The Benefits of Facebook Messenger for Small Businesses
Growing technologies such as mobile and social media have become important tools for entrepreneurs looking to grow their small businesses. In addition to advertising on social platforms that have become household names, new opportunities in the digital realm are popping up all the time for business owners to take advantage of. The latest in that category is Facebook’s standalone messaging app Messenger.
Recently Business 2 Community contributor Paul Chaney highlighted some of the ways that businesses can utilize Messenger to connect with customers. From more traditional interactions to newer innovations such as chatbots, Messenger has more to offer than you might think. Here are two big ways that Facebook Messenger can benefit small businesses:
A new customer service opportunity
One of the best uses that businesses have found for Facebook Messenger is customer service. Instead of guests needing to call the store or visit in person, many will find it easier to simply send you a message in an app they’re likely already using. This allows you to easily engage with customers who have questions, as well as handle any concerns or complaints in a more private arena than Twitter or your actual Facebook page.
Conveniently Messenger also allows you to set greetings that will appear to users when they start a conversation thread (but before they actually message you). This gives you the opportunity to perhaps share the answers to some relevant frequently asked questions. While you only have 250 characters of room for your message, it may be enough to include info such as your business hours that could help in reducing the number of messages you receive.
Automating and innovating with chatbots
If responding to guest inquiries all day sounds time-consuming you may want to consider building a chatbot. It was only a couple of months ago that, with great fanfare, Facebook introduced chatbots to Messenger. Since then several brands have experimented with different applications for these artificially intelligent messengers. This includes allowing customers to purchase products, retrieve order information, and have other customer service questions answered without business owners having to stand by the computer.
The other great thing about bots is that, once a user messages you, you are able to send them further updates until they unsubscribe. This essentially gives you another outlet for reaching your customers (in addition to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) with deals, coupons, or other content. With chatbots expected to grow significantly in the coming years, it may be worth investing in building and experimenting with one now.
Adding your business to Messenger is giving your customers one more point of access to connect with you and your company. Plus, with the technology growing at a rapid rate, there may be an opportunity for you to drive sales and engagement using chatbots. Now is the time for entrepreneurs to take a serious look at Facebook Messenger and see what the platform has to offer for them and their small businesses.