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Facebook Messenger for Customer Service: Benefit, Best Practices, and Set-Up

Jordan Miller
Jordan Miller
Last updated on 
November 22, 2022
June 7, 2022
Facebook Messenger for Customer Service: Benefit, Best Practices, and Set-Up

The best way to make customer service as convenient as possible is for ecommerce stores to meet customers where they already are. 

With that in mind, responding to customer interactions on a messaging platform can be an excellent way to provide better customer service — especially on one as popular as Facebook Messenger. 

According to research by Statista, Messenger has 106 million active daily users in America. And if a customer comes across one of your Facebook pages, your Facebook ad, or a Facebook comment that mentions you, the Facebook messaging app might be the first place they’ll go to ask you a question.

Below, learn how to use Messenger for business as an optimized customer service channel. 

Why teams use Facebook Messenger for customer service

According to data from Review42, 1.3 billion people around the globe use Facebook Messenger each month. This makes Facebook Messenger the second most popular mobile app for messaging in the world, behind WhatsApp (and, if you count it, SMS). 

Providing customer care via a channel customers already spend a lot of their time creates an easier, more comfortable experience for them overall. Here are some other benefits of implementing customer support on Facebook Messenger. 

Benefits of Facebook Messenger customer service.

Provide an omnichannel experience 

Asking customers to report a problem via your company's website or its customer support phone number may not seem like a big ask. However, allowing them to contact your company via the social media messaging apps that they are already most comfortable with increases the chances that they will reach out. If contacting support is too cumbersome or unfamiliar, they may simply take their business elsewhere without giving you the opportunity to make it right.

Answering customer queries seamlessly across channels is called omnichannel customer service, and it’s become a critical way for brands to offer better customer experiences. Research shows that getting support on the channels they love even influences purchase decisions.   

📚Recommended reading: How to usse social media for customer service.

Make customer engagement more personal 

Messenger is one of the more personal communication channels to choose from, especially since many people use Facebook Messenger to communicate with friends and family. 

Because of this, managing customer relationships via Facebook Messenger is a more relaxed, natural, and personal way for customers to engage with your brand. 

📚Recommended reading: How to offer personalized customer service at scale.

Make public conversions private 

If a customer is upset, they might leave an angry comment on one of your Facebook posts. Bringing that conversation into a direct message takes that public conversation private, allowing you to offer more personalized support without the eyes of your entire follower base (or prospective customers) on you. 

  • For curious or excited customers, you can have more personalized conversations, send over a small discount, and have a longer conversation that isn’t possible in public comment
  • For escalated or upset customers, you can remove the heated conversation from a public forum and resolve the issues with minimal damage to your brand

Just be sure to ask them to message you first to comply with privacy standards. 

📚Recommended reading: How to deal with angry and escalated customers.

Integrate with a helpdesk and centralize communication 

When you open the floodgates to social media customer support, you or your team will likely be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of comments, questions, or posts that include your brand. While not all of these mentions will require support, the more you can stay on top of them, the better your brand perception will be. 

Use a helpdesk to respond to Facebook Messenger conversations alongside conversations from other channels in one centralized place.

Facebook Messenger can integrate with a CRM or helpdesk that can centralize conversations from all of your other support channels (like email, live chat, SMS, voice, and social media) under one user-friendly dashboard. This makes it much easier to organize conversations so that reps can respond to things in real time or automate responses to common questions.

For example, Gorgias lets you create templated responses to common questions which saves your support reps time. It also lets you set business hours and automate responses to set customer expectations and let them know when you’ll respond. 

Learn more about how Gorgias integrates with Facebook Messenger

Messenger saves each customer's chat history and makes it easy to re-engage at any time

Even without any integrations, Facebook Messenger still automatically saves customers’ chat history. This makes it easy to re-engage with customers anytime you wish, which simplifies the customer service process and can potentially save your support team (and customers) a lot of time and hassle.

📚Recommended reading: Should You Delegate Social Media to Customer Support?

Use chatbots and automation to provide quick responses 

Chatbots offer near-immediate response and resolution times to simple customer inquiries. By addressing common issues without the need for a live support agent, chatbots can also reduce your support ticket volume and free your support team up to focus on more complex and pressing issues.

However, practice caution here. Most chatbots provide sub-optimal customer service. That’s why we prefer automation features that offer the same convenience (without deceiving your customers). While it’s not currently available on Facebook Messenger, take a look at how we build automation features into live chat to offer a better experience than chatbots:

https://gorgias.wistia.com/medias/gb277k8th0 

📚Recommended reading: 2022 Customer Service Automation Guide [+Benefits and Best Practices]

7 Facebook Messenger best practices for customer support teams

If you’d like to get as much value as possible from Facebook Messenger, here are seven best practices for using Facebook Messenger as a customer service channel.

1) Mind Facebook Messenger’s privacy policy 

Keep in mind that, as stated in Messenger’s privacy policy, you can only send messages to people who message you first. 

When moving from a public channel (like a Facebook comment) to a private channel, ask customers to make the move rather than messaging them. One way to maneuver this conversation is to ask the customer to message you something specific, privately, to resolve the issue. For example:

“No worries, {{Customer name}}! Your order hasn’t shipped so we can still change the mailing address. Please send us the new shipping address in a private message and we’ll make the change.”

2) Respond quickly, whether via a live chat experience or a chatbot

According to data from SuperOffice, 46% of customers expect a response time for customer service inquiries of four hours or less. Further, 12% of customers expect companies to provide a quick response in 15 minutes or less. 

‍Using Messenger chatbots can be a great way to ensure speedy responses to common customer questions. However, responding quickly is still important if you’re offering customers a live chat experience via Facebook Messenger rather than directing them to a chatbot. Even if you do use live chat, you can still set up chatbots to send an auto-response that thanks them for their inquiry and lets them know that an agent will assist them soon. 

Here’s how to set up that kind of automatic response Rule within Gorgias:

Automatically respond on Facebook Messenger with a Gorgias Rule.

In all cases, it’s essential to make every effort to respond to customer inquiries as quickly as possible.

📚Recommended reading: Check out our case study of Berkey Filters, who achieved low response rates and high channel adoption rates after launching a new customer service messaging channel.

3) Automate simple questions that come through Facebook Messenger

In addition to lowering the average first response time of your customer support team, using bots to automate simple questions that come through Facebook Messenger can also free up a lot of time in your team's schedule. 

According to data from Tidio, 62% of customers would rather use a chatbot than wait for a customer service representative to take their call, making Facebook Messenger chatbots an excellent way to ensure that your customer service process is as speedy and convenient as possible. If you use a helpdesk, a plugin like ShopMessage can create this type of automation for you.  

If you use Gorgias, set up autoresponse rules to make each day’s workflow easier for your team. For example, set business hours and an autoresponse rule that fires if a customer does or doesn’t reach you during that time. 

For shoppers who message outside of business hours, automate text to let them know when you’ll be back online. For those who message during business hours, automate a message that approximates wait times: 

Automatically respond on Facebook Messenger outside of business hours with a Gorgias Rule.

 4) Use content, FAQs, and knowledge base material to get customers to solutions faster

Resources like blog posts, FAQs, and knowledge base material can all serve as excellent customer service tools to supplement the support you offer via Facebook Messenger. 

FAQ and Help Center pages example
Source: Branch

Link your help center prominently on Facebook, send over links to your help articles for additional details or step-by-step walkthroughs once you answer their questions, or share blog posts that provide additional helpful information directly via chat.

Providing helpful self-service tools like these as part of your Facebook Messenger support strategy can go a long way toward making Facebook a more effective customer service channel.

5) Create short, Facebook-appropriate templates for FAQs

To save yourself or your team time, create templated responses for the most common questions that come through Facebook Messenger. 

Like a Facebook message would be, keep these responses short and sweet. Prioritize the messages that tend to come through Facebook. For example, shoppers will likely send in a message about an ad they saw or a product they’re interested in rather than asking for an update on their order status. 

📚Recommended reading: 10 Best Practices for Providing Exceptional Customer Service on Twitter

6) Seek out context to help customers with support requests

While it can certainly be beneficial for support agents to direct customers to resources such as knowledge base material, the reverse is true as well. Resources customers send in while seeking assistance can offer a lot of value. 

Facebook Messenger makes it easy for people to send photos, videos, and documents. These resources can provide helpful additional information about an issue support reps are attempting to resolve. For example, an agent might need to take a closer look at a crack in a defective product or see the color of an item they need to send a replacement for. 

Seeking context starts with having your agents ask customers the right questions. For example, asking customers how they are using the product that they purchased can provide agents with a lot more context regarding the issue that the customer is facing. Asking customers if there is anything else that you can help them with after the initial problem has been resolved is another question that can ensure that no issues go unaddressed. 

By making an effort to seek out as much context as possible, your customer support agents can ensure that they provide relevant information that fully resolves each issue. 

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7) Respond to every customer who sends you a message

It isn't always easy, but responding to every customer who sends you a message through Facebook Messenger is essential if you want to optimize customer satisfaction and reduce churn. This is especially evident when you consider the fact that Facebook Messenger shows users when their message has been seen. 

In other words, if you choose to ignore a customer's message, they’ll know about it. Thankfully, tools such as autoresponders and dashboards for centralizing customer conversations can make replying to each and every customer message a much more feasible goal. For example, if you use Gorgias, all open tickets will appear prominently until you close them.  

Respond to Facebook messages in your helpdesk to provide omnichannel service

Centralizing all of your customer conversations across channels under one easy-to-use dashboard makes managing Facebook Messenger conversations much more efficient for your support team. It lessens the possibility that high-priority messages will get lost, and allows teams to assign different conversations to the right agent who is best suited to support. 

This is where customer service platforms like Gorgias come in. Those that offer integrations will also show a customer's entire history with your business like their purchase history, past support conversations, and even social comments on different platforms. This allows your support agents to provide more helpful and personalized assistance

Customer information to personalize interactions.

Omnichannel experiences help meet customers where they are, ensure a smooth, hassle-free experience, and let them message you from the app where they’re most comfortable. This increases the likelihood they will actually reach out to you, rather than deciding not to shop with you again instead. 

Facebook Messenger for customer service FAQs

1) Is there a business version of Facebook Messenger?

Yes! Facebook’s business messenger tool is called Business Inbox. 

2) How do I access my Facebook Business messages?

Toggle between your personal Facebook page and your business pages by holding down on your profile picture from the “Me” tab. Then, select “Switch Account.” You should now see your Business page and be able to access your Business Inbox. 

3) Where do I respond to Facebook Messenger chats? 

On your mobile phone, respond to chats directly within the Messenger app. If you’re on a desktop computer, visit your favorite browser and respond from your Facebook Page by clicking on Inbox. Or, if you integrate Messenger with a helpdesk like Gorgias, you can respond to messages directly within that platform. 

4) Does Facebook Messenger have customer service? 

Facebook Messenger is a great tool for providing customer service to your customers. If you need help with messenger, you can get support through the Help & Support option from the dropdown menu. 

5) How do I get in touch with someone on Messenger? 

Send people you’d like to contact a direct message, but remember that as a business you can only message people who have first messaged you.  

How to set up a Facebook customer service channel with Gorgias

With Gorgias, ecommerce stores can centralize customer conversations across multiple channels under one user-friendly dashboard, employ automation features complete with AI-powered customer intent and sentiment detection, create automated customer service workflows for Facebook Messenger, and much more. You can also expand your support messaging capabilities with our SMS feature.

Setting up the Gorgias and Facebook integration is quick and easy. Just visit Settings -> Integrations -> Facebook, Messenger & Instagram on your Gorgias dashboard. Make sure you’re logged into the correct Facebook account, authorize Gorgias on Facebook, select the page you want to add and your import settings, and then add the page! 

To see for yourself how Gorgias can streamline your customer service process by integrating with Facebook to create a unified customer service workspace, check out our social media features or sign up for a free trial today. 

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