What exactly is a Facebook Messenger bot? From a broad perspective, chat bots provide a platform for companies to automate several low level customer support functions, reducing the amount of time that representatives have to spend on the phone. Rather than waiting on hold for hours to talk to a customer service representative, customers can simply chat with a bot to answer simple inquiries, or complete the initial stages of an RMA request. These systems are particularly useful for businesses with one to three agents, where every agent will be required to have access to a Facebook account.
To begin this discussion, we need to define the intended use case of a facebook messenger bot. This bot is most often used in a customer service environment, such as when providing live help or after a technical issue has happened. For instance, a doctor might use a chat bot, instead of having his tech take down callers’ medical information and pass it on to the doctors. In a financial setting, a financial advisor might use a bot, rather than having his financial assistants call back the customer to ask follow-up questions. Bot makers are beginning to target other areas, such as retail, gaming, and real estate. There are a number of reasons to use a bot from a messaging company, but let’s focus on the one that seems to apply the most to most businesses.
In many cases, the intention to perform automated sales or business support comes from a misunderstanding of how online discussion systems work. Bots are just that: programs which monitor conversations, send them back to the users, and then filter out messages that do not pertain to the original topic. While a salesperson may be able to use the system for direct marketing, there is no reason a user should have to tell the bot that they are having a personal conversation with someone else, even if that is what is being discussed. The Facebook chatbot is not an actual person, and it is not permitted to engage in conversation with anyone, including business associates, unless the users want to allow the bot to do so.
Another benefit is that the chatbot does not need to remember every single instance where a message was sent, and then store that data in its internal memory or external hard drive. Most real-time communication systems save messages and information in memory, so a chatbot can store all of them in one place, so a single installation is much less prone to crashes and outages than a system which needs to remember every instance. This saves time for all parties involved. Furthermore, a chatbot allows a business owner to quickly identify leads, as well as send these leads to leads who are actually interested in purchasing the product or service being offered. This can reduce wasted marketing time, and increase the conversion rate.
Of course, not every business has a large amount of money to spend on large investments into technology, so a smaller business owner might want to shy away from the idea of purchasing a chatbot. However, should a small business owner find that the Facebook Messenger Bot is the way they want to improve customer service, and that they cannot live without it, a simple conversion to a chatbot could be enough to start a long-term relationship with an interested clientele. In fact, many major companies are now incorporating Facebook chatbot technologies into their websites.
For example, one major company, called ” Sears,” uses chat bots called Phrase, in their retail websites. These bots not only allow the website owners to interact with current customers, but also with potential customers. Phrase is capable of both speech and text messaging, and it can also capture video, pictures, and audio input from the computer. Since most customers are likely to type words and images into a text box when shopping, this can give the website owners a massive opportunity in getting the information they want, when they need it. As well, since most people are likely to go to the video section of the website, rather than the chat box, having this information available for quick retrieval is invaluable.
A chatbot also works very well when interacting with customer service representatives. A representative may have a question, and a person using a Facebook messenger bot might be able to step into the conversation, and ask a question. Since the bot will know everything about a person, as well as their Facebook profile information, it will be able to identify the person’s gender, age, education, job, and any other information that the user wants to know. Many robots are also coming onto the market that can identify common personality types, and even determine what decade a person is in according to what they type in their birth control calculator.
Chat bots are definitely versatile tools. In addition to using them to connect with friends, they can be used to conduct group conversations, set up voting and review systems, and even make money by conducting affiliate marketing campaigns. As technologies improve, these bot programs are sure to become more useful to everyone, and may even eliminate many of the repetitive and boring activities that people do on Facebook each day. The future of the internet is coming with new technologies that we are sure to enjoy.