What on Earth is a Facebook Messenger Chatbot?Photo by Alok Sharma

Originally Posted On: https://clevermessenger.com/what-is-a-facebook-messenger-chatbot/

 

What is a Facebook Messenger Chatbot? Well, if you’ve ever been on some sort of dating site, you must have come across a chatbot… Perhaps you even started messaging – what you thought was – a hot girl… only to discover “she” was a computer robot after a few questions? Perhaps the chatbot you were talking to was so charming you fell in love? Look, while that’s unlikely, and only happens in the movies like Her (with a great screenplay from Joaquin Phoenix I may add)… Chatbots can be very useful when used in the right way. But what is the right way?

In this article, we’re going to talk about bots and how they can be used in the right way. You’ll also gain awareness of the many ways a bot can help your business grow.

Introduction To Using Chatbots the Right Way.

While a dating site bot wasn’t the best analogy here, it is how most people became familiar with chatbots. And frankly, what you’ll be using a chatbot for is entirely different; it isn’t a real fair comparison. There are many factors involved when you start to think about what a FB Messenger Chatbot is. Messenger bots have begun to get a bad rep among people because most marketers used them wrong.

Chatbot Marketing vs. Email Marketing

Many entrepreneurs have gotten so used to email marketing… that they’ve been treating messenger bots the same. This is a problem because they’re different types of communication channels. Every interaction on Messenger is brief and quick (hence “instant messaging”). Whereas with email marketing, the content is drawn out and can be more detailed. Another practice to refrain from in chatbot marketing is spamming your subscribers. Most people have grown accustomed to being spammed through their email accounts regularly.

Perhaps this the case of the ever dropping open rates and dropping CTRs? All I know is that is not the case with Facebook Messenger Chatbots. It’s a very personal way of connecting with someone… because you are essentially texting them directly, right? Any more than one instant message every other day will likely irritate people. And this can result in them choosing to unsubscribe. Now, Facebook does make it very hard not to spam with their new policies.

Extra Things to Avoid with Facebook Messenger Chatbots

There are many more cardinal sins in the Messenger chatbot arena as well. While Facebook Messenger Chatbot is excellent at broadcasting content efficiently… you shouldn’t blast irrelevant content or, as stated before, spam people to death. If someone hasn’t already expressed interest in something… do not market your business to them in Messenger. Establish a relationship first. Your bot can do this for you. But, keep in mind, you should keep all your messenger automation intent focused. Have a blueprint laid out so you understand the scenarios and what messages are being sent.

Look, I know… It’s a lot of negativity to consider right off the bat. But it’s the cold hard truth. Chatbots, in general, have gotten a bad rep. Because too many marketers are using them in a counterproductive way. Now, Facebook obviously has seen this also. And that’s why Facebook enforced Policy, in the hope to bring the quality back. And being part of a Messenger chatbot software… We can see it has a positive effect! Now, you can only use bots for what they’re designed to do… and they automatically help to grow your business. 

Perhaps I’m biased, but, Facebook Messenger Chatbots are marvelous, I promise! Now, at the end of this article, I’ll be giving you my top 2 messenger chatbot tips.

What is a Facebook Messenger Chatbot? 

If your business has a fan page or website, you are aware people can find you and ask questions, right? They are usually asking you about your product or service. And, ideally, you should be providing excellent customer service… and of course, respond as fast as possible. 

Now, without a reliable tool to help you, it can be quite challenging to keep up. And frankly… Quite expensive! I mean, to have multiple people working for you on all these hours… covering all time zones? Then, definitely be prepared to shell out a lot of cash to make that work. 

You probably noticed this too. See, it’s highly likely you’re seeing the same questions from different customers… being asked repeatedly, time after time, after time again. This will be boring for your customer support staff. And it’s just a matter of time they lose the energy you want them radiate for your brand. And, since you are so busy with day to day operations, you can’t respond to these questions immediately. 

Simply put. All this is not efficient. The solution? You can have the FB Messenger bot answer like 80% of the questions the customers ask. Then have your support desk talk to the other 20% with EXTRA care. You’re essentially outsourcing these tasks to an automated bot that works 24/7 for you. Instead of receiving countless support requests with the same questions… you’re now having customers deal with an automated bot.

And do people care? Well, they don’t. Not for these simple questions, like: “what’s the price?”, or “what are your opening hours?” Because people live in an on-demand society today… and they want answers to a simple question instantly.

Now, is this what a Facebook Messenger bot is? Not really. This is one of those primary ways a Messenger bot can help your business. You actually can do way more cool things with a bot. We included it in the article about the 6 pillars of a Facebook Messenger chatbot has to have. 

Does a Facebook Messenger Chatbot Need Coding?

A messenger chatbot built with Clever Messenger… It is a bot that’s created with no coding. A bot like this can reply to FAQ’s, allowing you to focus on more critical tasks. A chatbot can also resolve these questions more efficiently. Instead of interacting with one customer at a time, bots can reply to many people at once. The automated assistant will send custom messages and unique suggestions without any issues. Just like how you interact with friends and family, a bot will send text messages and emojis. A bot can deliver pictures, videos, and audio clips to customers. Your bot can also display carousels, lists, rich media, and buttons customers can click on. A Facebook Messenger Chatbot is an automated program that interacts with users.

Your messenger chatbot supplies those users with relevant information. Information, like updates, and news relative to your business. This all takes place right inside of Facebook Messenger. Most bots are driven by specific rules, and, occasionally, A.I.

Can I Use My Facebook Chatbot as Email Marketing 2.0?

You could certainly try it. But, as mentioned in the introduction of this article, you’ll be setting yourself up for a letdown. And unfortunately, this is how lots of business owners view Facebook Messenger Chatbot’s… which is a shame. See, the perspective is common because a bot can build a subscriber list just like in email marketing. After that, you can send broadcasts to the people on your list. These broadcasts can include offers, updates, promotions, and more. 

Do note that Facebook does have its policies (linked to earlier in this article). This basically means you can only send promotional content if people on your list were active in the last 24 hours… And to get them engaged in the 24-hour window again, simply send something of value first. Simple!

(BTW – this doesn’t mean email or bots are dead… We feel they should complement each other. Check out the Email vs. Messenger comparison here)

Now, instead of people getting an email, they receive a notification on FB and Messenger. 

Also, what you have to understand is bots are more like short-form marketing. This means that the content you blast out has to be compressed. Straight. To. The. Point… Don’t send people through a ten-page sales message in Messenger! This because it isn’t the right medium… And if you were to do it, I promise you they don’t have the patience to read everything in a chat. Everything needs to be Whim-bang-boom.

Benefits of Facebook Messenger Chatbot’s

With that said… Facebook Messenger Chatbot’s do share a lot in common with tools you are likely already using. A mobile app, for instance, is easily accessible on mobile devices, just like a messenger bot. Bots are notably like a live-chat feature since they both happen on a messenger-like platform.

As well as sending messages, your bot can educate customers about your products and services. That way, your Facebook Messenger Chatbot kind of acts like your website too. You can also send the data collected by your bot to all these other tools. A chatbot may serve the same purpose as another particular marketing channel.

Could I Replace Human Customer Service with a Chatbot? 

Not entirely, no. It’s not a really good idea to use a Messenger chatbot to replace any of your core marketing tools. Unless it’s another type of chatbot (like WhatsApp or Kik), you should just add it to the roster. If, for some reason, you are using chatbots on those platforms, replace them with Messenger chatbots immediately! A Facebook Messenger Chatbot would blow any results those bots register out of the water.

Facebook Messenger has over 1.3 billion active users. Customers and businesses send more than 8 billion messages per month on Messenger. These statistics will quickly put other messaging apps to shame. There simply isn’t a better, more intelligent platform than Facebook Messenger to install chatbots.

Many marketers wonder if chatbots are a fad that will soon go away. With so many massive companies using Facebook Messenger Chatbot’s, they’re not going to be fazed out anytime soon. You will be leveraging the same tool that Nike, Uber, eBay, Yahoo, PayPal, CNN, and StubHub use.

As innovative as marketing software can be, your digital marketing still needs an element of human customer service. For situations that are more complex and need special attention, a real person must step in. You have to view Facebook Messenger Chatbots as a new way to communicate with your customers. You shouldn’t expect it to run your business for you entirely.

Are Messenger Chatbot’s Smart?

If you are expecting the messenger chatbot to run your business totally on your behalf, it’ll be a disappointment. When you get your bot, it is utterly ignorant. The language that comes naturally to you and me doesn’t quite register with bots.

What I mean by that is chatbot’s capability to understand the way people typically text isn’t perfect. The frustrations that occur with Alexa or Hey Google will be present in a bot too. Some people make the mistake of assuming a bot will comprehend full sentences. Nine times out of ten, they can’t.

Although your messenger bot doesn’t need any complicated coding, without this, it can’t answer every question. The best way to use bots is by answering FAQ’s and interacting with people. By doing this, it will save you valuable time and serve as a necessary means of customer support 24/7.

How Does a Facebook Messenger Chatbot Work?

You’re probably asking yourself if bots aren’t driven by AI, and they’re dumb, how do they work? If someone walked up and asked me, what is a Facebook Messenger Chatbot?, I’d have to explain how they work. There is one starting-in-the-face requirement to run Facebook Messenger bot. And that is that you must connect it to a company Facebook fan page. You can’t install a messenger bot in a Facebook group, or to your profile.

Chatbots operate the best when they have rules to follow. And a Facebook Messenger bot is a continuous stream of predetermined rules dictating the flow of communication. Ideally, what you should do is to make these rules and scripts all possible scenarios. The scenarios should make for an interactive experience for every customer.

Even though they’re communicating with a chatbot, it shouldn’t be a bland, dull convo. The bot should be fun and helpful so that customers feel like they are connecting with a real person. You can create this environment by putting the customer in control. Just let your customers choose their journey.

I.E., if the subscriber were to type, “Are you open tomorrow?” Then your bot can say, “Yes! We’re open from 8-6 PM”. Additionally, if a user types in “Hey!, you can have your bot reply, “Welcome back!” or, “It’s a pleasure to meet you!”. The chatbot will determine which reply to use based on if the user is a new customer or not.

Inside Messenger, users can also press buttons to get valuable information in regards to your business. Such as galleries, displays of blog posts, or free tutorials. You can also teach your bot to remember different details submitted by each customer.

Open Rates and a getting Headstart 

According to MailChimp, the average email open rate falls between 15-28%. Compare that to the 70-90% average open rate for Messenger Chatbot’s… it is a stark contrast. You would think that such a high open-rate could only be positive, but that’s not the case. If not used correctly, a Facebook Messenger bot could apply more harm to your business than good.

A poor experience with your bot in Messenger with your business could result in lost customers forever. You’ve likely heard the saying, “A customer is more likely to tell others about a negative experience than a positive one.” That’s because they expect to be 100% satisfied as your customer. It’s no big deal if you just meet their needs, but it’s a travesty if you don’t.

With that in mind, follow the dos and don’ts outlined in the introduction. By adhering those guidelines… you’ll immediately have a giant headstart on everyone else new to messenger chatbots. Can you imagine how many more sales you’ll get with an average open rate between 70-90%? That’s HUGE! A sound messenger chatbot marketing campaign could elevate your business to greater heights.

In Conclusion (And my 2 Tips…)

Just as I promised somewhere in this article, I’m going to give you my top 2 messenger chatbot tips right now. Here’s tip #1 for starters, remember, this ‘chatbot thing’ is short-form marketing. This means you should keep all of your automation and Flows short and sweet. Tip #2 is to never exclude real people from the process. There needs to be a human on standby… to step in when the customer’s concerns can’t be resolved by a chatbot. Sometimes issues can become too complicated for a bot. It’s at this time a human needs to jump in to save the day. 

With that said, give Facebook Messenger chatbots a try today.