The last year or so has seen unprecedented research and commercial interest in chatbots. In fact, one recent survey counted over 11,000 different chatbots that were developed for use with Facebook Messenger alone. Much of the focus is, of course, on developing bots that provide a seamless and logical conversation flow for consumers, and making the bots better and better at handling bidirectional, asynchronous tasks such as customer service or order booking. However, advancements in technology always bring with it new and novel challenges, and only those who are able to leverage new and advanced chatbot applications the right way will reap the most benefits of this rapidly developing tech.

Towards that end, this article will highlight the five top chatbot applications for Facebook Messenger.

  1. Being where your customers are

With so many apps from which to choose, many consumers don’t even bother downloading actual apps anymore. At the same time, we’ve seen an explosion in the popularity of messaging. In fact, the number of messages sent using messaging apps has surpassed the number sent on social networking apps. When you put these two facts together, an interesting opportunity arises: the challenges of convincing consumers to download a standalone retail app can be overcome by targeting and connecting with them via messaging instead.

The first application of a Facebook Messenger chatbot is simple: it enables you to be in the same room, at the same time, with the millions of consumers who use messaging apps every day.

  1. Customer service, & automation of simple tasks

Various studies suggest that you stand to lose 15% of your customers if you fail to respond to those who contact you via social media. Similar studies also show that, when you do in fact respond to customers on social platforms, revenue per customer increases anywhere from 20% up to 40%.

Developing a simple chatbot that can understand basic customer queries, reply to questions, provide pre-set answers or scripts for various customer needs, and tailoring customized welcome, goodbye, and order confirmation messages are easy yet effective ways to not only improve your customer query response times but to also build up a lot of goodwill in the process. Instead of having customers poke around an app, a chatbot would ask visitors what they were looking for, and relevant hits would be displayed in a carousel. And instead of wading through pages and pages of content on a news site, chatbot can learn what you like and deliver a personalized news feed.

What are some of the ways various companies have implemented these things? Well, KLM Airlines provides passengers with booking confirmations, check-in reminders, boarding pass printing options, flight updates, and Q&A round the clock using a custom chatbot. The Uber chatbot enables users to call an Uber ride right from Messenger, and the Burger King chatbot allows customers to order food from the same place as well. Finally, the HP chatbot allows you to print photos and documents, and receive notifications for reordering toner cartridges, all from Messenger.

Always being online, available, and reachable is Benefit No. 2, and it brings us to Benefit No. 3 of lowering your costs.

  1. Lower your costs

Messenger can help you to dramatically reduce the cost and turnaround time of customer inquiries. Chatbots function a lot like an FAQ page: by addressing only the questions a user actually poses, chatbots are responsive, and can be replaced seamlessly with a real person when needed. By lowering response times and being able to hire less customer service reps to man the phones around the clock, you can save a lot in employee overheads.

Further, the cost per acquisition of each new customer is substantially lower when using an automated system such as an online chatbot in a high-traffic environment when compared against traditional marketing methods such as direct selling, running promotions and campaigns, and conducting surveys to find out more about your target customers before you even begin to sell to them.

Also, beyond cutting costs, chatbots can facilitate upselling to improve revenues and margins as well, as described in Benefit No. 4.

  1. Raise your revenues

Because chatbots are built to run on AI that draws from a vast pool of customer data, your chatbot can pick up and present key relationships or trends as drawn from website traffic or popular customer clicks. Think of suggested items on Amazon or highly recommended articles on a news website. They are all curated from a larger pool of visits, clicks, and impressions, and by tailoring your chatbot to promote or suggest an item to a specific customer at the right time, you can easily seal multiple deals in place of one – all at zero cost.

  1. Harness the power of advanced analytics

Chatbots themselves are just the tip of the iceberg. There are advanced chatbot solution platforms that really take things to the next level, such as Kit, and IBM’s Watson. Both Kit and Watson rely on advanced data analytics to provide effective, highly customized, natural-language AI solutions to companies who target customers using messaging apps, including Facebook Messenger.

Kit, for example, can write tailored ad messages for you, and it will also build your ad, choose the right audience for that specific ad, and will recommend a budget for your ad. It will even propose updates for you to approve and can send personalized thank you messages to new customers as well as relevant marketing material to your customers to showcase your newest or best-selling products. Depending on customer responses and feedback, you can also have Kit provide customers with everything from product descriptions, pricing, company policies, suggested items, and more, all via Messenger conversation threads with individual buyers.

In summary

Using chatbots with Facebook Messenger can help you with customer service and productivity while lowering your costs, and it will vastly improve expediency, allowing you to respond faster to consumers, enhancing each interaction that people have with your brand. Chatbots allow you to easily distribute content within Messenger to users who are active and plugged into the same ecosystem, and you can personalize them to target customers based on their feedback and preferences as well. Finally, you can use chatbots on Messenger for lead gen, and you can use them in conjunction with consumer data to unlock insights, discover trends, learn about consumer likes and preferences, and sell your products in a more informed and optimized way.

Article purpose

A use-case style article intended to project subject matter domain authority by discussing innovative applications of chatbots for the Facebook Messenger platform.

About the Client

A niche Social Media Technology integration consultancy catering to Enterprise Clients looking to build bespoke social media integrations and applications.