Every business with a presence on Facebook needs to be able to answer buyer questions, deal with complaints, and close sales any time of the day.
Yet, it is often impractical for small businesses to offer 24/7 customer support on their website, let alone on Facebook.
Luckily, Facebook messenger bots can help plug the gap. They can serve as an intuitive AI assistant that is available 24/7 to respond to customer inquiries and provide solutions when such is feasible.
In this article, I will show why building a messenger bot can be a game changer for your business and how to go about implementing conversational Ai.
- What Is A Facebook Bot?
- How To Build A Facebook Messenger Bot
- Which Are The Most Interesting Facebook Bots Available?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
What Is A Facebook Bot?
A Facebook chatbot is a small messaging software built into Facebook Messenger that uses artificial intelligence to parse conversations initiated by people and provide correct answers.
A well-built bot is capable of understanding multiple related messages in a thread and maintaining a coherent interaction with visitors. It should also be able to handle related tasks like recommending your services or products and completing sales.
For example, let’s say you own a plumbing business, and a customer with an emergency during the late hours of the day searches for local plumbers on Facebook and discovers your Facebook business page.
If you are unavailable at that time, a chatbot can respond to messages from the potential customer with automated answers and also provide details during the chat about when you will be available to respond in person.
Without the chatbot, that hypothetical customer may move on to another plumbing company, and you would have missed out on a sale.
The possibilities of what you can achieve with a Facebook messenger chatbot are endless, but there are still several businesses that are yet to recognize the potential of messenger bots.
You shouldn’t remain in that camp any longer, and you will discover how to create your own chatbot in the next section.
How To Build A Facebook Messenger Bot
Businesses of all sizes can use Facebook bots to interact with customers on a personal level, and below are steps you can follow to build yours.
Step 1: Plan Your Bot Design
Before you start building anything, you must first outline the business objectives you want to accomplish with your automated bot.
Do you want it to focus on answering pre-purchase customer questions? Are you trying to use it to automate your customer service solution? Do you need it to facilitate customer bookings?
Identify the aspect of your interactions with customers that you want to automate, then brainstorm the types of questions that customers would want to ask your company in those scenarios.
One mistake you must never make is using your chatbot as a channel for storming customers with promotional messages. A customer that is reaching out via the Messenger platform is not looking to be bombarded by marketing messages—there is a time and place for AI marketing.
User experience is key when designing bots, and here are a few other things you must pay attention to:
- AI Honesty: make it clear that the visitor is interacting with a chatbot. It is a serious turn-off to program your bot to pretend to be a human; people aren’t stupid; they will know what is going on and will likely start trusting your brand a lot less.
- A Place For Human Agents: This is particularly important if you are using your bot to automate your customer service. Make it possible for the bot to reroute the visitor to a human representative if the customer is not interested in chatting with a computer program.
- Short Responses: avoid using big chunks of text as your automated answers. Use short, clear text that the customer can grasp quickly to make the conversation flow smoothly.
- Appropriate Tasks: a bot can respond to predictable customer pre-purchase inquiries or predetermined questions, but it is unsuitable for addressing technical support issues. Limit your chatbot to simple issues that are predictable and can be easily resolved with generic solutions.
- Brand Voice: your chatbot is an opportunity to show off your brand personality. Use the brand tone and phrases that customers expect from your company based on your established brand identity.
Step 2: Build Your Bot
You can hire a developer to help you build your bot using Facebook Messenger’s API available on the Meta for Developers platform, or you can build it yourself if you have coding knowledge.
Once your bot is ready, the next step is to figure out how to make it discoverable for customers.
A Facebook user can search for your bot on Facebook Messenger with your brand name, but the truth is that most visitors to your page won’t be aware of it unless you promote the feature.
The good news is that Facebook is a social media juggernaut, and it has provided businesses with the tools they need to help customers discover their chatbots.
These tools include:
The link is usually located right beneath your brand name on your business page and is a link created using your page’s username. When a visitor clicks on the link, it will automatically initiate a conversation with your chatbot or open a message thread in Messenger.
This is a plugin that you can embed on your website to add the messenger chatbot to your business site. It takes only a few minutes to install, and once you set it up, customers can initiate conversations with you on the Messenger app directly from your website.
These are offline visual thumbprints that help people confirm that they are messaging the intended recipient. And once the scan is complete, it will redirect the person to your chatbot or business page.
Which Are The Most Interesting Facebook Bots Available?
If you need some inspiration on how to use your bot, here are a few examples from reputable brands that use chatbots on Facebook Messenger.
1. Wall Street Journal
WSJ’s chatbot will send you top headlines in response to keyword prompts like “sports.” You can also use it to get breaking news and even stock market coverage information by inputing a ticker symbol.
The chatbot of this flower delivery company guides customers through the available floral options and helps them send the relevant item as gifts. It will suggest flowers and gifts based on the relevant event and also help the buyer select shipping options.
This travel agency helps its customers get discounts during hotel stays. The company used its chatbot to automate much of the hotel search process. Once the user inputs the travel location, date, and number of guests, the bot will find the best deals available.
This eCommerce business sells mattresses, pillows, and linens and is based out of Mexico. The company’s chatbot is focused on customer service, and the results have been very positive. Negative reviews are down, and the reduced response time achieved via automation has led to a massive increase in customer satisfaction ratings.
5. Whole Foods
The supermarket chain’s chatbot was created as early as 2016 when the feature was introduced by Facebook, and its impact on customer engagement levels was immediate. It’s feature-packed; buyers can use it to locate local Whole Foods stores, find ingredients, and it can even guide users on how to prepare food recipes.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does A Facebook Bot Cost?
The pricing of a Facebook messenger bot will be more expensive if you choose to work with a developer, which will be the best option for feature-packed bots. Chatbot builders are often free for basic features, but you will have to subscribe to build a more complex bot.
Facebook bots can help you increase the quality and consistency of your interactions with customers, which will only lead to greater customer satisfaction.
Happy customers are good for your business, and fortunately, you can easily use a chatbot builder tool to set one up for your business in less than 10 minutes.
Once you have chatbots up and running on your business page, feel free to share how impactful they have been with other readers in the comments section.