06 Jul What are Facebook Chatbots, and what can you do about it?
When the new Facebook Chatbot platform was announced, a brand new service which enabled businesses to develop their own custom bots for Messenger. Following which the tech and marketing verticals witnessed a paradigm shift. Hundreds of articles and write-ups were written about the news wondering what an open platform for Messenger will do for business. Facebook has over a billion active users, these are the organic ones who have accepted Facebook’s messenger to be their primary means of communication as a channel. So, the mayhem was anticipated and justified for the announcement to be such a big deal in all manners. Mark Zuckerberg’s keynote address simply use the bots to replace all disjointed apps for various business and purposes. Thus eradicating for a new app in itself.
Here in lies a universe of potential. And a universe we did make out of it…
So, what’s a ChatBot?
“Chatbots” or in this context a bot is generally a word used to explain a software that can automate a task. Chatbots, which now absolutely anyone with a little knowledge can build on Facebook Messenger platform, can automate a whole conversation. These bots are created using Facebook’s Wit.ai Bot Engine that can transform a normal language conversation or a statement into structured data. Long story short, not only do the bots parse and understand the conversations bit also learn. Making the bots smarter with each conversation it has.
Will the people accept Facebook Messenger Chatbots?
Questions like “Will people adapt?” or “Is it worth investing?” Well, if you’re a business. You will meet a lot of people, especially your marketing team will ask many questions like this expressing skepticism with regards to the adaptability of the users and your followers. The answer lies in execution. There are plenty of implementation experts, The Hawk Media included. But the more you invest in the learning, the better it gets. Users now are able to find companies that have bots in their Facebook Messenger. That alone will gain some attention for you. Also, a bit of effort in promotion and media would be required to get some ears. Here is how Facebook trying to help you with these problems:
Phone numbers of your customers along with already available permission to reach them, you may find them on Messenger through a customer matching. They would be asked to do a one-time opt-in before their first conversation on Facebook Messenger.
If you already have a page for your business on Facebook. Messenger links can utilize your page’s assigned username to make a link, something like m.me/username. Once the link is clicked, no matter where they are. It would open a conversation with you in Messenger.
Buttons provided by Facebook could be embedded in your website providing anyone clicking them to start a messenger conversation with your business.
This being inspired to create a virtual thumbprint much like a QR is a unique imaged custom made just for your business and your Chatbot on the Facebook Messenger. If you know a QR or a Snapchat code, these work in the same way, just navigating anyone scanning the image using the messenger to the page or Chatbot.
Should you invest in a Chatbot?
If you asked any other player in the business, they would have said yes. But The Hawk Media would not want your staff time, energies and money have gone in vain. As all of these would be required while getting it built. We would ask you the following questions:
Do you have an active audience on Facebook?
If you see Facebook as a pure social networking platform and not as a medium to get more business, then probably you already know your answer. Although, your audience doesn’t use Facebook to cater to their business needs. There is a huge potential that they will. If your audience is too deep into their personal lives, there is a very good chance that they will adapt to Messenger as a primary mean to communicate with your business. We can all agree that messaging apps have predominantly taken over space for social apps to communicate.
What is your use case?
If you will see this as making another version of your website, then you have probably lost your cause. This is much more than that. You will be needed to invest your time to study how using a mobile could change the interaction the customer would have to your business and based on which gain more business from it eradicating the need for a physical being sitting and catering to these queries. Few tasks are just not for mobile, result of which you would see those apps just lying and doing nothing on your phone. Thinking from a customer’s standpoint would help your business a lot when your lay thoughts for your use case to make a Messenger bot.
Can inbound inquires be supported from Facebook Messenger?
Opening a channel to communicate with your prospects and existing customer is not recommended if you cannot provide support. Even with an automated Chatbot you will still need to do a few things. First, promote the hell out of it. You did this, you evolved with the technology and so did your business. Be proud and flaunt. Second, monitor the queries your bot isn’t able to understand. A majority of the times, there would be a pattern and an unresolved question with it. Make the bot learn it. Lastly, keep an eye out for your customer experience you have made using the Facebook Messenger Chatbot.
If the answer to the above questions is yes, then we are your team.
What do you think? Have you used bots developed by any brands? What is your favorite one? Share your thoughts and comments below.