courteous
- Aim for a 100% response rate
- Address people using their first names
- Always sign off your messages with your first name
- Determine which social media posts you should resolve publicly and which need to be addressed in private
- Has a customer contacted you before? Look up their record instead of asking them for the same information multiple times
- Remain positive and maintain the perspective that the customer is always right
- Look for opportunities to impress customers: reply to their comments and keep an updated list of your best clients so you can give them special attention
Ready to boost your online reputation management & customer care game?
Good customer care brings by an impeccable reputation – and your online reputation can make or break a deal.
If you’re searching for ways to manage your online comments and messages, I can help you come up with a complete digital marketing strategy that looks at your online presence as a whole – not just Facebook or Instagram. Contact me today, I’d love to jump in and help.