Chatbots were created to make it easier and more convenient for customers to interact with businesses.
Rather than deal with a human who may not provide the right answers because of duress, lack of preparation, or poor communication skills, customers can interact with a chatbot that has the answers to everything.
However, what the imperfect humans had the nearly-perfect chatbots did not have:
The ability to relate to humans.
For all the times’ customers became irate with the agent on the other end of the line, they still missed the human touch. What humans lacked in giving an accurate response, they made up for in empathy.
The earliest incarnation of the chatbot did not have this.
That is until the Facebook Messenger chatbot came along.
What Is A Facebook Messenger Bot?
First, let’s define what a chatbot is.
A chatbot is a form of Artificial Intelligence or A.I. that is designed and developed as a messaging software program to allow businesses to communicate with customers.
The software program of a chatbot enables it to understand the various questions and inquiries relayed by customers so that it can formulate an accurate response.
Thus, a Facebook Messenger bot is a chatbot that is incorporated into the social media giant’s messaging platform, Messenger.
Why Does Your Business Need A Facebook Messenger Bot?
If your business is on Facebook – and which business isn’t – then you’re familiar with Messenger.
Setting up a Facebook business page is almost a standard feature in every Digital Marketing strategy toolbox because the social network has 2.7 billion active monthly users.
But posting content on Facebook is not enough to harness the full power of the social media platform. Likewise, your business should have a Facebook Messenger marketing strategy.
1.3 billion people use Facebook Messenger every month.
What are the benefits of using Facebook Messenger for your business?
1. Acquire New Customers
It all starts with a simple inquiry. Turning the inquiry into a sale depends on how fast and accurately you can provide the answers. If the prospect is impressed with the response time, you can be assured of a new customer any time soon.
2. Increase the Rate of Sales Conversions
With Messenger, you can have customers browse through your products. For example, if you are selling nutritional supplements, you can distribute the promos to your followers. If they’re interested, they can transact the sale right there and then.
3. Build Your Brand
It’s not just having a popular messaging platform to promote your business. If customers love the experience of dealing with your company via Messenger, it will leave an indelible impression. For sure, if friends ask them for recommendations, your brand will come out top of mind.
4. Enhance Customer Experience
Have you ever tried to call customer service only to be put on hold for almost an hour? With Messenger, customer queues are a thing of the past. All they have to do is post their inquiry on your Messenger account. However, make sure you respond right away. Response time of 24 hours is still acceptable.
How A Chatbot Powers Up Your Facebook Messenger Strategy
All these benefits of using Facebook Messenger considered, adding a chatbot to the messaging service takes your strategy to the next level!
Although there are 1.3 billion active users of Messenger and more than 6 million ads, only 300,000 have chatbots.
The playing field is still sparse; the competition is fewer, you can access your customers faster and provide better service than your competitors who don’t have chatbots.
Investing in a Facebook Messenger chatbot is also cheaper compared to investing in an app because according to statistics 71% of people who download an app delete it after 90 days.
With these in mind, how can adding a bot power up your Facebook Messenger strategy?
1. Target Your High-Priority Customers
A chatbot can identify customers from your subscriber list who are most likely to buy from you based on their past history and levels of engagement. They can send your Facebook Messenger sponsored ads directly to them.
2. Speed Up – and Improve Customer Service
A human customer service representative can get tired answering the same questions over and over again. Not a Messenger chatbot – and the A.I. can respond within an hour.
3. Qualify Potential Leads
Sometimes when you inquire about a company’s products or services on Messenger, your inquiry would be met with a default message that advises you of the turnaround time for the response.
In addition, there is usually a questionnaire asking the following questions:
- Your purpose for the product
- How you came across the company
- Your budget
- Questions on demographics
The chatbot is getting details to create a buyer’s persona. The information will help you qualify leads or potential customers for your business.
4. Close the Sale
A customer who’s in a rush won’t leave Messenger and go to a website to complete the transaction. A chatbot can do this for you simply by asking the customer to fill out an order form.
Once the order has been paid for, all the customer has to do is send a copy of the proof of payment via Messenger. The chatbot can confirm the order right away and provide details on the expected delivery time.
5. Encourage Repeat Sales
A chatbot can accurately maintain the purchasing history of your customers. It can send a gentle reminder to a customer who bought a Truffle Cake for his wife to celebrate her birthday – which is 5 days away. And your customers will appreciate your business for keeping them in mind.
Okay, so that’s the context of why your business needs a Facebook Messenger chatbot.
Now, let’s find out how to build one for your business!
Step-By-Step Guide To Making Your Facebook Messenger Bot
It used to be the case that you had to hire a developer to build a chatbot for you. Thanks to advances in digital technology, there are programs that can help you create a chatbot on your own.
Will it take only 10 minutes to make a Facebook Messenger bot? Maybe if you have some background in coding or have done this before. Our point in stating that you can create a bot in 10 minutes is to tell you that it can be done and it’s not as hard as you think!
Who knows? Maybe you can build your chatbot in 5 minutes!
There are 3 popular chatbot-building programs to choose from:
Of these 3 programs, we recommend ChatFuel because we believe it’s the easiest to use and offers wonderful versions even if you opt for the free version.
Step 1: Log-In To Your Facebook Account Then Connect to ChatFuel
Make sure you’re using the same browser that you used to log-in to your Facebook account to access the ChatFuel homepage.
Once you’re on the ChatFuel homepage, click “get started for free” then authorize ChatFuel to access your Facebook account.
Step 2: Choose the Facebook Business Page For The Chatbot
Chatbots only function for business pages and not personal accounts. If you don’t have a Facebook Business Page, you must create one first.
If you have more than one Facebook Business Page, choose the one that you want to have a chatbot for its messaging service.
Step 3: Take the Tutorial
When you’ve connected ChatFuel to a Facebook Business Page, you will be given a chatbot builder tutorial. We suggest that you take a few minutes to go through the tutorial.
Step 4: Compose Your “Welcome” Message
Whether your visitors are first-timers or previous customers, everyone loves to read a welcome message. It makes them feel attended to and important.
Should you mention that the message is from a bot?
We think that it’s perfectly fine to inform the visitor that he’s dealing with a chatbot. First, chatbots are common so there’s no surprise really. Second, it shows the visitor that you’re honest and transparent. Third, if something goes wrong, the visitor can immediately attribute the problem as a technical or programming issue.
Here’s an example of a welcome message:
“Hi Larry! Welcome to Garden Emporium. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. I’m a chatbot that can help you find answers to your questions. How can I help you today?”
An A.I bot can decipher the visitor’s question and pull out the response from a default list of answers. However, be prepared for inquiries or problems that weren’t covered by the list of responses.
What you can do is to create a backup message for situations such as this. Here’s an example of a backup message:
“I’m not clear on what it is that you’re asking. But if you could click on this link, you may have the answers you’re looking for.”
Then, provide a link to a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page or to a reference link that could be relevant to the visitor’s inquiry.
Step 5: Create the Conversation Navigation
At any point in time, the chatbot will be faced with different questions from visitors. You have to anticipate what these questions are and prepare the Conversation Navigation or the series of default responses that the chatbot can give.
There could be dozens of questions! Start first with the most common ones such as:
- Where is Garden Emporium?
- What is the fastest way to get to Garden Emporium?
- What varieties of plants do you sell?
- Do you sell garden tools and equipment?
- Do you accept credit cards?
- What time do you open?
- What time do you close?
- Are you open on holidays?
- Are you open on Sundays?
To get the conversation navigation in motion, you have to create a “block” for each question. Don’t worry if you have a laundry-list of questions. It’s easy to create a block.
- Click “Add Block”
- Give each block a title
When you’ve created a block for each of the questions, go back to your welcome message page and click “Add Button”.
Type in the name of the button in the first field. This is the name that you want your visitor to see.
Finally, select the block that you want to bring your visitor to.
Step 6: Create the Dialogue for the Block
Now you’re ready to compose the answers or the response for the blocks you just created.
ChatFuel has a number of options you can use to customize your responses.
- Text Card – Simply type in the response you want on the block.
- Typing – The visitor will get the experience of someone typing the answers.
- Quick Reply – No need to bring the visitor to a new block. Instead, the response is shown on the block.
- Image – If the visitor’s inquiry requires a visual, the block will upload the appropriate image. For example, if the inquiry is “Do you have an image of the echeveria succulent plant?”
- Gallery – Similar to Image but the request is for more than one image.
Step 7: Build Your A.I.
Simply click “Set Up A.I.” and you’re good to go.
This is the step where you fortify the messaging service by making sure all the possible questions and inquiries to your A.I. will be covered by accurate responses.
Yes, you can direct the response to the blocks you created but you can also create new responses to other possible questions.
Step 8: Go Live With Your Chatbot
The other cool thing about ChatFuel is that it saves your work as you go along. To go live, you just have to copy the link and paste it into your Facebook page. You can also add the link to your website and online ads.
- Open the left-hand navigation menu.
- Go to the “Promote” page.
- Copy the URL.
Then paste as you please!
Chatbots are here to stay so start building one for your Facebook Messenger account. It’s easy enough to create on your own and a chatbot will add more value to your Facebook Messenger strategy.
Your customers will certainly appreciate having their questions and concerns addressed right away.
If you want assistance, we can build your Facebook Messenger chatbot for you. Just give us a call or send an email. We will get back to you as soon as we can.
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